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Monday, May 08, 2006

Trend: "Don't Panic": When Birds Attack!

This week, ABC airs Fatal Contact: Bird Flu In America - a "drama ripped from today's headlines"!

Hype or warning?

Well, check the White House plans for this possible pandemic which include...very little as usual, just lots of "monitoring" the situation. Although the federal government will stockpile 75 million doses of antiviral drugs and 20 million doses of vaccine to combat any outbreak of pandemic flu, LOCAL GOVERNMENTS AND INDIVIDUAL COMMUNITIES WILL HAVE TO SHOULDER MOST OF THE BURDEN IN BATTLING THE DISEASE.

Translation: you're on your own, suckers!

But don't worry...the US Agriculture Department is developing some effective TV ads featuring some persuasive talking heads and they've even launched some web campaigns to educate and calm. Because really, "Biosecurity is for the birds", people, and nothing like a cartoon chicken from the government to make me feel better about all that silly concern!

So worry or not? Government "experts" assure us that any possible avian flu in America simply will not transfer to humans, anyway. So, I think that is your cue to worry folks...

Meanwhile, producers and fast feeders in the $50 billion a year chicken industry, like McDonald's, El Pollo Loco, Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits, Subway and KFC are now waging a massive marketing-communications program singly and through trade associations to reassure consumers that eating chicken is safe.

Producers Tyson Foods and Pilgrim's Pride are already suffering slower sales. Pilgrim's Pride plans to cut chicken production by 3% on excess inventory. It reported last week that its U.S. operations saw market pricing in the second quarter fall 30% from a year ago and domestic chicken sales volume drop 4% on lower demand.


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