What does the Swine Flu and the Child Nutrition Act have in common?
Every day during the school year, more than 30 million children receive free or reduced-price lunches under the federal National School Lunch Program, and 10 million get breakfast under the National School Breakfast Program. Pork is included in many of the meals served through those important programs. http://www.porkmag.com/news_editorial.asp?pgID=768&ed_id=7604
The vegetarians and animal rights groups are trying to eliminate meat from school programs as the Child Nutrition Act is about to expire TODAY- September 30, 2009. “Organizations also are calling for the programs to include less or no processed meat, claiming that such “high-fat” products are contributing to obesity, heart disease and cancer.” Like taking your kid to McDonald’s doesn’t?
…during congressional debate on the Child Nutrition Act is the safety of food. People want to know — as well they should — that the food they eat is free from pathogens that can cause illness and even death. Recent food-safety scares, ironically involving fruits and vegetables, have prompted Congress to review the nation’s food-safety system. This may spawn efforts to include in the child nutrition law new safety regimens for food production, limits on antibiotic use and restrictions on certain animal production practices.”
“The National Pork Producers Council is lobbying members of Congress to keep such mischief out of the Child Nutrition Act and to oppose efforts to reduce or eliminate pork from the school breakfast and lunch menus.”
The irony in citing food safety is that there is no mention of Swine Flu. Twenty countries have banned imports of pigs, pork and other meat in response to the H1N1 flu strain that has infected both people and swine. This despite the fact that the Centers for Disease Control and the Pork Industry and others have made it clear that swine influenza viruses are not transmitted by food and you cannot get the flu from eating pork or pork products.
From the site “Civil Eats” http://civileats.com/2009/09/08/cafo-workers-and-unchecked-swine-flu/comment-page-1/#comment-3997”
The United States Department of Agriculture agreed last week to buy an additional $30 million dollars worth of pork from the ailing pork industry, for a total of $151 million dollars purchased this year, as recompense for supposed damage wrought by the emergence of the swine flu in our common public lexicon (and the result will no doubt keep kids in public schools flush with factory-farmed sausage pizza this year).”
Did $30 million of our tax dollars buy healthy pigs?
Environmental Health Perspectives’ (EHP) cover story this month by Charles W. Schmidt focuses on the issue in detail, reigniting questions surrounding our country’s current standard animal industry practices:
…one potential source of the original outbreak—swine farming in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs)—has received comparatively little attention by public health officials. CAFOs house animals by the thousands in crowded indoor facilities. But the same economy-of-scale efficiencies that allow CAFOs to produce affordable meat for so many consumers also facilitate the mutation of viral pathogens into novel strains that can be passed on to farm workers and veterinarians, according to Gregory Gray, director of the Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases at the University of Iowa College of Public Health.
Civil Eats goes on to note- CAFOs fall through regulatory cracks when it comes to sampling for novel viruses that could make people sick. [Associate director for epidemiologic science in the Influenza Division of the CDC Carolyn Bridges] explains that producers have little incentive to test for swine influenza’s, in part because they aren’t included on a list of 150 “reportable illnesses” that, when detected, must be documented with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).
should the presence of the “pandemic H1N1 2009 virus” be detected on a farm, the holding should be subject to a surveillance plan and movement restrictions applied until recovery; the transfer of clinically healthy pigs from the farm to the slaughterhouse can be done using basic bio-security measures. ;
Alas, the first cases of Swine Flu reportedly came from near Smithfield Foods massive hog-raising operations Perote, Mexico, in the state of Vera Cruz.
“CAFO workers can also pick up H1N1 infections and experience a range of symptoms depending on their own immunity, says Gray. In humans, what makes novel H1N1 unique is its remarkable and still mysterious capacity for person-to-person transmission. http://www.ehponline.org/members/2009/117-9/focus.html
“With massive concentrations of farm animals within whom to mutate, these new swine flu viruses in North America seem to be on an evolutionary fast track, jumping and reassorting between species at an unprecedented rate. This reassorting, Webster’s team concludes, makes the 65 million strong U.S. pig population an “increasingly important reservoir of viruses with human pandemic potential. http://www.hsus.org/farm/news/ournews/swine_flu_virus_origin_1998_042909.html
Chicken fairs no better from the folks at Factory Farming http://www.hsus.org/farm/resources/research/pubhealth/public_health_avian_influenza.html- “Genetic selection for productivity and the stressful, overcrowded, and unhygienic confinement of animals in industrial poultry production systems facilitate immune suppression in birds already bred with weakened immunity, offering viruses like avian influenza ample opportunities for spread, amplification, and mutation. Placing genetically un-diverse birds into these kinds of unsanitary environments with inadequate ventilation and sunlight exposure is believed to provide a ripe “breeding ground” for the emergence and spread of such diseases as virulent avian influenza—diseases with human public health implications.
Will the kids miss out on free bacon and eggs tomorrow while they wait in line for the H1N1 Swine Flu Vaccinations in school?
Open wide, say ahhh and check out these posts on the A/H1N1 Swine Flu from Ahrcanum, where the conspiracy spreads as fast as the virus itself.
While Swine Flu Conspiracy theory can sometimes be triggered by real world events. Opinions are like a$$holes be sure to subscribe to ours via RSS in the top right margin for updates.