Fears that bio weapons may be used against the US food supply
Dateline: Various, USA, October 29th, 2001
Date: 10/30/2001 04:00 AM
1. Various shots of farm and harvesting
2. Amy Bouvet doing her accounts
3. SOUNDBITE: (English) Amy Bouvet, Farmer:
"Just one little outbreak would wipe out the whole herd."
4. Various of pigs on farm
5. Workers in food processing factory
6. Cargo ship
7. SOUNDBITE: (English) Tommy Thompson, Sec. of Health and Human Services:
"We have to do a much better job. I am more fearful about this than anything else."
8. Various interiors of laboratory
9. SOUNDBITE: (English) Niall Finnegan, American Veterinary Medical Association:
"Our laboratories are going to play an absolutely critical role in being able to diagnose it quickly and getting back out to the field with that diagnosis."
10. Various interiors of shopping centre
11. Various of cows
12. Cows being destroyed
13. SOUNDBITE: (English) Amy Bouvet, Farmer:
"It's in our best interest to make sure these animals are healthy and nothing gets into our buildings, because basically, we can't afford to lose our whole herd."
14. Various shots of farm
America's farmers are expressing concern over the potential damage terrorists could cause to the nation's food supply.
The United States has been concentrating its attention recently on the threat posed by anthrax.
But what about swine fever, chicken influenza or foot and mouth disease?
These only affect animals and crops.
It may be peaceful near Belleville, Illinois, but farmer Amy Bouvet remains concerned.
While Bouvet worries about her 20,000 hogs, the government worries about human health.
Both wonder where the food supply could be vulnerable.
Might someone try to spread a virus around a large processing plant, or import diseased produce from overseas, right past overburdened
Tommy Thompson, the Secretary of Health and Human Services says he's more fearful about the potential threat to America's food supply than anything else.
So far there's been no hint of such an attack and health officials say they're prepared to watch for outbreaks of illness, and order recalls at the first sign of one.
Members of Congress are pushing for more inspectors, and more laboratories.
They say food is one more part of the American economy that now needs to be ready for anything.