Monday, March 9, 2009

Baxter Botches Bug Transfer: Mixes Virus Samples for European Labs

"Live Avian Flu Virus Found in Baxter Vaccines!!"

" — Baxter International Inc. has just been caught shipping live avian flu viruses mixed with vaccine material to medical distributors in 18 countries. Baxter International adheres to BSL3 which prevents cross-contamination, raising suspicion that this was something more sinister than a mere mistake. As if vaccines were not dangerous enough already! "

That's the listing.'s article is even better.

"Vaccines as Biological Weapons? Live Avian Flu Virus Placed in Baxter Vaccine Materials Sent to 18 Countries"

"(NaturalNews) There's a popular medical thriller novel in which a global pandemic is intentionally set off by an evil plot designed to reduce the human population. In the book, a nefarious drug company inserts live avian flu viruses into vaccine materials that are distributed to countries around the world to be injected into patients as "flu shots." Those patients then become carriers for these highly-virulent strains of avian flu which go on to infect the world population and cause widespread death...."

Baxter Bioterror? A Reality Check

"Baxter admits contaminated seasonal flu product contained live bird flu virus"
Canadian Press (February 27, 2009)

"The company that released contaminated flu virus material from a plant in Austria confirmed Friday that the experimental product contained live H5N1 avian flu viruses.

"And an official of the World Health Organization's European operation said the body is closely monitoring the investigation into the events that took place at Baxter International's research facility in Orth-Donau, Austria.

" 'At this juncture we are confident in saying that public health and occupational risk is minimal at present,' medical officer Roberta Andraghetti said from Copenhagen, Denmark.

" 'But what remains unanswered are the circumstances surrounding the incident in the Baxter facility in Orth-Donau.' "

A Bit Beyond Oops, A Bit This Side of The Satan Bug

I'm not making light of this world-class foul-up, but it could have been a lot worse.

First, as far as I can tell, the batch Baxter botched wasn't vaccine. It was "...a mix of H3N2 seasonal flu viruses and unlabelled H5N1 viruses...."

Second, it wasn't intended for human beings. Baxter's blunder showed up when a "subcontractor in the Czech Republic inoculated ferrets with the product and they died. Ferrets shouldn't die from exposure to human H3N2 flu viruses."

I think ferrets are cute, but all things considered: I'm glad it was them and not us.

So, bad as this bungle was, it could have been worse. A lot worse.

Mixing Virus Samples; Stupid: Clamming Up; Stupider

I enjoyed reading the way The Canadian Press put it:

"Baxter International Inc., has been parsimonious about the amount of information it has released about the event."

Baxter isn't the only company that doesn't like to talk when something disastrous happens. Decades ago, across the river from my home town, a greenhouse blew up. It was right next to a natural gas company's facility. The first thing the gas company said, not long after glass stopped falling out of the sky, was: 'natural gas had nothing to do with this explosion.'

Not the brightest bit of public relations work I've ever seen.

More recently, following explosions, fire, and a small earthquake, a wind-farm company is boldly stating, 'no comment.'

Again, not all that bright.

Not in my opinion, anyway.

On the other hand, that article in The Canada Press could be the work of the space alien shape shifting lizard people that really run the world: and The Canada Press is part of the plot! I've watched "V," so I know!

More seriously, thanks to EnviroBooty, for the heads-up on this matter.

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