April 28, 2009
A good PR move by pork producers and Ag representatives for encouraging U.S. leaders to institute a quick name change for the recent swine flu outbreak. According to the Washington Post, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsak and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced today they’re just going to call it the “2009 H1N1 virus outbreak.” The Post goes on to say:
Vilsack said the change came after Obama officials heard protests from the meat and grain industries. “It is significant, because there are a lot of hardworking families whose livelihood depends on us conveying this message of safety,” said Vilsack, ” … and we want to reinforce the fact that we’re doing everything we possibly can to make sure that our hog industry is sound and safe and to make sure that consumers in this country and around the world know that American products are safe.”
If you go to the National Pork Board’s website you’ll see how its members are pushing to rename the swine flu to the “North American Flu.” It’s also interesting to note an MSNBC is reporting that Israel’s health minster wants the swine flu outbreak renamed to the “Mexican Flu,” in deference to the Jewish and Muslim sensitivities over pork.