There's good news and bad news. The good news is that for one brief, shining moment, the world became aware of La Gloria in the municipality of Perote in the state of Veracruz in Mexico had the attention of the world. The bad news is that La Gloria, Veracruz, Mexico has had its fifteen minutes of fame, and for much of the world, it and and the agroindustrial giant Granjas Carroll have pretty much disappeared from view. In fact, the problems of La Gloria and the surrounding area are not very different from the problems of poor rural areas in the US in which agribusinesses have chosen to build their gigantic (hideous) animal farms. And they are serious problems. Granjas Carroll is unlikely to be the source of A/H1N1 flu. It is likely to be the source of several problems more serious for the area and for the water supply and for people and for the environment and for the pigs.
It's hard to find much information about Granjas Carroll that it doesn't provide itself in a very controlled fashion. But you can find a lot about the problems with industrial farms in the US. Recently, the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health formed the Independent National Commission on Inudstrial Farm Animal Production. This commission undertook extensive investigations into industrial farms in the US and published a report on what it found. The report is called "Putting Meat on the Table: Industrial Farm Agriculture in America." You can see the executive summary here and the full report here. Certainly the situation in Mexico is no better.
In the US, according to the report, industrialized animal production is producing no more pigs than were produced on small farms in the 1950s, yet at considerably greater expense to the rest of us not fortunate enough to be profiting from them. Here is how the Pew report describes the shift:
The production of anmals has been standardized in many ways to "create uniform meat products; an mechanizing of feeding, watering, and other husbandry activities...."
The results for the rest of us:
In addition to serious consequences directly tied to production,
In fact, the very activities that Granjas Carroll undertook to hide the possible presence of flu virus maintain its facilities as germ- and disease-causing virus-free may have contributed to a major problem caused by overuse of antibiotics.
More to come....