Powered by Max Banner Ads
Farm officials from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on down have urged health officials to ditch the name “swine flu,” pointing out that people can’t get the virus from pigs.
The U.S. pork industry generates $15 billion a year, but pig farmers say they’re being crippled by bans on exports of live pigs or pork meat imposed by 15 nations, including Russia, China, Thailand and Indonesia.
But “this really isn’t swine flu,” Vilsack said this week. “It’s H1N1 virus. That’s very, very important.”
Really? Do the think people will stop using the name “swine flu” overnight just becasue some goverment officials proclaim it? They didn’t even name it, so how can they change the name? Short answer: they can’t.
Those complaints are beginning to have an effect. The World Health Organization said Thursday that it would drop the shorthand name, saying it was needlessly confusing consumers. The European Union has already adopted the name “novel flu,” while the Canadian Health Ministry is considering a petition by the Canadian Pork Council rename the virus “North American flu.”
Novel Flu – now that sounds like a sure file catchy name. Or, North American Flu.
Why the political games over the name of a disease?
Isn’t it more important to find a cure and prevent the swine flu than to spend time and money trying to come up with a name that will satisfy pig farmers?
“We’re trying to minimize human traffic into our hog operation so our hogs do not get the disease from humans, which is probably a little bit of a twist from what most people have heard about,” said Elwyn Fitzke, a pork producer in Glenvil, Neb.
Right. Because if the pigs die, they’re out of business. And that’s what it’s all about as far as the pig farmers are concerned.