Magazine article The Spectator

Globophobia

Magazine article The Spectator

Globophobia

Article excerpt

The great food terror is upon us again. On Friday, 23 January the EU Commission banned all imports of chickens and chicken products from Thailand in response to fears over 'Avian flu', which two Thais have contracted from the birds: 'Although the risk of importing the virus in meat or meat products is probably very low the Commission wants to make sure that any possible transmission is avoided.' The chances of contracting Avian flu from a Thai curry from your local takeaway aren't just low, they are non-existent. Imports of live chickens and hatching eggs from Thailand to the EU are already banned; all meat that comes here is already cooked or frozen and is no more likely to give you flu than a tigerskin rug is likely to bite your head off.

No matter; when a Third World country is exporting 120,000 tonnes of chicken meat every year and your own poultry farmers are feeling the pinch, you can't be too careful, eh? Just throw in a mention of the 1919 global flu pandemic and few are likely to argue with a precautionary ban. …

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