Get Jill's new lazy vegetarian cooking eBook:
Pay what you can

Order Prints:

Specify size
Name of photo
Your Walgreens (pick up photo here)

La Vida Locavore
 Subscribe in a reader
Follow La Vida Locavore on Twitter - Read La Vida Locavore on Kindle

Swine Industry to Media: Don't Call It Swine Flu

by: Jill Richardson

Wed Apr 29, 2009 at 06:00:00 AM PDT

Bookmark and Share
I wanted to check in with the meat industry to see how they were dealing with the swine flu wall to wall news coverage we've had over the past few days. Well, they didn't disappoint. From Meatingplace:

The North American Meat Processors Association, the National Meat Association and the American Meat Institute all issued statements asking the media to pick up on the phrase "North American flu" or other, accurate references to the hybrid A/H1N1 flu strain that is the culprit in the ongoing outbreak.

Let's see if that one catches on in the next week or two. I do seem to remember how the "bailout" became the "rescue plan" practically overnight last fall. I'm proud to say that according to Meatingplace, we here on the blogs are part of the problem:

Bloggers overwhelmingly repeated the information initially published on the Grist site, connecting the outbreak to "factory" farming, and sneered at Smithfield's releases attempting to set the record straight.

By "sneer," I wonder if they are referring to Natasha's post on

In other news, The GOP Reaffirms Pro-Swine Position. (OK, not really, that's from Andy Borowitz, the writer of a one-man Onion.)

Jill Richardson :: Swine Industry to Media: Don't Call It Swine Flu
Tags: , (All Tags)
Print Friendly View Send As Email

I've been trying to get people to be careful with 'avian flu' (4.00 / 1)
because I saw how people reacted to that - the OMG my coworker keeps chickens and how do we force him to get rid of them! - comments. Having other moms ask me - and remember, I live in a rural area - how I can justify keeping ducks and aren't I worried about them transmitting flu to my daughter.

(My answer: school with other germy children is way worse than ducks.)

So even though (as you know) I'm no friend of big ag, I do have a little sympathy for them on this. A lot of our 4H kids raise pigs.

As it was, he did a deal with a blancmange, and the blancmange ate his wife.

I watched 5 min of CNN (4.00 / 1)
for the first time in a while today and there was actually the worst interview I've ever seen, with secretary Vilsack.  This dumb CNN woman kept asking him why he thought there was no connection between pigs and the disease, and Vilsack must have said 30 times that he's just saying it's not a food-borne illness.  I don't like the pork industry (especially Smithfield) one bit, but that's no excuse for this mentally deranged reporter, who called it "swine flu" less than a second after the interview was over.  It was ridiculous.  And she did mention factory farms, but in the most superficial, stupid way possible so that it just made the case against factory farms look weaker.  Ugh.

Vote for yourself at!

This was just sent out to 4H members (0.00 / 0)
A little insider info for you all...

Swine Influenza Virus (SIV) Update in California

April 2009

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified cases in Southern California, Texas, Kansas, Ohio and New York where people have been diagnosed with a form of influenza virus known as swine influenza virus subtype H1N1.

Preliminary investigations indicate that in all cases there was no contact with swine.

The swine influenza subtype isolated from these cases is unique and not previously recognized in either pigs or people.    

Currently, there are no known outbreaks of swine influenza in pigs in California.

o        Public health, California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) veterinarians are investigating any possible link to swine but, to date, there are no known swine exposures and animal health laboratories report that there are no recent cases of this swine influenza subtype detected anywhere in the United States.

Owners of sick pigs are encouraged to call their veterinarian or CDFA.

o        CDFA and USDA officials work together with animal owners and veterinarians to look for unusual swine influenza outbreaks in pig populations on a regular basis.

o        Owners of sick pigs with questions should call the Animal Health Branch District Office nearest them.  (District map attached)

o        Appropriate samples may be submitted to any of the California Animal Health and Food Safety Labs (CAHFSL map attached)

The California Department of Food and Agriculture always recommends proper hygiene and health management practices when working with animals, which include:

o        Wash hands before and after working with animals.

o        Keep new animals separate from your herd for two weeks and observe for signs of disease.

o        More specific swine biosecurity recommendations may be found on the National Pork Board website

Key background information on swine influenza in pigs:

o        Swine Influenza Virus infections are a common cause of respiratory illness in pigs.

o        Flu vaccines for pigs can help, but are not 100% effective.  One reason is that several different strains of flu can infect pigs and vaccines may not protect against all strains.

o        Infected pigs usually show signs of disease about 3 days post exposure and then are sick and infectious for about a week.

o        Pigs may show a variety of signs of disease, including coughing, runny nose and/or eyes, sneezing, depression, lack of appetite, depression, difficulty breathing and fever.  The fever can cause them to abort a pregnancy.

o        Spread of the virus from pig to pig can be rapid and occurs via direct contact, getting carried on something that was not cleaned, and via respiratory excretions that become airborne for a short distance.

o        According to CDC, swine influenza virus is not considered a threat to food safety.  Swine influenza viruses are not spread by food.  You cannot get swine influenza from eating pork or pork products.  Eating properly handled and cooked pork and pork products is safe.

For more detailed information related to swine influenza in pigs:

As it was, he did a deal with a blancmange, and the blancmange ate his wife.

So this is from AP: (0.00 / 0)
Egypt slaughtered all its pigs and the central African nation of Gabon became the latest nation to ban pork imports, despite assurances that swine flu was not related to eating pork.

Remember, there's no cases of any pigs testing positive for this virus yet, but someone in Egypt ordered the widescale slaughter of pigs.

CAIRO - Egypt began slaughtering the roughly 300,000 pigs in the country Wednesday as a precaution against swine flu even though no cases have been reported here, infuriating farmers who blocked streets and stoned vehicles of Health Ministry workers who came to carry out the government's order.

"It has been decided to immediately start slaughtering all the pigs in Egypt using the full capacity of the country's slaughterhouses," Health Minister Hatem el-Gabaly told reporters after a Cabinet meeting with President Hosni Mubarak.

"It is unfortunate," the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization Chief Veterinary Officer Joseph Domenech said of Egypt's decision. "The crisis today is in transmission from human to human. It has nothing to do with pigs," he told The Associated Press.

So even though it may serve the interests of corporate ag to say so, it's worth considering that overemphasizing the pig angle can end up having a lot of unpleasant consequences.

As it was, he did a deal with a blancmange, and the blancmange ate his wife.

Well 2 of our local news folks (0.00 / 0)
were having a bit of a problem with the name on the 11PM news. One self corrected to H1N1 and continued through the reporting, but in the same story while showing the vid over the reporting, the other chimed in with their part of the story and was calling it the swine flu.

Why can't they just stress we can eat pork? I will say the local news did follow up with a "pork is safe to eat" bit, but I think it needs to be better mixed into the flu reporting. I think the "pork is safe to eat" gets lost when following a pandemic story . . . . people's brains are still stuck on the pandemic part and where is it now, not that pork is safe. I have to wonder how well it registers following after.

So, perhaps Obama can enjoy some pork for media purposes and save some pigs from mass slaughter/destroy/waste?

Political Activism Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory

Make a New Account



Forget your username or password?

Notable Diaries
- The 2007 Ag Census
- Cuba Diaries
- Mexico Diaries
- Bolivia Diaries
- Philippines Diaries
- Kenya Diaries
- My Visit to Growing Power
- My Trip to a Hog Confinement
- Why We Grow So Much Corn and Soy
- How the Chicken Gets to Your Plate


Advanced Search

Blog Roll
- Beginning Farmers
- Chews Wise
- City Farmer News
- Civil Eats
- Cooking Up a Story
- Cook For Good
- DailyKos
- Eating Liberally
- Epicurean Ideal
- The Ethicurean
- F is For French Fry
- Farm Aid Blog
- Food Politics
- Food Sleuth Blog
- Ghost Town Farm
- Goods from the Woods
- The Green Fork
- Gristmill
- GroundTruth
- Irresistable Fleet of Bicycles
- John Bunting's Dairy Journal
- Liberal Oasis
- Livable Future Blog
- Marler Blog
- My Left Wing
- Not In My Food
- Obama Foodorama
- Organic on the Green
- Rural Enterprise Center
- Take a Bite Out of Climate Change
- Treehugger
- U.S. Food Policy
- Yale Sustainable Food Project

- Recipe For America
- Eat Well Guide
- Local Harvest
- Sustainable Table
- Farm Bill Primer
- California School Garden Network

- The Center for Food Safety
- Center for Science in the Public Interest
- Community Food Security Coalition
- The Cornucopia Institute
- Farm Aid
- Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance
- Food and Water Watch
National Family Farm Coalition
- Organic Consumers Association
- Rodale Institute
- Slow Food USA
- Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
- Union of Concerned Scientists

- Acres USA
- Edible Communities
- Farmers' Markets Today
- Mother Earth News
- Organic Gardening

Book Recommendations
- Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
- Appetite for Profit
- Closing the Food Gap
- Diet for a Dead Planet
- Diet for a Small Planet
- Food Politics
- Grub
- Holistic Management
- Hope's Edge
- In Defense of Food
- Mad Cow USA
- Mad Sheep
- The Omnivore's Dilemma
- Organic, Inc.
- Recipe for America
- Safe Food
- Seeds of Deception
- Teaming With Microbes
- What To Eat

User Blogs
- Beyond Green
- Bifurcated Carrot
- Born-A-Green
- Cats and Cows
- The Food Groove
- H2Ome: Smart Water Savings
- The Locavore
- Loving Spoonful
- Nourish the Spirit
- Open Air Market Network
- Orange County Progressive
- Peak Soil
- Pink Slip Nation
- Progressive Electorate
- Trees and Flowers and Birds
- Urbana's Market at the Square

Active Users
Currently 0 user(s) logged on.

Powered by: SoapBlox