Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Debts of the Spenders: Swine Flu and Pork Markets

Potentially good news for lean hogs and hog bellies. (I am writing more about agriculture these days as an aside from finance - it IS possible to bet on America's future on other things besides arcane derivatives and complex math equations).

WASHINGTON (Dow Jones)--U.S. Department of Agriculture scientists are working to create a specific screening test to detect the A/H1N1 swine flu virus in the U.S. swine, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said Thursday.

Swine flu is a common occurrence in pigs in the U.S., but the new A/H1N1 flu contains swine, avian and human viral genes and can be deadly for humans. It has sickened or killed people in Mexico, the U.S. and Canada, but it wasn't actually found in swine until this past weekend, when it was confirmed in pigs and humans at a Canadian farm.

The U.S. produces about 23 billion pounds of pork per year and the health of the herd is paramount to producers and the USDA.


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