Unless We Stand Up and Demand Safe Meat Production, Next Time We WILL Have a Plague → Washingtons Blog
Unless We Stand Up and Demand Safe Meat Production, Next Time We WILL Have a Plague - Washingtons Blog

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Unless We Stand Up and Demand Safe Meat Production, Next Time We WILL Have a Plague

McClatchy points out that 6 0f the 8 genetic segments in the current swine flu come from a 1990's outbreak on a large North Carolina pig farm:

The new H1N1 influenza virus that continues to spread through the U.S. has ancestry in a swine flu outbreak that first struck a North Carolina hog farm more than 10 years ago, according to scientists studying the strain's genetic makeup....

Two of the segments, [Raul Rabadan, a Columbia University scientist] said, appear to come from Eurasia and are somewhat mysterious in origin. The other six can be traced to the North American pig outbreak, which turned out to include a combination of avian, swine and human flu...

"Pigs are amazing mixing bowls for creating new viruses," said Bob Martin, senior officer at the Pew Environmental Group. Martin was executive director of the study.

"It's a matter of when, not if," Martin said of the creation of new viruses on factory hog farms. "The structure of the system is the problem."


  1. If people would put their money where their mouth is and buy their products from local farmers, then factory farming would get the message. Local family farms are the answer.

  2. I agree with Kat that family farms are the answer to a lot of or food chain problems. Allowing the corporate farms to run the little guys out of business by not caring how they raise the animals in this case for maximum profits puts us all in danger and puts the profits in the hands of a very few. You see what happens when an alternative method starts to become successful, they change the rules to allow the mega farms to compete in that market when in fact they don't meet the original standard. Think organic veggies. Some of us believe that we must head toward a sustainable environment and corporate farming be it vegetable or meat is not going to cut it. CHECK OUT THIS PIC: http://skeptically.org/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/.pond/pig-pen-prison.jpg.w560h375.jpg

    AND ANOTHER PIC http://www.marlerblog.com/pigFarm01.jpg

    An added fact. a family farm raised pig cost about .60/lb to raise, seems to me to be a lot of room for profit.

    You can find so called free range chickens easily finding free range pigs and cattle are a little harder.

    But we should try. Kat is right if enough of us try we can turn this around.

  3. The ethical side of this issue, aside from promoting the spread of disaese, is that by purchasing meat from 'factory-raised' pigs, we are supporting their continued mistreatment and horrific living conditions.

    Having said that, one needs to do a bit of digging in order to locate 'free-range' pork.


  4. I was driving through El Paso late at night and saw semi after semi with the word "Meat Solutions" on the side I think the company was Cargill but I am not sure. Meat Solutions? Maybe meat is the problem? Being made out of meat it kind of gave me the creeps. The industrialization of the food we eat makes me feel like I am living in some kind of bizarro world. I don't think there is such a thing as "safe meat production".

    Read "The China Study" by Cornell Professor T. Colin Campbell


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