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Bird Flu Has Already Killed More Than 20 MILLION Turkeys And Chickens In The United States

Chick - Public DomainAre you prepared to go without turkey this Thanksgiving?  Yes, it might actually get that bad.  So far, the worst outbreak of bird flu in U.S. history has claimed the lives of more than 20 million turkeys and chickens, and the pandemic continues to rage wildly out of control.  Once one bird becomes infected, this particular strain of the virus is so virulent that it can virtually wipe out an entire flock in just a matter of days.  At this point, scientists think that this virus is being spread by wild birds, but they have no idea how it is getting inside barns and other enclosed facilities so easily.  Considering how important turkey, chicken and eggs are to our food supply, it is quite alarming that scientists don’t really understand what is going on.  If this bird flu outbreak is not brought under control, how many birds will eventually die?  Right now, it is already in the tens of millions.  Could the total eventually reach into the hundreds of millions?

Minnesota is the top producer of turkeys in the United States, and Iowa is the top producer of eggs, and that is why it is so alarming that both of these states are right at the heart of this current outbreak

Virulent H5 avian influenza strains have spread to 14 states in five months and affected about 24 million birds so far, mostly egg-laying hens and turkeys, according to USDA.

That tally is expected to grow, as U.S. authorities confirm pending cases. The outbreak, which is also affecting two Canadian provinces, shows little sign of slowing.

In Minnesota, the largest producer of U.S. turkeys, state officials said almost 5.5 million turkeys and egg-laying chickens have either died from the flu virus or are set to be killed in an effort to contain the outbreak.

In Iowa, the top U.S. egg producer, state agriculture officials said an estimated 20 million chickens and turkeys have been affected there.

So just in those two states alone, we are talking about more than 25 million chickens and turkeys that are already dead or that are scheduled to be killed in an attempt to slow down this outbreak.

Things have already gotten so bad that some in the industry are already projecting that this may cause a shortage of turkeys at Thanksgiving

And now, with Thanksgiving just seven months away, farmers say they may be running out of time to raise enough turkeys -the traditional centerpiece of holiday feasts – to meet the demand.

Once a farm has been infected, flocks must be culled, composted in barns, then disposed of. Buildings must then be thoroughly disinfected. The whole process can take up to three months before a new flock of turkey poults can be brought in, said Steve Olson, executive director of the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association.

Of course any notion of “recovery” assumes that this outbreak will be shortly brought under control and that breeder farms are not being infected.  But we have already had reports that some breeder farms in Minnesota have been infected.

Last year, the United States produced 240 million turkeys.  Almost 20 percent of them came from Minnesota.  So this outbreak in Minnesota is a really, really big deal.

And if you like to eat eggs, you should expect to start to pay more for them as well.  As of now, this pandemic has already wiped out 6 percent of all “layer hens” in this country

Egg producers have been hit hardest. In 2014, 362 million “layer” hens in the U.S. produced 100 billion eggs. With more than 20 million hens now in the process of being culled, nearly 6 percent of the nation’s population has been taken offline.

Even if this pandemic ends very quickly, and that is a huge if, the economic impact would still be huge.  Food producers in the affected states are already starting to lay off workers, and prices for meat and eggs are already starting to rise.

However, what happens if this pandemic cannot be brought under control any time soon and we lose 20, 30 or 40 percent of our turkeys and chickens?

I am recommending that people consider stocking up on canned and frozen meat while they still can.  Prices on those items are certainly not going to be going anywhere but up for the foreseeable future.  And if you can afford it, a second freezer is often a good idea for many families.

The truly frightening thing is that this bird flu pandemic is coming at a time when the U.S. food supply is already under an unprecedented assault.  Just consider some of the things that are currently happening

-More than 40 percent of our fresh produce comes from the state of California, but thanks to the worst multi-year drought in the history of the state much of the region is turning back into a desert.

-Also due to the persistent drought, the size of the U.S. cattle herd is now as small as it was during the 1950s, and the price of beef has doubled since the last recession.

-Over the past few years, something called “porcine epidemic diarrhea” has wiped out approximately 10 percent of the entire pig population in the United States.

-Just off the west coast of the United States, a wide variety of sea creatures are dying in unprecedented numbers.  For example, the sardine population along the west coast has dropped by a staggering 91 percent just since 2007.

-Down in Florida, citrus greening disease is absolutely crushing the citrus industry.  Crops just keep on getting smaller year after year.

-There is a disease known as the TR4 fungus that is devastating banana production worldwide.  In fact, it has been reported that this fungus could someday completely wipe out the variety of bananas that we commonly eat today.

Are you starting to understand?

Just because we have always been able to rely on massive quantities of extremely inexpensive food does not mean that it will always be that way.

At this point, scientists tell us that the strain of the bird flu that is hitting chickens and turkeys poses “little risk” to humans.  But it does pose a tremendous risk to our food supply – especially if our scientists can’t figure out a way to bring this outbreak under control.

So why is all of this happening?  Please feel free to tell us what you think by posting a comment below…

Now That Obama Is Allowing Chicken From China, What Will That Do To The Chicken Industry?

Chicken Processing - Photo by Lance CheungDo you know what is in your chicken nuggets?  Thanks to Barack Obama, that is going to be a more important question than ever.  At the end of August, the Obama administration quietly decided to start allowing Chinese poultry processors to ship processed chicken into the United States.  For now, the meat must originate either in the United States or in another country where the poultry population has been certified to be safe.  What that means is that chickens from the United States will be shipped all the way over to China, processed in plants over there, and then shipped back across the Pacific Ocean for us to eat.  Only a limited number of companies are expected to take advantage of this, but according to U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, a USDA report that Congress has seen indicates that China will likely be allowed to directly import their own chickens into this country “within a year“.  What makes all of this even more disturbing is that a country-of-origin label will not be required on any of the chicken that is processed in China.  So in the years ahead you could be eating chicken processed in China and not even know it.

Each year, U.S. consumers spend about 70 billion dollars on chicken.  That is a tremendous amount of money, and the U.S. chicken industry supports a huge number of jobs.

So what is going to happen if cheap chicken from China starts flooding the market?

It shouldn’t take too much imagination to figure out what is going to happen.  This is a movie that we have seen too many times before.  Over the past decade, tens of thousands of U.S. businesses and millions of good paying jobs have been lost due to “competition” from communist China.

Barack Obama continues to talk a good game about how he wants to “create jobs” for American workers, but just about everything that he actually does kills even more of our jobs.

Under tremendous pressure from both China and the beef industry, Obama decided in late August to open up the door for processed chicken from China.  The following is a brief excerpt from a recent Examiner article

As early as next summer, chicken nuggets and other chicken products (such as canned soup, frozen chicken wings and breaded chicken patties) made from chicken processed in China could be sold in grocery stores around the country.

Under the proposal, chickens that are raised and slaughtered in the U.S. and Canada will be sent to China for processing and then returned to the U.S. for mass consumption.

This was a recent decision made by President Barack Obama to address a decade-long trade dispute. Since 2003, China has refused to import U.S. beef, citing concerns over mad-cow disease, so we’re effectively trading chickens for beef in this quid-pro-quo political scenario. Obama has been widely criticized over this move.

This would be bad enough even if U.S. consumers were able to identify the chicken that is coming in from China.  But according to Politico, there will be no requirement that chicken processed in China be labeled as such…

Well, for starters Chinese-processed chicken will be allowed to skip the ‘Product of China’ label in several instances because the country of origin labeling law, or “COOL,” does not regulate cooked meat — and at least for now, the U.S. does not import raw chicken raised and/or slaughtered in China.

A lot of people are very upset about this because there have been some huge safety concerns about food coming from China.  Just check out the following examples included in a recent Huffington Post article

Among those critics is Tony Corbo, a senior lobbyist for the advocacy group Food and Water Watch. “This is the first step towards allowing China to export its own domestic chickens to the U.S.,” he told the Times.

Corbo has reason to be concerned; in the last months alone, Chinese police discovered an illegal food smuggling plot to sell 46-year-old chicken feet treated with bleach, a criminal ring accused of selling rat and fox meat as lamb and abnormally high levels of cadmium, a metal that can cause cancer and other illnesses, in rice sold in Guangzhou restaurants.

And the safety incidents the Dallas Morning News recently discussed are more than a little bit alarming…

Tilapia and cod are raised in ponds and dosed with antibiotics and growth hormones. Imported Chinese apple juice reportedly contains three times the federal limit for arsenic in water. U.S. inspectors have also found tainted mushrooms and garlic.

The communist behemoth raised and shipped 80 percent of the tilapia consumed in this country in 2011, 51 percent of the cod, 49 percent of the apple juice, 34 percent of the processed mushrooms and 27 percent of the garlic.

—–

The European Union reported that China shipped potatoes infested with insects, ginger laced with salmonella, pumpkin seeds containing glass chips and frozen calamari contaminated by arsenic to Europe last year.

USDA officials halted imports of Chinese shrimp, eel, catfish and carp in 2007 because of high levels of illegal antibiotics and chemicals. Three years later, officials seized thousands of pounds of Chinese honey after finding illegal antibiotics. And this year, more than 500 dogs and a handful of cats died after eating jerky treats made of chicken, according to an investigation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

In light of all of these incidents, shouldn’t U.S. consumers be able to clearly identify chicken that is coming from China?

Authorities tell us that we can expect to have chicken from China starting to show up on our store shelves this upcoming summer.  Apparently, the big advantage of processing chicken in China is the lower cost

Processing chicken is a labor-intensive endeavor that can’t be done solely by machines and the “lower cost in China is the advantage,” Chris Hurt, a professor of agricultural economics at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, said in a telephone interview. Those savings in labor costs can counterbalance the higher price tag to ship the end product, Hurt said.

And most Americans don’t realize this, but China already sends 4 billion pounds of food to the United States every year.

So why don’t we just go ahead and get it all over with and just send all of our jobs over to China right now?

After all, very few people seem to be concerned about the fate of average American workers at this point.  Things just continue to get even worse for them, and the middle class is being absolutely eviscerated.

Let’s just go ahead and ship the rest of our good paying jobs over there and be done with it.  Then we can all cut hair, flip burgers and stock shelves at Wal-Mart.

And most Americans already know that something has gone terribly wrong with our economy.

According to a brand new Bloomberg National Poll, 64 percent of all Americans believe that “the U.S. no longer offers everyone an equal chance to get ahead”, and according to a different national survey that was recently conducted 68 percent of all Americans believe that the country is currently on the wrong track.

We are a nation that is absolutely drowning in debt, that has a financial system that has been turned into a high stakes casino, and that has a middle class that is being systematically destroyed.

Personally, I am extremely concerned about this upcoming two year time period.  The conditions for a “perfect storm” are all coming together for 2014 and 2015.  I believe that this nation (and the world) will look far different two years from now than it does today.

Our system is failing and our politicians are only making things worse.

Buckle up and hold on to your hats, because the next couple of years are going to be a very bumpy ride.

Finca Bayano

Panama Relocation Tours




 

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