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Ohio Farmers: U.S. Pork Supply Safe Despite Swine Virus Concerns

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009   

Ottawa, Ohio – The swine flu virus has sickened dozens in the United States, including a boy from Ohio, but farmers say consumers shouldn't be worried about infection from "the other white meat." According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, swine viruses are not transmitted by food, so you cannot get swine influenza from eating pork.

Ohio Farmers Union president Roger Wise says this is an airborne sickness.

"The virus is generally transmitted via flies or other insects that are infected, and it goes to the hogs and somehow becomes transmitted to humans."

The Ohio Department of Agriculture is reminding swine producers to implement strict bio-security measures on their farms to protect the industry and its workers. To date, no pigs have been found to be infected or sick with the virus in the United States.

Wise says family hog producers are fighting against a consolidated marketplace, so it's especially important now for Ohioans to have confidence in U.S. pork products.

"Our food supply is the safest in the world and we take great pride and work very hard at maintaining that food safety level; there may be a short blip and people become scared, but I don't think it's going to be anything long-lived."

A case in Lorain County was confirmed on Sunday and others have been confirmed in New York, Kansas, Texas and California. More than 150 deaths in Mexico are linked to the swine flu virus.


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