Members of the House Ag committee are giving a lot of weight to the possibility of creating a vaccine bank to stem the risks of an outbreak such as foot-and-mouth disease.
Supporters say that a vaccine bank is like insurance that can reduce the risks of a costly disease outbreak.
House Ag Committee ranking member Collin Peterson of Minnesota says USDA should start working with trading partners to ease concerns about a vaccine before an outbreak actually occurs.
During a hearing with newly confirmed Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue on Wednesday, Peterson used the example of the H5N2 bird flu outbreak to stress the importance of a vaccine bank – when U.S. trading partners became as reluctant about U.S. producers using a vaccine as the actual bird flu virus itself. Listen —> Vaccine Bank 1
Secretary Perdue agreed with Peterson. Listen —> Vaccine Bank 2
Liz Wagstrom is the chief veterinarian for the National Pork Producers Council in Washington, D.C., and she agrees that a disease outbreak could be devastating to the U.S. industry. We spoke with her about the idea of a vaccine bank during the National Association of Farm Broadcasting’s “Washington Watch” earlier this month. Listen —> Vaccine Bank 3
Wagstrom is hopeful that lawmakers will support the vaccine bank concept in the 2018 farm bill. Listen —> Vaccine Bank 4