Broken Arrow woman making FAKE anthrax for the US Army

Thursday, January 31st 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Government agencies have long been preparing for the threat of biological warfare. Those efforts are intensifying.

The United States Army is asking a Broken Arrow woman to make anthrax, in her home. But it's not as dangerous as you might suspect. News on Six reporter Tami Marler explains.

"He e-mailed me and asked if he sent me pictures of something if I could do custom work." That's just what Brenda Chapman does. She says with the right ingredients, she can make just about anything look real, for customers all over the world. "For fake food. Yeah, I have done stuff for Universal Studios of Japan, I did a wedding cake for Paramount Pictures." But never anything like this. "This would have to be the most unusual thing I've done."

The Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland contacted Chapman after seeing her website for fake foods. "And he sent me some pictures of some petrie dishes that had bacteria in it." That was back in July. A few months later, that bacteria became a household name. "And when I pulled up the pictures, they were entitled Anthrax." So Brenda went into her kitchen and whipped up some fake anthrax, mixing some powdery substances she uses every day.

It's a secret - nontoxic - recipe. "I've done 50 of the agar plates, so I'm assuming they just want to show what it looks like without actually having to have it there." She's sent about 50 samples of the anthrax and other fake bacteria to Aberdeen, wrapped them in bubble wrap and shipped them by ground, just like she does her fake cherries and beer. “Because I know that it's just the resins, it doesn't you know it looks like it, but beyond that, there's nothing else they can do with it."

Brenda may just be helping to train a new generation of bio-warfare experts from her Broken Arrow home. Brenda's company is called "Just Dough It." She's been making fake foods for about seven years.

If you want to see her web site, you can visit