Industrial Production of Poultry Gives Rise to Deadly Strains of Bird Flu H5Nx

Wallace, Robert G.
Date Written:  2017-01-30
Publisher:  Independent Science News
Year Published:  2017
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX20314

Debunking the claims of industrial poultry producers that multiple outbreaks of bird flu are due to wild waterfowl, instead providing evidence that industrial farming practices are responsible for the outbreak.



Blaming waterfowl is based on another fallacy. Even if a search for H5N2 in waterfowl proved successful, what would it show? How would the presence of H5N2 in waterfowl here in Minnesota explain the damage the outbreak has caused to industrial turkey and chicken egg layers here in the Midwest in 2015 or across Eurasia today?

The industry's line of research omits addressing why multiple influenza strains, including H5N2 and many of the other new H5Nx strains, develop a deadliness in its poultry that isn't found in most waterfowl. Indeed, no cases of highly pathogenic flu in wild waterfowl were recorded anywhere before 2005. Deadly flu in waterfowl has since been discovered only as collateral blowback from outbreaks on farms.


The immediate take-home is that we have here divergent ecological and evolutionary analyses converging upon the conclusion that the new H5Nx are increasingly influenzas adapted to intensively raised poultry. That is, a growing literature of scrupulously documented science is showing alarming trends that are beyond the control of agribusiness-funded research.

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