Originally published June 15 2015
Poultry producers worry about proposed bird flu vaccine; jab could SPREAD more bird flu across America!
by Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
(NaturalNews) As the mainstream media rouses up mass panic over bird flu, despite the fact that there have only been a handful of confirmed cases in mostly commercial animals, some poultry producers are proposing drastic reactionary measures including mass vaccination that threaten to not only harm the poultry industry financially but also spread more bird flu across the country.
Some turkey producers in the Midwest are reportedly pushing the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to approve a novel vaccine for bird flu that would be the first of its kind ever used on poultry animals intended for human consumption. The vaccine hasn't even undergone testing or been proven to work, of course, but the "act first, ask questions later" segment of the factory food industry thinks it's a great idea.
The normally pro-jab USDA isn't even on board, contending that the vaccine fails to demonstrate both safety and effectiveness. Other poultry producers also worry that consumers will reject meat and eggs from flu-vaccinated chickens, as will countries that import U.S.-based factory chicken meat and egg products.
Then there's the issue of live virus shedding, which has gained considerable attention in recent months due to the media's scare campaign over measles. It's a fact that many flu vaccines contain attenuated (weakened) live virus, and the proposed bird flu vaccine is no exception.
"Certain segments of the industry certainly do want to vaccinate, but it comes with complications," said James Sumner, president of the USA Poultry and Egg Export Council, warning that vaccinating chickens and turkeys for bird flu comes with major economic risks. "I don't think there are too many countries that have vaccinated and found it successful for their industry."
Multi-billion-dollar export industry for poultry, eggs to crumble with introduction of bird flu vaccine As it turns out, the U.S. is a major exporter of both poultry and eggs. Some $5.7 billion worth of these products, in fact, three-quarters of which comes from the broiler industry, is shipped overseas every year, often to countries with strict standards for animal drugs and vaccines. Introducing an untested, ineffective vaccine, in other words, could cause these valued importers to shift their purchasing elsewhere.
The USA Poultry and Egg Export Council estimates the current bird flu scare to have caused about $600 million in trade losses just in the first quarter of this year alone. If a bird flu vaccine is introduced, these losses could skyrocket even further, effectively killing the conventional poultry industry.
"We are opposed to using it without it being tested fully," stated Mike Cockrell, chief financial officer of Sanderson Farms Inc., the third largest poultry producer in the U.S., to Fox News about the vaccine.
USDA: No bird flu vaccine except as a last resort John Glisson, vice president of research for the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association, seems to agree. He told the media that improved disinfection methods on farms and the swift destruction of infected flocks are among the only ways to truly eradicate the disease. Vaccines, he stated, won't actually do much to tackle the virus itself.
"We know we can't just vaccinate the birds and live with the virus," Glisson is quoted as saying. "We've got to get rid of this virus."
Most of the roughly 46 million birds that have already been destroyed during the current outbreak weren't actually infected with bird flu, but were rather culled out of fear or precaution. Meanwhile, the USDA has indicated its support for a bird flu vaccine only as a last resort if nothing else proves effective.
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