Lack of Brexit virus coverage | The Jackal

29 May 2017

Lack of Brexit virus coverage

You’ve really got to wonder why the government would increase the risk of people getting Hepatitis E from imported pork products, being that HEV can cause serious illness and even death.

On Saturday, the NZ Herald reported:

Brexit virus in pork could already be in New Zealand

In Britain they're calling it the "Brexit virus", a potentially deadly bug linked to pork and smallgoods that has caused people to fall ill, some seriously.

The implications for New Zealand are difficult to gauge but the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) is warning people to cook pork products thoroughly.

The virus, a mutant strain of hepatitis E (HEV), has infected pig herds in various European countries including France, Holland, Denmark and Germany.

New Zealand's pork farmers this week expressed alarm that 65,760 tonnes of pig meat imported into the country every year could threaten the local industry.

Besides the NZ Herald article there was little other coverage. Why the MSM haven't done their jobs properly and informed the public of the risk is beyond me. Hepatitis E is a serious illness after all and any risk to the general population should be widely reported on.

The National led government was warned about the dangers of imported pork products ages ago. They chose not to heed that advice and now we have situations where consumers can no longer trust the pork they want to buy. This will be bad for the entire pork industry as a whole, which is perhaps a reason for the lack of coverage.

If I was a New Zealand pork farmer I would be livid! Not only did the government ignore the industries concerns, the imported pork products have eaten into Kiwi profits and the risk of consumers getting hepatitis E has undoubtedly put more people off eating pork in general.

If a disease like HEV is found to be in lots of imported products and somehow spreads into New Zealand's pigs, there’s a risk it could shut down the entire pork industry here. Clearly National have learnt nothing from the foot and mouth disease outbreaks that crippled the beef industry worldwide.

As usual MPI is downplaying people's valid concerns by incorrectly claiming that the Hepatitis E virus was already in New Zealand pork products and people should just cook their pork thoroughly. That's a bit like saying it's OK with people having to boil their water all the time. What a complete joke of a government.