Tyson is recalling about 131,300 pounds of ground beef because a family in Ohio fell ill after eating meat produced by the company that was contaminated withE. coli, the U.S. Department of Agriculturereported Wednesday.
The recall involves beef sold as Kroger brands atKroger Co. supermarkets; Butcher’s Beef at Food Lion supermarkets; and generic beef sold to SAV-A-LOT, Spectrum Foods, Supervalu and the Defense Commissary Agency, company spokesman Gary Mickelson told The Associated Press…
The E. coli bacteria that has sickened at least 22 people across the St. Louis region may be linked to produce at local grocery stores.
The confirmed E. coli cases include 16 in St. Louis County, two in Jefferson County, two in St. Charles County, one in St. Louis City and one in St. Clair County. At least six people have been hospitalized.
Health officials confirmed the source of the E. coli 0157 is food-borne, but said the investigation is ongoing and all of the affected people have not been interviewed. Grocery stores have not been asked to pull any food from shelves or salad bars, but may have voluntarily done so…
When considering those factors that would engender trust with consumers, commercial farming operations are seen as largely out of sync with consumers’ values, according to new research on behalf of the Center for Food Integrity (CFI).
When asked what they think a farmer’s goals are, and what they should be, more than 2000 respondents indicated that they believed family farmers’ priorities were close to what they should be. That is, consumers believe that family farmers rank such priorities as profitability, sustainability, productivity and affordability in close to the same order as consumers think they should.
Commercial farming operations, however, were seen as emphasizing the wrong priorities, putting profitability and productivity higher in the rankings than consumers think they should, and de-emphasizing issues such as humane treatment of farm animals that are important to consumers.
For example, respondents said they believe commercial ag operations rank profitability as the second most-important priority, after producing affordable food, among eight priorities to choose from.
Consumers, meanwhile, believe profitability should be ranked seventh among eight priorities. Humane treatment of farm animals, though, is seen near the bottom of commercial ag farmers’ priorities, while consumers think it should be ranked at least fourth among eight priorities.
These are “pretty significant gaps,” said CFI CEO Charlie Arnot, presenting these and other findings of the annual survey of Consumer Trust in the Food System at the Food System Summit in Chicago. The disconnects feed an overall distrust of commercial ag operations, he noted.
“Gaining [consumers’] trust by demonstrating shared values is way more important than demonstrating how competent you are,” Arnot told attendees. Transparency is key: “You must bring consumers in and get them to believe you.”
CDC is collaborating with public health and agriculture officials in New York and other states and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis infections linked to Turkish pine nuts purchased from bulk bins at Wegmans grocery stores. Representatives from Wegmans are cooperating with public health officials. Public health investigators are using DNA “fingerprints” of Salmonella bacteria obtained through diagnostic testing with pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, or PFGE, to identify cases of illness that may be part of this outbreak. They are using data from PulseNet, the national subtyping network made up of state and local public health laboratories and federal food regulatory laboratories that performs molecular surveillance of foodborne infections. A total of 42 individuals infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Enteritidis have been reported from 6 states. The number of ill persons identified in each state with the outbreak strain is as follows: Arizona (1), Maryland (1), New Jersey (2), New York (26), Pennsylvania (8), and Virginia (4). Among 42 persons for whom information is available, illnesses began on or after August 20, 2011. Ill persons range in age from <1 to 94 years, and the median age is 43 years old. Fifty-seven percent of patients are female. Two patients were hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.
Summary: Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) is investigating a human case of novel influenza virus of swine origin. Federal CDC confirmed the novel strain in a child from Cumberland County earlier this week. A primary care provider evaluated the child, and provided treatment. The child was not hospitalized, and is recovering from the illness. Maine CDC has not identified any additional human cases. A joint investigation with the Maine Department of Agriculture and federal CDC is ongoing.
Background: Influenza viruses are commonly found in humans, swine, birds, and other animals. The type of influenza identified in the Maine case is similar to previous, rare human infections with swine- origin H3N2 viruses, that also contains a genetic component of the pandemic H1N1 virus. This virus is genetically similar to four previous cases identified in the United States this year, three in Pennsylvania and one in Indiana, all of which had exposure to swine.
This child became ill in early October 2011 with symptoms similar to seasonal influenza including fever, cough, headache, sore throat and myalgia. Prior to illness, the child had exposure to swine including time spent in a closed setting at an agricultural fair. Maine CDC and the Department of Agriculture are currently investigating exposures. Presently this is an isolated event and Maine CDC has not confirmed any person to person transmission…
Norovirus Infectivity in Humans and Persistence in Water
Scot R. Seitz,1† Juan S. Leon,1† Kellogg J. Schwab,2 G. Marshall Lyon,3 Melissa Dowd,1‡ Marisa McDaniels,1§ Gwen Abdulhafid,3 Marina L. Fernandez,1 Lisa C. Lindesmith,4 Ralph S. Baric,4 and Christine L. Moe1*
China vaccinated 4.5 million children and young adults over the last five weeks in the western region of Xinjiang in a fight against polio after the disease paralyzed 17 people and killed one of them, the World Health Organization said.
Polio has broken out in China for the first time since 1999 and scientists say the strain originated from Pakistan. The outbreak marked the latest setback to a global campaign to eradicate polio, now endemic in only four countries — Afghanistan, India, Pakistan and Nigeria.
"Even if they don’t come down with any symptoms (carriers), by giving them polio vaccine we make that person less infectious," said Oliver Rosenbauer, WHO spokesman for the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in Geneva.
All 17 polio cases occurred in Hotan prefecture in the province of Xinjiang and the patients fell ill between early July and mid-September. The Geneva-based WHO assumes that for every case it finds, there would be 199 others infected with the virus without displaying symptoms, he added.
In large vaccination drives that started in early September, health workers have since vaccinated 4.5 million people with three doses each of the polio vaccine, the WHO said…
As of 9am EDT on October 17, 2011, a total of 123 persons infected with any of the four outbreak-associated strains of Listeria monocytogenes have been reported to CDC from 26 states.
Pennsylvania has reported their first case since the last CDC update.
Twenty-five deaths have been reported.
In addition, one woman pregnant at the time of illness had a miscarriage.
CDC recommends that consumers not eat whole or pre-cut Rocky Ford-brand cantaloupe from Jensen Farms. This is especially important for older adults, persons with weakened immune systems, and pregnant women. Even if some of the cantaloupe has been eaten without becoming ill, dispose of the rest of the cantaloupe immediately. Listeria bacteria can grow in the cantaloupe at room and refrigerator temperatures.
Cantaloupes that are known to NOT have come from Jensen Farms are safe to eat. If consumers are uncertain about the source of a cantaloupe for purchase, they should ask the grocery store. A cantaloupe purchased from an unknown source should be discarded: “when in doubt, throw it out.”…
"The government-owned General Motors may soon be partnering with Hollywood to encourage speeding, drunk driving, and general mayhem. Insiders tell Vulture that the world’s second-largest carmaker is in discussions about backing an update of The Cannonball Run in a deal that would be much larger than your average product placement. With this deal, a new Run could double as a big, two-hour demonstration of GM’s new cars…"
attn #sciwri11: here's accurate wording & source of the quote I used in the blog-tweet-sleep session:
… which was:
“if you leave every channel open to everybody and anybody, all the time and without limit, you necessarily prevent yourself from ever stepping away from the fray for long enough to focus. You’ll never make the time that it takes to produce the sort of good work that theoretically made you so appealing in the first place.”
It comes from this post, part 3 in a series on attention management by tech and productivity blogger Merlin Mann (@43folders). The series starts here and is worth reading in its entirety.
A meal of contaminated beef did, in fact, cause five Mexican soccer players to test positive for clenbuterol before the Gold Cup, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) decided this week, dropping its appeal of an earlier decision by the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). The players will not face sanctions, The Associated Press reported. WADA even praised the research that FIFA had done, gathering the evidence in conjunction with the government of Mexico. “The studies conducted by FIFA showed the correctness of the footballers’ claim that the positive samples were the result of meat they had ingested at a training camp ahead of the tournament,” the AP quotes FIFA as saying. Mexico won the Gold Cup in June, beating the U.S., despite the absence of the five players in question. Mexico’s government, meanwhile, has reportedly agreed to address the issue of livestock receiving steroids, which is illegal in that country…
As of 9am EDT on October 11, 2011, a total of 116 persons infected with any of the four outbreak-associated strains of Listeria monocytogenes have been reported to CDC from 25 states. All illnesses started on or after July 31, 2011. The number of infected persons identified in each state is as follows: Alabama (1), Arkansas (1), California (1), Colorado (34), Idaho (1), Illinois (1), Indiana (3), Iowa (1), Kansas (7), Louisiana (2), Maryland (1), Missouri (4), Montana (1), Nebraska (6), New Mexico (13), New York (1), North Dakota (1), Oklahoma (11), Oregon (1), South Dakota (1), Texas (17), Virginia (1), West Virginia (1), Wisconsin (2), and Wyoming (3). Twenty-three deaths have been reported: 5 in Colorado, 1 in Indiana, 2 in Kansas, 2 in Louisiana, 1 in Maryland, 1 in Missouri, 1 in Nebraska, 5 in New Mexico, 1 in New York, 1 in Oklahoma, 2 in Texas, and 1 in Wyoming. In addition, one woman pregnant at the time of illness had a miscarriage.
(Email announcement from USDA FSIS. On their website here. - m.)
WASHINGTON, Oct. 11, 2011 – Commercial Meat Co., a Los Angeles, Calif., establishment is recalling approximately 377,775 pounds of ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.
The following ground beef products are subject to recall:
5,10,15,20,30,40,50 and 60 lb. cases of bulk ground beef
5,10 and 20 lb. cases of ground beef patties
10,15,20,30,40 and 50 lb. cases of ground beef taco
5,10,15,20,25,30,40,50 and 60 lb. cases of ground beef chili
Each case bears a label with the establishment number “EST. 4873” inside the USDA mark of inspection. The products subject to recall were produced between Sept. 7, 2011 and Oct. 6, 2011 and were shipped to restaurants in California and Nevada, as well as one Federal establishment in California for further processing. The problem was discovered through routine FSIS monitoring which confirmed a positive result for E. coli O157:H7. The company did not hold product pending test results, resulting in this recall. FSIS and the company have received no reports of illnesses associated with consumption of these products. Individuals concerned about an illness should contact a healthcare provider.
Reintroduction of poultry co-product protein in pig feed, and vice-versa, will improve the competitiveness of Europe’s livestock sector, say organisations representing farmers, processors and renderers.
Co-product protein will help address Europe’s “dramatic” protein deficit and extreme cereals price volatility, they say in a letter to health commissioner John Dalli.
The current high cost of feed, which represents around 50 percent of total pig and poultry production cost, is unsustainable, say farmers union Copa-Cogeca, the Liaison Centre for the Meat Processing Industry in the European Union, the European Fat Processors and Renderers Association and the European Livestock And Meat Trading Union. They welcome the European Commission’s move towards lifting Europe’s ban on co-pro (also known as “processed animal protein” or “pap”) once safeguards have been put in place.
They agree intra-species recycling should be banned but urge the European Commission to accept a margin of error.
“We fear that a strict zero tolerance of technically unavoidable presence of processed animal protein of a non-ruminant species in feed destined for the same species is disproportionate,” they say. “Indeed the stakes are more ethical than sanitary.” They draw attention to the European Food Safety Authority’s view that “the risk of transmitting BSE to pigs utilising poultry processed animal protein and vice-versa is negligible and that, in this scenario, any increase in the exposure risk of BSE to humans would be negligible”.
European farmers, processors and renderers say they would accept co-product protein being allowed only on dedicated farms and processing units “to avoid any misuse” They add, “If this means that only a limited number of enterprises might be able to exploit the advantages of the reintroduction of processed animal protein, we acknowledge that it will facilitate the task of national controls.”
(“Intra-species recycling” — e.g., feeding cows to cows — played an important role in the distribution of mad-cow disease in the UK. - m.)
As of 9am EDT on October 6, 2011, a total of 109 persons infected with any of the four outbreak-associated strains of Listeria monocytogenes have been reported to CDC from 24 states.
All illnesses started on or after July 31, 2011.
The number of infected persons identified in each state is as follows: Alabama (1), Arkansas(1), California (1), Colorado (32), Idaho (1), Illinois (1), Indiana (2), Iowa (1), Kansas (7), Maryland (1), Missouri (3), Montana (1), Nebraska (6), New Mexico (13), New York (1), North Dakota (1), Oklahoma (11), Oregon (1), South Dakota (1), Texas (16), Virginia (1), West Virginia (1), Wisconsin (2), and Wyoming (3).
Twenty-one deaths have been reported: 5 in Colorado, 1 in Indiana, 2 in Kansas, 1 in Maryland, 1 in Missouri, 1 in Nebraska, 5 in New Mexico, 1 in New York, 1 in Oklahoma, 2 in Texas, and 1 in Wyoming.
In addition, one woman pregnant at the time of illness had a miscarriage…
ABUJA—The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Wednesday announced a reward of $500,000 for states that can eradicate polio in Nigeria in 2012. A statement released by the Foundation said the award was announced during a meeting last week between Bill and Melinda Gates and the Governors’ Forum, represented by Rivers State governor, Mr Rotimi Amaechi.
According to the statement by the Foundation’s Senior Communication Officer (External Communication), Michal Fishman, the initiative, titled “ Governors immunization leadership challenge”, initiated together with Nigeria Governors’ Forum, will recognize governors whose states passed a pre-defined threshold to improve routine immunization coverage and end polio. The states that meet the threshold criteria will be awarded a $500,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support their top health priorities.
He said: “ Nigeria ‘s leaders are critical to making Nigeria polio free and their renewed confirmation last week of the Abuja Commitments will make an important difference. “As Nigeria ’s partner, the Gates Foundation is committed to doing what we can support their efforts to end this terrible, but preventable, disease.
“The award will support winning governors’ priority initiatives in public health, such as malaria and tuberculosis, improving immunization, HIV prevention and treatment, or safe drinking water and hygiene promotion”…
Great piece from Jason Gale (Bloomberg) asks whether China is ready to rein in antibiotic over-use
…Now health officials want those dispensing prescription antibiotics without the obligatory doctor’s note to be stripped of their license. The tougher penalties are part of a plan to rein in a market worth more than $11 billion. Reckless use of the life-saving pills is making them lose their potency faster than new ones can be developed, researchers say.
…A ministry plan to curb consumption of bacteria-fighting drugs may be introduced as early as this month. Drugmakers have lobbied to delay its implementation, and some companies have already slowed production in anticipation of a drop in demand in the second half of the year, said Jacqueline Mei, a Shanghai- based health-care analyst at CLSA Ltd.
…Seventy percent of hospital patients take antibiotics and half of outpatients get the medicines, according to the health ministry. It wants to cut antibiotic use to one in five prescriptions and half of inpatients by the end of the year. Antibiotic Overuse “China is definitely overusing antibiotics,” Mei said.
The problem is illustrated by the speed at which penicillin and cephalosporin-based medicines are losing their effectiveness against E. coli, the biggest cause of urinary tract infections. The proportion of infections caused by the bowel-dwelling bug resistant to both groups of antibiotics in China tripled to 65 percent in 2009 from 21 percent in 2002, researchers reported in a study last year…
…During 2001—2009, an estimated 2,651,581 children aged ≤19 years were treated annually for sports and recreation—related injuries. Approximately 6.5%, or 173,285 of these injuries, were TBIs (Table 1).
Approximately 71.0% of all sports and recreation—related TBI ED visits were among males; 70.5% were among persons aged 10—19 years.
An estimated 2.5% of children and adolescents with sports and recreation—related injuries were hospitalized or transferred to other facilities, compared with an estimated 6.6% of those with sports and recreation—related TBIs.
From 2001 to 2009, the estimated number of sports and recreation—related TBI visits to EDs increased 62%, from 153,375 to 248,418, and the estimated rate of TBI visits increased 57%, from 190 per 100,000 population to 298. During this same period, the estimated number of ED visits for TBIs that resulted in hospitalization ranged from 9,300 to 14,000 annually but did not show a significant trend over time.
Overall, the activities associated with the greatest estimated number of TBI-related ED visits were bicycling, football, playground activities, basketball, and soccer (Table 2). Activities for which TBI accounted for >10% of the injury ED visits for that activity included horseback riding (15.3%), ice skating (11.4%), golfing (11.0%), all-terrain vehicle riding (10.6%), and tobogganing/sledding (10.2%). Activities associated with the greatest estimated number of sports and recreation—related TBI ED visits varied by age group and sex (Table 3). For males and females aged ≤9 years, TBIs most commonly occurred during playground activities or when bicycling. For persons aged 10—19 years, males sustained TBIs most often while playing football or bicycling, whereas females sustained TBIs most often while playing soccer or basketball, or while bicycling.
The findings in this report indicate that, from 2001 to 2009, the number of sports and recreation—related ED visits for TBI among persons aged ≤19 years increased 62% and the rate of TBI visits increased 57%.
These increases might reflect an increased participation in sports and recreation, an increased incidence of TBI among participants, and/or an increased awareness of the importance of early diagnosis of TBI. Because the number of ED visits for TBIs that resulted in hospitalization did not trend upward significantly, increased awareness likely contributed to the increasing number of ED visits for TBI.
Additionally, this report highlights that the rates of sports and recreation—related TBI visits were higher among persons aged 10—19 years than among younger persons. This finding might be associated with age-related increases in participation in higher-risk activities (e.g., competitive contact sports) or increases in participants’ weight and speed, leading to greater momentum and force of impact (6)…
(Skeptical whether this will amount to anything, but willing to hear I am wrong from any China ag experts. - m. H/t to @IATP who found this month-old story.)
China’s Ministry of Agriculture has announced a forthcoming ban on antibiotics as growth promoters in animal feed. The ban is supported by the academic community, which believes that without antibiotics in animal feed, the health of animals will be better promoted, microbes’ resistance to antibiotics will be lowered and food will become safer to eat. Recent statistics show that in 2006 China produced 210,000 tons of antibiotics, and 97,000 tons were added to animal feed. Today it is estimated that 400,000 tons are produced annually.
Longtime friend/collector Trevor Valle (he is the reason I have the Neilgaiman.com domain) is sick, and is selling off his Neil Gaiman collection to pay for medical care and living expenses while undergoing care.
Cat Mihos is helping Trevor by putting his things on ebay. There are rarities and collectors’ items: Original Marc Hempel KINDLY ONES pages, woodcuts, books, prints - even a one of a kind Jon Singer porcelain bowl, made with clay from beneath my house.
As of 11am EDT on October 3, 2011, a total of 100 persons infected with any of the four outbreak-associated strains of Listeria monocytogenes have been reported to CDC from 20 states.
All illnesses started on or after July 31, 2011.
The number of infected persons identified in each state is as follows: Alabama (1), Arkansas (1) California (1), Colorado (30), Idaho (1), Illinois (1), Indiana (2), Kansas (7), Maryland (1), Missouri (3), Montana (1), Nebraska (6), New Mexico (13), North Dakota (1), Oklahoma (11), Texas (14), Virginia (1), West Virginia (1), Wisconsin (2), and Wyoming (2).
Eighteen deaths have been reported: 5 in Colorado, 2 in Kansas, 1 in Maryland, 1 in Missouri, 1 in Nebraska, 5 in New Mexico, 1 in Oklahoma, and 2 in Texas.
“Mmalignant mesothelioma remains a rare form of cancer but the disease is on the rise, probably due to the spread of asbestos use over past decades. Our analysis shows that the disease burden is still predominantly borne by the developed world. However, since asbestos use has recently increased in developing countries, a corresponding shift in disease occurrence is anticipated.
Our analysis of the global mortality pattern suggests that there are early indications of this shift and lends support to the call by international organizations to eliminate asbestos-related diseases and discontinue the use of asbestos throughout the world.”
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced today a plan to address concerns regarding the supply of Merial’s Immiticide (melarsomine dihydrochloride), a product used to treat heartworm infection in dogs. FDA is allowing Merial to import limited quantities of Immiticide from their European supplier, which is the approved source of the product for international markets. The measure is temporary, while Merial works out technical issues in the plant where Immiticide is manufactured for use in the U.S. The European supplier has a limited amount of Immiticide available for importation – a quantity that will only satisfy a fraction of U.S. demand. As a result, veterinarians are being asked for their cooperation to conserve this limited supply by using it only for dogs in most urgent need of treatment. The product will only be available directly from Merial through a restricted distribution program and will not be available through Merial’s distributors or for purchase to stock clinic inventory. In addition, the packaging of the imported product is in a format intended for other countries and does not meet U.S. regulatory requirements. Therefore, Merial will provide a copy of the U.S. Immiticide Package Insert with each shipment and asks that veterinarians follow the prescribing information it provides. Additional details on Merial’s temporary measure to import Immiticide can be found in their Dear Doctor letter to veterinarians. For questions on how to obtain Immiticide, please contact Merial Customer Care at 1-888-MERIAL-1 (1-888-637-4251).
CDC update on Listeria: now 15 deaths, 84 cases, 19 states
Up from 13 deaths, 72 cases three days ago. Text of their announcement:
Today’s Highlights, September 30, 2011 As of 11am EDT on September 29, 2011, a total of 84 persons infected with any of the four outbreak-associated strains of Listeria monocytogeneshave been reported to CDC from 19 states. All illnesses started on or after July 31, 2011. The number of infected persons identified in each state is as follows: Alabama (1), Arkansas (1) California (1), Colorado (17), Illinois (1), Indiana (2), Kansas (5), Maryland (1), Missouri (3), Montana (1), Nebraska (6), New Mexico (13), North Dakota (1), Oklahoma (11), Texas (14), Virginia (1), West Virginia (1), Wisconsin (2), and Wyoming (2). Fifteen deaths have been reported: 3 in Colorado, 1 in Kansas, 1 in Maryland, 1 in Missouri, 1 in Nebraska, 5 in New Mexico, 1 in Oklahoma, and 2 in Texas.
The (UK) Food Standards Agency is advising the Government to keep the ban on using pigs and poultry in animal feed. The European Commission wants it lifted, saying that with tight controls it would be safe to allow pig meat to be fed to poultry or vice versa.
The FSA has said the risk of disease is small but worth keeping the ban in place.
But farmers say science is on their side and using animal protein in feed would reduce imports of soya - so be better for conservation - and would add value to their animals…
…Samples were tested for the presence of Hepatitis E virus (HEV - target virus) and Porcine Adenovirus (PAdV; indicator of faecal contamination). Three points in the food supply chain were sampled, collecting faeces and liver samples at the production stage (abattoir), muscle samples at site of processing (meat processing plant) and sausage samples from point of sale. In addition, surface swabs were collected from these premises, in areas where viral contamination was considered more likely.
HEV was detected at all three points of the pork food supply chain, and with the exception of point of sale, the prevalence of HEV relative to PAdV would be consistent with a potential faecal contamination source. Six of 63 (9.5%) sausages tested had detectable HEV RNA: all six positive samples identified were from one of three batches of sausages that had been collected.
In terms of foodborne transmission of HEV these represent the most significant findings. Available data suggests that the consumption of raw / undercooked sausage is a potential route of HEV transmission.
Crucially, it is not known if HEV that was detected in this study was viable and this will now be investigated using in vitro cell culture. Information on the viability of the virus will be critical in the assessment of the risk to public health of HEV contamination in the pork food supply chain…
A group of hazardous chemical compounds that are common in industrial processes and personal care products but which are not typically monitored by the Environmental Protection Agency have been detected throughout the Narragansett Bay watershed, according to a University of Rhode Island researcher.
Rainer Lohmann, associate professor of chemical oceanography, and graduate student Victoria Sacks, with the help of 40 volunteers, tested for the presence of the chemicals in 27 locations. The compounds were found at every site.
"Being exposed to these compounds is the hidden cost of our lifestyle," said Lohmann. "It’s frustrating that as we ban the use of some chemical compounds, industry is adding new ones that we don’t know are any better." Lohmann said the good news is that the chemicals were detected at extremely low levels. "By themselves, none of these results makes me think that we shouldn’t be swimming in the bay or eating fish caught there," he said. "But we only tested for three compounds that might be of concern, and we know there are hundreds more out there. The totality of all those compounds together is what may be worrisome."
The three compounds the researchers measured, which scientists refer to as “emerging contaminants of concern,” are: triclosans, antibacterial agents found in many personal care products and which have been identified as posing risks to humans and the environment; alkylphenols, widely used as detergents and known to disrupt the reproductive system; and PBDEs, industrial products used as flame retardants on a wide variety of consumer products. PBDEs have been banned because they cause long-term adverse effects in humans and wildlife. PBDEs, methyltriclosan and triclosan were found in highest concentrations in the Blackstone River, Woonasquatucket River and in upper Narragansett Bay, while some detergents were detected at similar levels at nearly every site…
“For 2003—2010, a total of 111 cases were identified in seven states (Table 2). The majority of cases occurred during 2008—2010 (73%), were of low severity (81%), and were identified by poison control centers (81%). New York City had the largest percentage of cases (58%). Among cases with known age, the majority occurred among persons aged ≥25 years (67%). The majority of cases occurred at private residences (93%); 40% of cases occurred in multiunit housing. Among cases, 39% of pesticide applications were performed by occupants of the residence who were not certified to apply pesticides. The majority of insecticide exposures were to pyrethroids, pyrethrins, or both (89%) and were in toxicity category III (58%) (Table 2). The most frequently reported health outcomes were neurologic symptoms (40%), including headache and dizziness; respiratory symptoms (40%), including upper respiratory tract pain and irritation and dyspnea; and gastrointestinal symptoms (33%), including nausea and vomiting.
Among cases, 13 (12%) were work-related. Of these, three illnesses involved workers who applied pesticides, including two pest control operators, of whom one was a certified applicator. Four cases involved workers who were unaware of pesticide applications (e.g., two carpet cleaners who cleaned an apartment recently treated with pesticides). Two cases involved hotel workers (a maintenance worker and a manager) who were exposed when they entered a recently treated hotel room, and two cases involved emergency medical technicians who responded to a scene where they found white powder thought to be an organophosphate pesticide. Contributing factors were identified for 50% of cases. Factors that most frequently contributed to insecticide-related illness were excessive insecticide application (18%), failure to wash or change pesticide-treated bedding (16%), and inadequate notification of pesticide application (11%) (Table 3).
The one fatality, which occurred in North Carolina in 2010, involved a woman aged 65 years who had a history of renal failure, myocardial infarction and placement of two coronary stents, type II diabetes, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, and depression. She was taking at least 10 medications at the time of exposure. After she complained to her husband about bed bugs, he applied an insecticide†† to their home interior baseboards, walls, and the area surrounding the bed, and a different insecticide§§ to the mattress and box springs. Neither of these products are registered for use on bed bugs. Nine cans of insecticide fogger¶¶ were released in the home the same day. Approximately 2 days later, insecticides were reapplied to the mattress, box springs, and surrounding areas, and nine cans of another fogger*** were released in the home. On both days the insecticides were applied, the couple left their home for 3—4 hours before reentering. Label instructions on the foggers to air out the treated area for 30 minutes with doors and windows open were not followed on either day. On the day of the second application, the woman applied a bedbug and flea insecticide††† to her arms, sores on her chest, and on her hair before covering it with a plastic cap. She also applied the insecticide to her hair the day before the second application. Two days following the second application, her husband found her nonresponsive. She was taken to the hospital and remained on a ventilator for 9 days until she died.
Another example of insecticide misuse to control bed bugs occurred in Ohio in 2010. An uncertified pesticide applicator applied malathion to an apartment five times over the course of 3 days to treat a bed bug infestation. The malathion product was not registered for indoor use and was applied liberally such that beds and floor coverings were saturated. …”
This might be controversial: The CDC put a notice in the Federal Register this morning that it intends to propose new guidelines for additional organ testing, and donor screening, for donated organs. In additional to HIV, which is already screened and tested for, they propose also screening/testing for hepatitis C (HCV) and human papilloma virus (HPV). Over four years, the agency said, it conducted 200 investigations of possible virus transmission via organs, some of which resulted in deaths.
Dr. Matt Kuehnert, director of the CDC’s office of blood, organ and other-tissue safety: “Our first priority must be patient safety.”
At the same time, surely this will decrease supplies of organs, which are already insufficient? Perhaps it will re-stimulate discussions of using “less than perfect” organs? Interesting, worth follow-up.
Nigeria has commenced the vaccination of young between the ages of 9 and 15 with the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) as part of a national strategy to reduce the mortality associated with cervical cancer. Cervical Cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer with high mortality in Nigeria. Statistics from the country’s ministry of health stated that Nigeria documents 10,000 new cases of cancer annually with 8,000 of these cases being cervical. Nigeria’s minister of Health, Onyebuchi Chukwu told AfricaSTI that “the vaccine would protect against 70 per cent of all those possible causes of cervical cancer.” According to the ministry, the high mortality associated with cervical cancer is due to lack of awareness of the disease, late presentation of patients to the hospital and cultural beliefs contrary to early treatment interventions. Chukwu said that the country cannot afford to cover the cost of vaccination for all girls in Nigeria due to paucity of funds but noted that following negotiations between Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation and the vaccine manufacturers, most Nigerian girls would be able to access the vaccines at subsidised rate…
"For years, the food industry and consumer groups have been aligned on the need to modernize the nation’s food safety inspection system. “Food-borne illnesses” — an outbreak of salmonella or E. coli, for instance — are a problem not just for consumers but for industry as well. Recalls are expensive. Sales shrink, even for companies not involved in the recall. Lawsuits ensue. Employees lose their jobs. It can take years to recover from a food scare."
The problem, or at least one of them, is that as Offit explains, there’s no way, biologically speaking, for the HPV vaccine to even impact the nervous system.
"It’s doesn’t even make biological sense," he says. The Gardasil vaccine is produced by taking the gene that coats the HPV virus, and then putting that in a yeast plasma, and then putting that plasma in your bloodstream. But it has nothing to do with the nervous system.
"HPV vaccines were studied in thousands of people in many countries around the world, including the United States," notes the Center for Disease Control on its website. "These studies found that both HPV vaccines were safe and cause no serious side effects."
Kansas City Star reporter Alan Bavley reports today that the federal government threatened him with money penalties for using the publicly available version of the National Practitioner Data Bank for a story.
Bavley was writing about doctors with long histories of alleged malpractice who had…