Mad Cowboy Interview 06: Dr. Michael Greger

"...H5N1 is like no flu virus that we've ever seen before... it's killing over 60% of people that have come down with it --- a coin toss whether one lives with this disease. In 2006 it was more like 70% dead, in the first cases in 2007, more like 80% dead. I mean, these are Ebola statistics. It doesn't sound like the flu at all. If this flu were to trigger, were to mutate to a form easily transmittable from one person to the next, it would spread around the world as another flu pandemic, and if it retained any semblance of its current human lethality, it could be a truly catastrophic event...

...it all comes down to a basic question, that is, is it worth risking the lives of millions of people for the sake of cheaper chicken?"

- Dr. Greger (in the "Mad Cowboy Interview")

"Michael Greger, M.D., is Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at The Humane Society of the United States. An internationally recognized lecturer, he has presented at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, among countless other symposia and institutions, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous "meat defamation" trial.

Dr. Greger is a graduate of the Cornell University School of Agriculture and the Tufts University School of Medicine. His latest book (also available online with "term searching" capabilities) is "Bird Flu: A Virus of Our Own Hatching." His other books include "Carbophobia", taking on the Adkins Diet.

All of the proceeds Dr. Greger receives from his books and speaking engagements are donated to charity.

"This interview took place in early March 2007 by phone. It was targeted for release during the 4th International Bird Flu Summit (in Wash. DC). Dr. Greger is one of the featured speakers.

The transcribed interview is in two parts. Among many topics, Part One discusses the history of bird flu, the 1918 pandemic & implications, the lethality of H5N1, origins & potential consequences of a pandemic, factory farming, and issues of transmission and protection. Part Two examines "crying wolf," food safety, defensive strategies for food poisoning and bird flu, the website, the book, going vegan, food production and global issues, some personal questions, and what he'd do as Public Health Czar."

--- Mark Sutton, Mad Cowboy Webmaster/Editor