By Andy Grimm and Deanese Williams-Harris, Chicago Tribune reporters April 27, 2012
A Minnesota woman who caused a health scare aboard a Delta Airlines flight from Detroit — resulting in the plane being kept on the tarmac at Midway Airport for three hours — says it was all a misunderstanding over bug bites. Lise Sievers of Red Wing was one of 43 passengers aboard Delta flight 3163 to Midway when it touched down and the captain announced the plane would be briefly quarantined. Men with surgical masks over their faces boarded the plane, and rumors flew as passengers tried to figure out what sort of contagion might be spreading through the cabin. Sievers, 50, who was on the tail end of a 20-plus hour trip that began in Uganda, where she had spent more than three months trying to finalize the adoption of two special-needs children, wondered as well, said her son, Roger Sievers. During a layover in Detroit, she had called her mother in La Porte, Ind., and mentioned one of the children she was trying to adopt had broken out in pustules — small, pimplelike sores — during her visit, and that the boy had to be taken to the hospital in Uganda. Sievers also mentioned to her mother that she had suffered an unrelated case of itchy bites which she believed had been inflicted by bedbugs. While Sievers’ flight was en route to Midway, her mother confused Sievers’ bug bites and the boy’s pustules, and called her local hospital to ask what she should do to prepare to treat her daughter’s symptoms. “Any time you mention you’ve been in a tropical country like Uganda and you’ve developed what sounds like an infectious disease, well, they call the CDC right away,” Roger Sievers said, referring to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention…
In a move that could affect security at airports around the nation, the Transportation Security Administration confirmed Wednesday it had such a backlog of background security checks, airport employers were allowed to hire any employee needed. TSA officials said the background checks are delayed, but they are processing them as fast as they can. TSA also will complete background checks on accepted applicants at a later date. On Wednesday, Channel 2 obtained a Hartsfield-Jackson International airport internal security memo detailing the policy shift, but the TSA said the policy affects airports across the country…
“The Use of Antibiotics in Shrimp Farming
The antibiotics most frequently used in aquaculture to combat bacterial diseases are oxytetracycline, florfenicol, sarafloxacin and enrofloxacin. Globally, other antibiotics such as chlortetracycline, quinolones, ciprofloxacin, norfloxacin, oxolinic acid, perfloxacin, sulfamethazine, gentamicin and tiamulin are used.”—Shrimp Culture: The Use of Antibiotics in Shrimp Farming
TSA: "We followed proper procedures" while forcibly handling screaming 7-year-old and 4-year-old girls.
Why does anyone n the media even bother asking them for comment? I suppose it is possible that, one time in 1,000, they might show a glimmer of intelligence and humanity, but at this point, the probabilities are against that ever happening.
The 4-year-old’s story (forcibly inspected — while screaming, and while her mother was prevented from touching her — because she hugged her grandmother): Associated Press
The 7-year-old’s story (developmentally disabled and has cerebral palsy, walks with braces and crutches; screamed and cursed at father who tried to help): The Daily
The movement by U.S. food corporations toward more humane treatment of animals experienced a whopper of a shift Wednesday when Burger King announced that all of its eggs and pork will come from cage-free chickens and pigs by 2017. The decision by the world’s second-biggest fast-food restaurant raises the bar for other companies seeking to appeal to the rising consumer demand for more humanely produced fare. “So many tens of thousands of animals will now be in better living conditions,” said Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States, which has been pushing Burger King and other corporations to consider animal welfare in purchasing policies. “Numerically this is significant because Burger King is such a big purchaser of these products.” The decision by Burger King, which uses hundreds of millions of eggs and tens of millions of pounds of pork annually, could represent a game-change in the egg and pork supply business as a huge new market has opened up for humanely raised food animals. Already 9 percent of the company’s eggs and 20 percent of its pork are cage-free. The Miami-based company steadily has been increasing its use of cage-free eggs and pork as the industry has become better able to meet demand, said Jonathan Fitzpatrick, chief brand and operations officer. He said the decision is part of the company’s social responsibility policy…
China’s State Food and Drug Administration has released a list of locally made medications — antibiotics and traditional formulas — that are contaminated with heavy metals. (They are compound into capsules and “industrial gelatin” was substituted for food grade.)
Moon Marine USA Corporation voluntarily recalls frozen raw yellowfin tuna product “Nakaochi Scrape” associated with a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Bareilly infections
Moon Marine USA Corporation (also known as MMI) of Cupertino, Calif. is voluntarily recalling 58,828 lbs of a frozen raw yellowfin tuna product, labeled as Nakaochi Scrape AA or AAA. Nakaochi Scrape is tuna backmeat, which is specifically scraped off from the bones, and looks like a ground product.
The product is not available for sale to individual consumers, but may have been used to make sushi, sashimi, ceviche and similar dishes available in restaurants and grocery stores.
The company name and Nakaochi Scrape AA or AAA were printed on boxes of the product when it was initially sold to distributors.
However, the boxes may have been broken into smaller lots for further sale and may not be available to the end retailer or consumer. Therefore, the tuna may not be readily identifiable by retail outlets or by consumers as being from the implicated lots.
The Nakaochi Scrape AA and AAA from MMI was sold through distributors to restaurants and grocery stores that make sushi, and has been linked to an outbreak of Salmonella Bareilly, which has caused 116 illnesses in 20 states and the District of Columbia to date. Of the reported illnesses, there have been 12 hospitalizations, and no deaths.
Many of the people who became ill reported eating raw tuna in sushi as “spicy tuna.”
If you purchase “spicy tuna” or other sushi, sashimi, ceviche, or similar dishes that might contain Nakaochi Scrape from a restaurant or grocery store, check with the establishment to make sure that it does not contain raw recalled product from Moon Marine USA Corporation, also known as MMI. When in doubt, don’t eat it. Consumers who think they might have become ill from eating possibly contaminated raw Nakaochi Scrape should consult their health care providers…
News: FDA moving on growth-promoter feed antibiotics?
From an emailed press release, not online yet. Looks like they are releasing three long-delayed documents at once: Guidance 209 (growth promoters/feed efficiency), Guidance 213 (labeling) and their Veterinary Feed Directive (veterinarian involvement). Voluntary controls, not mandatory.
"Today, the FDA is issuing three documents that will help veterinarians, farmers and animal producers use medically important antibiotics judiciously in food-producing animals by targeting their use to only address diseases and health problems. Under this new voluntary initiative, certain antibiotics would not be used for so-called “production” purposes, such as to enhance growth or improve feed efficiency in an animal. These antibiotics would still be available to prevent, control or treat illnesses in food-producing animals under the supervision of a veterinarian.
“It is critical that we take action to protect public health,” said FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D. “The new strategy will ensure farmers and veterinarians can care for animals while ensuring the medicines people need remain safe and effective. We are also reaching out to animal producers who operate on a smaller scale or in remote locations to help ensure the drugs they need to protect the health of their animals are still available.”
The FDA is publishing three documents today in the Federal Register.
—A final guidance for industry, The Judicious Use of Medically Important Antimicrobial Drugs in Food-Producing Animals, that recommends phasing out the agricultural production use of medically important drugs and phasing in veterinary oversight of therapeutic uses of these drugs.
—A draft guidance, open for public comment, which will assist drug companies in voluntarily removing production uses of antibiotics from their FDA-approved product labels; adding, where appropriate, scientifically-supported disease prevention, control, and treatment uses; and changing the marketing status to include veterinary oversight.
—A draft proposed Veterinary Feed Directive regulation, open for public comment, that outlines ways that veterinarians can authorize the use of certain animal drugs in feed, which is important to make the needed veterinary oversight feasible and efficient.
“USDA worked with the FDA to ensure that the voices of livestock producers across the country were taken into account,” said Dr. John Clifford, USDA Chief Veterinary Medical Officer, “and we will continue to collaborate with the FDA, the American Veterinary Medical Association and livestock groups to ensure that the appropriate services are available to help make this transition.”
From kindergarten to Grade 3, children in British Columbia and Alberta are being taught what they can do to save the endangered antibiotics of the world. They learn that handwashing can prevent infections. They learn not to expect an antibiotic when they’re sick and to trust their doctor if no antibiotic has been prescribed. They even get to play online games that teach them how to defend properly against bugs. “Use antibiotics wisely,” instructs the program, called Do Bugs Need Drugs? “You can make a difference.”…
On Saturday afternoon, retired Airforce veteran Mark Baker scuttled his wife and eight children away from their Marion, Michigan farm, and spent a stressful night awaiting a raid by state officials. Baker had been tipped off by a fellow farmer that agents were planning on eradicating his heard of heritage pigs.
Why? Because as of April 1, a controversial ruling by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) transformed the 13 Russian sows Baker breeds with his heritage Mangalitsa boar, into an invasive species. He was suddenly in violation of the law and at risk for having the hogs on his farm wiped out…
By Mark Godfrey, SeafoodSource contributing editor reporting from Beijing, China
02 April, 2012 - Despite a string of initiatives on food safety promised by Beijing policymakers, China’s latest seafood-safety mess looks worryingly familiar.
Shrimp injected with a translucent glue-like gelatin was initially spotted by a consumer in Tianjin in September 2009, whose blogging on the issue drew little national notice. However, when the same girl found the same gelatin-injected shrimp in a retail outlet in Xingtai Food Market in Tianjin in February 2012, she called a local journalist. Coming quickly after Chinese New Year, a peak season of seafood consumption and gift-giving, the resulting news story sent news crews from local media around the country into seafood markets nationwide.
In China, which has sanctioned the death penalty for food-safety violators, senior officials from the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) have already periodically appeared in the press this year to vow higher standards. However, the challenges to improving traceability and safety of local produce are obvious from visits to numerous supermarkets and wet markets in Beijing and Shanghai, where scant information or tracking data is available, in particular on wet product…