North Wind And Sun

Could Hog CAFO’s have given rise to swine flu?

Posted in Uncategorized by Ricardo Bilton on 28-April-2009

Makes sense to me.

Paula Hay at Peak Oil Eutepenuer writes:

One of the ways Influenza-A viruses can spread is through manure. Given that H1N1 is an Influenza-A subtype it is entirely possible, if not likely, that flies could carry virus-containing manure particles from Granjas-Carroll CAFO lagoons to people. These need not be injected by the flies directly into humans, such as with West Nile Virus; it is enough that a fly might deposit manure particles containing the virus on a person’s face, hands, or uncooked food.

The argument that the nature of the Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations – has given rise to swine flu makes far too much sense to ignore. When you have large groups of animals stewing in their own manure, diseases are bound to spread.  Hay is right to likewise argue that the events over the last few days should cause us to question the food industry’s trend towards consolidation.

We shouldn’t be surprised.  Scientists and journalists have been warning of the danger of avian influenza for years. The only difference between the current scenario and the one predicted  is that we are talking about pigs instead of chickens. But that’s just biology. Pigs and humans are closer genetically than chickens and pigs. It was only a matter of time before a virus the caliber of H5N1 made the jump to humans – pigs are only a detour.

Paul Roberts dedicated an entire chapter to this issue in “The End of Food.” In it he writes, accurately, that the nature of modern  food production, the very thing that allows so many people to be (over)fed is the same thing capable of obliterating us, especially in light of the fact that so much of our food is produced by a very select group of corporations. But changing any of it, he also writes,  is an uphill struggle, as the last thing a company like, say, Smithfield would want to do is increase prices. Customers would just drop the swine and begin eating beef or chicken.

In any event, Smithfield denies the claims that they are the cause, and we still waiting on documented proof for any of this. Give it a few days.

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