Farmers demand swine flu name change

DDP/The Local
DDP/The Local - [email protected] • 30 Apr, 2009 Updated Thu 30 Apr 2009 09:09 CEST
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German farmers urged officials on Thursday to change the name of swine flu out of fears it will encourage consumers to shun pork products.

Swine flu, which has caused panic of a pandemic as new cases crop up worldwide, doesn’t actually come from pigs, Secretary of State for Agriculture Gerd Müller told daily Münchner Merkur on Thursday, adding that no one had traced the virus' origins yet.

Pork products are not a source of the virus either he said.

“The consumption of pork is therefore harmless,” Müller told the paper.

Meanwhile German farmer's association DBV has also advocated changing the name.

“The flu has nothing, absolutely nothing to do with pigs,” DBV president Gerd Sonnleitner said.

Instead of naming the virus after swine, officials should refer to it based on where it originated, he said.

“One should call it the ‘North American flu’ or the ‘new flu’ instead of talking about swine flu,” he said.

Three cases of swine flu were confirmed in Germany on Wednesday. All of the infected parties had recently travelled home from Mexico, the epicentre of the outbreak.

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