Incorrect reporting costing pig industry

05-05-2009 | |

Noting that the US pork industry is nearing the brink of financial disaster, the National Pork Producers Council has called for accurate reporting on the recent influenza outbreak.

In a letter sent today to the major broadcast media outlets and wire services, NPPC requested that the H1N1 influenza not be called “swine” flu.

The incorrect reporting of the H1N1 flu, or Influenza A, as “swine” flu has compounded the economic squeeze the US pork industry has experienced the past 19 months, when producers lost an average of $20 per hog. Since the flu outbreak became a major news story, producers have lost another $6 per pig, with average hog prices falling from $124 a head on April 24 to $118 on April 28. That decline cost the industry nearly $2.5 million a day.

NPPC is urging all segments of the US pork industry to help disseminate the facts about pork being safe to eat and to counter misinformation being reported by the media or peddled by activist groups.

“While education and prevention hopefully can minimise the dreadful impacts of the global flu outbreak,” said Hockman, “only by working together can the pork industry and consumer and health groups work to minimise the H1N1 virus’s impact on the pork industry. It’s critical for the pork industry that all concerned organisations be dedicated and diligent about communicating the true facts about pork and the H1N1 flu.”