“Clearly, keeping animals packed together in unnatural conditions is conducive to the breeding and mutation of viruses. Most food scares of recent years — dioxin contamination of pork, antibiotics in salmon, salmonella in chicken, BSE and so on — come down to unnatural, intensive farming practices done on the cheap. Then there is the troubling disappearance of the honey bees, thought to have been caused by pesticide overuse.”
“Now, I’m not saying that buying organic will save us from swine flu or bring back the bees but, clearly, if you worry about these things you should choose to eat food that has been produced in a natural way, with minimal chemicals and without cruelty to animals.”
Alex Renton, The London Times
“Life-threatening disease is the price we pay for cheap meat. How much harm will we do to ourselves in the name of cheap meat? We know that bird flu developed in the world’s vast poultry farms. And we know that pumping animal feed full of antibiotics in factory farms has given us a new strain of MRSA. It’s a simple, horrible process. The only way to keep animals alive in such conditions is to pump their feed full of antibiotics. But this has triggered an arms race with bacteria, which start evolving to beat the antibiotics – and emerge as in the end as pumped-up, super-charged viruses invulnerable to our medical weapons.”
Johann Hari, The Independent UK
“Given that the new strain of Swine flu virus (containing segments of bird, pig and human flu virus), has shown itself capable of passing from human to human and causing human fatalities – the immediate priority must be to protect human health, containing further spread if possible and building-up stocks of suitable vaccine. But this occurrence of yet another disease emanating from livestock and capable of infecting humans – raises serious questions as to the role of intensive livestock systems acting as ‘incubators’ for a wide range of human health-risks and specifically as breeding grounds for potential flu’ pandemics… ”
Robin Maynard, Soil Association campaigns director, comments on the outbreak and spread of Swine ‘flu virus.
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