LINGAYEN – That’s fake news. This was the reaction of Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol to reported presence of swine flu epidemic in the country during his visit to Lingayen.
Piñol said the text message that went viral is fake news and baseless.
He said there is no basis for his office to release a health advisory against swine flu because there are no reported incidents of consumers getting sick.
He strongly suspected that it is a scare campaign being waged by some traders to reduce the demand for pork and affect the price of pork in the market.
“Isang scare campaign ito ng kung sino man na nagpapakalat nyan, para takutin ang consumer, mataas kasi ngayon ang presyo ng pork, kaya pwedeng panakot yan para di bumili ng pork at bumagsak ang demand at bababa ang presyo,” Piñol said.
He pointed out that it is impossible for swine flu to originate from imported meat, because DA is implementing strict policy on quarantine.
The Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) specifically denied the report that an average of 40 pigs daily died because of swine flu.
BAI advised the public not to rely on unverified news in social media but instead, help the industry by continuing to patronize local meat products.
Rosendo So of the Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura also confirmed there is no incidence of swine flu reported from the piggeries and backyards in Pangasinan.
SINAG is also helping the DA to monitor and guard the entry of imported meat from Europe, Canada and United States of America, So said. (Nora Dominguez)
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