WHO Caves on 'Swine Flu' Name Two Days After Saying It Wouldn't
April 30, 2009 - 4:47 PMOne day after saying they were planning to stick with the name "swine flu," the World Health Organization said Thursday it would stop using the term to avoid the suggestion that pork products are unsafe.
As Cybercast News Service reported, WHO assistant director-general for health security Dr. Keiji Fukuda said during a conference call on Tuesday, “We don’t have any plans to try to introduce any new names for this disease.” At the same time, WHO stressed that eating well-cooked pork and pork products is safe.
But as The Associated Press reported on Thursday, WHO spokesman Dick Thompson told reporters in Geneva “we’re going to stick with the technical scientific name H1N1 influenza A.”
Thompson said the name change was necessary because of concerns raised by the agriculture industry and the U.N. food agency that the term “swine flu” was misleading. Some countries have even ordered the slaughter of pigs.