Oink! Oink! Oink! No, I’ve not lost my marbles but, perhaps, some veterinary medicine folks may have. Pigs now are in line for a new veterinary vaccine with two applications. The first dose is the primer; the second stimulates the response. The vaccine is Improvest® developed by Pfizer Animal Health. I guess since vaccines are so profitable in humans, why not go after the money pot hiding within veterinary medicine.
It seems some market-dressed pig meat, a.k.a. pork, gives off an unpleasant aroma, boar taint, which farmers and U.S. veterinarians want to control. Question: Aren’t pigs supposed to be pigs and smell?
According to Pfizer’s website , Improvest® is a “gonadotropin releasing factor analog—diphtheria toxoid conjugate.” An analog is a switching-like mechanism that, in this case, apparently is directed to the pigs’ gonads thereby interrupting hormone production. Mirriam Webster Medical Dictionary defines conjugate as a chemical compound formed by the union of two compounds or united with another compound.
Whatever formula they came up with in the new pig vaccine, it is supposed to—you ready for this?—“protect against unpleasant aromas that can occur when cooking pork from some male pigs.”
The vaccine, which is given in two applications, is intended to act like a non-surgical castration to reduce boar taint. Back up! Did you catch the diphtheria toxoid conjugate? So, it seems that the diphtheria toxin is used to induce the switching mechanism, if I interpret what little science is said about this new vaccine. After all, it’s a patented trade secret.
How do they (Pfizer and FDA) really know if those vaccinated piggies won’t contract, spread, or possibly host a morphing of a diphtheria organism? Where are the studies, please, that address those issues? As if humans don’t have enough problems with organisms morphing from excessive antibiotic use! Plus more chemical medication in animals used as food.
I wonder if Joel Salatin—at sustainable agriculture Polyface Farm in rural Virginia—will vaccinate his pigs? I don’t think so! I spent a wonderful September Saturday there once and his pigs are something to behold, especially the piglets. And no pig smell! No animal odor anywhere on Joel’s exquisite farm, plus no manure pits that I could see or smell.
It seems that farmed pigs may be going the same route as cows that are injected near their tails with genetically modified bst (bovine somatotropin) to produce more milk that also induces mastitis in cow udders requiring more antibiotics be given to dairy cows, not to mention the pus in their milk which consumers drink because of pasteurization, and that’s okay to drink—apparently.
If one reads the public relations material at Pfizer’s website , it seems that this new pig vaccine is going to save the world from greenhouse emissions and carbon foot printing. Pfizer also provides an Improvest Consumer Resource Center website , which I encourage you to study. It reassures consumers about the safety of pork vaccinated with its newly-FDA-approved-vaccine.
I remember while studying nutrition the health problem with pork primarily was trichinosis. We don’t hear much about that anymore; now it apparently is the cooking odor on consumers’ outdoor or kitchen grilles that has to be modified by farmers using a vaccine made from diphtheria toxins. What’s next?
References: https://animalhealth.pfizer.com/sites/pahweb/US/EN/Products/Pages/Improvest.aspx  https://animalhealth.pfizer.com/sites/pahweb/US/EN/Products/Assets/Improvest/index.html