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June 8 - 14 2011
μWorld News PAGES 14-17
μComment PAGES 18-21
μObituaries PAGES 22-23
μExpat Life PAGES 30-32
Child prodigy Three-year-old girl set to join Mensa with IQ score of 140
Time travel with the Bard Former Doctor Who shines in hit play with intelligence and heart
EXPAT LIFE P32
Duke of Edinburgh His exemplary life should be an inspiration to us all
Banging drum for the simple life Ex-Genesis member turned expat author on his books set in Spain
7 2 9 18 38 45 7 21 25 32 43 44
Bonus Ball 42
Bonus Ball 27
There were three winners of Saturday’s £4.4m jackpot and two winners of Wednesday’s £2.4m prize
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By Richard Gray Science Correspondent FOOD and drink sold in Britain is under a growing threat from terrorist groups which might try to poison supplies, the Government’s security advisers have warned.
Manufacturers and retailers have been told that their sector is vulnerable to attacks by ideologically and politically motivated groups that may seek to cause widespread casualties and disruption by poisoning food supplies.
The warning from the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure [CPNI], which operates as part of the Security Service, comes as experts warned the deadly E.coli outbreak in Germany has highlighted the vulnerability of the food chain and how quickly bacteria can spread. The highly virulent strain has claimed 22 lives and left around 2,000 ill.
A senior German doctor last Saturday night called for an investigation into the possibility that the bacteria had been spread deliberately.
Klaus-Dieter Zastrow, chief doctor for hygiene at Berlin’s Vivantes hospital, said: “It’s quite possible that there’s a crazy person out there who thinks ‘I’ll kill a few people or give 10,000 people diarrhoea’. It’s a negligent mistake not to investigate in that direction.”
In the past, the main threat of deliberate contamination of food has been from criminals attempting extortion or from individuals with a grudge, but security officials fear there is an emerging threat from extremist groups such as alQaeda, dissident republicans in Northern Ireland and animal rights activists.
The CPNI has asked food and drinks producers, suppliers and supermarkets to tighten security at plants and depots and to identify vulnerabilities in supply chains.
One official from the CPNI
spoke about the threat at a meeting of food safety experts. Addressing a conference of the Society for General Microbiology, he said: “The UK suffers from a low level of malicious contamination of food by the bad, the mad and the sad. Now it has to consider the possibility of food supplies being disrupted by politically motivated groups.”
The E.coli outbreak is thought to have been caused by poor hygiene at a farm, in transit, or at a food outlet.
Dr Richard Byrne, from the Centre for Rural Security at Harper Adams University College in Shropshire, said: “The outbreak in Germany very much highlights how we produce food, and how it is
The number of people killed by a highly virulent strain of E.colithat has struck Germany distributed is quite vulnerable in terms of agroterrorism.
“The impact on the German economy and fresh vegetable industry in general is huge. The US and Australia are much more publicly aware of the threat from terrorism to the food supply compared to the UK. Groups could go after consumer health in a shortterm way by using something like E.coli, or longer term by contaminating with cadmium or radioactive caesium.”
The CPNI report sent to companies in the food industry warns of a number of threats. Attackers could contaminate prepared food or drink with bacteria or chemicals. Or, by targeting basic ingredients used in large numbers of foods, they could cause even wider disruption.
US experts have warned that the dairy industry is particularly vulnerable, as adding just a few grams of botulinum toxin or ricin to a tanker load of milk could poison or even kill thousands of consumers.
The report warns that it is harder to guarantee the security of produce grown abroad and imported to Britain.
It adds that such attacks could cause severe economic harm. In one example, a major British producer of pastries was targeted by an attack where peanuts were introduced into a nut-free product. The factory was shut down for five days and products were removed from sale due to the risk of anaphylactic reactions from allergy sufferers. Police ruled out accidental causes and the company lost five per cent of its annual sales.
In February, a South African farmer was arrested after allegedly threatening to unleash foot and mouth disease in Britain. He was said to have believed that Britain was responsible for letting Robert Mugabe inflict losses on Zimbabwe’s farming industry.
The CPNI report warns: “The food and drink industry in the UK — the food sector of the national infrastructure — could be under threat from ideologically motivated groups. The threat is unlikely to decline in the foreseeable future. This could cause mass casualties, economic disruption and widespread panic.”
The report singles out farms as vulnerable because they often employ foreign workers, and urges all businesses to make comprehensive checks on new employees and visiting contractors.
In the US, food “bioterrorism” has become a major concern after documents were found in Afghanistan apparently referring to plans by terrorists to contaminate supplies.
By Harry Wallop FOOD and toy makers will no longer be allowed to pay children to promote their products at school or on social networking websites, David Cameron was due to announce on Monday.
The move is part of wideranging initiative to stem the commercialisation and sexualisation of children.
The Prime Minister has also welcomed a review, which looked into concerns that children were being pushed too hard and too fast into the adult, commercial world.
The report by Reg Bailey, the head of the Christian charity Mothers’ Union, covers the internet, clothes, television and advertising and was published on Monday. Major retailers will promise to stop selling high-heeled shoes, underwired bras and sheer tops for children younger than 12. Mr Cameron has already written to Mr Bailey saying he particularly welcomed three of the recommendations in the report.
The first was that billboards with sexual imagery should not be placed in locations where children are likely to see them.
The second was that children are protected when they watch television, are on the internet or use their mobile phones.
The third recommendation was to stop businesses from paying children to promote products in schools or on social networking sites.
The Telegraph has previously reported that more than 330,000 children, some as young as five, have been recruited to conduct market research for toy and gadget manufacturers. Most of the children are paid and some schools have earned £4,000 a year surveying pupils on the behalf of the firms.
Continued from page 1 Nicoletta Pabst, 41, said sanitary conditions at Hamburg-Eppendorf hospital were horrendous when she arrived with cramps and diarrhoea. She said at least 20 others in the emergency room had a similar condition.
“All of us had diarrhoea and there was only one bathroom each for men and women,” she said. “If I hadn’t been sick with E.coli by then, I probably would have picked it up over there.”
Bean sprouts, a common ingredient in salads and stirfried dishes, have been blamed for more than 40 food-born illnesses caused by either E.coli or salmonella bacteria over the past 35 years, including a serious outbreak of salmonella in Britain last year.
Canadian and American health officials have frequently given warnings about the dangers of sprouts. The largest such outbreak took place in Japan in 1996, when 6,000 people fell ill and 17 died after eating radish sprouts contaminated with the O157:H7 strain of E.coli.
The bacteria has been identified as a “completely new” mutant strain that is more infectious than usual varieties.
Prof Giuseppe Cornaglia, president of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, said: “This most recent E.coli epidemic, of a strain previously unseen in an outbreak, shows us yet again that … we are far from winning the fight against infectious diseases in Europe.
“It reminds us that we continue to face new challenges, and must ensure we are vigilant in our preparedness, including monitoring, detection, and speedy and appropriate treatment.”
Justin McCracken, the chief executive of the Health Protection Agency, reiterated the advice that travellers to Germany should avoid eating all salad. On The Andrew Marr Show on BBC One on Sunday, Mr McCracken said: “We are advising people who travel to Germany to avoid eating raw tomatoes, raw cucumbers and leafy salads, including lettuce.”
More than two million Britons travel to Germany each year.