An excellent and very important piece of investigative journalism by Laura Carlsen here at Americas MexicoBlog
Among the points:
- FINALLY Fidel Herrera Beltrán, governor of the State of Veracruz, says he will order an independent investigation of the possible connection of the flu outbreak in La Gloria and Granjas Carroll. Carlsen got this information from, of all places, Al Jazeera English, not a Mexican or US news source.
- Carlsen describes international failure, not just Mexican, to deal with early signs of a significant problem.
- She addresses in detail the terrible potential of factory farms to spread disease, especially by means of uncovered lagoons and contaminaation of local water sources.
- She describes how the priorities were geared to protect the corporation of Las Granjas Carroll, owned jointly by Smithfield Foods and Agroindustrias Unidas de Mexico, before the well-being of the people of La Gloria, or indeed of Mexico and the world.
- She describes the inadequacies of Mexico's public health system and reveals that Mexico, in response to the economic aspects of the crisis is planning to CUT funding to IMSS, the major provider of healthcare in the country.
- She shows how research continues to be geared to showing that Granjas Carroll is "innocent," not to answering the question, how did this epidemic start?
- She talks about the swine-human connection and how critical it is.
- She reveals that the vaccine production racket is already in gear, and that the first company at the starting gate is one that is under investigation in a number of countries.
- She discusses (what I and many others know) how difficult it is to get any real information on the subject in Mexico, particularly as it relates to agroinustrial practices.
- She addresses the failure of oversight on all international levels.
- She raises critical issues relating to NAFTA and "the centrality of foreign investment in Mexico [which] creates a climate where transnational corporations with large investments can exercise coercive power over government agencies on all levels."
- She condemns the Obama administration for its dreadful narrow focus on police/military/hardware assistance to Mexico in place of the actions which really might mitigate the control of organized crime AND the public health threats.
- She describes the damage that a profit-driven system of medicine and vaccine production essentially ignores public health interests.
You need to read the article.
I would like to add that as in the case of global warming, in which the problem is undeniably real, but attention to which blinds us to other very serious environmental problem, the agroindustry-disease connection is very real, but it shouldn't blind us to other very serious problems presented by these companies, from dangerous overuse of antibiotics to loss of jobs to pollution of soil, air and water, to hideous mistreatment of animals to loss of income for local areas.