Pork producer call for accurate reporting

by Editor fleischwirtschaft.com
Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Noting that the U.S. pork industry is nearing the brink of financial disaster, the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) called for accurate reporting on the recent influenza outbreak.

NPPC urged U.S. pork producers and others involved in the pork industry to address influenza outbreak misinformation, which already has exacerbated an economic crisis in the pork industry.

Much of the media has referred to the current influenza as “swine” flu despite the fact that the flu virus is not of pig origin, is not in the U.S. pig herd and never has been found in pigs anywhere in the world. Additionally, the World Health Organization, World Organization for Animal Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Health and Human Services and Homeland Security have said this is not “swine” flu. They are calling it Influenza A or H1N1 flu.

In a letter sent today to the major broadcast media outlets and wire services, NPPC requested that the H1N1 influenza not be called “swine” flu. At least one outlet agreed not to use the term.

The incorrect reporting of the H1N1 flu, or Influenza A, as “swine” flu has compounded the economic squeeze the U.S. pork industry has experienced the past 19 months, when producers lost an average of $20 per hog. Since the flu outbreak became a major news story, producers have lost another $6 per pig, with average hog prices falling from $124 a head on April 24 to $118 on April 28. That decline cost the industry nearly $2.5 million a day.

NPPC is urging all segments of the U.S. pork industry to help disseminate the facts about pork being safe to eat and to counter misinformation being reported by the media or peddled by activist groups.
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