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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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The Skinny on the Pig Farm Connection
28 April 2009 6:27 pm
Several news reports about the swine flu outbreak have pointed a finger at a massive pig farm in Veracruz, Mexico, as the potential source of the first transmission to humans. Fat chance, says the company.
A local paper went so far as to assert in a headline on 15 April—before the outbreak was officially recognized—that the company, Granjas Carroll, caused an epidemic of respiratory infections in the Veracruz town of La Gloria. The story gained extra momentum yesterday when the Mexican government said the first confirmed case was in a boy from a town near La Gloria. But Mexican Health Secretary José Ángel Córdova stressed that 29 other suspected cases in the town did not have the new swine virus.
Smithfield Foods, the largest producer of hogs in the United States and a 50% owner of Granjas Carroll, strongly rebutted these stories. “Smithfield has no reason to believe that the virus is in any way connected to its operations in Mexico,” the company said in a prepared statement on 26 April. Granjas Carroll tests its swine for influenza each month, according to the statement, and has “found no clinical signs or symptoms of the presence of swine influenza in the company's swine herd or its employees.” Swine influenza is not transmitted by pork products.
The company refused ScienceInsider’s request for an interview, but in a second statement issued today, it again stressed that it was “fully cooperating with Mexican officials” and was “voluntarily submitting new samples from their swine herds for genetic sequence analysis and initial results are expected by week's end.”