UPDATE,Grist, May 22: Biotech industry group alights on La Gloria to test backyard pigs
The bad news is that the scientists aren’t from the World Health Organization or some other neutral international group. Indeed, one of the two scientific teams that have arrived in La Gloria is funded by the biotech industry - and rather than investigate the large-scale concentrated-animal feedlot operations that lie at the villages perimeter, they’re focusing on backyard hog raising as the culprit.
UPDATE, TIME, May 15: H1N1 Virus: The First Legal Action Targets a Pig Farm
I watched a CNN interviewer this morning "interviewing" US Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, asking whether the US-owned (Smithfield Foods) hog farm in Vera Cruz could be responsible for the current swine flu outbreak. Vilsack took the opportunity to go on at length on how safe US pork is, either ignorantly or deliberately avoiding the matter of pig-human transfer of the virus. Equally unaware or incompetent, the interviewer allowed herself and her network to be used to convey Vilsack's message and avoid the critical issue of accountability.
Whether there's something to this story is another matter but we need to have the answer to questions like this, and we need media staff to have the understanding and intellectual rigour to ask - and stay with - the question.
Here's the one article currently asking the question. It also points out the current lack of coverage of this story: Swine-flu outbreak could be linked to Smithfield factory farms