The Obama administration scored its first major foreign policy victory last week when U.S. trade officials announced from Hangzhou, China, that China intends to re-open its markets to U.S. pork and live swine.
Even if nobody gets sick with H1N1 flu at Jim Gibbens’ Hexagon Farms near Cando, N.D., the virus already has taken a serious toll there.
The villain isn’t the virus itself, actually, but the name by which it commonly goes:
ST. PAUL – “Swine flu” made an already-sick pork industry even sicker.
And while the rest of the world awaits a new, and potentially much harsher, round of what officially is known as H1N1 influenza this fall, pork producers fear that renewed talk of the flu will make a money-losing situation worse.
It means North Dakota no longer will have to send its swine flu samples to a federal laboratory in Atlanta for confirmation. A state Health Department official says that will cut nearly two weeks off the turnaround time for test results.
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