Too busy for analysis right now, but submitting this for your consideration. I think most of us have noticed how right-wing pundits are using racist fearmongering tactics to blame the swine flu on illegals from Mexico — even to the point of referring to it as the “Mexican flu.” The fact that the carriers were actually a bunch of prep-school kids from Queens who went to Cancun for Spring Break seems to have been lost on them. Anyway, the Guardian notes another possible source:
Early today the US owner of an industrial pig production facility around 12 miles from La Gloria said it had found no clinical signs or symptoms of swine flu in its herd or Mexican employees. The world’s biggest pig meat producer, Virginia-based Smithfield, said it is co-operating with the Mexican authorities’ attempts to locate the possible source of the outbreak and will submit samples from its herds at its Granjas Carroll subsidiary to the University of Mexico for tests.
Smithfield, which is led by pork baron Joseph W Luter III, has previously been fined for environmental damage in the US. In October 2000 the supreme court upheld a $12.6m (£8.6m) fine levied by the US environmental protection agency which found that the company had violated its pollution permits in the Pagan River in Virginia which runs towards Chesapeake Bay. The company faced accusations that faecal and other bodily waste from slaughtered pigs had been dumped directly into the river since the 1970s .
The outbreak of respiratory illness in the area of the Granjas Carroll plant was first detected at the beginning of this month by Veratect, a company based in Washington state which monitors the spread of disease and pandemics around the world for corporate clients.
If this is confirmed, what will the Repundits call it then? “Colonialism Cough”? “Greedy Gringo Fever”?