Footprint Blog


Government keeps applying the oinkment

Posted in Comment,News by foodservicefootprint on May 5, 2009
Ref.The Sun 1.5.09

Ref.The Sun 1.5.09

Pig farmers – aka pork producers – have had a pretty rough time of it over the last few years and the current swine flu outbreak only compounds their difficulties.

Although it is being made pretty clear that there are no related concerns about pork as food, there is a chain of thought that rather too much is being made of this by both the Government and the media. It may well turn out to be the real deal, but with both the SARS and Avian Flu scares in recent history, there is a perhaps dangerous element of these parties being seen to be crying wolf.

The Government is keen to keep the outbreak in the media ostensibly to promote awareness and today’s much maligned national leaflet drop is an example of this. Cynics would add, however, that it benefits from having attention deflected from its current woes and welcomes the opportunity to take reflected credit for the UK, apparently, being one of the nations best prepared to cope with an epidemic.

To the media, this is the sort of news story that can provide good column inches in not only the national dailies but many special interest titles as well.

But is it all as it seems? Last week there was a picture of two university students, one wearing a surgical mask, that accompanied swine flu stories in a number of papers, both broadsheet and tabloid – The Sun’s inimitable adaptation above. Would it surprise you to know that the student had been asked to put on the mask by the photographer? Nothing new, but it does makes you wonder…

2 Responses to 'Government keeps applying the oinkment'

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  1. Mark said,

    I think that this whole business with Swine Flu has been blown out of all proportion.

    Speaking as an Ex Chef and the state of this country at the moment with the credit crunch, its not only Farmers that are suffering it is the catering industry as a whole, and I feel we should be concentrating our efforts on ways to get out of the problems we are in and not create more which is what the media is doing.

    I feel that the media are good at lining their pockets and scaremongering people.

    I was at Windsor the other day, and someone was wearing a facemask. This morning I was at the Dooctors and someone phoned up to get an Urgent appointment, as they had, had a friend over a couple of weeks ago and now they were coughing the person automatically thinks swine flu.

    Come on people get a grip.

    • foodservicefootprint said,

      Dear Mark,

      The point here I feel, is that we have had Mad Cow Desease, Avian Flu and now Swine Flu. All as a result of mass farming where sometimes thousands of animals are reared in relatively small spaces and filthy conditions – the perfect breeding ground for freak viral and bacterial strains! Surely it is now time, not just for renowned chef’s to campaign against this but for our government to actually intervene.


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