Deadly virus drives up pork prices

A virus new to the U.S. is killing millions of piglets, forcing pork prices to rise nationwide.

Pork prices are up about 13-percent right now after more than 6.8 million piglets in 27 states have died over the past year from a porcine epidemic diarrhea that scientists believe came from China.

Legendary Syracuse butcher shop Liehs and Stiegerwald cures its own bacon, but when supply goes down and pork prices go up, the owner Chuck Madonna says he is forced to raise his prices.

â??If it goes up, you have to bring it up. Otherwise youâ??re just spinning your wheels,â?? Madonna says.

Some supermarket shoppers have noticed the rising pork prices, but say the meat is a necessity in their homes that cannot be cut from the grocery list.

â??Itâ??s a staple breakfast item around our house and although we donâ??t like the prices, weâ??ll have to pay them,â?? says shopper Stephany Richardson.

Other shoppers disagreed, saying the new prices make bacon and other pork products special purchases.

â??Itâ??s out of our control, but we still like it,â?? says shopper Barbara McGlory. â??Unfortunately, itâ??s a luxury now.â??

Madonna of Lieh and Stiegerwald hopes the virus affecting pork producers can be cleared quickly so his prices can return to normal.

The pork industry has already committed $1.7 million to studying the disease and try to find a vaccine.