CAFOs linked to swine/H1N1/bird/gremlin flu?

Okay, only one of those is potentially made up. Recently, I have been scouring the world wide web in search of data which would support using factory farms as a sustainable way to feed our country and the rest of the world.

It is probably not good for business when you Google: “positive advantages to factory farms” and the results are all against factory farms. One particular website even detailed how the big swine flu epidemic from a couple years back that was supposed to implode the universe was actually more likely the result of contaminated swine from a Smithfield CAFO (scroll down on the website).

Yes, the same Smithfield from Smithfield, VA and also the same company which owns the world’s largest swine processing plant in Tar Heel, NC. They also own plants around the world including the one in question, Granjas Carrol (in Mexico), where it is believed that the surrounding residents and employees inhaled or came into contact with the swine flu virus from carcasses, feces, blood, or other bodily fluids individuals may have come into contact with.

Smithfield of course denies their involvement, as would be expected. The least they could do for the people of surrounding this plant would be to properly treat their water and sewage waste.

This is the contaminated water waste lagoon which “disposes” of contaminated water from the Granjas Carrol swine processing plant. Take note of the broken pipe and the resulting spillage on the left pipe. Water here contains partial pig parts, blood, feces, and rotting bodies. There are subsequent pictures here, where you can also read a short article.

According to the article, residents near the plant have been exposed to these conditions for years as a result of this contaminated lagoon. Residents including young children sighted health issues like respiratory problems long before the swine flu epidemic.

These residents do not have a lot of influence in the operation as Smithfiled has repeatedly suppressed any opposition to the plant. According to the aforementioned article:

“speaking out against the Granjas Carrol operation has, disturbingly but not unsurprisingly, led to various residents being intimidated, threatened, and arrested by certain officials tasked with protecting the company’s financial interests” (the company, of course, is Smithfield).

Clearly there is some very blatant, but shady dealings going on with Smithfield, and I assume other major factory farm corporations. Intimidation and threats? I envision some short guy out of the 1920’s with an enormous pinky ring just rubbing his palms together. So you don’t like our pollutants encroaching on your everyday lives? We’ll make you an offer you can’t refuse… Why don’t you all have some of these nice blankets, we swear they don’t have that H1N1 swine whatever…

Regardless of my historical analogies or not, there is no way in good conscious that large-scale factory farm and processing plant owners can tell the public that they are a healthy, rational, and sustainable way of feeding the world. Although this has only been going on for a short time, the social, environmental, and health effects may last through generations if we don’t change the system.

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