Smithfield claims that they are awaiting the results of “additional” tests on the pigs at their Veracruz, Mexico, CAFO — the facility at the heart of speculation here on Grist and elsewhere as the source of the current swine flu outbreak — to determine if any pigs are infected. And just in case you were wondering, Smithfield is fully aware of who’s “driving” the CAFO/swine flu meme, if their CEO is to be believed (reg req’d):
In a letter to employees, [CEO C. Larry] Pope wrote that the results of those independent laboratory tests will be available and made public in a few days.
He issued the letter, meant to assure employees that Smithfield is taking steps to ensure their safety and that of the company’s pig herds, after international media reports indicated a link between the outbreak and a jointly owned hog farm in Veracruz. Veracruz is located near La Gloria, home to a little boy some believe to be the original H1N1 case.
“Unfortunately, the media and bloggers have jumped to conclusions based more on fear than fact and have sensationalized a serious illness,” Pope wrote.
Watch your back, Philpott.