The American Meat Institute (AMI) urged the news media to cease inaccurate references to swine flu because they are creating confusion among the public.

“According to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), North American Flu is a more accurate description of the virus that has affected people in North America,” said AMI President J. Patrick Boyle.

Boyle referenced an OIE press release issued yesterday which read, “The virus has not been isolated in animals to date. Therefore, it is not justified to name this disease swine influenza. In the past, many human influenza epidemics with animal origin have been named using their geographic name, eg Spanish influenza or Asiatic influenza, thus it would be logical to call this disease “North-American influenza”.

Boyle stressed that pork is safe and consumers do not need to change their eating habits in the wake of this news. “Public health officials, including those from the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control, have made clear that pork is not a source of influenza. Consumers can continue to enjoy pork with confidence.”

To read the full statement or read related articles, link to the American Meat Institute.