Articles from 2009 In April

NPPC Expects Temporary Pork Export Restrictions

The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) today said it expects that the restrictions placed on U.S. pork exports by certain nations based on concerns about the H1N1 virus will be temporary.

“The restrictions should be short-lived because the United States and international authorities have made it clear that the H1N1 virus is transmitted through human contact and that pork is 100% safe to consume,” remarks NPPC Vice President and International Trade Counsel Nick Giordano. “NPPC has been in constant contact with U.S. trade officials, and U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Ron Kirk have been busy working the phones with our trading partners. It is imperative that our trade officials stop the export bleeding now.”

The World Health Organization has proclaimed that the virus was misnamed “swine flu” and there is no justification for trade bans on U.S. pigs or pork products.

Despite those facts, Ukraine, St. Lucia, Indonesia, United Arab Emirates, Thailand, Honduras and Croatia have banned U.S. pork imports. Russia, China and Kazakhstan have banned U.S. pork imports from certain states.

“The U.S. pork industry maintains the capacity to serve the Chinese and Russian markets from non-restricted states,” Giordano says. “The other nations account for only a very small percentage of U.S. pork exports.”

Pork exports in 2008 accounted for more than 20% of total U.S. pork production and added about $48 per market hog and supported more than 65,000 jobs.

The creation of new export opportunities and the maintenance of current export markets are critical to the sustainability of the U.S. pork industry, according to NPPC.

Swine Flu Officially Changed to ‘2009 H1N1 Flu’

The new hybrid flu strain affecting a number of countries will now be called “2009 H1N1 Flu,” according to the American Meat Institute (AMI).

The decision to change the name of the virus – formerly known as swine flu – was announced by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sibelius, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention acting chief Richard Besser and was repeated by others during a news briefing this morning.

“We’re calling it the 2009 H1N1 flu. That’s the name for it,” Besser said while explaining the disease was a new hybrid flu and that people could not catch the virus from eating pork.

The name change was made to address a common myth that the illness was in pigs or pork, neither of which has proven to be true.

In spite of those facts, however, he United States has still lost 10 of its pork export markets.

AMI estimates, based on 2008 numbers, the ban on pork products will cost the U.S. pork industry $710 million annually, or about $13.6 million per week in exports of pork or products while the export bans are in place.

Chris Hurt, Purdue University agricultural economist, says the hit on the pork industry couldn’t come at a worse time.

“This couldn’t get much worse for the pork industry,” he says. “You’ve got other countries starting to follow the lead of Russia and China by limiting their import of our pork. Then there are the consumers worldwide who are linking the word ‘swine’ to pork, even though this influenza strain did not come from swine. And then there’s the world economy in general.”

Hurt observes: “China and Russia represented 27.4% of our pork exports in 2008. Any loss of those sales to those important markets will lower pork prices. May lean hog futures have fallen 8% since Friday (April 24), closing at about $63.30 per hundredweight, or more than $5 lower.

“This is, in essence, the market anticipation of what this flu event means over the next few months. The concerns are that ‘swine flu’ could reduce U.S. pork exports, that U.S. consumers could reduce pork consumption and, more broadly, that the flu could cause a slowing of world economic growth, which would reduce demand for food products in general,” he says.

Repercussions from the H1N1 virus outbreaks are just the latest in a series of challenges for pork producers, Hurt says

“The pork industry has been losing money since the fall of 2007,” he says. “Producers are near breakeven right now. We had hoped that producers would return to profitability by May, but that isn’t likely to happen now.”

The flu outbreak follows sharply rising feed prices in 2007-2008 and the global economic crisis this past fall.

“The pork industry uses 28% of the grains fed to livestock and 23% of the protein meals fed to livestock,” Hurt reports. “If this flu event causes demand for pork to drop, then that means less usage of corn and soybean meal, with downward impacts on those prices, as well.”

But Hurt says producers should not panic as current reactions of humans and markets is often more severe in the short term than the long term.

Vilsack Urges to Stop calling it "Swine Flu"

Because no swine in the United States have been infected with the new hybrid flu virus, it’s time to stop calling it “swine flu,” urges U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

“This really isn’t swine flu,” he says. “It’s H1N1 virus. That’s very, very important. And it is significant, because there are a lot of hardworking families whose livelihood depends on us conveying this message of safety.

“I want to reiterate that U.S. pork is safe,” Vilsack says. “While we in the United States are continuing to monitor for new cases of H1N1 flu, the American food supply is safe.”

“What we call this flu is important,” adds Chris Novak, chief executive officer of the National Pork Board, which has just joined USDA and others in calling the influenza outbreak the H1N1 flu. “Consumers and our international customers need to be assured that pork is safe and will continue to be safe to consume. Calling this swine flu has the potential to cause confusion. There simply is no reason for anyone to be concerned about the safety of eating pork.”

The World Health Organization has also recommended renaming the influenza virus because it contains avian and human components and no pig has been found ill with the H1N1 virus.

“The virus has not been isolated in animals to date. Therefore, it is not justified to name this disease swine influenza,” the Paris-based group said in a statement.

The reason the H1N1 virus is being called “swine flu” is because of the 1918 outbreak in Spain, according to Peter Cowen, associate professor of epidemiology and public health at North Carolina State University. That virus became known as swine influenza because it caused significant mortality in both pigs and people.

Cowen notes it appears that people who have contracted the novel H1N1 virus have had no contact with swine.

Another reason for calling this virus swine flu is due to the fact that some of the genetic analysis indicates that elements from viruses traditionally found in swine populations are incorporated.

“However, since we know nothing of how this virus has gotten into the human population, and there apparently is no history of swine exposure, it probably makes more sense epidemiologically to refer to this simply as an H1N1 virus,” he says.

National Hog Farmer

Chr. Hansen selected Supplier of the year

The Dannon Company and Danone in Canada present Chr. Hansen the Overall Supplier of the year 2008 Award in North America.

US-based Dannon Company and Danone in Canada have recognized Chr. Hansen with the Overall Supplier of the Year Award for excellent performance.

Suppliers were assessed on a number of criteria including improvements in environmental sustainability, quality and safety, improvements in cost, accelerating ‘time to market’ of new or renovated products, boosts to innovation, protection of competitive advantage, and the demonstration of shared values in the relationship with Dannon/Danone.

Creating value together

“It is the philosophy of Danone and Dannon that the Sourcing and Supplier Development teams enhance the relationship with our business partners,” said Paul Gardner, Vice President of Sourcing and Supplier Development for The Dannon Company. Gardner’s team also supports Danone in Canada.

“Rather than examining only cost or the transactional value of our relationships, we look at total value creation. We know that innovative solutions will come not only from within Dannon or Groupe Danone but also externally via our business partners and we are grateful for the contributions they make to our success,” he added.

David Carpenter, Regional Vice President for Chr. Hansen North America, proudly accepted the award on behalf of the entire Chr. Hansen organization at the awards luncheon and presentation in Tarrytown, NY on March 19, 2009.

“The receipt of the award is as a result of global team work between not only Chr. Hansen employees, but more importantly between the Dannon and Chr. Hansen organizations. We are proud and honored to receive this recognition,” he stated.

Longstanding business relationship

It is the second year in a row that Chr. Hansen is presented a supplier award from the Dannon Company.

Only in September last fall Chr. Hansen received a Special Global Partner Award from Danone recognizing the leading ingredients company as a highly valued partner of strategic importance for more than 25 years.

About The Dannon Company

The Dannon Company is America’s founding national yogurt company and continually leverages its expertise to develop and market innovative cultured fresh dairy products in the United States. Headquartered in White Plains, NY, Dannon has plants in Minster, OH, Fort Worth, TX, and West Jordan, UT and produces approximately 100 different types of flavors, styles and sizes of cultured fresh dairy products.

Dannon is a subsidiary of Groupe Danone, one of the world’s leading producers of packaged foods and beverages. Groupe Danone’s mission is to bring health through tasty, nutritious and affordable food and beverage products to as many people as possible. Dannon is the top-selling brand of yogurt products worldwide, sold under the names Dannon and Danone.

About Chr. Hansen

Chr. Hansen is a global biotechnology company that provides natural ingredients to the food, dairy, human health and nutrition, and animal health industries. The company is a leading supplier of food cultures, probiotics, enzymes, colors, functional blends, which are applied in foods and beverages, dietary supplements, and agricultural products. For more information, please visit

National Hog Farmer


MILFORD, Indiana U.S.A. – The PigTek® Pig Equipment Group has introduced organizational changes and a global team approach as part of the company’s plan for better serving customers and enhancing its product offerings, according to George Murdoch, Vice President and General Manager of PigTek, a division of CTB, Inc. The change further streamlines the division's coordination of product development, manufacturing and sales for its Chore-Time®, Laake®, Mannebeck™ and Porcon® pig equipment brands.

Sales and marketing activities for PigTek will be coordinated by Chris Long and Paul Smits. Product development efforts will be shared by Harry R. Van Horn II, Bernard Laake and Friedrich Nordbeck.

Long is based in the United States and will have worldwide responsibility for promoting and selling Chore-Time hog products as well as marketing Mannebeck electronic sow feeding systems in the United States, Canada and Latin America. He will also be responsible for strategic planning, along with other key members of the business unit's senior management. A 24-year veteran with CTB, Long has considerable experience in sales channel management, direct sales and marketing.

Based in Europe, Smits will oversee the promotion and sales of Porcon, Laake and Mannebeck product brands in that region. He will also be responsible for European strategic planning and implementation of major initiatives for the company as well as providing management oversight for the Inside Project Group, also based in Europe. He has been employed with CTB for 13 years with experience in product engineering and marketing management.

In the product development area, Van Horn is based in the United States while Nordbeck and Bernard Laake are based in Europe. Van Horn has 15 years of experience with the pig industry, and Nordbeck and Laake have 20 and 27 years respectively.

“These changes represent our vision of how best to serve pig producers today and in the future,” business unit manager George Murdoch stated, adding, “While the PigTek name may be relatively new to the industry, the collection of well-known brands it comprises offers a combined total of over 200 years of success in the pig production industry.”

Murdoch also noted that the PigTek business unit will intensify its collaboration for greater efficiency in manufacturing, customer fulfillment, logistics and technical service at its four primary manufacturing locations: Milford, Indiana, U.S.A.; Deurne, the Netherlands; and Herzlake and Schüttorf, Germany.

“The continued refinement of our consolidated business unit structure allows us to better focus our product efforts on the needs of customers in every region of the world,” Murdoch continued. “With the refined PigTek organizational structure, we can progress in our goal of thinking globally and acting locally when it comes to products and service. The changes we have made will allow us to offer a broad spectrum of innovative equipment solutions and professional expertise to our customers in various parts of the world with the best support and true value.”

The PigTek Pig Equipment Group ( is a part of the CTB, Inc., family of companies. PigTek was formed by CTB in early 2007 to provide a unified approach to the global pig industry. PigTek, through its brand portfolio of Chore-Time®, Laake®, Porcon®, and Mannebeck™, offers pig producers industry-leading equipment solutions for market pig feeders; electronic sow feeding systems; drinkers; ventilation, heating and cooling systems; controls and software; computer-controlled sorting systems and scales; free access sow gestation stalls, farrowing bays and flooring, and feed storage and conveying systems.

CTB is a leading global designer, manufacturer and marketer of systems and solutions for the pig, poultry, egg production, and grain industries. Its products focus on improved efficiency in the care of livestock and poultry as well as on grain storage, conditioning and handling. Founded in 1952, CTB operates from multiple locations in the U.S.A. and Europe and serves its customers through a worldwide distribution network. The company’s web address is

PigTek Pig Equipment Group, 410 North Higbee Street, P.O. Box 2000, Milford, Indiana, 46542-2000; Telephone: 574-658-4101; Fax: 574-658-5325; E-Mail: Internet:

# # #

Copyright © CTB, Inc., 2009. PIGTEK, CHORE-TIME, LAAKE and PORCON are registered trademarks and MANNEBECK is a trademark of CTB, Inc. and/or its affiliates.

Protecting Herd Health From Swine Flu Outbreaks

Ohio pork producers follow strict production guidelines in preventing the introduction of disease-causing organisms to their herds.

That’s important for consumers concerned about the recent H1N1 flu outbreak and its impact on pork safety to understand.

“First, it is important to note that the virus has not been isolated in any animals to date,” comments Steve Moeller, Ohio State University Extension swine specialist. “In addition, swine influenza viruses are not spread by food; therefore, consumers will not be infected with swine influenza from eating pork or pork products.

“Eating properly handled and cooked meat products is safe for the consumer. Second, it’s critical for consumers to know that pork producers implement extensive biosecurity protocols and carry out the best management practices to prevent the introduction of disease-causing organisms to their operations. These practices protect the pig, the producer and the consumer,” Moeller states.

Common on-farm biosecurity practices include strict control of human, equipment, transportation, vermin and wild animal traffic within the farm.

“Eliminating unnecessary traffic reduces the chance of disease transfer from animal to animal, human to human and animal to human, protecting the health of everyone,” he says.

To prevent and control disease outbreaks, a combination of animal care strategies, strict sanitation and vaccines are followed.

Common animal care strategies include animal segregation by age to maintain similar immune system function.

“Younger animals, similar to young children, are still developing their immune systems to protect them from disease,” Moeller says. “Through age segregation, livestock and swine producers can limit transfer of disease from other animals, particularly from older to younger animals. Segregation is often achieved by establishing animal housing facilities that are separated by distances of up to a mile or more if possible.”

Proper sanitation is another primary way to ward off disease.

“Manure may harbor microbes and pathogens that can contribute to unhealthy animals. Therefore, livestock producers spend a great deal of time and effort maintaining clean facilities, feed and water for their livestock,” he adds.

Health maintenance also requires meeting the basic needs for food, water and shelter for all animals, including humans.

“Producers routinely monitor the health of the animals in their herds through daily direct observation of each animal, providing added care to animals with compromised health, as well as oversight of the equipment, feed supply, water supply and environmental conditions to assure the well-being of their animals,” Moeller adds.

Pork producers, as do consumers, rely on vaccines to enhance or eliminate disease introduction.

“Scientific advances in disease diagnostics, vaccine development and effective vaccination protocols have allowed producers to provide protection to the pig for numerous harmful diseases while simultaneously protecting the health of the caretakers and improving the safety and wholesomeness of the food products at the consumer level,” Moeller says. “There are swine vaccinations to combat the more common strains of swine-specific influenza; however, the ability of the existing vaccines to prevent the new, multi-component avian, swine and human variant is not known.”

To reduce the chance of transfer of influenza from animal to human, human to animal or human to human, Moeller advises hog farm workers to practice good hygiene. That means thoroughly washing hands after handling animals, considering the use of plastic gloves and dust masks in swine facilities and wearing clean clothing and boots when entering swine facilities and between different production areas.

“Through multiple biosecurity approaches, swine producers continue to make the care and well-being of their pigs and caretakers a high priority as they strive to produce safe and wholesome pork for consumers,” he notes.

More information on biosecurity is available from Moeller at (614) 688-3686 or, the Ohio Pork Producers Council or the National Pork Board.

WHO Revises Death Claims For North American Flu

A spokeswoman from the World Health Organization (WHO) has greatly reduced the number of actual deaths due to H1N1 flu, saying it has officially recorded only eight deaths around the world.

Vivienne Allan from WHO’s patient safety program says the organization has confirmed there have been seven deaths – all in Mexico – plus a single death of a 23-month-old boy who died in Houston, but was from Mexico City.

WHO reports 79 confirmed cases of the North American flu.

“Unfortunately, that (150-plus deaths) is incorrect information and it does happen, but that’s not information from the World Health Organization,” she told ABC Radio today.

Allan said WHO had confirmed 40 cases of H1N1 flu in the Americas, 26 in Mexico, six in Canada, three in New Zealand, two in Spain and two in Britain.

Agencies Clarify Facts on New Outbreak of H1N1 Influenza

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization are reiterating that the new, hybrid form of North American flu (H1N1) involves solely human-to-human transmission, and that there is no connection to this new virus and contact with swine.

The Paris-based World Organization for Animal Health, known as the OIE, says that current information does not suggest that the outbreak observed mainly in Mexico, and to a lesser extent in the United States, was preceded by an outbreak of swine influenza in pigs.

The OIE adds that scientific investigations currently underway should reveal within a few days if the unique virus circulating in humans is capable of infecting animal species such as pigs, chickens and horses.

The OIE repeats that it is not correct to call the current disease “swine influenza.” The virus that is circulating includes human, bird and pig genetic segments. Calling this virus North American influenza uses the same approach to nomenclature as used with the Asian influenza and Spanish influenza outbreaks that have occurred previously.

The OIE again stresses since there has been no case of infection in animals confirmed in the regions where human cases of this flu have been detected, there is no need to impose trade restrictions of swine or pork products, nor to consider that consumers of pork products are at risk of infection.

The CDC has also reported that the first U.S. death from North American influenza has been confirmed in a 23-month-old toddler from Texas.

CDC officials indicated that it does not appear that the flu strain has become more serious. Children, especially those under 5 years of age, are particularly vulnerable to flu and every year children die from seasonal flu. In the 2007-2008 flu season, the CDC received reports that 86 children nationwide died from flu complications and so far this year there have been reports of 53 seasonal flu-related deaths in children.

WHO Heightens Swine Flu Alert

The World Health Organization (WHO) has raised the level of influenza pandemic alert from its current phase 3 to phase 4 to reflect continued spread of the hybrid flu strain.

The virus has been confirmed in Mexico, the United States, Canada and Spain, but overnight there were two reports of new cases in Israel from travelers who just returned from Mexico.

The change to a higher phase of pandemic alert indicates that the likelihood of a pandemic has increased, but not that a pandemic is inevitable, according to the WHO.

Epidemiological data demonstrating human-to-human transmission and the ability of the virus to cause community outbreaks are given as basic reasons for the decision.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have confirmed 64 cases in five states: California, Texas, Kansas, Ohio and New York. None have reported any contact with swine. The outbreak continues to be transmitted human to human.

To set the record straight on North American Flu, the American Meat Institute (AMI) has released a video message about pork safety from AMI President J. Patrick Boyle that can be accessed on AMI’s You Tube Channel.

AMI has also posted a statement, a series of consumer questions and answers and audio sound bites on its consumer web site.

Providing additional reassurance comes from public health officials like flu chief Keiji Fukuda of the World Health Organization who said recently, “I want to say very clearly. Right now we have no evidence to suggest that people are getting exposed or getting infected from exposure to pork or to pigs. Right now we have zero evidence to suspect exposure to meat leads to infections.”

Despite the consensus that pork is safe to eat, five countries have announced partial bans on pork from the United States and Mexico including Russia, China, Philippines, Serbia and Kazakhstan.

Meanwhile, Mexico, the epicenter of the North American Flu outbreak, is looking at the potential role of Smithfield Foods’ operations.

The Mexican government is testing Smithfield hogs in Mexico, but the company says its pork is not to blame.

“We are very comfortable that our pork is safe,” says Smithfield President and CEO Larry Pope. “This is not a swine issue. This is a human-to-human issue.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has assembled a list of frequently asked questions about this unique type of flu.

National Hog Farmer

DPI GLOBAL announces new distribution in Eastern Canada

A growing market and increased demand have led DPI GLOBAL to announce a new distribution partner in Eastern Canada. Effective immediately, Premier AG Resources LTD (PAR) will provide distribution and local warehousing of DPI GLOBAL products including Micro-Aid® in Eastern Canada.

Founded in 1992, PAR currently distributes a variety of specialty feed ingredients within the pet food, aquaculture and livestock feed industries. PAR is headquartered in London, Ontario Canada with warehouses located in Woodstock, Ontario and St Julie, Quebec. Inquiries regarding Micro-Aid® and other DPI GLOBAL products should be directed to PAR at (519) 657-1177 or

“We are proud to welcome PAR as a partner in our global distribution system,” said DPI GLOBAL President, Randy Walker. DPI GLOBAL is also represented in Western Canada (Manitoba, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia) by Canadian Bio-Systems ((403) 279-3339) located in Calgary, Alberta.

DPI GLOBAL has more than 40 years of experience providing waste and odor control products with the highest degree of confidence in their efficacy, consistency and reliability. All DPI GLOBAL products are formulated and packaged for maximum application practicality and quality. Products include Micro-Aid®, Cocci-Guard®, My Horse’s Choice®, Odor-Bloc® Equine Stall Odor Eliminator, Odor-Bloc® Cat Litter Deodorizer, Aqua Sparkle® and SSO®. DPI GLOBAL corporate offices are located in Porterville, California.