Bird Flu Fowl Play
     
MEMBERSHIP FORM and PETITION

USDA HANDBOOK addresses Farmers as Uneducated

What is DEPOPULATION?

Points For Opposing Animal ID

Export Myths and Fairytales

NASS Survey Information

ARAPA Statement to the Senate Ag Committee

Codex Alimentarius

FORCED NAIS

Sound Science Killing Us

What Can I Do?

2006 ARKANSAS COOPERATIVE AGREEMENT WITH USDA

What are the vets saying?

BREAKING NEWS

Congressmen Speak Out

International Entanglements

What is COOL?

Mad Cow Madness

CONTACT US

By-Laws

2007 ARKANSAS COOPERATIVE AGREEMENT WITH USDA

Important Links

ARKANSAS ANIMAL PRODUCERS ASSOCIATION

Photos From Conway Meeting

FREEDOM TO FARM ACT UPDATES

ALERTS

Corporate Hostile Takeover

What About The Amish?

CONSTITUTION RULES

How do Packers fit in?

The Real Reason for Animal ID

AUSSIE ANIMAL ID IMPACT STUDY

Endangered Property Rights

Organic & Grassfed Growers Also Affected

DATABASES - How Safe Are They?

Wake Up, Farmers!

USDA/APHIS NAIS DOCUMENTS

CAPTIVE ANIMAL FACTORY FARMING

Technology Behind NAIS

AUSSIE RANCHER SPEAKS OUT

NIAA Conference Reports

Pushing Us Off Our Farms

Ag Lawyer Responds to the NAIS

NAIS SUMMARY

INDUSTRIALIZED FARMING

Uncle Sam Wants YOUR Animals!

HORSE TIMELINE FOR NAIS INCLUSION

NAIS DRAFT STRATEGIC PLAN

What is REAL ID?

"CREATIVE" SIGN-UPS BY THE GOVERNMENT

Animal ID Problems in Other Countries

Farm Bureau Connection

NAIS Threatens Rare Breeds

RFID Tags - Good, Bad & Ugly

R-CALF USA Fights NAIS

Retired Army Colonel Rebuts NAIS

Equine Species Working Group Contacts

BRUCE KNIGHT'S SPEECH

INFO ON USDA'S NEW "USER'S GUIDE"

SCRAPIE ID for Goats/Sheep & the NAIS

NAIS ID Terminology

GETTING OUT OF THE NAIS

The PLUM ISLAND CONNECTION

The Plan is AGENDA 21

4-H, FFA Targeted at Fairs

MICROCHIPS Cause CANCER

Leon's Story - Chipped Dog Died From Cancer

TRACKING ROGUE CHICKENS

Protection From Terrorist Livestock

NAIS NEWS in OTHER STATES

Truth about FOOD CONTAMINATION

TRUTH about Foot & Mouth Vaccines

MICROCHIP PROBLEMS IN DUTCH HORSES

What is DELPHI TECHNIQUE

NEW INFORMATION ON EQUINES

2005 ARKANSAS COOPERATIVE AGREEMENT WITH USDA/APHIS

CONTACT GENERAL ASSEMBLY MEMBERS FOR ARKANSAS

Bird Flu Fowl Play

USDA, INCORPORATED

ECONOMIC IMPACT ON HORSE OWNERS

 

ARE WE REALLY BEING TOLD THE FACTS ABOUT BIRD FLU?

READ THIS EXCELLENT ARTICLE AT THIS LINK FIRST:

http://www.grain.org/briefings/?id=194#_ftnref16

NEW BOOK! GO TO THIS LINK:

http://birdflubook.com/g.php?id=5

Now read the below:

 Information Alert: The Great Bird Flu Hoax is Available for Pre-Ordering Now

The government and industry officials have used fear tactics to try to push NAIS through. What about terrorists? What about Mad Cow, or Foot and Mouth Disease, or Avian Flu?!

But NAIS will not protect us against terrorists or disease. The problems with NAIS range from the technology flaws to the creation of black markets to the realities of what is needed to prevent and manage disease. But too few people really understand these issues. We must educate them, or the government will succeed in convincing the majority of Americans to accept the false protection offered by NAIS. 

A soon-to-be-released book will help us in this fight.  This easy-to-read expose by Dr. Joseph Mercola is called "The Great Bird Flu Hoax: The Truth They Don't Want You to Know About the "Next Big Pandemic."  It contains a wealth of information about how our government and large corporations manipulate the public for profit and control, and the misinformation that has been spread about diseases and agriculture.  Chapter 3 specifically covers NAIS and quotes FARFAs materials.

We want to see this book hit the New York Times bestseller list.  Why?  Because it provides ammunition to counter the government and industry misinformation.  And because if it hits the New York Times bestsellers list, the media will have to pay attention.  Imagine finally getting mainstream media attention on this issue!

You can go to http://www.thegreatbirdfluhoax.com/ to read more about this book and pre-order it at a 32% discount off the list price.  Pre-ordering is critical to hitting the bestseller list.  In addition to the discount on the book, Dr. Mercola is offering a dozen other bonuses to encourage pre-orders.   This is a time-sensitive opportunity, so check it out now.


Judith McGeary, Attorney  
Executive Director
Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance
8308 Sassman Rd
Austin, Texas 78747
(512) 243-9404
(866) 687-6452 Toll Free
www.farmandranchfreedom.org

********************************************************************************************

http://www.engdahl.oilgeopolitics.net/print/Bird%20Flu%20and%20Chicken%20Factory%20Farms.htm

Bird Flu and Chicken Factory Farms:

Profit Bonanza for US Agribusiness

 

By F. William Engdahl

 

 

Look to the giant ‘chicken jails’ or chicken factory farms around the world as a more likely source for emerging Bird Flu viruses, not to small peasant chicken farmers, and we might be closer to the truth.

Clouds can have ‘silver linings’ the adage goes, and Bird Flu seems to be no exception. While much of the world trembles in panic and fear over an as-yet-non-existent human-to-human mutation of the Avian Flu or H5N1 virus, and while most worry what to do to protect themselves and their families, certain people are doing quite nicely in the situation.

Donald Rumsfeld and other major stock holders of Gilead Sciences or Roche Inc., the marketers of the much-hyped Tamiflu (see previous articles, ‘Is Tamiflu another Pentagon Hoax? ;‘Bird Flu: A Corporate Bonanza for the Biotech Industry’) are reaping nice gains, as sales of the medication are booming thanks to promotion by the Bush and Blair governments.

Agribusiness companies stand to reap huge gains in the event that scientists at Cambridge University and elsewhere are able to replace the entire world chicken population with genetically-engineered chicks allegedly resistant to H5N1 virus.

Little-noticed beneficiaries of the current Avian Flu scare, however, are the giant agribusiness chicken producers based in the United States, who claim ‘their’ chickens are safe. Their sales are booming and all indications are that Avian Flu, paradoxically, has come like a Godsend to their corporate balance sheets. Are they also responsible for breeding unsanitary conditions and exporting the product worldwide causing disease, illness and even deaths?

On October 23, 2005, Dr. Margaret Chan, Representative of the WHO Director-General for Pandemic Influenza, the key person responsible for global oversight of the threat from the H5N1 strain of Bird Flu, told Newsweek magazine, ‘the risk to humans in Europe, the risk to human health is very low in Europe.’

Chan came to her senior post at WHO from Hong Kong, where she was responsible for the public health response to the SARS epidemic in 2003-4. She told Newsweek, ‘our alert is at Phase III, and that has not changed recently. Phase VI is the highest, when there's a pandemic…We do not want to see complacency, but we also do not want to see people getting alarmed. At this point, avian influenza is a bird disease.’ 1

That statement coming from the international public official most directly responsible, gives little ground to justify the mood of panic and the hoarding of dubious medications such as Tamiflu. Who else gains from the current panic over a potential human Avian Flu pandemic?

At this point a close look at the world poultry business is highly enlightening.

 

Factory Chicken Farms

Curiously enough, it is not the huge, unsanitary, overcrowded factory chicken farms of the global agri-giants which are being scrutinized as a possible incubator or source of H5N1 or other diseases. Rather, the target is the small chicken farmers in especially Asia, with at most perhaps 10 to 20 chickens, who stand to lose big-time in the current Bird Flu hysteria.

The major chicken factories such as Tyson Foods, Perdue Farms, ConAgra Poultry are making a propaganda campaign that, unlike in Asia where chickens are free to roam in the open, that their chickens are ‘safer’ because they are raised in closed facilities. A closer look inside those facilities is useful.

Over the past three decades, American agriculture has been transformed so as to be almost unrecognizable. It is no longer dominated by small, carefully-run family farms producing some wheat, maybe corn, dairy and perhaps eggs and poultry fed and raised in a free-running farm area.

Today, thanks to a project launched in the late 1950’s by two Harvard Business School professors--Ray Goldberg and John Davis--production of food has become a concentrated, vertically integrated multinational business, which they named agribusiness. The criterion is no longer human food safety or quality. It is corporate profit. Nutrition has become a pure cost-benefit calculation of shareholder value, just as trading in stocks in a car company might be.

The industrialization of chicken-raising and slaughtering in the USA, which is known as ‘factory farming’ is a process whose inner workings are unknown to most people. Better it remained so some say. Were we to know, we likely would never again eat a Chicken McNugget or a KFC chicken dinner, both of which are supplied, by the way, by Tyson.

Today, five giant multinational agribusiness companies dominate the production and processing of chicken meat in the United States, and, as things seem to be going, especially were the world to be looney enough to adopt genetically modified chickens supposedly resistant to Avian Flu virus, these five companies are about to dominate world chicken supply.

According to a trade source, WATT Poultry USA, as of 2003 five companies held overwhelming domination of the US poultry production, all of them vertically integrated. US regulators and Congressmen seem to have forgotten the tough laws against vertical integration in the meatpacking and poultry industry following widespread scandals and the expose during the 1920’s, The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair, exposing the health and human abuse inside the Chicago meatpacking industry.

The five companies are Tyson Foods, far the largest in the world; GoldKist Inc; Pilgrim’s Pride; ConAgra Poultry; and Perdue Farms. Together, the five account for well over 370 million pounds per week of ready-to-cook chicken, some 56% of all ready-to-eat poultry produced in the USA. That is a level of concentration far in excess of anything in the 1920’s.

Alone, Tyson Foods processes 155 million pounds of chicken a week, almost three times its nearest rival, GoldKist. Tyson is big business, with over $26 billion a year in revenue. During the latest Bird Flu scare, for the Quarter ending September 30, Tyson Foods’ earnings rose an eye-popping 49%, and, despite a 10% fall in chicken sales, its profit in chickens grew a robust 40%. The key, the company said, was measures it took to ‘boost productivity.’ 2

Boosting productivity for Tyson and the other chicken giants clearly means one thing: speedup of the production line, further slashing labor costs, and reducing safety measures in their slaughtering and packing plants.

 

Tough Men and Tender Chickens?

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) released a report in 2004 on the economic impact to date of Avian or Bird Flu.3 It noted that the main impact of the panic which has grown globally since around 2003, has been economic loss, not human deaths. ‘The impact of countries banning both Thai and Chinese poultry exports,’ the FAO report noted, ‘are leading to higher international poultry prices and increasing demand for poultry meat from other major suppliers, such as the United States…’

Increasing Asian demand for imported chicken products from the United States today, however, has a special significance. It means three to four giant factory farm operations are opening a potentially huge new market for chicken products in Asia.

Asia today is home to seven billion chickens, fully 40% of the world total. US chicken giants like Tyson Foods, ConAgra and Perdue Farms have literally been drooling at the prospect of breaking into the vast market in Asia, Japan and China for several years. Bird Flu is giving them that chance and more.

Japan imports some 70% of all chicken its population consumes. The Bird Flu scare resulted in a Japanese ban on chicken imports from Thailand and China. The benefactors have been USA and Brazil chicken exporters according to the FAO. And that means, above all, Tyson Foods, Perdue, ConAgra.

One of the better known radio ads in the United States in recent years had the motto, ‘It takes a tough man to make a tender chicken…’ It was the popular slogan of the late Frank Perdue of Perdue Farms, one of the world’s top five giant chicken producers. The ‘tough man’ part of Perdue Farms is accurate. The company, which boasts of being fully integrated from ‘egg to supermarket meat case,’ had $2.8 billion in sales in 2004 and pushes 48 million pounds of chicken parts on the world consumer weekly, in 40 countries. Perdue, like all its chicken factory colleagues, has been fined by the US Government for safety and health violations in its chicken processing plants and for efforts to bust trade union organizing in its plants.

Tyson Foods, based in Bill Clinton’s home state of Arkansas, enjoyed intimate ties to the Clinton Administration during the 1990’s. Some would say too intimate. It was Tyson General Counsel, James Blair, who set up a sweetheart deal to get Hillary Clinton an education in sophisticated and highly risky cattle futures, turning her $1,000 investment into a quick $100,000 windfall. Soon after helping Hillary, Tyson Foods found a friend in the new Clinton Secretary of Agriculture, Mike Espy. A US Judge found that Tyson had arranged airplane rides, professional football tickets and other gifts to Espy. Tyson agreed to pay a $6 million fine for ‘attempting’ to bribe a Federal official.

Tyson is also adept at taking over rivals. In 1997, after repeatedly failing in a takeover bid, Tyson bought rival poultry producer Hudson Foods. And they bought it at a steeply-discounted price.

Hudson Foods was suddenly hit with an e coli bacteria scandal. US Government regulators descended on the company, even sending in a so-called ‘SWAT team’ to shut down operations. Press carried horror stories about the company. Within hours, the company's stock value plummeted. Within weeks, rival Tyson Foods bought Hudson Foods. Tyson CEO Don Tyson’s Arkansas friend Bill Clinton was President of the United States, theoretically responsible for deployment of such operations as Federal Swat Teams to shut down companies. Tyson Foods was able to buy Hudson Foods only after the small company had been brought to its knees, at least in part through a public health scare and some government brute force. No one ever proved that Tyson and the Clinton Administration were in cahoots in the Hudson Foods e coli scare, with its unprecedented Government raid. Yet no one ever proved the opposite either. Tyson had swallowed another rival, anaconda-style.

Tyson Foods today has re-branded itself and now boasts of being ‘the world’s largest protein producer,’ a pitch designed to let it benefit from the current ‘high-protein/low carbohydrate’ Dr. Atkins diet fad. Benefit it has, as US chicken consumption is up 24% since 1995. But that evidently isn’t enough for the executives at Tyson Foods. They have their eyes on the vast China and Asian market for chickens as we will later see. 4

 

Tyson Chicken Factories: The myth

The following is the company’s own description of its activities from a 1998 filing, indicating the process Tyson Foods uses to produce 155 million pounds a week of processed chicken:

‘The Company's integrated poultry processes include genetic research, breeding, hatching, rearing, ingredient procurement, feed milling, veterinary and other technical services, and related transportation and delivery services. The Company contracts with independent growers to maintain the Company's flocks of breeder chicks which, when grown, lay the eggs which the Company transfers to its hatcheries and hatch into broiler chicks. Newly hatched broiler chicks are vaccinated and then delivered to independent contract growers who care for and feed the broiler chicks until they reach processing weight… the Company provides growers with feed, vitamins and medication for the broilers, if needed, as well as supervisory and technical services. The broilers are then transported by the Company to its nearby processing plants. The Company processed approximately 6.4 billion pounds of consumer poultry during fiscal 1998…

‘The Company's facilities for processing poultry and for housing live poultry and swine are subject to a variety of federal, state and local laws relating to the protection of the environment, including provisions relating to the discharge of materials into the environment, and to the health and safety of its employees… The cost of compliance with such laws and regulations has not had a material adverse effect upon the Company's capital expenditures, earnings or competitive position and it is not anticipated to…As of October 3, 1998, the Company employed approximately 70,500 persons. The Company believes that its relations with its workforce are good.’

The above company declaration is useful in light of the documented reality of life at Tyson Foods today.

 

And the Reality…

The conditions of chicken breeding and slaughter documented inside the giant factory chicken farms of Tyson, Perdue, ConAgra, contrary to their company propaganda, are anything but reassuring to human health. A recent study of working conditions in US meat and poultry slaughterhouses concluded:

‘Health and safety laws and regulations fail to address critical hazards in the meat and poultry industry. Laws and agencies that are supposed to protect workers’ freedom of association are instead manipulated by employers to frustrate worker organizing. Federal laws and policies on immigrant workers are a mass of contradictions and incentives to violate their rights. In sum, the United States is failing to meet its obligations under international human rights standards to protect the human rights of meat and poultry industry workers.’5

A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report to the US Senate, ‘Safety in the Meat and Poultry Industry,’ in January 2005, concluded that US meat and poultry processing plants had ‘one of the highest rates of injury and illness of any industry.’ They cited exposure to ‘dangerous chemicals, blood, fecal matter, exacerbated by poor ventilation and often extreme temperatures.’ Workers typically face hazardous conditions, loud noise, must work in narrow confines with sharp tools and dangerous machinery.

In the United States, approximately 8.5 billion ‘broiler’ chickens are killed for food in the US each year. That works out to 23 million chickens every day. According to a recent report by VivaUSA, a non-profit organization investigating conditions in US factory farms, ‘Thanks to genetic selection, feed, and being prevented from moving or getting any exercise on factory farms, chickens now grow to be much larger and to grow more quickly than ever before.’ Broilers today need an average of 6 weeks before slaughter compared with 12 weeks in the 1940’s. And that slaughtered chick has been produced at a high cost.

The use of growth boosters has created major health problems in the huge factory farm concentrations. Because of hormone and vaccine injections to speed growth, muscle growth outstrips bone development and the chickens typically have leg and skeletal disorders that significantly affect their ability to walk. Unable to walk, they must sit in poor-quality litter, creating breast blisters or hock burns. According to one report, ‘The dermatitis seen in such birds is painful in itself but the effects of inability to walk are much more severe.’

Chicken organs are unable to keep up with their hyper growth rates, causing hearts or lungs to fail or malfunction, and creation of excess fluids in their bodies or death. Under special exemptions in US law, chickens are excluded from the protections of the federal Animal Welfare Act. The federal government sets no rules or standards for how these animals should be housed, fed, or treated on farms. 6

The GAO study also confirmed a dramatic change in the US meat and poultry industry since the Reagan Administration first opened the doors to union-busting and vertical integration and concentration in the industry by de facto ignoring enforcement of anti-trust and industrial safety laws such as the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSHA). In 1980 meat and poultry packing was highly unionized, and well-paid work, with the accompanying union defence of working and safety conditions. The industry was 46% unionized.

A decade later, by 1990, that rate had plunged to 21%, and today is far lower. The wages plunged in parallel, as did the composition of workers in the plants.

Today, according to the GAO, more than 38% of production line workers in the meat and poultry processing industry are foreign born. The GAO gives no data on what percent are illegal immigrants. The largest percent of workers are male, and 42% are Hispanic, and another 20% are black. But far from being a model of fairness in racial minority hiring, the high rate of black and Hispanic workers are precisely because companies find it easiest with the high unemployment rates among those population groups to impose working conditions most workers would refuse.

Encouraged by the Bush Administration’s benign neglect of anti-trust laws and health and safety controls, the meat processing industry has shut down countless unionized plants across the country, reopening new plants often in the same area, typically manned with immigrant, non-union labor at drastically lower wage levels.

Human Rights Watch, an NGO concerned with violations of worker rights, reported on conditions in Tyson Foods’ Arkansas chicken processing plants:

‘The northwest corner of Arkansas is the center of the poultry industry in Arkansas, the state’s largest private sector employer. The beautiful green hills and valleys belie the environmental degradation of area watersheds polluted by a tsunami of waste from one billion defecating chickens raised and slaughtered each year in Arkansas.

‘Dozens of poultry processing plants are spread among the shopping centers, modest homes and residential apartments of Bentonville, Rogers, Springdale, Fayetteville, Forth Smith and other towns off Interstate I-540 in Northwest Arkansas. The smell of dead chickens permeates the atmosphere. Poultry plants are mostly nondescript, windowless facilities set back from the grid of roads and highways in the area.

‘In the past decade, immigrant workers from Mexico and Central America have supplanted many rural white and African-American workers in Northwest Arkansas poultry plants, a demographic phenomenon characterizing the poultry industry nationwide. Between 1990 and 2000, the foreign-born population of the two largest counties in the area increased more than 600 percent. Nearly all the increase was related to poultry industry employment. In Rogers and Springdale, centers of the poultry processing industry in the area, immigrants are more than 20 percent of the population.

‘Tyson runs sixty poultry processing plants engaged in slaughtering, dressing, cutting, packaging, de-boning and further processing fifty million chickens per week.’ 7

According to Earthsave International, some 30% of US chicken is tainted with Salmonella and fully 62% with the equally virulent Campylobacter. Time magazine termed raw chicken, ‘one of the most dangerous items in the American home.’ In 1997 contaminated chicken killed at least 1,000 in the United States and poisoned and made sick 80 million others, orders of magnitude more deadly than Avian Flu, but unreported in the media. Tyson, Perdue and the other agribusiness chicken giants have created scientific breeding grounds for disease and pathogens.

Tyson’s ‘corporate citizenship’ leaves something to be desired. The company, like Perdue Farms and the other industry giants, has systematically worked to bust existing unions and drive out any workers who protested dangerous working conditions. In 1993, the National Labor Relations Board found Tyson Foods guilty of unlawfully directing and controlling a union expulsion at its Dardanelle, Arkansas plant. The company interrogated workers about their union sympathies and illegally promised wage increases, bonuses, and other benefits if workers voted to get rid of the union.

In 1995, Tyson was found guilty of illegally eliminating a union in one acquired company, Holly Farms. Tyson management coercively interrogated workers about their union sympathies, threatened to arrest workers exercising their lawful rights, threatened union supporters with firing if they remained loyal to the union, and fired fifty-one workers for supporting the union. Tyson Foods CEO, John Tyson, who calls himself a ‘devout Christian,’ talks about creating a ‘faith-friendly company.’ Instead of union members working, he prefers to have what the company calls its, ‘relationship with Team Members (sic) as we operate without a union.’

 

One Tyson worker described the internal situation:

‘Tyson always gets rid of workers who protest or who speak up for others. When they jumped from thirty-two chickens a minute to forty-two, a lot of people protested. The company came right out and asked who the leaders were. Then they fired them. They told us, ‘If you don’t like it, there’s the door. There’s another eight hundred applicants waiting to take your job.’ They are the biggest company so what they do goes for the rest.’

The factory chicken farms of Tyson and Perdue and company are also huge consumers of corn and soybeans. In 1999 Tyson alone consumed 6.5 million tons of corn and 2.8 million tons of soybeans. Today, almost all of the corn and soybeans are genetically modified Monsanto crops, a factor whose long-term consequences on human consumption have not been independently tested. Tyson apparently is unconcerned about that as well.

 

Asia and US Chicken Factories

The concentration of so many animals in centralized, mechanized growing areas or chicken jails across America has led to huge waste and pollution problems. One smaller company, Foster Farms of California recently pled guilty of Clean Water Act violations for illegally discharging 11 million gallons of water polluted with decomposed chicken manure into the San Luis National Wildlife Refuge.

Perdue Farms, the US’ fifth largest poultry producer, recently added a major chicken ‘factory farm’ operation in China.

China is also the dream destination of Tyson Foods, far and away the largest producer of factory chicken meat in the world today. Well back in April 1997, Tyson Foods entered an agreement with Kerry Holding Limited, a Hong Kong-based subsidiary of the Kuok Group, to investigate the practicality of locating agribusiness 10 poultry complexes throughout China, each designed to process half a million birds per week, or a total of 5 million chickens each week.

Today, Tyson CEO, Greg Lee, sees China as one of the most promising growth areas for its chicken agribusiness, curious given the negative publicity about Bird Flu cases in China. Lee recently told US media that ‘US poultry housing and growing conditions are different from Asia and are more likely to protect animals from disease…’ In March 2005 John Tyson told a Food Summit in Chicago that Tyson saw its investments in China as laying the ‘foundation for profits in coming years.’

Given the practices of Tyson, Perdue, ConAgra and the other US chicken factory agribusiness giants, the governments of China, and the rest of the world ought to look long and hard before allowing them license to build their chicken factory farms in China.

The WHO recently described the conditions which are the origin of Bird Flu. In an interview with a China media in early 2004, before the present Washington alarm over Bird Flu pandemic dangers, the Geneva health organization described the conditions under which the Bird Flu virus would spread. The WHO said H5N1 was ‘largely transmitted through bird droppings and uncooked meat.’

When a contaminated chicken makes an excrement the H5N1 strain of avian influenza circulates in the air and is carried by the wind, according to the WHO findings. ‘Piled one on top of the other in cramped cages, the birds easily pass the disease on with their dirty droppings,’ the WHO said, noting that chicken breeders also risked inhaling the bug and got infected easier.

On the other hand, it was virtually impossible to catch bird flu by eating cooked meat that is infected, said WHO spokeswoman Fadela Chaib. ‘The cooking kills the virus,’ Chaib said, citing WHO experts. 8

Chickens piled on top of one another in cramped cages filled with dirty bird feces and poor ventilation is an accurate description of the documented conditions of the factory chicken farms of Tyson Foods, Perdue Farms and other US chicken agribusiness giants.

Dr Walter Sontag, an Austrian zoologist who has studied the development of the H5N1 virus, and who concluded that the alarm about Bird Flu pandemic is vastly exaggerated, says, ‘A high density (of birds) in a small space with defined food and water availability, and in addition, poor hygiene conditions promote an explosive spread of pathogenic germ cells.’ Sontag goes on to point out that ‘free-walking’ chickens, in contrast to the ‘jailed’ factory farm birds, ‘almost without exception keep a great distance from humans.’ 9

It would be important to know whether any of the cases of Avian Flu documented in China in recent years could be traced either to imports of US chickens from giant producers such as Tyson Foods or to domestic chicken factory farms of those companies in China or elsewhere in Asia. It is at least clear that a lot more explanation from responsible governments and health officials is due on the true origins and threats of Avian Flu.

 

Footnotes:

 

1 Nordland, Rod, Newsweek, Interview with Dr Margaret Chan WHO, Oct. 23, 2005

2 WATT Poultry USA, WATT Poultry USA’s Rankings, January 2003.

3 FAO Fact Sheet : Market Impact of Avian Flu in Asia, Rome, 2004.

4 Cummings, David, Overseas Investments byU.S. Meat Corporations, Centers for Epidemiology and Animal Health, July 2000, www.aphis.usda.gov/vs/ceah/cei/.

5 Human Rights Watch, Blood, Sweat, and Fear: Workers’ Rights in U.S. Meat and Poultry Plants. www.hrw.org, January 2005.

6 VivaUSA, Chicken/Broiler Industry Media Briefing, www.vivausa.org.

7 Human Rights Watch, op. cit.

8 World Health Organization, Bird droppings prime origin of bird flu , January 17, 2004.

9 Sontag, Dr Walter, Der Fluch der Vögel, in Wiener Zeitung.

 

 


http://www.thestatesman.net/page.news.php?clid=8&theme=&usrsess=1&id=128044

CHINA DEVELOPS BIRD FLU VACCINE

BEIJING, Aug. 28: Chinese scientists today claimed success in developing an "effective and safe" vaccine for human use against the deadly H5N1 human bird flu, which has already claimed 14 lives in the
country.

Preliminary clinical tests show that a bird flu vaccine for human use developed by Chinese researchers is safe and effective, they said.

The vaccine was jointly developed by China's ministry of science and technology, Centre for Disease Control and Prevention and Beijing Sinovac Biotech Co ~ a Beijing-based pharmaceutical company.

Researchers said the first phase of clinical trials has proved the vaccine is safe and effective for humans.

Six volunteers took part in the clinical tests last November at the Beijing China-Japan Friendship Hospital, after the state food and drug administration granted the vaccine developers the green light for the trials, ***Xinhua news agency reported.

Results from the first phase, which ended in June, showed that the four antigens worked at different levels in stimulating the production of antibodies, according to the company.

It said the 10 microgram dosage of the vaccine proved most effective, stimulating 78.3 per cent protective antibodies, exceeding the European Union standard of 70 per cent for a flu vaccine.

The 120 participants who were vaccinated have shown no serious adverse reactions, researchers said. Blood tests and urine tests all indicate that the vaccine is safe for human use.

The vaccine was developed from the virus's NIBRG-14 strain which was provided by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and protects against the deadly H5N1 strain of avian influenza. The vaccine can be mass-produced, researchers said.

Bird flu remains essentially an animal disease, but experts fear that the H5N1 virus could mutate into a form that could pass easily among humans.

The virus has killed 14 people in China since 2003. China is one of the worst-hit nations by the disease which has also led to culling of over 25 million poultry.

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS ARTICLE STATES THAT ONLY FOURTEEN PEOPLE HAVE DIED IN CHINA SINCE 2003 EVEN THOUGH IT'S ONE OF THE WORST HIT COUNTRIES!! IF THIS VACCINE REALLY WORKS...NO MORE EXCUSE FOR USING BIRD FLU TO SCARE PEOPLE INTO THE NAIS!

 

 

http://www.i-sis.org.uk/Fowl-Play-in-Bird-Flu.php


FOWL PLAY IN BIRD FLU

THERE IS NO EVIDENCE THAT WILD MIGRATING BIRDS MIXING WITH BACKYARD FLOCKS SPREADS BIRD FLU. TRANSNATIONAL FACTORY FARMS AND THE GLOBALISED TRADE IN POULTRY PRODUCTS ARE TO BLAME.

Dr. Mae-Wan Ho
Sources for this report are available in the ISIS members site. Full details here

Bird flu scare hurts the poultry industry
The European Union is set to approve special funding for poultry farmers suffering from falling prices and demand as the spread of the deadly H5N1 bird flu scares consumers away from chicken, turkey and other fowl [1]. Some 320 000 tonnes of unmarketable poultry meat are in cold storage across the 25 nation EU. Prices have fallen by 13 percent on average, but some countries are harder hit than others. Consumption of poultry products is down 5 percent in Denmark and Finland, but as much as 40 percent in Cyprus, 50 percent in Italy and 70 percent in Greece.

Germany has 70 000 tonnes of poultry products in storage, and estimates its sector has suffered damage of around 150 million euros from falling demand and the cost of culling birds. France with 40 000 tonnes in surplus stocks estimates it loses 31.9 million euros a month.

Wild birds to blame?
Bird flu is said to have spread from Asia to Europe in migrating wild birds. The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) stated in November 2005 [2]: “The movement of migratory birds has caused outbreaks to emerge in several countries and regions simultaneously.”

The first infection of commercial stocks was found on a French turkey farm in March 2006. The EU has ordered commercial stocks to stay inside or be inoculated, and some 45 countries have issued full or partial bans on poultry imports from France [1].

Meanwhile a fourth Afghan province, Kapisa, has been hit [3]. The virus had been found already in samples from birds in Kabul, Logar and Nangarhar provinces. There are strong suspicions that two other provinces, Laghman and Parwan, are also affected. Afghanistan is on the migration route for several species of wild birds. Poultry have been culled and quarantine measures introduced in affected areas.

Nineteen African nations held a five-day conference towards the end of April 2006 to discuss how they should prepare for a possible deadly outbreak of bird flu [4]. Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon, Egypt and Burkina Faso are the five African countries with confirmed H5N1 bird flu.

H5N1 has forced the slaughter of 200 million birds so far, as the disease spread from Asia to Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Late last year, thousands of migratory birds mysteriously dropped dead in central Malawi, though tests proved negative for H5N1. But the alarm has already hurt the poultry industry in Malawi, with most importers cancelling orders.

While scientists also say that wild birds are spreading the deadly bird flu, there are strong dissenting voices. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), for example, told the BBC that the trade in birds and the movement of poultry products is a more likely cause [5]. Significantly, there are no migration routes that would take birds from China to Turkey at this time of the year.

There is also little direct evidence that migratory birds carry and transmit H5N1. FAO in collaboration with World Health Organisation (WHO) had admitted in May 2005 [6], “To date, extensive testing of clinically normal migratory birds in the infected countries has not produced any positive results for H5N1 so far.”

After testing hundreds of thousands of wild birds for the disease, scientists have only rarely identified live birds carrying the highly pathogenic H5N1. In a test of 13 000 wild birds in marshes within the bird flu infested provinces of China, the H5N1 virus was found in only 6 ducks [7]. But the scientists could not bring themselves to conclude that wild migrating birds are probably not to blame: “Our data show that H5N1 influenza virus, has continued to spread from its established source in southern China to other regions through transport of poultry and bird migration.”

The reality is that nearly all the wild birds that have tested positive for the disease were dead, and in most cases, found near to outbreaks in domestic poultry [8].

The WHO recently said that viruses from Turkey's first two human cases were virtually identical to those that killed 6 000 migratory birds in a nature reserve, Qinghai, in central China last year. But RSPB's conservation director Dr. Mark Avery insists that the trade in wild birds and the movement of poultry and poultry products, such as chicken manure used to fertilize fish farms, has led directly to the transfer of H5N1 across national boundaries [5].

“No species migrates from Qinghai, China, west to Eastern Europe,” BirdLife's Dr. Richard Thomas said. “When plotted, the pattern of outbreaks follows major road and rail routes, not flyways [8].


Wild birds are the reservoir for influenza viruses
Wild fowl and shore birds are believed to form the reservoir of influenza viruses of type A, (see Box) which cause diseases in many other species, including humans, pigs, horses, mink, cats, marine animals and a range of domestic birds [9].

Influenza viruses
There are 3 types of influenza viruses, A, B and C. The influenza A virus genome consists of 8 segments of RNA coding for 11 proteins, and they are further classified by subtype on the basis of the two main surface glycoproteins (proteins with complex carbohydrate side chains): haemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA). Only influenza A viruses infect birds. Humans can be inflected with influenza types, A, B and C viruses. Subtypes of influenza A currently circulating among people worldwide include H1N1, H1N2, and H3N2 [10].

Avian influenza A viruses of the subtypes H5 and H7, including H5N1, H7N7 and H7N3 viruses have been associated with high pathogenicity, and human infection with these viruses has r anged from mild (H7N3, H7N7) to severe and fatal disease (H7N7, H5N1).

Wild birds are the natural host for all known subtypes of influenza A viruses. In wild birds and poultry throughout the world, influenza A viruses representing 16 HA and 9 NA subtypes have been detected in numerous combinations, such as H1N1, H3N3, H16N3 and so on [9]. Typically wild birds do not become sick when infected.

Domestic poultry such as turkeys and chickens can become very sick and die from avian influenza, and some avian influenza A viruses also can cause serious disease and death in wild birds.

Avian influenza viruses are designated as low pathenogenic (LPAI) when they do no cause disease or only mild disease, and highly pathogenic (HPAI) when they do. The switch from low to high pathogenicity is not fully understood.

The HA protein is synthesized as a single polypeptide precursor, which is cleaved into HA 1 and HA 2 subunits by proteases. The switch from low to highly pathogenic avian virus appears to be associated with basic amino acid residues introduced into the HA cleavage site, which makes the protein easier to cleave and facilitates virus replication.

In general, human infection with avian influenza viruses occurs very infrequently, and has been associated with direct contact with infected sick or dead domestic poultry. At least part of the barrier preventing person-to-person transmission is that the HA protein on the virus' coat must bind to cell surface receptors in order to gain entry into cells. This binding is specific for certain carbohydrate side chains attached to the cell surface receptor proteins. The HA of the avian virus recognizes carbohydrate side chains that end in sialic acid linked to galactose in an a -2,3 chemical bond, i.e., SA- a -2,3-gal, whereas the human influenza virus HA recognizes an a -2,6 chemical bond: SA- a -2,6-gal. The HA protein of H5N1 is typical of avian viruses, which is why the virus cannot replicate sufficiently in a human host for person-to-person transmission to take place. However, many scientists believe that once the H5N1 has mutated its HA to recognize SA- a -2,6-gal, then human transmission would occur, and a global pandemic would result

Influenza viruses evolve by small point mutations (antigenic drift) or large changes due to reassortment (antigenic shift), the mixing of genome segments from different viruses.
 

 

Certain birds, particularly water birds, are thought to act as hosts by carrying the virus in their intestines and shedding it in saliva, nasal secretions and faeces. However, the viruses circulating in wild birds are generally not the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) strains that cause deadly bird flu. They do not cause illness in the birds, and are referred to as low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) viruses. LPAI have been isolated from at least 105 wild bird species of 26 different families. All subtypes have been detected in the bird reservoir and in poultry, whereas relatively few have been detected in other species. Ducks, geese, swans, gulls, terns and waders are the major LPAI virus reservoir, where the virus preferentially infects cells lining the intestinal tract and is excreted in high concentrations in their faeces. Influenza viruses remain infectious in lake water for up to 4 days at 22C, and for more than 30 days at 0C. Faecal to oral transmission is the most frequent route for transmitting viruses, both of high and low pathogenicity.

The species in which influenza viruses are endemic, such as ducks, gulls and waders share the same habitat at least part of the year with other species in which influenza viruses are frequently detected, including geese, swans, rails, petrels and cormorants.

Wild migrating birds mostly follow routes (flyways) that go North-South, but some birds have breeding ranges that cross the Atlantic, and the birds over-winter in the same geographic area in the south. Migrating birds make frequent stops en route where different species congregate, increasing the chances of exchanging viruses among themselves and distributing LPAI viruses between countries and continents.

Since 1997, more than 16 outbreaks of H5 and H7 influenza have occurred among poultry in the United States. Highly pathogenic strains can cause 90 to 100 percent deaths in poultry. So how do low pathogenic viruses become highly pathogenic?

How highly pathogenic bird flu viruses are created
The influenza A virus genome is in eight separate segments. The segmented genome allows the viruses from different species to mix and exchange segments to create new influenza viruses. A pig infected with a human virus and a bird virus at the same time would allow the two viruses to exchange segments to create a new virus that retained most of the genes of the human virus but had the avian haemagglutinin and/or neuraminidase gene(s). The resulting new virus might be able to infect humans and spread from person to person (see Box). If this new virus causes serious illness in humans, then a pandemic would result. This g ene exchange could even take place in a human infected at the same time with human and avian flu viruses.

In 1997, an HPAI outbreak caused by H5N1 occurred in chicken farms and live bird markets in Hong Kong. This resulted in the first reported case of human influenza and death attributable directly to avian influenza virus. The H5N1 HPAI virus reappeared in 2002 in waterfowl at two parks in Hong Kong and was also detected in other captive and wild birds. It resurfaced again in 2003 and devastated the poultry industry in large parts of Southeast Asia since 2004. In 2005, the virus was isolated during an outbreak among migratory birds in Qinghai Lake, China, affecting large numbers of wild birds. This wiped out an estimated 10 percent of the global population of Bar-headed Geese. Subsequently, the virus reappeared across Asia, Europe and the Middle East, and in several African countries. Wild bird deaths have been reported in several of these countries in Europe, particularly affecting Mute Swans and Whooping Swans, but also other waterfowl species, and occasionally in raptors, gulls and herons. So far it has caused mortality in more than 60 wild bird species [9].

But do wild migratory bird carry and spread HPAI as has been claimed, or are they just the victims of the deadly bird flu viruses that emerge in domestic fowl?

Genetic analysis provide no evidence that wild birds are to blame
Genetic analysis of avian influenza viruses in the public databases, based on the matrix protein gene M, reveals that the viruses can be divided into two distinct lineages [9], Eurasian and American, reflecting the long-term ecological and geographical separations of the hosts. Both lineages are also quite separate from human influenza viruses. The H5N1 highly pathogenic influenza viruses form a lineage derived from the Eurasian lineage.

The genetic separation between Eurasian and North American avian flu viruses is a bit surprising, as the bird fauna of North America and Eurasia are not absolutely isolated from each other. Some ducks and shore birds cross the Bering Strait during migration or have breeding ranges that include both the Russian Far East and Northwestern North America.

There are also other aspects of the virus that would appear to encourage genetic exchange between the two groups of avian flu viruses when the host birds meet up, such as the reassortment of viral genome segments (see above). Apart from that, the usual process of recombination (exchange of parts of genome segments) could also occur.

Not only do the avian flu viruses of Eurasia and North America form distinct lineages, the gulls in Eurasia and North America also each have their own distinct lineage of viruses. The evidence suggests that there are strong interspecific barriers to gene exchange, and it is not easy for viruses to jump species, and that complex adaptations are needed to achieve sustained transmission of the virus in a new species [11] (see “What can you believe about the bird flu pandemic?” this series).

The fact remains that HPAI viruses such as H5N1 are not endemic in wild birds as they are in domestic poultry, and when wild birds do contract the HPAI viruses, they succumb in large numbers, and are in no state to further transmit the disease along their usual migration routes .

As the researchers conclude [9]: “For the H5N1 virus, it is without doubt that domestic waterfowl, specific farming practices, and agroecological environments played a key role in the occurrence, maintenance, and spread of HPAI for many affected countries… Although numerous wild birds have also become infected, it has been much debated whether they play an active role in the geographic spread of the disease…”

Fowl play in deadly bird flu
Wild birds are not the only victims of bird flu; the other victims are small farmers and ordinary people who keep domestic fowl in their backyard to supplement their income or diet.

In response to the spread of bird flu, governments around the world are destroying backyard flocks and making indoor confinement of poultry mandatory [8, 12]. So far, 16 countries in Europe, Asia and Africa have imposed bans or restrictions on outdoors poultry farming. Forced confinement of poultry threatens the livelihood and food security of small- scale farmers and poor families in countries affected by bird flu. In Southeast Asia, governments, supported by the FAO, are encouraging framers to set up mesh screens or bamboo enclosures for their poultry. The costs, estimated at US$50-70, are simply beyond the means of Asia's small farmers, and are forcing them to abandon poultry altogether [8]. Forced confinement also threatens certified organic poultry operations, grass-fed pastured poultry and free-range egg production [12].

Quebec in Canada has imposed strict rules that require all farmers to keep poultry indoors and to keep wild birds out; despite the fact that the Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Centre survey of wild birds has found no incidence of HPAI in Canada [13].

Factory farms and globalised poultry trade are to blame
There is growing evidence that HPAI originates in factory farms and is spread not by migrating wild birds so much as by the globalised poultry trade. In low-density backyard flocks, a high pathogenic bird flu virus will simply kill all the birds quickly without infecting other birds. In a factory farm with a high density of birds, however, the virus can spread and multiply rapidly throughout the huge confined flock, and beyond that, via the global trade in live birds, eggs, virus-contaminated feed and manure, across country borders and across continents.

There is indeed strong correlation between exposure to factory farms and incidence of HPAI. Thailand, China and Vietnam, all have a highly developed poultry industry that has expanded dramatically. Production of chicken meat in Southeast Asia - Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam – jumped from around 300 000 tonnes in 1971 to 2 440 000 tonnes in 2001 [8]. China's production of chicken tripled during the 1990s to over 9 million tonnes a year. Practically all the new poultry production has happened on factory farms outside major cities and is integrated into the transnational production system. Live birds and eggs are exported to countries such as Nigeria (where the first HAI outbreak in Africa occurred), as well as ‘feed' which often includes litter (i.e., manure) in the ingredients. Nigeria has a large and poorly regulated factory poultry sector that is supplied with chicks from factory farms in China [14]

Manure that may contain live virus is spread on surrounding farmland, or exported as fertilizer and through run-off, may end up in surface waters where wild birds feed and rest. Chicken manure is even found in fish farm feed formulations where it is introduced directly into the aquatic environment.

Wild birds and poultry that have fallen victim to HPAI in Asia, Turkey and Nigeria appear to have been directly exposed to HPAI virus originating in the factory farm system.

In Asia, a flock of wild ducks died from HPAI after having come into contact with the disease at a remote lake where a fish farm used feed pellets made from poultry litter from a factory farm [8]. In Turkey, a massive cull of backyard flocks – and the deaths of three children – took place after a nearby factory farm sold sick and dying birds to local peasants at cut-rate prices.

Recent genetic evidence suggests that domestic ducks may act as a reservoir of H5N1 influenza viruses after the virus has emerged [15]. H5N1 viruses were isolated from apparently healthy domestic ducks in Mainland China from 1999 to 2002, and researchers found that the isolates were becoming progressively more pathogenic for mammals . Twenty-one viruses isolated were confirmed to be H5N1 subtype and antigenically similar to the virus that was the source of the 1997 Hong Kong bird flu haemagglutinin gene. All are highly pathogenic in chickens, most causing 100 percent mortality, although the earliest isolates were less lethal. When tested on mice, however, there was a marked increase in pathogenicity with time. The earliest seven isolates were non-pathogenic or of low pathogenicity, the next seven were more pathogenic and the last four, highly pathogenic. The results suggest that while circulating in domestic ducks, H5N1 viruses gradually acquired the characteristics that make them lethal in mice. One possible explanation is the transmission of duck H5N1 viruses to humans, the selective evolution of the viruses in humans, and their subsequent transmission back to ducks.

The presence of H5N1 viruses lethal to chickens from apparently healthy farmed ducks is another important route for the virus to spread through trade.

Blaming and devastating the victims
Numerous papers, statements and documents issued by the United Nations FAO, WHO, and government agencies have been silent on the role of industrial poultry farming in the bird flu crisis, and indeed, have proposed to compensate them generously for loss profits (see above). Instead, the finger is pointed at backyard farms, calling for tighter controls of their operations and greater “restructuring” of the poultry sector.

The big poultry corporations are even trying to use the bird flu outbreaks to shut down small-scale poultry farming altogether. “We cannot control migratory birds but we can surely work hard to close down as many backyard farms as possible,” declared Margaret Say, Southeast Asian director for the USA Poultry and Egg Export Council.

A team of scientists who analysed the H5N1 epidemic in Thailand 2004 found that the risks for HPAI infection were 5.3, 5.1 1.5, 32.4 and 2.3 times higher, respectively in commercial layers, broilers, ducks, quails and geese than in back yard chickens [16]. This is clear evidence corroborating other findings that corporate factory farms are to blame, and not backyard farms. On that basis, we should be calling for closure of factory farms, not family farms.

Genetic engineering scientists too, are taking this opportunity to promote their wares: transgenic ‘flu-resistant' chickens [8]. “Once we have regulatory approval, we believe it will take between four and five years to breed enough [transgenic] chickens to replace the entire world population,” said Laurence Tiley, Professor of Molecular Virology at Cambridge University in the UK. Genetic engineering is the best way to breach species barriers and to allow viruses to jump species to create pandemics (see “What can you believe about bird flu?” this series).

 

AND HERE IS MORE...

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20060410/vonhoffman


March 28, 2006
Avian Flu Over the Cuckoo's Nest 
Nicholas von Hoffman
 
Is it Mother Nature or Father Human Greed whom we have to blame for avian flu?

A few days ago the Union of Concerned Scientists sent out an e-mail saying, "A study by the international non-governmental organization GRAIN suggests that avian influenza is spread primarily by the global poultry trade, not migratory birds or free-range poultry operations as has been suggested, and that confined factory farm production contributed to its mutation into its current deadly form. The organization tracked the movements of the disease over time and found that they were correlated, not with migratory bird routes or the locations of free-range farms, but with integrated trade networks involving poultry, eggs, meat, feathers, manure and animal feed. US Department of Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns warned that bird flu will almost certainly come to the United States."

An article on the website of the biodiversity agency Grain titled "Fowl Play: The Poultry Industry's Central Role in the Bird Flu Crisis" is yet one more reminder that things are not always as they tell us they are. Maybe the migrating swallows and arctic terns are not carrying the H5N1 flu virus after all, and why do we have to wait for the Union of Concerned Scientists to hip us to the knowledge that the disease rarely occurs in small family flocks but rather mostly in farm factories where chickens are raised by the tens of thousands inside, under unsanitary and debilitating conditions that make them soft prey for the virus. Overly large, unregulated agribusiness is at it again.
 
All of this is but a new version of an old truth: There is no money, or not enough money, in health. From a business point of view prevention of disease or disability is a chump's game, whether you are talking about Canadian geese, a Rhode Island red hen or a person. The big bucks are in sickness. You can make money getting people sick by selling them bad food and make more money selling them remedies for what you did to them.

So the same Grain article also brings the startling news that "one of the standard ingredients in industrial chicken feed, and most industrial animal feed, is 'poultry litter.' This is a euphemism for whatever is found on the floor of the factory farms: fecal matter, feathers, bedding, etc. Chicken meat, under the label 'animal byproduct meal,' also goes into industrial chicken feed. The WHO (World Health Organization) says that bird flu can survive in bird feces for up to 35 days and, in a recent update to its bird flu fact sheet, it mentions feed as a possible medium for the spread of bird flu between farms. Russian authorities pointed to feed as one of the main suspected sources of an H5N1 outbreak at a large-scale factory farm in Kurgan province, where 460,000 birds were killed. Yet globally, nothing is being done to tighten regulations or monitoring of the feed industry. Instead it often seems that the industry, not governments, is calling the shots."


Thus the don't-fence-me-in, don't-regulate-me cowboys of the food business may kill us by breeding sick chickens and may kill the chickens by feeding them contaminated food--which, of course, they sell. Yippeee-ay-yea, bring on the pandemic! But there is yet another way of wringing legitimate profits out of this disease, which, if the most pessimistic predictions turn out to be true, may cause one out of five of us to turn up our toes and head for the great chicken factory in the sky.

That other way is selling us expensive medicine that does not work in case we come down with avian flu. The medicine in question is Tamiflu, which may cure Tamiflu but doesn't cure avian flu. Nevertheless, they can't make the stuff fast enough. They are back-ordered into the next century.

If that were not fun enough, Grain has also discovered that Donald Rumsfeld is a major stockholder in Gilead Sciences, which licenses Tamiflu. Whether or not Tamiflu is of the slightest use to avian flu sufferers, it is of great profitability to the secretary of defense, since Gilead is expected to make $118 million from Tamiflu sales this year. Somebody has laid a big, fat egg here.

MORE.....

Dead Birds Don't Fly

It follows exactly what was presented at the recent Avian Flu conference that I attended for health care providers.
Some key points:
<< The spread of highly pathogenic H5N1 in poultry throughout Asia is almost entirely due to human activity.  The virus has been able to travel large distances through the buying and selling of infected birds (both in large
shipments and individual birds bought and sold at live bird markets); by hitching a ride on transport equipment (e.g., vehicles, cages, egg crates) or workers' clothing and shoes; and through contact with contaminated manure, soil and litter.9

<< H5N1 can survive in cool temperatures in manure for at least three months, and a single gram of manure can contain enough viral material to infect 1 million birds. In water, the virus survives for four days at 72°F and 30 days at 32°F. It can survive indefinitely in frozen poultry meat. Eggs can also harbor the virus. Proper cooking (to 162°F) of poultry meat and eggs will deactivate the virus. Good hygienic practices such as separating raw meat from cooked or ready-to-eat foods (i.e., using different knives and cutting boards) and washing hands after handling frozen or raw meat and eggs will ensure the virus is not spread through food. To date, no human has been infected from properly handled food.10

<< It could be that the current strain has evolved specifically for domestic poultry, whose short lives spent in close quarters require the virus to jump quickly from bird to bird to survive. Wild waterfowl may actually be getting infected via domestic poultry rather than the other way around. Yet another possibility is that some other migratory bird species, even one who spends most of its time on or over land, could be transmitting the virus. At this time, the connection between migratory birds and highly pathogenic H5N1 transmission is patchy and
the consensus among scientists seems to be that migratory birds probably play some role, but that HUMAN ACTIVITY CONTINUES TO BE THE MAIN MODE OF TRANSMISSION. 12

<< Free-range and organic poultry have an advantage over their caged-raised counterparts in regards to the vitality of their immune systems. Confined poultry are more stressed due to the large density of other birds, poor
ventilation and lack of exercise. Free-range poultry are not subject to those conditions. In addition, they are constantly exposed to low levels of pathogens that naturally reside in the environment and this exposure further
strengthens their immune system. Many of the poultry lines employed by free-range farmers have been bred to live outdoors and resist infection.15,16
>>

READ IT ALL!

http://www.agobservatory.org/library.cfm?refid=80410

 

 AND MORE...

Once in awhile, I feel the urge to go back into the arena where
consensus reality is being created by the liars, thieves, cheats,
killers, and the PR nut cases they employ.

Normally, when this impulse comes upon me, I rest for a few minutes
until it passes.

But in the case of woo woo bird flu, I have to give in, because it's
such a great illustration of manifestation at its worst. If anyone needs
further evidence that he should be creating his own future, as opposed
to surrendering to the culture, this is it.

Now, readers of this site know I've been on the bird-flu case for some
time. I reject ALL the so-called evidence that the H5N1 virus is a
health problem for humans. I've described in detail how the medical
tests for the virus---which are the sole foundation for any claims of a
coming pandemic---are useless and deceptive and meaningless and stupid
and fraudulent at the core.

And that's just the beginning of the hoax.

But let's look at recent developments on the PR front. They're cosmic in
their lunacy.

First, we have the breaking story that ABC is going to air a made-for-TV
movie on May 9, just in time for sweeps week, during which ratings
become life-and-death propositions for the networks.

The title of this movie? FATAL CONTACT: BIRD FLU IN AMERICA.

Oh yeah.

Rope the viewers in. Terrorize the suckers and the rubes.

ABC PR states, " follows an outbreak of an Avian Flu from its origins in
a Hong Kong market through its mutation into a virus transmittable from
human to human around the world."

Last night, I saw a trailer/promo for the film on ABC. People shooting
at each other in the streets. Law-enforcement guys with guns. Hysteria.

Okay. So much for the movie.

Next, we have glimpses, in the press, of the brand-new bird-flu
containment plan the White House is laying out. I've snipped some quotes
from an April 16 Washington Post piece.

U.S. Plan For Flu Pandemic Revealed
Multi-Agency Proposal Awaits Bush's Approval
By Ceci Connolly
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, April 16, 2006; Page A01

President Bush is expected to approve soon a national pandemic influenza
response plan that identifies more than 300 specific tasks for federal
agencies, including determining which frontline workers should be the
first vaccinated and expanding Internet capacity to handle what would
probably be a flood of people working from their home computers.

The Treasury Department is poised to sign agreements with other nations
to produce currency if U.S. mints cannot operate. The Pentagon,
anticipating difficulties acquiring supplies from the Far East, is
considering stockpiling millions of latex gloves. And the Department of
Veterans Affairs has developed a drive-through medical exam to quickly
assess patients who suspect they have been infected.

The document is the first attempt to spell out in some detail how the
government would detect and respond to an outbreak, and continue
functioning through what could be an 18-month crisis, which in a
worst-case scenario could kill 1.9 million Americans. Bush was briefed
on a draft of the implementation plan on March 17...

...Experts project that the next pandemic -- depending on severity and
countermeasures -- could kill 210,000 to 1.9 million Americans.
To keep the 1.8 million federal workers healthy and productive through a
pandemic, the Bush administration would tap into its secure stash of
medications, cancel large gatherings, encourage schools to close and
shift air traffic controllers to the busier hubs -- probably where flu
had not yet struck. Retired federal employees would be summoned back to
work, and National Guard troops could be dispatched to cities facing
possible "insurrection," said Jeffrey W. Runge, chief medical officer at
the Department of Homeland Security.

The administration hopes to help contain the first cases overseas by
rushing in medical teams and supplies. "If there is a small outbreak in
a country, it may behoove us to introduce travel restrictions," Runge
said, "to help stamp out that spark."

However, even an effective containment effort would merely postpone the
inevitable, said Ellen P. Embrey, deputy assistant secretary for force
health preparedness and readiness at the Pentagon. "Unfortunately, we
believe the forest fire will burn before we are able to contain it
overseas, and it will arrive on our shores in multiple locations," she
said.

...The federal government -- as well as private businesses -- should
expect as much as 40 percent of its workforce to be out during a
pandemic, said Bruce Gellin, director of the National Vaccine Program
Office at HHS. Some will be sick or dead; others could be depressed, or
caring for a loved one or staying at home to prevent spread of the
virus. "The problem is, you never know which 40 percent will be out," he
said.

The Agriculture Department, with 4 million square feet of office space
in metropolitan Washington alone, would likely stagger shifts, close
cafeterias and cancel face-to-face meetings, said Peter Thomas, the
acting assistant secretary for administration...

Operating the largest health-care organization in the nation, the VA has
directed its 153 hospitals to stock up on other medications, equipment,
food and water, said chief public health officer Lawrence Deyton. "But
it's a few days' worth, not enough to last months," he added...

end of Post snips

You get the idea. Putting down INSURRECTIONS. No more Bill of Rights for
the duration of the "pandemic." Chaos. Protect government workers first
and foremost. The usual.

Based on ZERO scientific evidence, all this is swinging into gear.

And most people say, "Well, if the government is going to do all THIS,
the threat must be real."

Yeah. That's precisely what you're supposed to think.

They're manifesting your world for you.

You can go along with it and believe in the PR, or you can manifest your
own future. Your choice.

However.....out of the mists comes something else entirely. The date is
April 15, two days before the Washington Post article I just quoted from.

An article in the Tacoma Tribune. It reports on a big-time public-health
conference in downtown Tacoma. 1200 people in attendance. The featured
speaker? Julie Gerberding, the head of the CDC.

The CDC is the nation's premiere public-health agency, especially when
it comes to contagious disease threats.

And what did Julie say?

Read on.

HEADLINE: Bird flu threat not so grave, CDC chief says

M. ALEXANDER OTTO; The News Tribune
Published: April 15th, 2006 01:00 AM

Federal health officials at a meeting Friday in Tacoma downplayed the
risk bird flu poses to humans, contrasting earlier warnings from the
federal government.

"There is no evidence it will be the next pandemic," Dr. Julie
Gerberding, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in
Atlanta, said of avian flu. There is "no evidence it is evolving in a
direction that is becoming more transmissible to people."

Gerberding spoke at the Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center at a
pandemic flu conference that drew 1,200 people from across the state,
mostly health department officials and others involved in emergency
planning.

Other officials from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,
the U.S. Department of Agriculture and elsewhere joined her. Gov. Chris
Gregoire and several upper-level state officials also spoke.

Gerberding's comments on bird flu contrast earlier statements from the
federal government that tended to emphasize worse-case scenarios.

In a November letter to the public, for instance, President Bush
encouraged preparing "ourselves, our nation, and our world to fight this
potentially devastating outbreak of infectious disease."

The concern is that the H5N1 strain of bird flu virus will mutate into a
form passed easily between people.

end of article excerpt

NO EVIDENCE OF A PANDEMIC.

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPS.

Of course, you can speculate that the CDC is just trying to keep people
calm in the face of what will be a devastating epidemic. But then why
make such a categorical statement?

It's called cover your ass. Because at every level of medical research,
there are people who know what's what, who see the incredible overplay
and lies and self-aggrandizing behavior and the non-science. They see
it. And somewhere on the record, it would be nice if a big-time
bureaucrat like Julie Gerberding made that point in her own way. For later.

She chose Tacoma. Not Washington DC. Not Atlanta, home of the CDC.
Tacoma. A little out-of-the-way city.

Where the press coverage is not very heavy.

Naturally, the government has backup for the backup for the backup. It
goes this way: "Well, even if H5N1 bird flu turns out to be a dud, we
know that some day there WILL be a pandemic, and we have to get ready.
We have to have a plan."

Which is like saying, "Chicken Little was right. He just had the timing
wrong. The sky will fall. It may happen next month or in 1000 years.
During an inter-galactic war that takes place a billion light years from
Earth, a missile will be fired and it will miss its target. It will ride
on in space, and eventually this super-duper thingo will arrive here and
chop away half the planet. So let's get ready now."

I'm ready. I have six bottles of water in the closet.

On the other hand, faced with such a mountain of lies and crap and
contradiction, it makes a lot more sense to get on the royal road, where
each one of us manifests, with power, what we truly desire.

You can go along with them.

Or you can go along with you.

JON RAPPOPORT www.nomorefakenews.com <http://www.nomorefakenews.com>

 

CONTROLLING OUR IMPORTS, NOT TAGGING OUR CHICKENS, TO STOP DISEASE!

We import WAY more than we export (trade deficit) - it makes far more sense and would cost less to control and/or quaratine imported animals/animal products than it will be to try to ID and track the billions of animals in our nation. Tracking American animals would not stop bird flu if brought into our country through a situation like below...

POULTRY NEWS
Authorities looking for smuggled poultry linked to bird flu
 
by Alicia Karapetian on 7/13/2006 for Meatingplace.com
 

Federal and local officials in Michigan are trying to locate a load of frozen poultry products smuggled into the United States from regions in China afflicted with highly pathogenic avian influenza.

A Chinese restaurant supplier in Michigan — who is missing and may face criminal charges — bought the geese, ducks and chickens from China, the Detroit Free Press reports.

Federal officials became aware of the illegal poultry in early June and then seized meat from the restaurant supplier's warehouse. Officials later obtained 1,600 pounds of meat from the same warehouse earlier this month, but all of the product was destroyed before it could be tested for AI.

Details surrounding the importation are unclear. Some reports indicate that a portion of the product was caught in New Jersey, but it appears the poultry that surfaced in Michigan was labeled either entirely in Chinese or as tilapia fish.

The Agriculture Department and Michigan state officials are investigating the incident.

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With the NAIS, rubber duckies will be the only ducks your children can have!