Bacon prices are rising as a virus sweeps though the Unites States, killing baby pigs. The Associated Press reported that the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus, which has never been seen in the United States, has already killed millions of pigs in twenty seven states. The price of bacon has risen nearly thirteen percent over the past year. Farmers are desperately attempting to take measures to curtail the epidemic, ranging from basic hygiene to euthanasia of livestock.
The first case of the virus was reported in May of last year. The cold winter this year did not help matters, as scientist reported the virus thrives in cold weather. Pork is at its highest price its ever. In February the average price of sliced bacon was $5.46, compared to $4.83 in 2013, and $3.62 in 2009. CEO of Tyson Foods Donnie Smith told CNBC that "you should expect to see very high prices for your ground beef, your other meat cuts, all the pork cuts will be higher this year."
The National Pork Board released a statement stating that the virus is not a risk to humans or other animals. The statement seemed to emphasize the fact that the virus had been known since 1971 when it was first spotted in England. They maintained that in addition to their team of veterinarians, the USDA and the American Association of Swine Veterinarians were actively monitoring the progress of the outbreak.
Bacon is not the only breakfast item which is rising in price. The American Farm Bureau released a report stating prices for eggs, bread, milk, and cereal all rose last year.
"We're all used to: 'We've got plenty of food, it's cheap. We'll eat what we want to,'" Economist Steve Meyer told the Associated Press. "We Americans are very spoiled by that, but this is one of those times that we're going to find out that when one of these things hits, it costs us a lot of money."
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