Creating Diseases — Crashing Our Economy
Agriculture is perhaps our greatest invention…but it turns out that domesticating animals has created most of the infectious diseases we suffer.
This is not to condemn farming and ranching. In fact, over time, selection has led to far more productive, docile, and disease-hardened breeds. But we’ve only increased density, stress, and the other disease-creating factors. Most egregiously, we continue to bring new species into captivity.
Every factor contributing to this disease-creation, or “pathogenesis,” is getting worse. Most astonishing…it’s no accident. Politicians continue to promote and even subsidize risky practices long after science has shown that domestication can be a disease factory. And germs evolve faster than any animal—including people.
The feature length documentary No Accident investigates the causes and the carnage of lethal pandemics, and it chronicles one of today’s most insidious examples—right in the heart of North America.
Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), a 100% fatal deer version of ‘mad cow,’ emerged in a research facility in Colorado in the 1960s. Over the next decades, schemes to exploit ‘captive wildlife’ for profit were legalized. Deer and elk—and their diseases—were transported across the continent. CWD repeatedly spilled over to public wildlife. By 2001, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture declared CWD a State of Emergency.
Today, CWD is growing, spreading, persisting, and evolving—with no known barriers. Scientists hope it won’t jump to people, like mad cow did; and studies say the risk is low, but they do not suggest it is zero. The consequences could be devastating.
Every health authority advises against consuming CWD-infected material; but as the problem and the costs have grown, testing programs are being cut. As politicians neglect their responsibility, thousands of infected animals are now being eaten every year in North America. “Nightmare scenarios” of CWD emerging as contagious in people as in deer are all but unthinkable. Top scientists are holding their breath, but not their concern. They are “worried,” and point out that “the threat is far from negligible.”
But if that threat is uncertain and even extremely unlikely, science is now establishing grounds for a looming and all but certain economic nightmare: Research is showing that CWD can potentially be spread both in and on agricultural crops. To our global customers and agricultural competitors, CWD presents a known threat to their wildlife, their ecosystems, their economies, and their people. It is almost certain to generate discussion of severe trade restrictions.
International barriers on beef products imposed because of ‘mad cow disease’ cost numerous countries tens of billions of dollars…but that was just beef. Even discussion of potential CWD contamination in crops could devastate all of North American agriculture. And our governments cutting back testing and control only legitimizes and exacerbates this threat.
But CWD is not the problem. Like myriad other diseases, it is a consequence of practices that are global—that have and continue to create the pathogens that spread in waves of epidemics and pandemics. In fact North America’s unique system of wildlife as a public resource had long prohibited such practices…until we reversed course to join the most of the planet in allowing privatization and commercial exploitation.
This is No Accident
Clearly public policy should be directed to stop ‘creating’ diseases rather than bankrupt our economies trying to respond. There is no legitimate purpose in exploiting new species. It is absurd to depend on cures that are always too late, and that are inevitably defeated by the evolution of countless microbes.
The choice is ours: We can have conservation, and health, and prosperity—or we can have none of them.
No Accident is registered with the International Documentary Association and falls under it’s fiscal sponsorship program. We will be coordinating our fundraising campaign launch with the IDA maximizing social media reach on the No Accident film site, IDA and the Indiegogo platform. You can help…DONATE HERE.