From the Eastern Daily Press, Monday, April 8, 2001.
Cash needed to fight disease
I don't claim to be a specialist, unlike many people do on this terrible matter of foot-and-mouth disease. but I do wonder at the Government's meandering response.
It repeatedly goes on about the differences between the 1960s outbreak and the current threat. What puzzles me, a mere ignorant bystander, is why it has not had the many scientists and specialists in disease and viruses come up with a definite cause, a possibly a cure.
All British governments of each political party seem to ignore the scientific area, which could undoubtedly solve this long-standing horror.
Surely, with the high level of knowledge and skill in the world today, together with the advanced computers available now, something could be done.
It is amazing to me, that in 30 years of what could be classed as having modern technology available, funds have not apparently been made for a possible reason and a way to combat it.
To date, I have yet to see any official reference to years of fruitless research on this problem, and having watched news rounds and various papers daily, I'm sure that I would have noticed it.
Perhaps it is time the Government put a few million pounds into a specialist programme to find the cause and how to deal permanently with the problem.
Hundreds of millions of pounds could have been saved and the livelihood of thousands could be protected.
I said our Government, but surely the whole European Union could fund a scheme of this kind, as the disease known no barriers. Surely the time wasted placing blame, and installing procedures which are often a matter of "closing the door after the horse has bolted", would be far better spent on finding a final answer to the "foot-and-mouth" problem/
And once this was found, the facilities could be put to other life-threatening problems, and being thrifty is always popular with any government, domestic or foreign, especially at election times.
All governments always procrastinate to save or retain votes; perhaps a couple of warships less or six new jets from all the major countries would fund the research and solve the problem once and for all.
Surely if it costs all the major countries so much money, we should all invest in something to rectify the problem. With each country paying a share, the individual member of the EU would pay less.