I read an article this morning from avaaz.org stating the origin of swine flu and how rapidly it’s spreading. As per the site, swine flu emerged from a giant pig factory farm run by an american multinational corporation in Veracruz,Mexico.

These factory farms are disgusting and dangerous, and they’re rapidly multiplying. Thousands of pigs are brutally crammed into dirty warehouses and sprayed with a cocktail of drugs — posing a health risk to more than just our food — they and their manure lagoons create the perfect conditions to breed dangerous new viruses like swine flu. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) must investigate and develop regulations for these farms to protect global health.

Mexico has been nearly paralysed and across the world leaders halted air travel, banned pork imports and initiated drastic controls to mitigate the spreading virus. As the threat shows signs of subsiding the question becomes where it came from and how we stop another outbreak.

Smithfield Corporation, the largest pig producer in the world whose farm is being fingered as the source of the H1N1 outbreak, denies any connection between their pigs and the flu and big agrobusiness worldwide pays huge sums of money for research to argue that biosafety is ensured in industrial hog production. But the WHO has been saying for years that a new pandemic is inevitable and experts from the European Commission and the FAO have cautioned that the rapid move from small holdings to industrial pig production is in fact increasing the risk of development and transmission of disease epidemics. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warn that scientists still do not know the extent that infectious compounds produced in factory farms affect human health.

Studies abound of the horrific conditions endured by pigs in concentrated large-scale operations, and the devastating economic impact on small farmer communities of bloated large-scale operations. Smithfield itself has already been fined $12.6m and is currently under another federal investigation in the US for toxic environmental damage from pig excrement lakes.

But even with all of this damaging evidence, a combination of increased global meat consumption and a powerful industry motivated by profit at the cost of human health, means that instead of being shut down – these sickening factory farm operations are propagating around the world and we are subsidising them . In the wake of this swine flu threat, let’s hold industrial pig producers to account.

The world leaders should take quick actions or this outbreak will escalate to higher levels where no control will be done to stop this deadly pandemic.

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