Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Liar Liar Pants on Fire

You would think the bureaucratic liars in our government would be a little better at their jobs. The news broke this morning that Tyson Foods just killed 15000 hens found infected with Avian Flu strain H7N3. The hens are dead and buried and now the government and Tyson are trying to bury the story. An article on the CBS news website states: "There is absolutely no human health threat," Fitch said. "But we take this very seriously." Fitch said state officials decided against announcing the infection to the general public because the birds tested positive for exposure to the H7N3 strain of the virus. " Fitch is the head of the State of Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission and he's not the brightest bulb on the Christmas Tree. It took me less than 10 seconds to do a Google search that says we should be afraid, very afraid.

The first Google article is from the Center for Disease Control website and it's a scientific study of an outbreak of H7N3 in British Columbia in 2004. The description of the article reads "Avian influenza that infects poultry in close proximity to humans is a concern because of its pandemic potential. In 2004, an outbreak of the highly pathogenic avian influenza H7N3 occurred in poultry in British Columbia Canada. Surveillance confirmed two humans with confirmed avian influenza symptoms" Taken from Human Illness from Avian Influenza H7N3 in British Columbia.

No we should not be surprised that Arkansas is protecting Tyson Foods above all else. Tyson and the other giant agribusinesses are in control of most, if not all state and federal regulatory agencies. The fact that science predicts disaster from the massive animal factories that now supply meat and poultry to US markets, is ignored, downplayed or as is the favorite of the Bush Administration, just plain changed to look like something else. So let's look at the facts. Stuffing 10,000 birds in a small barn where they are under constant stress and exposed to ill and dying animals all around them is likely to lead to an outbreak of some pathogen. Of course, the producers lead you to believe everything is peachy keen because they medicate the poor birds with antibiotics for their entire lives. Never mind that it's a scientific fact that over use of antibiotics will lead to outbreaks of resistant bacteria. Tyson needs to make money.

So Americans, who are too busy trying to buy a new flat screen TV, will listen to the news tonight and hear that some chickens died in Arkansas. They will go to KFC, pick up a bucket of wings and take them home for the kids, never once knowing that they are contributing to inevitable destruction of not only the birds, but humans and other animals. But heck, maybe they are the lucky ones and have Tyson stock, since they are the only ones the government seems to be protecting.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

You are confusing Low Pathogenic and High Pathogenic Avian Influenza viruses. H7N3 comes in two versions: Low and Highly pathogenic. Tyson chickens had Low path... that's why they weren't visibly ill. Humans in the article you reference were infected with High path.

Not that I trust our government, mind you. Just wanted to straighten this out for you.

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