U.S. pork producers picked up an important ally this week in their effort to properly name the H1N1 flu virus when the president of the National Newspaper Association urged community newspaper publishers and editors to use precise language in coverage of the flu pandemic.
Cheryl Kaechele, publisher of the Allegan County News in Allegan, Mich., told her members that confusion from newspaper headlines that refer to H1N1 as "swine flu" has "unfairly cast doubt upon the pork industry." The National Newspaper Association is a not-for-profit trade association representing the owners, publishers and editors of America's 2,400 daily and weekly community newspapers.
Tim Bierman, an Iowa pork producer who is president of the National Pork Board, said he has sent a letter to Kaechele thanking her for her leadership on an issue that is vitally important to the nation's 70,000 pork producers. "Earlier, I had sent a letter to the top executives of 25 of the country's leading media asking them to do exactly what Cheryl Kaechele is advocating to her members. I told them that calling the virus anything other than H1N1 contributes to public confusion about the safety of eating pork. It is gratifying to see the leader on the largest association of newspapers supporting pork producers on this important issue."
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