Worse Than Ebola

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U.S. research labs can create even deadlier strains of Ebola, influenza, and other infectious diseases, in so-called “gain-of-function” research. We hear from biosafety expert Edward Hammond on threats from lab-created superbugs, including research at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Also, food safety lawyer Bill Marler, and health threats from the hormone-altering chemical BPA, from Connie Engel of the Breast Cancer Fund.

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Edward Hammond is a researcher and writer active on policy issues related to biodiversity, agricultural genetic resources, infectious disease, laboratory biosafety, and intellectual property. For more than a decade he’s been investigating and exposing lab safety lapses at the nation’s biological research labs. He is a member of the Cambridge Working Group, an international collaboration of scientists and advocates calling for a moratorium on gain-of-function (GOF) research. ScienceInsider has obtained the NIH letters requesting labs to voluntarily stop their GOF research; note the letter to the University of Wisconsin (p. 52) refers to a project on influenza and ebola.

Connie Engel is the Science and Education Manager at the Breast Cancer Fund. Among other issues, BCF works to eliminate harmful chemical exposures from food, including from endocrine-disrupting compounds in food packaging plastics.

Bill Marler is the most prominent foodborne illness lawyer in America and a major force in food policy in the U.S. and around the world. began litigating foodborne illness cases in 1993, when he represented Brianne Kiner, the most seriously injured survivor of the historic Jack in the Box E. coli O157:H7 outbreak, in her landmark $15.6 million settlement with the company.  The 2011 book, Poisoned: The True Story of the Deadly E. coli Outbreak that Changed the Way Americans Eat, by best-selling author Jeff Benedict, chronicles the Jack in the Box outbreak and the rise of Mr. Marler as a food safety attorney.

Hear the full Uprisings Radio interview with Dr. Rishi Manchanda; also, see the New York Times article on ebola and Kaizer Dour by Norimitsu Onishi. To aid in the Ebola crisis in Africa, check Doctors Without Borders.

Music includes “Is It Love, or Food Poisoning” and “The Hormone Song.”

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