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Pork industry in 'swine flu' tag beef

Pig plague threatens producers' bacon

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The pork industry is a little bit upset that the "swine flu" tag attached to the terrifying mutated H1N1 death virus, currently making short work of journalistic common sense worldwide, might hit sales hard.

Despite there being no scientific proof whatsoever that pig plague can be caught from pork products, some countries have already banned the import of the same from Mexico, while, as Bloomberg notes, Indonesia "plans to destroy imported pork and other swine products".

Accordingly, in a letter today to the World Health Organisation’s director general, Margaret Chan, the president of the Brazilian pork exporter’s association, Pedro de Camargo Neto, said the name is “is jeopardizing and may cause serious losses to swine producers all over the world".

Neto insisted “it is not justified to name this disease swine influenza".

The pork producers have received some support from World Organization for Animal Health, a "Paris-based intergovernmental group with 174 member countries", which has suggested that since there "is no evidence the virus is able to circulate in animals", the Black Death 2.0 should be renamed “North-American influenza".

The WHO is having none of it, and will stick with the name "because the virus is of the type that affects pigs". Spokesman Gregory Hartl, responding to today to an alternative suggestion of "Mexican influenza", told the press: “We’re calling it the ‘swine flu'.”

For the benefit of those who hadn't quite got the message yet about the absolutely non-lethal effects of grilled pork chops, Hartl concluded: “We have not seen any transmission from pigs. There is no danger from eating pork. All transmissions so far have been human to human transmission.” ®

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