Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Don't Blame Bacon

even though you know I would love to...

You cannot catch swine flu from eating America's favorite salt-fat supplier.

I'm sure everybody knows that, but somehow I had to say it.

What is puzzling me is that I read on the last spam blast from the Organic Consumers Association that the use of antibiotics in CAFOs contributes to the development of new viruses, and to their resistance to drugs.

Well, flu is caused by a virus, and antibiotics deal with bacteria. I would understand how mutant, resistant bacterial strains might develop in CAFOs. But viruses? On the other hand, CAFOs - with the crowding and generally unhealthful living conditions for the critters - would, it seems to me, be breeding grounds for many things.

But would those conditions necessarily select for viruses that jump species?

Oh well - probably we all can agree that neither CAFOs nor influenza are nice, but a causal link, if one exists, is more complex that any email newsletter can describe.

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