During the BSE crisis, Canadians rallied around the beef industry. Domestic beef consumption actually increased – something that had never happened in a country reporting BSE. There are attempts to mobilize a similar rally in support of the pork industry. Federal agriculture minister Gerry Ritz hosted a pork luncheon together with the Canadian Pork Council yesterday on Parliament Hill. In Manitoba, Keystone Agricultural Producers is urging the public to support pork producers by buying Canadian products and increasing their pork consumption. The H1N1 flu virus is not a food safety issue. You can’t get the flu by eating pork. The message is not getting through to everyone. Last night I attended a catered banquet where the caterer made a point of not putting pork in his baked beans. He wanted everyone to know that he always served beans and pork, but had removed the pork in light on the current circumstances. Hopefully, this kind of misguided response is an isolated case. The pork industry deserves our support just like the beef industry did a few years ago. I’m Kevin Hursh.
Kevin Hursh, PAg, CAC