More fun with language.
U.S. officials want ‘swine’ out of flu name:
U.S. pork producers are finding that the name of the virus spreading from Mexico is affecting their business, prompting U.S. officials to argue for changing the name from swine flu.
At a news briefing, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack took pains to repeatedly refer to the flu as the “H1N1 virus.”
“This is not a food-borne illness, virus. It is not correct to refer to it as swine flu because really that’s not what this is about,” Vilsack said.
Israel has already rejected the name swine flu, and opted to call it “Mexico flu.” Jewish dietary laws forbid eating pork.
The Paris-based World Organization for Animal Health also objected to the name, saying the virus contains avian and human components and no pig so far has been found ill with the disease.
And there is growing sentiment in the farm sector to call it the North American virus — although disease expert Anthony Fauci told a Senate hearing the “swine flu” designation reflected scientific naming protocol.
Why would Israel object to the name? Does it want the disease to be kosher? The world, though, should realize this strain of swine flu doesn’t come from swine or from eating pork. Egypt doesn’t need to slaughter all of its pigs.