April 28, 2009
According to the New York Times, health officials in Mexico have toured a million-pig hog farm in Perote, in Veracruz State searching for the original source of the swine flue outbreak . The plant is half-owned by Smithfield Foods, an American company and the world’s largest pork producer.
“Last year the Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production warned that hog farms could become breeding grounds for new strains of the flu,” said a report on last night’s CBS Evening News. Bob Martin, former executive director of the Pew Commission, told CBS, “The warm conditions and the close proximity of animals being able to pass viruses back and forth and to the human workers is the situation ripe for the development of a novel virus.”
This morning, the death toll from the outbreak was raised to 152, and the World Health Organization voted to raise its global pandemic flu alert level. More information on the swine flu can be found on the Livable Future Blog.