To the Editor,
Statute G.S. 106-24.1 protects the financial concerns of billion dollar corporations. Livestock contract viruses. Some of these viruses sicken us. Some become novel and infect us for the first time. Some taint the meat.
Ag-gag and right to privacy laws endanger our food supply. An undercover investigation led to the largest meat recall in U.S. history when 143 million pounds of beef, unfit for human consumption, much of it intended for the school lunch program, was overlooked by the USDA inspectors in Chino, CA in 2007. The inspectors were informed three times, and did not respond.
Avian influenzas start in birds and eventually make their way into humans. The Chinese were concerned enough to ban poultry imports for seven years because one Virginia farm had been infected with a low pathogenic avian influenza. Apparently, the Chinese are well aware that AI frequently mutate to more virulent forms. Avian flus are airborne. It is not necessary to consume poultry to become infected.
How bad is influenza? The Pandemic of 1918 killed between 30- 50 million people worldwide. Some sources say over 100 million died. It is considered the largest natural disaster of recorded history. Forget Ebola.
In 1997 the virus H1N1 made a species jump directly from poultry to humans, bypassing the usual mixing in swine.
Shouldn’t the American people have access to the same information as the Chinese concerning our food safety and health?