'Find real cause of flu pandemic' says Green leader

Posted: 28 April 2009

As concern about a global pandemic of swine fever spreads around the world, questions are being asked about the causes of the virus, and the links with industrialised farming. Among those concerned is Dr Caroline Lucas, a Member of the European Parliament for the South East England region and leader of the Green Party of England and Wales, who today called on governments to investigate the causes of swine flu - including the issue of farming practices.

Caroline Lucas
Caroline Lucas
Caroline Lucas.
Dr Lucas said: "While attention is understandably focused on how to deal with the consequences of the current swine flu epidemic, it is vital that governments put serious resources into examining its causes as well. We were lucky that the avian flu outbreaks didn't turn into deadly pandemics - and we fervently hope that the current swine flu outbreak won't turn into one. But unless we urgently seek to address the causes of these outbreaks, we might not be lucky a third time.

She drew attention to a comment piece by Mike Davis in today's Guardian newspaper: "Mike Davis' grim account of the role of industrial livestock production in the cause and spread of the swine flu virus should be ringing alarm bells across government departments.

"As evidence mounts of the links between the increasing intensification of pig and poultry production, and the spread of these animal-based epidemics that can be lethal to humans, it is even more urgent that ministers set up the thoroughgoing commission of inquiry which the Green Party first called for after the avian flu outbreaks a few years ago."

Caroline Lucas's own Guardian comment piece regarding swine flu can be read here.

Mike Davis' article can also be read at www.guardian.co.uk