Grist: Swine-flu outbreak could be linked to factory farms

28 Apr

This according to Grist:

The outbreak of a new flu strain—a nasty mash-up of swine, avian, and human viruses—has infected 1,000 people in Mexico and the U.S., killing 68. The World Health Organization warned Saturday that the outbreak could reach global pandemic levels.

Is Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork packer and hog producer, linked to the outbreak? Smithfield operates massive hog-raising operations Perote, Mexico, in the state of Vera Cruz, where the outbreak originated. The operations, grouped under a Smithfield subsidiary called Granjas Carroll, raise 950,000 hogs per year, according to the company Web site.

According to wikipedia:

Smithfield has come under criticism for the millions of gallons of fecal matter that it produces and stores in holding ponds, untreated. In a four year period, in North Carolina alone, 4.7 million gallons of hog fecal matter were released into the state’s rivers. Workers and residents near Smithfield plants have reported health problems, and have complained about constant, overpowering stenches of hog feces.[2] In 1997, Smithfield was fined $12.6 million for violation of the federal Clean Water Act.[3] “The fine was the third-largest civil penalty ever levied under the act by the EPA. It amounted to .035 percent of Smithfield’s annual sales.”

Tags: | | | | | | |

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: