Industry experts are aiming to clarify what swine flu is and what it means for consumers.
Pope said consumers “need to be concerned about influenza, but not eating pork.”
No evidence has surfaced of those contracting the H1N1 virus having been in contact with pigs, and officials stress that well-cooked pork and pork products are safe to eat.
The virus is spreading from human-to-human contact.
Hog farmers also are trying to quell consumers’ fears about pork products, especially in light of pork trade bans arising from the outbreak.
“We are in a very economically stressed economy, and anything a country can do to discredit another country’s product, they will do that for trade advantage,” said Scott Burroughs, CEO at Nebraska Pork Partners.