Smithfield farms

Swine Flu Nonsense Round Up

An amazing amount of gibberish has been uttered about swine flu 2009 H1N1 virus in recent days. I would like to share some highlights (including antics of Collins and Perry) along with links to one or two items that actually make sense.

Ellinorianne and Fish Out of Water have both written excellent diaries about Smithfield Farms possible involvement in the outbreak of flu in Mexico.

A number of organizations have been warning about the dangers of factory farming in the west, and the role farming may have played in the first outbreaks in Asia of Avian flu. The Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Production published a report a year ago warning of the environmental dangers of factory farms.  

Pandora's Pond detailed the role of contaminated water in the genesis of Asian bird flu. The gist of the article is that fish farms were located in close proximity to pigs and chickens, and human excrement was added to the water for enrichment. Humans, pigs and chickens can exchange the influenza virus. The excrement in the water spread a human strain of influenza to wild birds who then infected chickens. Pigs ate the chicken poop. The cycling of the virus between pigs, chickens and wild birds allowed an extremely virulent form of flu to pass from birds to humans. Fortunately, it was never easily spread from human to human.