From Dr. Mercola:
In 2014, nearly 10 percent of the entire swine population in the U.S. was wiped out by the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv) — a highly lethal virus traced back to pig’s blood used in piglet feed.
At the time, I noted that this was a perfect example of what tends to happen when you “cannibalize” the food system; feeding animal parts back to animals of the same species. This is especially true for herbivores like cows, where the practice is associated with lethal Mad Cow disease.
Pigs are omnivores, but even there the cannibal solution can lead to serious problems. You’d think the industry would have learned its lessons by now, but recent developments suggest otherwise.
Infected Pigs and Contaminated Manure Used to Combat Lethal Pig Virus
There’s no effective vaccine against PEDv, so to thwart the reemergence of the virus in offspring, some farmers are now feeding the intestines from baby pigs that died from the disease to their breeding hogs.1 According to Reuters,2 this “allows female hogs to become infected and pass on immunity to piglets …
Those fed infected food or otherwise exposed to the virus usually become sick for a few days, but then get well again.” Other farmers are spraying their pigs’ noses with a mixture of water and hog manure contaminated with the virus, in the hopes of creating a “natural vaccine.”
Yet another strategy being employed is to identify carriers of the virus, and then mix their manure into the feed given to female breeding hogs, “so they can pass on antibodies to piglets through their milk.”
So what we have here is a situation where an exceptionally lethal virus was created by overuse of antibiotics in the animals; which was then spread by feeding contaminated pig’s blood to piglets; and now the “solution” is to feed infected pig remnants and contaminated manure to breeding pigs.
What could possibly go wrong?
It’s worth noting that PEDv is not considered a food safety concern, for the fact that it is not transmissible to humans. However, it may simply be a case of not knowing what we don’t know.
To illustrate this point, researchers are now suggesting Alzheimer’s may be a slow-acting form of the human version of Mad Cow disease, known as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD). Infectious prions that cause neurodegeneration appear to be at work in both cases.
So, what might the ultimate outcome be when we eat pork that has been fed pig parts and manure contaminated with a mutated PEDv virus? It may be safe. Then again, it might not.
All I’m certain of is that the practice of feeding animal parts to animals — the cannibal food system — is fraught with potential health hazards. Overall, it’s a bad idea.
Antibiotic Use Is Rising, Despite Worldwide Warnings of ‘Antibiotic Apocalypse’
The PED virus was traditionally a relatively mild pathogen. Only recently did it suddenly evolve into a far more aggressive