DES MOINES – The National Pork Board approved $450,000 in Checkoff funds toward research into Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus. This brings the current total devoted to PEDV research to $527,000 and includes funds recently approved by the Iowa Pork Producers Association's research committee. PEDV was positively identified on hog farms in the United States roughly three weeks ago.

"The National Pork Board took this action to help get answers to US producers as quickly as possible to help protect their herds from this devastating disease," said Conley Nelson, National Pork Board president and producer from Algona, Iowa. "Because of the investment producers make as part of Checkoff, we're able to respond quickly to sudden disease threats such as this."

The presence of the virus was confirmed in May through testing at the National Veterinary Service Laboratory. The virus poses no food-safety risk and is not a trade-restricting disease. Dr. Paul Sundberg, the Pork Checkoff's vice president of science and technology, said the swine health committee and the science and technology team will work closely with the key industry partners, such as the American Association of Swine Veterinarians, the National Pork Producers Council and state pork associations.

"As with all of our research, we want it to be transparent and objective," Conley said. "And in this case, it must be very specific with quick turnaround times so that we can get answers quickly."