The International Meat Producers Confederation has apologised unreservedly for the swine flu pandemic, and offered to compensate victims.
"Without our livestock rearing practices the H1N1 virus would not have had the uniquely ideal conditions in which to thrive and mutate," said IMPC chairman Lord Graham in a statement issued today. "The rearing of animals for human consumption by our members has led directly to many thousands of human deaths, and it is our intention to provide compensation to the families of each and every victim of the terrible plague we let loose upon the world."
The organisation has also contacted governments across the globe offering to foot the bill for supplies of the antiviral medication TamiFlu, a move that has been welcomed by the World Health Organisation, although some countries have rejected the offer.
"I can't say I'm surprised that there is reluctance to accept assistance from the meat industry in dealing with the swine flu pandemic," explains Shane Owen, Professor of International Studies at Lancaster University. "It could be seen by some as akin to accepting funding for a Holocaust memorial from Adolf Hitler."