An Open Letter to Tony Blair from 20 April 2001 from Dr Harash Narang,
Microbiologist Dr Harash Narang, 58, supported vaccination of animals
rather than culling them during the current crisis.
He is also critical of the Conservative Government's policy on BSE.
He claims he was effectively sacked from his position as a Government
scientist for linking mad cow disease with CJD in humans.
Dr Narang, of Jesmond, Newcastle, will stand as an Independent
against Mr Nick Brown, the Labour member for Newcastle East.
MR Tony Blair PM
10 Downing Street
By Fax: 0207 925 0918
An Open Letter To Tony Blair
Dear Mr Blair,
Ref: Foot and Mouth Vaccination:
I wrote to you on 2nd April concerning the recent outbreak of FMD, however, I
have not had a reply from you as yet.
Time has moved on and thousands of animals been slaughtered, yet nothing has
been achieved. As usual, the best scientific advice from Government
scientists remains the same. But the words change from day to day. It is
obvious to me, and you must now realise, that scientific advice does not
necessarily mean anything.
I wrote in my last letter to you that MAFF has been conducting vaccines
trials for a number of years and it now admits to testing these vaccines "in
vivo and in vitro" EVERY year. I therefore suggest, the FMD virus was more
likely to have accidentally escaped from a Research Centre laboratory.
Here is some evidence to show it has happened before: Catherine Diodati, M.A.
writes: "certainly this confirms your concerns over using an attenuated
vaccine. Just last week, I was reading an article that discussed prior FMD
outbreaks and stated that those were caused by improperly inactivated
(formalin) vaccines." (Copy of her letter and my reply enclosed).
The discussion here is whether we should vaccinate our animals or not.
Obviously, one of the main reasons given against vaccination is that animals
would be excreting live FMD virus for very long time, perhaps years. The
suggestion has been also put forward that FMD virus could be present in meat
and meat products as well as in milk.
We have to remember 'attenuated', is not 'dead' but is made harmless for the
one individual animal that has been vaccinated. I am sure you have had a
chance to speak to your GP. He should have been able to explain how
'attenuated', almost 'dead', is in fact, not dead. Instead, when it is shed,
it will affect every other animal in its 'wild' form.
The person who can give you more information on FMD vaccine trials is Dr A.
I. Donaldson at the Institute of Animal Health. He and his colleagues have
been working with the FMD vaccine for many years. In a meeting with MPs in
the House of Commons, he informed them that a vaccinated cow would excrete
the live FMD virus for up to three years. Obviously, he has done a great deal
of experimental work to know this.
Therefore, as I stressed previously, vaccination is the only way to clear FMD
from the British animal population and a dead virus vaccine must be
administered. It is obvious that improperly inactivated (formalin) vaccines
can also be a threat; I purpose that the virus must be inactivated by heat
treatment. Animals vaccinated by a heat, or a combination of formalin and
heat inactivated vaccine, would then have immune protection within 48 hours.
Most important of all, these animals will not shed live FMD virus into the
environment, meat, meat products or milk.
According to the Pirbright web site. All FMD vaccine stocks are checked for
viability once a year, in vitro and vivo.
I have several concerns with Vivo studies using animals. As you need further
evidence that FMD virus has accidentally escaped from a Research Centre
laboratory, I suggest the following.
As a legal requirement, all animal experiments are controlled under Home
Office Licence and Laboratory records have to be maintained:
I would therefore like to know whether:
Each experiment has to have a purpose and project leader. Who and what are
Type of animals used and number of animals used?
What was given and how was it administered to the animals. On what dates?
What tests were done?
Once the experiments had begun were the animals moved to another site? A
record of the movement of the animals has to be kept.
What happened to those animals?
Was this work done under contract and were the persons involved during the
whole of experiment hired on contracted?
Dr Harash Narang