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New Consumer Brochure Answers Questions

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

(Washington, DC – April 18, 2006) Consumers needn’t worry about high pathogenic H5N1 strain of avian influenza thanks to the aggressive, “multi-firewall” strategy in place in the U.S. to prevent, detect, contain and eradicate the virus if it arrives on our shores, according to a new brochure available from the American Meat Institute (AMI). The brochure answers commonly asked consumer questions and responds to misconceptions about AI. It explains what the virus is, how it is spread and what the U.S. poultry industry is doing to protect flocks from the virus when and if it arrives here.

The brochure was designed to be downloaded and printed easily by retail stores, who may be receiving inquiries from consumers. Some of the issues addressed in the brochure include:

• What the U.S. is doing to prevent the high pathogenic H5N1 virus from entering the country,

• How poultry production in the U.S. differs from production elsewhere, and

• The fact that ordinary safe handling practices will protect consumers in the extremely unlikely event they ever were exposed to the virus.

“We hope the brochure will help educate the public about the safety of the U.S. poultry supply, the steps being taken by both government and industry to address the H5N1 AI virus should it arrive in the U.S.,” said Skip Seward, Ph.D., vice president of regulatory affairs and AMI’s chief microbiologist. “It also outlines why consumers should rest assured that poultry will remain a safe protein choice.”

To download, view and print the brochure, go to www.poultrysafety.org and click on “The Facts about Avian Influenza.”

AMI will also offer a Spanish language version of the brochure by summer.

For more information contact:
David Ray
Vice President, Public Affairs
Janet Riley
Sr. Vice President, Public Aff

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