retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Wall Street Journal reports that Smithfield Foods is saying that while the Mexican government is testing hogs on one of its farms there, no evidence has been found of the swine flu virus there.

Smithfield has been emphasizing in its communications that it routinely tests its own animals for swine flu and has yet to come up with a positive test.

Here’s an interest passage from the Journal story:

“A recently released World Organization for Animal Health briefing said ‘the virus has not been isolated in animals to date. Therefore, it is not justified to name this disease swine influenza.’ The organization noted that the virus ‘includes in its characteristics swine, avian and human virus components.’ Instead, the agency said the disease should be called ‘North-American influenza’.”

KC's View:
Good luck with that. Swine flu is going to be called swine flu, no mater what the experts say and what the science suggests.

Also, for better or for worse, one would have to guess that Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) is suddenly going to seem a lot more important…”raised in Mexico” is a phrase that simply isn’t going to seem attractive on pork products.