Caroline Lucas Green MEP calls for the causes of swine flu to be addressed

30 April 2009

The government must look urgently at possible CAUSES of swine flu including the risks posed by intensive farming practises ... according to Caroline Lucas the MEP for the South East.

Dr Lucas, who's also the Green Party's leader, says addressing the current crisis is crucial, but investigating the causes is just as vital.

"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.

In her work in the European Parliament Caroline Lucas has raised the alarm on the possible effects of intensive farming and need to safeguard our health by moving away from large scale agribusiness. She has long called for better treatment of animals which could lower the risk of the spread of diseases like foot and mouth, BSE, bird flu and swine flu which have infected the food chain.

Caroline Lucas told The Guardian newspaper an urgent inquiry is needed to better understand the development and spread of animal-based epidemics which can be lethal to humans.

She drew attention to a comment piece my Mike Davis in the 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."

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