May 6, 2009


Poland meat industry positive H1N1 flu won't affect profits


The Polish meat industry is calmly optimistic that the influenza A/H1N1 panic will not cut into its profits.


Roman Miler, vice president of meat producer PKM Duda, said the current outbreak of influenza A/H1N1 would not cause any financial losses to the meat sector in Poland.


Miler noted, however, that his firm is strengthening its health and bio-security procedures, so as to prevent the virus from entering its plants.


As the flu epidemic spread throughout the world last week, unsubstantiated fears spread along with it.


In many countries the idea that the virus can be transmitted by eating pork products had taken root, leading consumers to avoid purchasing or eating pork meat.


According to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP), however, the virus is not spread by food and that it is safe for consumption.


Nevertheless, Egypt ordered a national pig slaughter last week, effectively wiping out the country's 300,000 pigs, ignoring UN assurances that there was no need. And in the US, consumers' fear of the virus sent the prices of pig carcasses downward, sparking serious concern among pig breeders.