Pig Farmers Go Hog Wild Over Swine Flu Name


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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.

10 Responses to “Pig Farmers Go Hog Wild Over Swine Flu Name”

  1. Chula_Chola says:

    who ever is writing this bullsh_t is mahd stupid. you are probably racist because you dont know your facts right because guess what.. This “flu” didnt start in Mexico it was identified in Hong Kong in a ten-month old girl in 1918. IN 1977 the virus turned up in Fort Dix, New Jersey, here in the United States. So of course this”flu” isn’t Mexican. So you are racist unless you change the name of your “website”.

  2. Oscar says:

    It’s not the mexican flu… shame on you.

  3. Hayde says:

    I think the name really matters: A (H1N1).
    A good start would be changing your website’s name. It’s not “The mexican flu”… pig farmers are complaining? We are more than 110 million mexicans and a whole country affected by this also complaining.
    The outbreak affected the mexican economy because we had to stop activities, but Tourism is also a key sector for mexican economy, and besides of mexicans being discriminated in other countries because all people think they’re a living huge virus, a lot won’t feel like going to Mexico anymore thanks to the name.
    I agree, it’s more important to find a cure and prevent the Influenza A (H1N1), but it’s not less important to help stopping the name effect. If not… why don’t you change the name to American Flu or Flu USA?
    It would be fair since USA have more registered cases now and facts lead to think that it might have started in San Diego.
    The name matters. All international media and sites like this find easy to use any name because they are not affected. You are not pig farmers, you’re not mexicans… you don’t care.
    Did you know that in Egypt they killed hundreds of thousands of innocent pigs without any need? It was just because of the name.
    So, what I really wanted to say: PLEASE stop calling it “Mexican flu”.
    Best regards,
    H

  4. Great post on swine flu!

  5. miranda says:

    i think finding a cure for the swine flu is WAY more important than making pig farmers happy by changing the name. thats stupid!! people know pig is safe to eat. and changing the name just isnt gonna help all the victims of swine flu. no one cares what the name is. just find a frekin cure!!!!

  6. JamesD says:

    Thanks for the useful info. It’s so interesting

  7. 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 […….

    Замечательно, ценная информация…

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