H1N1 Is Not A Food Safety Issue

Pigs are a host for the H1N1 virus, and yet while no pigs died directly because of the virus, it was called €œswine flu€ and the news story became focused on food safety. It sprung a lot of attention onto concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO) as if the food supply is not safe anymore because of H1N1. Like what happened with BSE, people quickly moved to the worst-case scenario and not the story closer to reality. In reality, these are animal health issues and not food safety issues based on the good detection work of CFIA. BSE and H1N1 are not CAFO issues either. If you fed contaminated feed to your free-range cows, they would be just as susceptible to BSE as the cow in the feedlot. As agriculturalists, we need to grab a hold of these media spins quicker and be more proactive in terms of public relations. The unnecessary pain and damage to our industry is too great.

 

Shaun Haney

Shaun grew up on a family seed farm in Southern Alberta. Haney Farms produces, conditions and retails wheat, barley, canola and corn seed. Shaun Haney is the founder of RealAgriculture.com. @shaunhaney

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One Comment

Megan Oleksyn

It is issues such as this that made me decide to pursue a degree in public relations. As a person passionate about our agriculture industry, I try on a daily basis to help consumers understand facts, not media perception, of the food chain and production. Kudos, Shaun on continuing to do the same.

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