April 28th, 2009
03:28 PM ET

Pork safe to eat, hog farmers emphasize

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/HEALTH/04/24/swine.flu/art.pigs.gi.jpg]Melissa Westphal
Morning Sun

Hog farmers are stressing that pork is safe to eat and that their pigs are not to blame for what they call the “unfortunately named” swine flu that’s dominating headlines.

Hog prices dipped today while national health officials worked overtime to disseminate information on the new flu strain. Forty cases have been confirmed in the U.S. as of Monday, and people have died in Mexico from the disease.

Cases of swine flu are documented each year in the U.S., but this strain is different. While officials are still unsure how this strain started, all of the U.S. cases have been spread between humans, not from pigs to humans or humans to pigs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the illness can not be caught by eating pork products.

The World Organization for Animal Health on Monday said there is no justification for naming the disease "swine flu" and suggested calling the disease “North-American influenza,” based on similarly named outbreaks like the Spanish flu and the Asian flu.

Brian Duncan, a hog farmer in Polo, Ill., was on the phone early this morning to the Ogle County Farm Bureau discussing what local farmers can do to help the situation.


Filed under: 360º Follow • Public Health
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Tarja, Finland

    Are people out of their minds ??!! The reaction to this is insanely out of proportion. Where`s common sense ? Hello !

    April 28, 2009 at 6:04 pm |
  2. Lisa

    Yes, American pork is safe to eat as long as the swine has been processed in a U.S. meat packing plant. What many consumers do not know is that many swine farms send their hogs to processing plants in Canada and Mexico. Those processing plants are not exclusive to U.S. pork and beef. My question is – how safe are the processing plants? Ask your local supermarket where the meat is processed? You will be surprised.

    April 28, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  3. Larry

    Thought all the pork came from Congress.

    April 28, 2009 at 3:55 pm |