Factory Farms: An Origin of Swine Flu and Other Diseases and Illnesses

Dead Hogs, Flies and Maggots at a Factory Farm

Dead Hogs, Flies and Maggots at a Factory Farm

The Journal had previously reported on a study showing a significant increase in infant death rates (123 more deaths per 100,000 births) in U.S. counties with large factory farms—confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs). (Obviously the death and illness rates are much higher downwind and close in to CAFOs). Much more has been dug up since then. (Googling “swine flu”cafos yields 28,000 articles)

Hear what David Kirby says in his research article, Swine Flu 1999–We Were Warned:

It now appears that six of the eight genetic components in the currently circulating virus are direct descendants of a swine flu virus that first emerged in North Carolina a decade ago. That bug was discovered in August 1998, at a 2,400-head breeding facility in Newton Grove, NC, where all the sows suddenly came down with a phlegmatic cough. Pregnant animals spontaneously aborted their litters.

Below are startling published studies proving high levels of illnesses in children living near CAFOs.

Why has this direct correlation not been mentioned by government health authorities and the mainstream media? It seems they should make a big stink.

As usual the government/corporate partnership (in this case, public health authorities and the pharmaceutical/medical/health industry) want to vaccinate rather than address one of the real causes, in my opinion. There is simply far more money in it.

Before we expose the partial list of studies, here is something dealing with the origins of the Swine Flu. At the Mexican epicenter, a town where Smithfield Foods raise and slaughter a million hogs each year, 60% of the 3000 population became ill this year:

According to Biosurveillance, itself part of Veratect, a US Pentagon and Government-linked epidemic reporting center, on April 6, 2009 local health officials declared a health alert due to a respiratory disease outbreak in La Gloria, Perote Municipality, Veracruz State, Mexico.

They reported, ‘Sources characterized the event as a ‘strange’ outbreak of acute respiratory infection, which led to bronchial pneumonia in some pediatric cases. According to a local resident, symptoms included fever, severe cough, and large amounts of phlegm. Health officials recorded 400 cases that sought medical treatment in the last week in La Gloria, which has a population of 3,000; officials indicated that 60% of the town’s population (approximately 1,800 cases) has been affected. No precise timeframe was provided, but sources reported that a local official had been seeking health assistance for the town since February.’ What they later say is ‘strange’ is not the form of the illness but the time of year as most flu cases occur in Mexico in the period October to February.

The report went on to note, ‘Residents claimed that three pediatric cases, all under two years of age, died from the outbreak. However, health officials stated that there was no direct link between the pediatric deaths and the outbreak; they stated the three fatal cases were “isolated” and “not related” to each other.’

Then, most revealingly, the aspect of the story which has been largely ignored by major media, they reported, ‘Residents believed the outbreak had been caused by contamination from pig breeding farms located in the area. They believed that the farms, operated by Granjas Carroll, polluted the atmosphere and local water bodies, which in turn led to the disease outbreak. According to residents, the company denied responsibility for the outbreak and attributed the cases to “flu.” However, a municipal health official stated that preliminary investigations indicated that the disease vector was a type of fly that reproduces in pig waste and that the outbreak was linked to the pig farms.

According to C. Larry Pope, CE) of Smithfield Foods who owns and operates the Mexican factory hog farm, “we routinely administer influenza virus vaccinations to their swine herds and conduct routine testing”. This sounds self-incriminating on two counts: the swine flu potential is there or they would not vaccinate. And two, the vaccinations alone can cause illness and morph into other types of viruses. Have they tested the dead hogs piled up, the flies around their carcasses, the manure ponds or the birds that hang around?

According to the studies below (The Journal credits IndianaCAFOWatch.com for the list), the health effects and potential for dangerous drug resistant organisms originating from factory farms:

Bacterial concentrations with multiple antibiotic resistances have been discovered upwind and downwind of swine facilities. Those working at the facility or who live in close proximity could be at risk for adverse health effects by exposure to large numbers of multidrug-resistant organisms.  (Isolation of Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria from the Air Plume Downwind of a Swine Confined Animal Feeding Operation.  Shawn G. Gibbs et al., 1 University of Texas Health Science Center, School of Public Health)

Public health scientists now recognize that hydrogen sulfide is a potent neurotoxin, and that chronic exposure to even low ambient levels causes irreversible damage to the brain and central nervous system. H2S are present in CAFO emissions. Children are among the most susceptible to this poison gas. (J Environ Sci Health B, 200003, 35: 2, 245-58)

Recent research conducted by investigators in the University of Iowa College of Public Health has found that the prevalence of asthma is elevated among children living on farms where swine are raised. (Univ. of Iowa 12/04 www.uiowa.edu/~ournews/2004/december/120904asthma.html)

Livestock-related odors in and around schools may indicate the presence of hazardous airborne contaminants from nearby CAFOs. (http://www.ehponline.org/docs/2006/114-4/ss.html )

Recent research demonstrates that CAFOs can be sources of antibiotic resistant enteric bacteria that can lead to compromised environmental and potentially human health in ecosystems and populations adjacent to CAFOs. (http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/newscience/2007/2007-0513sapkotaetal.html Synopsis by Dr. Edward Orlando and Wendy Hessler)

Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations Near Schools May Pose Asthma Risk. Children who attend school near large-scale livestock farms known as concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) may be at a higher risk for asthma, according to recent study by University of Iowa researchers. The study, led by Joel Kline, M.D., professor of internal medicine in the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, appears in the June issue of Chest, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians (www.chestjournal.org).

The high prevalence of multiple resistance genes at a swine operation reported in a Johns Hopkins study suggests that airborne Gram-positive bacteria from swine operations may be important contributors to environmental reservoirs of resistance genes. Antibiotic resistance genes in multidrug-resistant Enterococcus spp. and Streptococcus spp. recovered from the indoor air of a large-scale swine-feeding operation.Sapkota AR, Ojo KK, Roberts MC, Schwab KJ. Department of Env.Health Sciences, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD 21205-2103, USA.)

Research suggests exposure to odor has an effect on secretory immune function and is particularly important in that it documents a physiologic effect among neighbors of industrial hog operations. (Health Effects Associated with Exposure to Airborne Emissions from Industrial Hog Operations in Eastern North Carolina. Avery, R. Wing, S. et al Odor from Industrial Hog Operations and Mucosal immune function in Neighbors. Arch Eviron Health 59(2):101-108.)

Recent research was performed to investigate relationships between school exposures and respiratory health of middle school–aged children. The findings identify a plausible association between exposure to airborne pollution from swine CAFOs and wheezing symptoms among adolescents. (Asthma Symptoms Among Adolescents Who Attend Public Schools That Are Located Near Confined Swine Feeding Operations)Pediatrics Vol. 118 No. 1 July 2006, pp. e66-e75 (doi:10.1542/peds.2005-2812 Maria C. Mirabelli et al.)

These and other articles are provided at www.IndianaCAFOWatch.com

David Kirby Journalist

Swine Flu 1999:  We Were Warned


Swine Flu Outbreak — Nature Biting Back at Industrial Animal Production?


Mexican Lawmakers:  Factory Farms are “Breeding Grounds” of Swine Flu Pandemic http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-kirby/mexican-lawmaker-factory_b_191579.html

“Patient Zero” Identified in Mexican Flu Outbreak?


Swine Flu Articles by various authors

Farming the Flu http://www.loe.org/shows/segments.htm?programID=09-P13-00018&segmentID=3

Residents in small Mexican town believe their community is ground zero for swine flu epidemic          OLGA R. RODRIGUEZ | Associated Press Writer http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/wire/sns-ap-lt-swine-flu-mexico-ground-zero,0,4085491.story

The Swine Flu Crisis Lays Bare the Meat Industry’s Monstrous Power  By Mike Davis http://www.alternet.org/story/138798/

3 responses to “Factory Farms: An Origin of Swine Flu and Other Diseases and Illnesses

  1. Excellent work; keep it coming.

  2. Pingback: Superbugs on Factory-farmed Meats « Journal of Natural Food and Healing

  3. I am intereswted in the cruelty and disregard for the lives of animals processed in factory farms. I was wondering what were the conditions like in the factory farms your visited for your studies?

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