by Lisa Sorg
Virginia-based Smithfield Foods, which operates several huge hog slaughtering and pork processing plants in North Carolina, has farms in the Mexican state linked to the swine flu outbreak.
However, no health and safety officials have linked the disease to the farms.
Grist magazine's N.C. food editor Tom Philpott is reporting that Smithfield subsidiary Granjas Carroll raises 950,000 hogs annually in Veracruz, Mexico, where the outbreak originated. Several Mexican media outlets are reporting on Smithfield's industrial hog production in Veracruz, quoting residents concerned about the air and water pollution from the farms and lagoons. A respiratory disease outbreak in the small town of La Gloria, Veracruz, has reportedly affected 60 percent of the town's 3,000 people, according to the blog Biosurveillance.
Hat tip to Facing South, which tipped me to the Grist article.
Meanwhile, the BBC has a story in which many people in Mexico are reporting that the situation is far worse than the Mexican government has let on.