• November 23, 2014

U.S. factory farms playing major role in spreading flu

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Posted: Saturday, January 26, 2013 4:30 am

To the Editor:

The flu epidemic has invaded 48 states, overwhelming medical facilities, exhausting vaccine supplies, and killing 29 children and thousands of seniors.

Both the problem and solution to this disaster hinge on how we relate to animals raised for food.

Indeed, 61 percent of the 1,415 pathogens known to infect humans originate with animals. The more recent, contagious, and deadly viruses among these include Asian, dengue fever, Ebola, H5N1 (bird), HIV, SARS, West Nile and yellow fever.

The pandemic “Spanish” flu of 1918, killed 20-50 million people worldwide, and the World Health Organization predicts more pandemics in the future.

Today’s factory farms are virtual flu factories. Sick, crowded, highly stressed animals in contact with contaminated feces and urine provide ideal incubation media for viruses. As these microbes reach humans, they mutate to defeat the new host’s immune system, then propagate by contact.

Each of us can help end animal farming and build up our own immune system against the flu by replacing animal products in our diet with vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.

These foods don’t carry flu viruses, or government warning labels, are touted by every major health advocacy organization, and were the recommended fare in the Garden of Eden.

Mark Gifford

Killeen

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1 comment:

  • Dr Strangelove posted at 10:10 am on Sat, Jan 26, 2013.

    Dr Strangelove Posts: 548

    As soon as I saw the title I just knew another letter from a vegetarian/vegan on the evils of meat. I think we need to have a study on vegetarian/vegan(s) because they seem to have a problem with the eating habits with other people but fail to look at their own. Maybe they should mind their own business clean out their own habits first before looking at others.

    Here are some facts that our vegetarian/vegan friends don’t tell us.

    Fruit and vegetables can be as germ-laden as meat.

    According to the CDC, foodborne Illnesses associated with the consumption of fresh fruits and produce account for approximately 12% of the reported foodborne illnesses in the United States. Altogether, the CDC estimates that food-borne illness causes 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths each year in the United States. And reported cases represent only a fraction of the actual number because a vast majority of sufferers don’t go to a doctor or get an exact diagnosis.

    What many people don’t realize is that raw fruit and vegetables can also be risky. In a study of more than 100,000 illnesses linked to food between 1990 and 2006, they caused more problems than poultry and beef combined.

    It’s much more common than you think. “Imagine you are standing around with six friends,” says Nancy Donley, board president of Stop Foodborne Illness, a nonprofit group dedicated to food safety. “Then think that one of you is going to be stricken with food poisoning this year.” Most cases cause relatively mild symptoms that resolve within a couple of days, but some are more serious. And bacteria that strong immune systems handle relatively easily can be dangerous or even deadly to vulnerable populations, including young children and those with compromised immunity.

    Now the fruit and vegetable only crowd always harp on the evils of meat but they never harp that fruit and vegetables are just as deadly. Every time there is a meat recall we get a letter on the evils of meat. Every time there is a vegetable/fruit recall they’re silent.