Swine flu slows down global economic activity

Concerns about a Swine flu outbreak lowered retail stocks on Monday.

According to food safety expert Nancy Childs, pandemic reactions create consumer distrust in the safety of the retail environment.

"Any potential for further slowdown in global economic activity is a concern," says Childs. "Pandemic flu concerns, as occurred early in the decade with SARS, and mid-decade in Europe and Asia with isolated Avian flu outbreaks in bird populations, generate an uneven impact on commerce."

Building off of the 2003 SARS pandemic in Toronto, when the Canadian economy suffered a $515 million blow, Childs advises retailers create a welcome and safe environment for shopping and food products."

Nancy Childs, Ph.D., professor of food marketing at Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia, serves on Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell's Food Safety Council. She is available to discuss the anticipated consumer response to swine flu in the retail environment:

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