Thursday, December 27, 2007

CAFO'd pigs 'mix' viruses, pass them on to humans

In case you needed another reason to source your pork from local, pastured, sustainably-raised, closed-herd animals, this article in the Dec 19 issue of Meat & Poultry, the business journal for meat and poultry producers, warns pork producers that a new strain of swine influenza holds an ominous difference from earlier versions:

...this new strain has a molecular twist: It is composed of avian and swine influenza genes.

These findings provide further evidence that swine have the potential to serve as a "mixing vessel" for influenza viruses carried by birds, pigs and humans. It also supports the need to continue monitoring swine ― and livestock workers ― for H2-subtype viruses and other influenza strains that might someday threaten swine and human health.

Or possibly we could consider whether the CAFO business model is simply a failed experiment.

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