[QODLink]
Witness

Invisible Threat

As germs are used to wreak havoc, we look at how the world must learn to deal with the new global threat of bio-terror.

Last Modified: 11 Jul 2013 08:10
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

Filmmaker: Gerald Sperling

In the summer of 2011, an outbreak of a new, aggressive strain of E.coli killed 45 people in Germany and sickened another 3,800.

Egyptian fenugreek was eventually named the culprit, although how the seeds got infected was never proven.

Some authorities believed it could have been an act of terrorism. And if it was, it echoed a 2008 World Health Organization (WHO) report which claimed the deliberate contamination of food as one of major global threats of the 21st century.

Whether it is the infection of water supplies in Nigeria, milk tanks in Minnesota, fenugreek seeds in Egypt, the world must learn how to deal with this new form of bio-terror, a global threat that cannot be ignored.

Filmmaker's View

By Gerald Sperling 

Invisible Threat examines the history of humans developing and using bio weapons - primarily the Japanese, the Americans, the Soviets, the British and the Canadians.

We examine the history of humans developing and using bio- weapons  [Al Jazeera]

It also explores the possible fallout from this massive military endeavour. Although states now have laws now prohibiting the use of these weapons, the Internet allows small groups of people and individual operators access to toxic recipes and the means by which to use them.

And we are already seeing such attacks in countries like the US, and there are still those who believe the E.coli outbreak in Europe in 2010 was intentional.

What is frightening to me is that in its rush to stockpile cures for outbreaks of pathogens, science has created new strains in labs that are subject to human failings - either by accident or intentionally.

I love to travel and, like most people, I sometimes hesitate to place a hand on a much-used railing in a public stairway or have felt the uncomfortable press of people packed into a subway car.

Nature's pathogens can spread so easily, so rapidly. And what is worse is that humans are capable of terrorising and killing using these invisible, ordourless weapons - we only need to look back at our history to substantiate this argument.

Click here  for more Witness films.

476

Source:
Al Jazeera
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
The world's newest professional sport comes from an unlikely source: video games.
The group's takeover of farms in Qaraqosh, 30km from Mosul, has caused fear among residents, and a jump in food prices.
Protests and online activism in recent months have brought a resurgence of ethnic Oromo nationalism in Ethiopia.
Chemotherapy is big business, but some US doctors say it could be overused and are pushing for cheaper and better care.
Amid vote audit and horse-trading, politicians of all hues agree a compromise is needed to avoid political instability.
join our mailing list