Smithfield Farms Fled US Environmental Laws to Open a Gigantic Pig Farm in Mexico, and All We Got Was this Lousy Swine Flu
By Al Giordano
Special to The Narco News Bulletin
April 29, 2009
US and Mexico authorities claim that neither knew about the "swine flu" outbreak until April 24. But after hundreds of residents of a town in Veracruz, Mexico, came down with its symptoms, the story had already hit the Mexican national press by April 5. The daily La Jornada reported:
Clouds of flies emanate from the rusty lagoons where the Carroll Ranches business tosses the fecal wastes of its pig farms, and the open-air contamination is already generating an epidemic of respiratory infections in the town of La Gloria, in the Perote Valley, according to Town Administrator Bertha Crisóstomo López.
The town has 3,000 inhabitants, hundreds of whom reported severe flu symptoms in March.
CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta, reporting from Mexico, has identified a La Gloria child who contracted the first case of identified "swine flu" in February as "patient zero," five-year-old Edgar Hernández, now a survivor of the disease.
By April 15 – nine days before Mexican federal authorities of the regime of President Felipe Calderon acknowledged any problem at all – the local daily newspaper, Marcha, reported that a company called Carroll Ranches was "the cause of the epidemic."
La Jornada columnist Julio Hernández López connects the corporate dots to explain how the Virginia-based Smithfield Farms came to Mexico: In 1985, Smithfield Farms received what was, at the time, the most expensive fine in history – $12.6 million – for violating the US Clean Water Act at its pig facilities near the Pagan River in Smithfield, Virginia, a tributary that flows into the Chesapeake Bay. The company, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) dumped hog waste into the river.
It was a case in which US environmental law succeeded in forcing a polluter, Smithfield Farms, to construct a sewage treatment plant at that facility after decades of using the river as a mega-toilet. But "free trade" opened a path for Smithfield Farms to simply move its harmful practices next door into Mexico so that it could evade the tougher US regulators.
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) came into effect on January 1, 1994. That very same year Smithfield Farms opened the "Carroll Ranches" in the Mexican state of Veracruz through a new subsidiary corporation, "Agroindustrias de México."
Unlike what law enforcers forced upon Smithfield Farms in the US, the new Mexican facility – processing 800,000 pigs into bacon and other products per year – does not have a sewage treatment plant.
According to Rolling Stone magazine, Smithfield slaughters an estimated 27 million hogs a year to produce more than six billion pounds of packaged pork products. (The Veracruz facility thus constitutes about three percent of its total production.)
Reporter Jeff Teitz reported in 2006 on the conditions in Smithfield's US facilities (remember: what you are about to read describes conditions that are more sanitary and regulated than those in Mexico):
Smithfield's pigs live by the hundreds or thousands in warehouse-like barns, in rows of wall-to-wall pens. Sows are artificially inseminated and fed and delivered of their piglets in cages so small they cannot turn around. Forty fully grown 250-pound male hogs often occupy a pen the size of a tiny apartment. They trample each other to death. There is no sunlight, straw, fresh air or earth. The floors are slatted to allow excrement to fall into a catchment pit under the pens, but many things besides excrement can wind up in the pits: afterbirths, piglets accidentally crushed by their mothers, old batteries, broken bottles of insecticide, antibiotic syringes, stillborn pigsanything small enough to fit through the foot-wide pipes that drain the pits. The pipes remain closed until enough sewage accumulates in the pits to create good expulsion pressure; then the pipes are opened and everything bursts out into a large holding pond.
The temperature inside hog houses is often hotter than ninety degrees. The air, saturated almost to the point of precipitation with gases from shit and chemicals, can be lethal to the pigs. Enormous exhaust fans run twenty-four hours a day. The ventilation systems function like the ventilators of terminal patients: If they break down for any length of time, pigs start dying.
Consider what happens when such forms of massive pork production move to unregulated territory where Mexican authorities allow wealthy interests to do business without adequate oversight, abusing workers and the environment both. And there it is: The violence wrought by NAFTA in clear and understandable human terms.
The so-called "swine flu" exploded because an environmental disaster simply moved (and with it, took jobs from US workers) to Mexico where environmental and worker safety laws, if they exist, are not enforced against powerful multinational corporations.
False mental constructs of borders – the kind that cause US and Mexican citizens alike to imagine a flu strain like this one invading their nations from other lands – are taking a long overdue hit by the current "swine flu" media frenzy. In this case, US-Mexico trade policy created a time bomb in Veracruz that has already murdered more than 150 Mexican citizens, and at least one child in the US, by creating a gigantic Petri dish in the form pig farms to generate bacon and ham for international sale.
None of that indicates that this flu strain was born in Mexico, but, rather, that the North American Free Trade Agreement created the optimal conditions for the flu to gestate and become, at minimum, epidemic in La Gloria and, now, Mexico City, and threatens to become international pandemic.
Welcome to the aftermath of "free trade." Authorities now want you to grab a hospital facemask and avoid human contact until the outbreak hopefully blows over. And if you start to feel dizzy, or a flush with fever, or other symptoms begin to molest you or your children, remember this: The real name of this infirmity is "The NAFTA Flu," the first of what may well emerge as many new illnesses to emerge internationally as the direct result of "free trade" agreements that allow companies like Smithfield Farms to escape health, safety and environmental laws.
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Natural Antivirals Read below what not to take no porque sea natural es bueno...hay que evitar ciertos productos cuando hay influenza
Submitted by Health Gazette on Thu, 2006-05-11 Alternative Medicine
Regular readers know that I have no time for the nonsense relating to imagined bird-flu pandemics. However. I regarded the following item of sufficient novelty to be of some interest. You may judge its merits for yourself.
Research suggests certain natural foods may be as effective against virus H5N1 as commercial antivirals.
(PRWEB) May 10, 2006 -- A Biology teacher from Australia, named Stephen Jones, has done extensive research into the H5N1 virus and compiled a list of natural foods that are effective against it and listed others that are detrimental.
The list may come as a surprise to many people since foods such as spirulina and echinacea are listed as detrimental. This strange occurrence is largely due to the fact that the virus is immune to 2 cytokines that the body produces (TNF-a and IL-6). Cytokines are compounds produced by the body’s immune system that attack and remove foreign bodies. The problem is that when a foreign body is immune to certain cytokines, the body sees that its immune response is not working and tries even harder, which can lead to what is called a cytokine storm, where the body becomes flooded with these compounds and they eventually destroy the body itself. Foods such as Echinacea actually stimulate the production of these specific cytokines; hence consuming it is not a good idea if one suspects they may have the virus.
During the 1918 Spanish Flu many healthy young people died from cytokine storms due to their immune systems overreacting. Consuming foods which suppress the production of cytokines TNF-a and IL-6 and enhance the production of the ones that actually are effective against the virus will aid the patient greatly.
Other foods that create mucous in the respiratory tract, such as bananas, are also listed as detrimental due to the fact that the predominant breeding ground of the virus is the respiratory tract and another way in which a patient may suffer is due to the body's over production of mucous in this area.
Folk Medicines and Herbs to use and avoid with Bird Flu
Below is a list of foods that are said to contain substances that are natural antivirals, immune boosters or they decrease cytokines TNF-a and IL-6.
Alternative medications that are most likely to help us during a severe pandemic:
Garlic (allicin) - Very effective antiviral. Best if fresh (raw) and crushed. Must be consumed within 1 hour of crushing. Dosage is initially 2 to 3 cloves per day but later reduce until no body odour occurs. No toxic effects noted. (Pubmed PMID 9049657)
Vitamin C - Boosts the immune system and is an antiviral by blocking the enzyme neuraminadase. Viruses need neuraminadase to reproduce. There are anecdotal stories of people taking large amounts of Vitamin C (children ½) surviving the Spanish Flu. Research shows that it may reduce the production of cytokines TNF-a and IL-6. A study on 470 people involved giving the test group 1000 mg hourly for 6 hours and then 1000 mg 3 times daily after reporting flu symptoms. Symptoms decreased by 85%. (Pubmed PMID 10543583, 634178, 16169205, 12876306)
Green Tea (possible Tamiflu/Relenza alternative)- Very effective antiviral. Also decreases the production of the cytokine (catechins) TNF-a. Inhibits neuraminidase. May have antiviral activity that is equal to other antivirals such as Tamiflu. (Pubmed PMID 16137775)
St Johns Wort (Hypericum) - Very effective antiviral. Also decreases the production of the cytokine IL-6. Hypericum is an extract from St John’s Wort. There have been some very successful field trials in commercial flocks infected with H5N1 in Vietnam. (Pubmed PMID 7857513, 11518071, 11362353, 7857513, 11518071)
Vitamin E - Immune booster. Also decreases the production of the cytokine TNF-a. (Pubmed PMID 155882360, 10929076) Experiments involved using mice. Very suitable for immune compromised people, especially the elderly. Effects enhanced when taken with Vitamin C.
Apple Juice - Antiviral. Fresh apple juice including the pulp and skin has greater antiviral activity than heated commercial apple juice. More research is needed. Effectiveness on H5N1 is unknown. (Pubmed PMID 32832, 12452634)
Resveratrol - Antiviral. In addition to inhibiting neuraminidase, Resveratrol also sends a message to cells to stop manufacturing viruses. This is a proven antiviral found naturally in red wine, peanuts, mulberries, Japanese Knotwood root (richest source), raisins and red grapes. Resveratrol supplements are relatively inexpensive, are more stable than wine and is available in liquid form for absorption in the mouth. No toxic effects noted. (Pubmed PMID 1583880, 12817628, 15985724)
Scuttellaria (Skullcap) - Antiviral. A herb used as a tea. It has no side effects and is also a mild tranquilliser. Research suggests neuraminidase, which is a substance needed by the H5N1 virus to reproduce, may be inhibited.
Cranberry Juice - Early research shows that it may be an antiviral, making viruses less able to invade or multiply. Effectiveness on H5N1 is unknown. (Pubmed PMID15781126)
Cat’s Claw (Uncaria tomentosa) - Decreases the production of the cytokine TNF-a. Also boosts immune system. The number of white blood cells was significantly increased during treatment. No toxicity was noted. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?CMD=search&DB=pubmed) Active constituents can be found in the leaves, bark, vine, and roots. Water extraction from bark used. Children and pregnant women are to avoid. Has a potentially damaging effect on the DNA of proliferating cells. (cancers, foetuses, growing children)
Curcumin (Tumeric Spice) - Decreases the production of the cytokine TNF-a. This is the yellow compound in turmeric spice. Research shows that this may be very good for preventing a cytokine storm although this is not proven. Must be taken with food or gastritis or peptic ulcers may occur. Pregnant women and feeding mothers should avoid this. The medicinal properties of curcurnin cannot be utilised when used alone due to rapid metabolism in the liver and intestinal wall. When combined with Piperine found in black pepper the absorption is increased with no adverse effects. Obtainable from health stores in tablets, liquid, capsules already combined with piperine. Dosage is 500mg to 4000mg daily.
Astragalus root (Astragali Radix) - Boosts immune system. (Pubmed PMID15588652)
Tea tree Steam Inhalation - Reduces the cytokine TNF-a. Add 2 drops of tea tree oil in a bowl of steaming water. Cover head with a towel and inhale for 5 to 10 minutes. Relieves congestion and fights infection. Its effectiveness is unknown. (Pubmed PMID 11131302)
The following substances may be best to avoid during a H5N1 pandemicNO T OMAR
Elderberry juice (Sambucal) - AVOID - Increases production of cytokines TNF-a and IL-6. This substance is very effective against the common flu but may not be desirable for the H5N1 virus. Increases in these cytokines may trigger a lethal cytokine storm. (Isr Med Journal2002 Nov;4:944-6)
Micro Algae (Chlorella and Spirulina) - AVOID - Increases production of cytokine TNF-a. (Pubmed PMID 11731916)
Honey - AVOID - Increases production of cytokines TNF-a and IL-6. (Pubmed PMID12824009)
Chocolate - AVOID - Increases production of cytokines TNF-a and IL-6. (Pubmed PMID 12885154, PMID 10917928)
Echinacea - AVOID - Increases production of cytokines TNF-a and IL-6. Although it is often used for normal flu, research shows that it may increase the chance of cytokine storms for H5N1. (Pubmed PMID 15556647, 9568541)
Kimchi - AVOID - Increases production of cytokines TNF-a and IL-6. (Pubmed PMID15630182)
Dairy products & Bananas - AVOID - These foods increase mucous production.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/ (search using Pubmed ID number listed after each food)