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Legal, Legislation, Regulation, Policy  

CDC Increases Funding To Fight Infectious Diseases, Including Foodborne Disease

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has awarded $110 million to states and communities to boost their ability to track and respond to infectious diseases. The money will target infectious disease surveillance and outbreak response, public health laboratories, health information systems, and efforts to combat zoonotic, vector-borne and foodborne diseases; vaccine-preventable infections; influenza; and healthcare-associated infections. The total award amount is $13 million higher than in fiscal year 2014. The increased funding is allocated to vaccine-preventable-disease surveillance, foodborne-disease prevention and advanced molecular detection, among other projects.

"CDC funding helps states address infectious disease threats", News release, CDC, August 03, 2015

Opponents Of Herbicide Glyphosate Urge Consumer Action In U.K.

The Soil Association in Great Britain is urging consumers to push retailers and bread manufacturers to stop using glyphosate – the weed killer used in RoundUp – in wheat cultivation because British government and EU regulators are not likely to act. A recent World Health Organization preliminary study found that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic,” though manufacturer Monsanto says there is no scientific evidence to support that opinion. The association says glyphosate use has increased 400 percent in the last two decades, and tests on British bread found glyphosate in a third of the samples. Bakery and milling organizations say the glyphosate levels found in bread are insignificant and harmless.

"Bread companies should drop glyphosate, says Soil Association", Food Navigator, July 20, 2015

Research, Studies, Advice  

Antibiotics Use On German Animal Farms Needs To Be Strictly Controlled

Though antibiotics use in German animal husbandry has been declining -- 15 percent less in 2014 than in 2013 – the practice has nevertheless led to some serious safety issues, specifically an increase in multi-resistant pathogens. Experts say the medications being used on German animal farms, particularly reserve antibiotics that encourage animal fattening, are important to human health and should not be on farms at all. The German government needs to impose binding reduction targets for antibiotic use, deadlines for implementing the measures and stronger controls. If such actions are not taken, within three decades 10 million people worldwide could die of infection from pathogens that are resistant to most antibiotics.

"Antibiotics on animal farms spread deadly pathogens, experts warn", EurActiv.com, July 31, 2015

Dangerous Pathogen Should Be Added To Official Food Safety List

A study by U.S. and Danish researchers confirms that the increasing antibiotic resistance of the harmful bacteria Klebsiella pneumoniae poses a serious public health threat. The researchers compared K. pneumoniae isolates from retail meat products and human clinical specimens to assess their similarity. They looked at turkey, chicken and pork products sold in nine major grocery stores in Arizona, then analyzed urine and blood samples taken from local residents suffering from infections during the same time period. Forty-seven percent of the 508 meat products purchased harbored Klebsiella, and many of the strains were antibiotics-resistant. The researchers suggest that Klebsiella be added to the official list of dangerous pathogens in food products.

"Intermingled Klebsiella pneumoniae populations between retail meats and human urinary tract infections. ", Clinical Infectious Diseases, July 23, 2015

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