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Pork getting bad rap because of swine flu

by Dara Kam | August 20th, 2009

pigPork producers are being devastated by the H1N1 pandemic, commonly known as “swine flu,” which is responsible for the deaths of 59 deaths in Florida, including five in Palm Beach County.

Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Charles Bronson wants officials to quit using the term “swine flu” to get the public to separate the virus, unrelated to the consumption of meat, from things like pork chops.

“It is unfortunate that pork producers and processors have been impacted so negatively by the inaccurate characterization of this virus,” Bronson said in a press release issued today. “But the fact is there have been no detections of swine flu in any swine herds in this country, and people cannot get this flu from eating pork.”

The virus is continuing to spread and health officials fear it a resurgence of it as schools re-open after the summer break. Gov. Charlie Crist traveled around the state this week to warn school officials to heed safety precautions, including frequent hand washing.

A 12-year-old Palm Beach County girl died yesterday from complications from the virus.

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8 Responses to “Pork getting bad rap because of swine flu”

  1. Laura Says:

    I sent a letter to CNN and the local news media asking them to quit calling it swine flu last winter. Obviously to no avail. The medial doesn’t care and will not care until the pork producers sue them.
    Ignorance at its best.

  2. DonKnottz Says:

    UM, Sorry Eating Pork is ignorance at it’s best. You are what you eat big american piggies. Snort Snort

  3. Nick Says:

    Commissioner Bronson’s statement that “there have been no detections of swine flu in any swine herds in this country” is just plain wrong. The H1N1 virus has been found in pigs in the U.S. going back many years (see “How common is swine flu among pigs?” at the CDC website:

  4. HSR0601 Says:

    Genes included in the new swine flu have been circulating undetected in pigs for at least a decade, according to researchers who have sequenced the genomes of more than 50 samples of the virus.

    The findings suggest that in the future, pig populations will need to be monitored more closely for emerging influenza viruses, reported a team led by Rebecca Garten of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in a report released by the journal Science.

    Additionally, a simple action like brushing teeth following each and every meal could make a big difference in our immune system,I believe.

    Thank You !

  5. James Says:

    This virus was originally referred to as “swine flu” because laboratory testing showed that many of the genes in this new virus were very similar to influenza viruses that normally occur in pigs (swine) in North America. But further study has shown that this new virus is very different from what normally circulates in North American pigs. It has two genes from flu viruses that normally circulate in pigs in Europe and Asia and bird (avian) genes and human genes. Scientists call this a “quadruple reassortant” virus.

  6. Patty Says:

    While it’s true that eating pork isn’t the “cause” of swine flu, many experts believe “producing it” is the cause — that both swine flu and avian flu are products of intensive factory farming. The warehousing of billions of chickens and pigs in cramped quarters and feeding them massive doses of antibiotics and hormones is a perfect breeding ground for these deadly viruses.

    But factory farmers get a free ticket from government and the media who allow the powerful pork lobby to dictate policy and even demand that we change the name of swine flu to something else. But changing the name is just a shell game — it does nothing to change the deadly breeding ground where these viruses proliferate.

    Here’s a good article about Smithfield Pork in Rolling Stone Magazine. Check out the cover photo:

  7. Post On Politics » Blog Archive » Post on Politics - Says:

    [...] Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Charles Bronson last week asked folks to stop giving pork a bad rap by calling the H1N1 virus “swine flu” because of the devastating impact it’s [...]

  8. Jarrod Newton Says:

    I bookmarked your site, this is very useful, thank you.

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