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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Roots of the swine flu

Sorry bacon lovers

Mike Davis, writing in the British Guardian, vividly traces it to the power of the giant meat and pharmaceutical companies.

In 1965, for instance, there were 53m US hogs on more than 1m farms; today, 65m hogs are concentrated in 65,000 facilities. This has been a transition from old-fashioned pig pens to vast excremental hells, containing tens of thousands of animals with weakened immune systems suffocating in heat and manure while exchanging pathogens at blinding velocity with their fellow inmates. Last year a commission convened by the Pew Research Center issued a report on "industrial farm animal production" that underscored the acute danger that "the continual cycling of viruses …

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