The world has gone mad about bird flu. In Brazil, first-half 2006 results for poultry exports, initially projected to rise between 5% and 10%, are instead down 11.5% in volume and nine percent in cash value compared with the same period in 2005 - and this before highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 has even reached the Americas. Part of this loss is due to trade barriers, but reports recognize that there is a large component of bird flu phobia; poultry sales are down all over the world, leading to much unemployment and economic hardship.

All this is totally unnecessary. It cannot be emphasized too strongly that H5N1-infected poultry, their eggs, and other products are perfectly safe to eat, provided they are cooked properly. Raw egg and uncooked foie gras are out, but for the gourmet, cooked foie gras has long been available. People who prefer their boiled egg with a...

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