Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 13 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
General News    H3'ed 11/12/19

Big Meat Doesn't Want You to Know About This New Disease

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)
(# of views)   3 comments
Author 1353
Message Martha Rosenberg
Become a Fan
  (86 fans)

Big Meat Keeps Animal Pandemics Out of the News
Big Meat Keeps Animal Pandemics Out of the News
(Image by Martha Rosenberg)
  Details   DMCA

Have you ever heard of African swine fever (ASF) caused by the African swine fever virus (ASFV)? A fourth of the world's pigs have died from it just this year half of all of China's pigs but like previous food animal pandemics, Big Meat has managed to keep it out of the news.

The only mainstream stories most people have read that touch on ASF deal with China's pork reserves (like the US's Strategic Petroleum Reserve says a New York Times piece that manages to dodge the disease itself) and trade implications of the pig disease. Questions about the pandemic disease potentials of intensive animal agriculture are skirted.

ASF originated in East Africa and reached Eastern Europe in 2007 where it is has remained. Since ASF's outbreak in China last year in which half of the country's pigs have died and another 1 million were culled, ASF has spread to Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, North Korea, the Philippines, more of eastern Europe and even Belgium.

"It's not a question of whether ASF reaches American shores, but when," wrote Thomas Parsons, professor at the School of Veterinary Medicine, and Scott Michael Moore, China Program Director at the University of Pennsylvania, in the Hill this month. "Should the virus enter the U.S., your future as a pork producer would radically change," warns Pork Business.

The ASF virus causes death in 1 to 8 days in acute cases and, in other animals, subclinical cases in which there are no symptoms. This allows the spread of the disease as animals and their meat are sold either deliberately or not.

This is not the first time that Big Meat has kept the facts of major animal pandemics away from consumers who likely would be turned off to their products. It also suppressed the facts about porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv) and avian flu.

By 2014, PEDv had killed 10 percent of the nation's pigs, but Big Meat managed to prevent the public from seeing dumpsters full of dead pigs. If they saw photos, people might ask what is happening on industrial farms, why are so many animals sick and what drugs are they being given? (The drugs pigs are given to prevent diseases is stomach turning.) The PEDv scourge was so devastating, a Kentucky farm fed dead pigs to other pigs in an attempt to induce "immunity" in survivors.

To combat PEDv the government gave $11.1 million of our tax dollars to private farmers who were "producers of infected herds." Here's a cheaper idea: how about giving them fresh air, room and no drugs?

Then there was U.S. bird flu. From 2014 through mid-2015, 48 million chickens and turkeys were killed in the U.S. to prevent the disease's spread and protect farmer profits. Despite the carnage, the disease resurfaced in 2017. Again Big Meat managed to keep images out of the public view.

It is easy to see why. To prevent the spread of bird flu, healthy, floor-reared turkeys and broiler chickens are herded into an enclosed area where they were administered propylene glycol foam to suffocate them. "Ventilation shutdown" is also used raising the barn temperature to at least 104F for a minimum of three hours to kill the entire flock. "Round the clock incinerators and crews in hazmat suits," were required for bird depopulation in 2015 reported Fortune.

When farm animal disease pandemics hit, it is not about the "price of bacon," trade wars or farmer profits as mainstream media and Big Meat would have you believe. It is about a style of farming which egregiously harms animals, workers and the environment for a product that is about as good for you as cigarettes. The African swine fever is just the latest example.

 

Must Read 1   News 1   Valuable 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Martha Rosenberg Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Martha Rosenberg is an award-winning investigative public health reporter who covers the food, drug and gun industries. Her first book, Born With A Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks and Hacks Pimp The Public Health, is distributed by Random (more...)
 

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Grassley Investigates Lilly/WebMD link Reported by Washington Post

The Drug Store in Your Tap Water

It's the Cymbalta Stupid

Are You Sure You're Not Psychotic Asks Shameless Drug Company?

Another Poorly Regulated "Derivative"--the Antidepressant Pristiq

MRSA and More. Antibiotics Linked to Obesity and Allergies, Too

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

2 people are discussing this page, with 3 comments


Martha Rosenberg

Become a Fan
Author 1353
(Member since Apr 16, 2006), 86 fans, 849 articles, 589 comments, 2 diaries
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

  New Content

Why do media bury these stories, pun intended? There is no question ASF will come to the US

Submitted on Tuesday, Nov 12, 2019 at 4:04:08 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (1+)
Help

Stephen Fox

Become a Fan
Author 4578
(Member since Jan 21, 2007), 33 fans, 437 articles, 658 quicklinks, 3314 comments, 14 diaries
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

  New Content
Martha: Great job. I sent it to 400,000 people on Facebook in relevant groups.


You do such commendable work.


Have you also considered putting this on editorial pages in your area?


I feel sure also that Ronnie Cummins at the Organic Consumer Association would help you blast it all over, and they have at least 100,000 members.



The spread of African swine fever African swine fever (ASF) is a highly contagious viral disease of domestic and wild pigs. It has established itself in Asia and parts of Europe and continues to ...
(Image by YouTube, Channel: Australian Government Department of Agriculture)
Details DMCA

Submitted on Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019 at 12:27:06 AM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (0+)
Help
Indent

Martha Rosenberg

Become a Fan
Author 1353
(Member since Apr 16, 2006), 86 fans, 849 articles, 589 comments, 2 diaries
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Reply to Stephen Fox:   New Content

Thank you. Yes did send to Ronnie. This is a big food story practically ignored by mainstream press

Submitted on Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019 at 3:22:05 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (0+)
Help

 
Want to post your own comment on this Article? Post Comment