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Internet Journal of Food Safety

9/18
2007
ISSUE:272

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2nd International Conference for Food Safety and Quality (Nov. 6-7, 2007), South San Francisco Convention Center
Key Speakers

Daniel Y.C. Fung - Kansas State University
- Presentation for Detection of Foodborne pathogens

Michael Doyle - University of Georgia
- Presentation for Major issues for food safety

Stan Bailey - Microbiologist, USDA
(2008 IAFP President)
- Presentation for Industrial Actions for Food Safety
Peter Bodnaruk - Ecolab Inc.
- Presentation for Pathogens Control Systems for Food Safety
Robin Forgey - Costco
- Presentation for Contemporary issues in microbiological Sampling/Testing
Paul Hall - IAFP President (2004), VP ConAgra Foods Inc.
- Action of Food Industries for Food Safety and Quality
William D. Marler, Esq. -MarlerClark attorneys at Law
- Presentation for Current Outbreaks and Legal Actions
Indaue Mello-Hall, PepsiCo.
- Presentation for Formulating with safety and stability in mind
Dong-Hyun Kang- Washington State University
- Presentation for Detection of Enterobacter sakazakii
Robert E. Koeritzer -President of AOAC International (2005-2006), 3M
- AOAC for testing
Jenny Scott - IAFP President (2000-2001), VP- FPA
- Presentation for Major issues for food safety

Click here for more information

Family sues restaurant over oyster death
By ELIZABETH LEE
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Source of Article: http://www.ajc.com/
Published on: 09/12/07
The daughters of a woman whose death has been linked to eating raw oysters have sued Spondivits Seafood & Steaks. The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Fulton County State Court by Stephanie Barnes and Erica Coston, contends that Spondivits was negligent in handling the oysters. It asks for unspecified damages.
Spondivits did not return phone calls Wednesday seeking comment.
Delphine Barnes, 52, had stopped in at the South Atlanta restaurant with a friend on Aug. 6, and shared a plate of raw oysters, according to the lawsuit. She died four days later of an illness triggered by Vibrio vulnificus, a bacteria found in the Gulf of Mexico in warm months that can concentrate in oysters and cause an often-fatal illness in people with damaged immune systems.
Barnes had anemia and some other health issues, but had eaten raw oysters many times without problems, said Craig Jones of Atlanta law firm Edmond & Jones, the daughters' attorney.
She had recently retired from the Fulton County Sheriff's Department, where she was a deputy. Her daughters also work for the sheriff's office.
Barnes experienced stomach pains, headaches and fatigue in the days after eating the oysters. On Aug. 10, she was too weak to get out of bed. An ambulance took her to South Fulton Medical Center and she died early that evening, a few hours after arriving at the hospital. "This lady wasn't in perfect health. She had problems that were perfectly manageable and she was 52 years old," Jones said.
She's a responsible person who lived by the rules, and this happens."

New Spanish Language ISO 22000 Food Safety Procedures Manual Addresses Growing Demand for a Safer Food Supply
September 17, 2007
Source of Article: http://www.emediawire.com/releases/2007/9/emw553866.htm
Download this press release as an Adobe PDF document.: http://pdfserver.emediawire.com/pdfdownload/553866/pr.pdf

Food Manufacturers, Suppliers, Producers, Handlers and Auditors in Spanish speaking countries/environments can use prewritten food safety policies and procedures to control and protect the food supply and address the requirements of ISO 22000:2005 and HACCP.
St. Louis, MO (PRWEB) September 17, 2007 -- Bizmanualz, Inc. (http://www.bizmanualz.com), a business publishing, education, and consulting company located in Clayton, Missouri, today announced the release of a Spanish language version of its ISO 22000:2005 Food Safety Management Manual. The original English version was released in January 2006. The Spanish version is titled Bizmanualz ISO 22000 Seguridad En Los Alimento Politicas, Procedimientos, and Formas.
The manual is designed to assist all participants along the food chain--Food Safety/Quality Managers, Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) inspectors, Food Safety Enforcement Agency Personnel, Auditors, and Procurement personnel, as well as owners and managers of food production, supply, transportation, and import companies. The manual includes easily editable procedures to meet food safety, quality, and HACCP requirements. (http://store.bizmanualz.com/customer/ISO_22000_Seguridad_en_los_Alimentos-127-35.html)

International product safety, especially food safety, is an increasing concern. The food industry worldwide is faced with a growing need to demonstrate its ability to control food safety hazards and contamination. While local, state, and national governments have implemented various regulations and laws, the ISO 22000:2005 Food Safety Management System (FSMS) is becoming the accepted compliance standard for safe consumer food production worldwide.
Mr. Christopher Anderson, the Managing Director of Bizmanualz explains that, "The Bizmanualz ISO 22000 Food Safety Management System Manual provides a framework to demonstrate compliance with applicable statutory and regulatory food safety requirements. By complying with this standard, a company demonstrates that their system meets the requirements established by suppliers, customers, and other parties in the food chain, and it can assist in placing guards against contamination that may enter the food chain from multiple points."
Mr. Anderson adds, "This manual allows any company to incorporate best practices and optimal standards in establishing formal FSMS policies and procedures, regardless of their size or location. This publication is the only one of its kind in the way it provides the guidance and the tools required to accurately and efficiently determine and meet the food safety requirements of the organization."
"There are more than 20 specific policies addressed, including Food Safety Records, Supplier Evaluation, Training, Hazard Analysis, HACCP Plan Management, Internal Audit, and Prerequisite Programs," adds Mr. Stephen Flick, Bizmanualz Product Manager and the editor of the manual. "You get all this content in a published manual, and it includes a CD containing all procedures and forms in an easily editable MS-Word format, allowing any company to customize the manual to create its own policies and corresponding procedures."
The Spanish versions of the ISO 22000 Food Safety Procedures Manual comes with over 480 pages of practical documentation in proper ISO format. It includes prewritten food safety policies, food safety procedures, and accompanying forms. Plus, there is a detailed explanation of ISO 22000 including helpful information and guidance for producing your own Food Safety Management Manual.
Bizmanualz also offers policy and procedure manuals that cover many key business segments such as Accounting, Computer & IT, Human Resources, Sales and Marketing, ISO 9001 Quality Management System, Disaster Recovery, and Security Planning. All Bizmanualz Policies and Procedures manuals combine a printed manual with easily editable MS-Word documents on CD-ROM.
ISO 22000 Seguridad en los Alimentos Politicas, Procedimientos y Formas: Como crear rapidamente un sistema general de ISO 22000 para la Seguridad en los Alimentos con una facil y entendible traduccion de Politicas y Procedimientos en cuanto a la Seguridad en los Alimentos, Calidad y HACCP (480 pages/trade binder/ ISBN 1-931591-32-4/ $595.00) is a Knowledge Management title from Bizmanualz, Inc. All Bizmanualz products are available by calling the publisher at 800-466-9953 (international customers call 314-863-5079), or visiting www.bizmanualz.com

Leading Food Safety Expert Dr. Mike Doyle Calls Modified Atmosphere Packaging Technology ¡®Revolutionary¡¯ Doyle Tells Canadian Meat Council His Research Demonstrates Food Safety Benefits
September 13, 2007

Source of Article: http://www.meatami.com/
"MAP with CO packaging of fresh beef is a major technological achievement in providing extended shelf life and reduced microbiological hazards to fresh beef,¡± Dr. Michael Doyle, director of the Center for Food Safety at the University of Georgia said today.
Doyle delivered his remarks in a keynote address to the Canadian Meat Council symposium on Advances in Antimicrobial Interventions for Quality Control of Meat and Poultry Products held in Toronto, Canada. The symposium was attended by more than 110 microbiologists, industry, academic and government scientists from across Canada and the U.S. Dr. Doyle¡¯s keynote address was entitled ¡°Advances in Antimicrobial Interventions: A Key to Meat Quality and Safety."
During his talk covering a variety of cutting-edge food safety technologies, Doyle described a study that he and his colleague, Dr. Li Ma, conducted at the University of Georgia, which demonstrated that low-oxygen modified atmosphere packaging with minute levels of carbon monoxide in the gas mix in addition to nitrogen and carbon dioxide ¡°retarded the growth of E. coli O157:H7 in ground beef under temperature abusive storage conditions."

He said his study also found that this packaging system extended shelf life based on appearance -- color, odor and texture of ground beef -- even under abusive temperature conditions.
He also mentioned information from the peer-reviewed scientific literature that agrees with the University of Georgia results. He noted 2006 research conducted at Texas Tech University reached similar conclusions.
"MAP CO-treated meat is a revolutionary technology providing greater protection against foodborne pathogens and extended shelf life to fresh beef,¡± Doyle said.
Doyle also described the food safety and quality benefits of case ready packaging generally including its production under controlled processing conditions.
Doyle has served on the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods and is considered one of the world¡¯s leading experts in food microbiology and food safety. He joins numerous other scientists in supporting the quality and safety benefits of this packaging system.

4th E. Coli Case NOT Linked to Yonkers Store Beef
Saturday, 15 September 2007
YONKERS (1010 WINS) -- State health authorities say a fourth case of food poisoning didn't come from ground beef that sickened three other people and led to a recall by a Yonkers store.
The three people - all members of one family - fell ill from E. coli after eating Stew Leonard's 96 percent lean ground round.
Officials explored whether a fourth E. coli case might be linked to the same product, but determined it wasn't.
Stew Leonard's has said health officials don't believe the store was the source of the bacteria. But the store has announced a voluntary recall of all packages of 96 percent lean ground round sold between June 30th and August 1st.
E. coli can cause intestinal sickness and other problems.

E.coli Scare at Logan County Schools
Posted: 5:48 PM Sep 13, 2007
Last Updated: 7:10 PM Sep 13, 2007
Reporter: Ryan Dearbone
Source of Article: http://www.wbko.com/news/headlines/9768942.html
A possible E.coli scare has many Logan County parents concerned for their children's health. Logan County School's Superintendent Marshall Kemp has told WBKO that there has been two cases of E.coli found at Auburn Elementary School this week. He says that since then, the school has been cleaning and scrubbing the school in order to get rid what may be causing the illness. Kemp says school will remain open despite the illness.
Officials at the Barren River Health Dept. say parents shouldn't be alarmed, but should keep an eye on their children. "The key thing is to monitor for any of the symptoms, like fever, abdominal pain, bloody diarrhea, nausea or vomiting. If they have any of these symptoms, we ask them to follow-up with their health care provider," said Dr. Srihari Sashadri, with the Barren River Health Dept. The health department also stresses the importance for parents to make sure their kids wash their hands to help avoid these symptoms.

Intensive meat production a danger to food supply, warns FAO
By Ahmed ElAmin
Source of Article: http://www.foodproductiondaily.com/

17/09/2007 - A report, issued today by the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) about the increased risk of pathogen contamination in industrial meat production, serves as an advance warning to processors of a growing problem.
"Global animal food production is undergoing a major transformation that could lead to a higher risk of disease transmission from animals to humans," the FAO stated in a new report. The warning is particularly apt, as regulators around the world have been implementing laws requiring processors to develop traceability systems to determine the origin of their supplies all the way back to the farm.
Such far-reaching traceability is important in tracing contamination incidents back to source to determine the extent of a problem. Fears over the meat supply chain have been hightened due to the spread of diseases such as bird flu and BSE.
The risk of disease transmission from animals to humans will increase in the future due to human and livestock population growth, dynamic changes in livestock production, the emergence of worldwide agro-food networks and a significant increase in the mobility of people and goods, the FAO stated in the policy brief.
As countries have become more affluent and the world's population continues to rise, demand for meat and other livestock products has grown substantially, the FAO stated.
To satisfy this higher demand for meat products, livestock production and densities have significantly increased, often close to urban centres. Industrial animal production has become more concentrated, using fewer but more productive livestock breeds.
"There is no doubt that the world has to depend upon some of the technologies of intensive animal food production systems," said FAO livestock policy expert Joachim Otte. "But excessive concentration of animals in large scale industrial production units should be avoided and adequate investments should be made in heightened biosecurity and improved disease monitoring to safeguard public health." The FAO identified pig and poultry production as the are the fastest growing and industrializing livestock sub-sectors, with annual production growth rates of 2.6 and 3.7 per cent over the past decade.
As a consequence, in the industrialized countries, the vast majority of chickens and turkeys are now produced in houses with 15,000 to 50,000 birds.
The trend towards industrialisation of livestock production is occurring rapidly in developing countries, where traditional systems are being replaced by intensive units, most notably in Asia, South America and parts of Africa.
Industrial pig and poultry production relies on a significant movement of live animals. In 2005, for example, nearly 25 million pigs, more than two million pigs per month, were traded internationally. The movement of animals and the concentration of thousands of confined animals increase the likelihood of transfer of pathogens, the FAO stated.
Confined animal houses also produce large amounts of waste, which may contain substantial quantities of pathogens. Much of this waste is disposed of on land without any treatment, posing an infection risk for wild mammals and birds.
While the highly pathogenic H5N1 virus is currently of major global concern, the circulation of influenza A viruses (IAVs) in poultry and swine should also be closely monitored internationally, the FAO recommended.
A number of IAVs are now fairly widespread in commercial poultry, and to a lesser extent in pigs, and could also lead to emergence of a human influenza pandemic.
The FAO called upon meat producers to apply basic biosecurity measures.
Production sites should not be built close to human settlements or wild bird populations, farms should be regularly cleaned and disinfected, the movements of staff and vehicles should be controlled and employees should be trained in biosecurity, the FAO stated.

USDA Announces Publication of Minimal Risk Rule for Cattle and Beef
September 14, 2007 Source of Article: http://www.meatami.com/
USDA¡¯s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) today announced that it will make final a proposed rule to expand the list of allowable beef and cattle imports from countries recognized as presenting a minimal risk of introducing bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) into the United States.

APHIS Administrator Dr. John Clifford told reporters today that the peer reviewers ¡°believe that the assumptions in the risk assessment represent the worst case scenarios and that the overall findings are reasonable.¡±

The rule would allow the importation of:

- live cattle and other bovines for any use born on or after March 1, 1999;
- all beef and beef products;
- blood and blood products derived from bovines, collected under certain conditions; and,
- casings and part of the small intestine derived from bovines.

Clifford told the media affirmatively that, ¡°The risk of BSE being established in the U.S. as a result of these regulations is negligible.¡± The proposed rule brings the U.S. into close alignment with internationally recognized World Organization of Animal Health (OIE) guidelines.
According to Agriculture Department officials, the proposed listing of additional items for importation is based upon a thorough risk assessment completed by APHIS, which found that the risk associated with these commodities is minimal.
¡°The announcement of the rule today is based upon careful and thoughtful review of the science,¡± said AMI President J. Patrick Boyle ¡°Full restoration of cattle and beef trade with Canada is scientifically justified and appropriate under international animal health guidelines.¡±
Once finalized, the rule would expand upon the January 2005 rule that allowed the importation of certain live ruminants and ruminant products, including cattle less than 30 months of age for delivery to a slaughterhouse or feedlot, from countries recognized as minimal risk.
The agency said the rule will appear in the September 18 Federal Register and will take effect November 19. For additional information, visit the APHIS Web site, http://www.aphis.usda.gov .
Food Safety and Quality Job Information
Food Safety and Quality Job Information

Dropping Drug May Pump Up Price Of Milk
(Miami Herald)
BY MONICA HATCHER

Food-safety advocates and scientists disagree on whether milk containing hormones is bad for humans and cows, but this much is clear: You won't see much of it anymore in Florida grocery stores.
Publix Super Markets, Florida's largest grocery chain, announced in May it would no longer buy milk from cows treated with the synthetic hormone rBST. As of this month, nearly all of the state's dairy farmers stopped using the substance.
''I think it's a great idea,'' said Miriam Graydon, a mother perusing the dairy case this week at a Coral Gables Publix. Her son can't swallow an Oreo without a tall, cold glass of milk, and she would rather that milk be hormone-free.
Since growth hormone helps farmers squeeze an extra gallon of milk from the average dairy cow, moving herds off rBST means a dip in production -- and profits -- for some dairies. For Southeast Milk, a cooperative of 300 dairy farms -- 160 in Florida -- there wasn't much choice: Publix is its largest customer.
The sweeping, and rather sudden, transformation of Florida's dairy industry illustrates the large-scale changes some suppliers are being forced to make to survive amid growing demand for more naturally produced foods and beverages.
''I got to sell my milk, and the marketplace in Florida says it needs to be from cows not treated with rBST,'' said Joe Wright, Southeast Milk's president, who owns a 1,400-head dairy farm in Avon Park.
The cooperative, mainly family farms, produces more than 80 percent of the milk consumed in Florida, sold under the Publix, McArthur Dairy, Costco and Winn Dixie brands, among other labels.
The cooperative required all members to cease using the hormone Sept. 1.
Wright said Publix agreed to pay the cooperative more for its milk, though not enough to cover losses for the decline in production.

Approved by the FDA in 1994, rBST, or recombinant bovine somatotropin, is a lab-created copy of bovine somatotropin, a hormone naturally produced in cows that speeds their ability to convert feed into milk.
The hormone is controversial. The European Union and Canada have never approved its use. Some activists blame it for contributing to high cancer rates, early puberty and other ailments.
Animal-rights proponents also point to studies showing an increased risk of udder infections among rBST cows, requiring them to take antibiotics, which in turn increases the likelihood of those medications leaching into milk.
Farmers are skeptical. They say strict screening protocols and economic penalties keep infected cows off the production line. They also say the udder infection, called mastitis, is common among untreated cows, as well.
The synthetic hormone is not traceable in milk, and 90 percent of the naturally produced BST is burned away during pasteurization, according to several studies.
What's more, critics of antihormone moves say retailers' demand for rBST-free herds is cutting into the national milk supply, pushing already record-high milk prices up. Between January and August, the average gallon of 2 percent milk has risen in South Florida by 25 percent to $4.29, the most recent data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows.
High demand, coupled with rising farm costs, have contributed to the spike. No direct correlation has been shown between higher prices and the increased number of dairy farmers eschewing rBST.
Still, Henry Miller, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution who headed the Food and Drug Administration Office of Biotechnology from 1989 to 1993, described Publix's decision as anticonsumer.
''It especially disadvantages the poor because it raises the price of milk unnecessarily,'' Miller said, ``and with a product of milk where demand is elastic, people consume less of the product as the price goes up. It's a detriment to health.''
He also said it would be impossible for Publix to ferret out cheaters because rBST is undetectable in milk.
A Publix spokeswoman said the company had taken no side in the debate, rather, it was responding to inquiries about rBST from some customers and requests from others to sell milk from untreated herds.
''We're in the business of catering to our customers and responding to what our customers are looking for at the grocery store,'' said Publix spokeswoman Maria Brous.
But Miller says he knows of no surveys in which consumers have identified rBST herds as an issue.
''If you have products that are side by side, and the gene-spliced product is cheaper, people will buy the cheaper product,'' Miller said, ``In surveys, almost no one mentions gene-splicing or rBST as a concern.''
Three of four customers who were buying milk earlier this week at Publix told The Miami Herald they had never heard of rBST. After its contested health effects were explained, the three still said price would dictate which brand they bought.
''I buy Publix brand because it's cheaper,'' said Jeannie Perez, 35. ``I don't think the regular consumer knows about that stuff. Unfortunately, all we care about is price.''

But Graydon, 52, said she chose milk from untreated cows as a compromise. ``I can't buy organic because it's real expensive, but this is kind of like organic -- a little bit.''
Chris Galen, a spokesman for the National Milk Producers Federation, said the push to eliminate the growth hormone from some dairy herds began as a marketing strategy about 18 months ago amid a shortage of organic milk.
Milk from cows not treated with artificial growth hormone was touted as the next best thing to organic, even though nontreated cows meet none of the requirements for organic certification. Nonetheless, rBST-free milk is sometimes sold at premium prices.
''It's a mid-price, mid-range product in the dairy case that appeals to those people who don't want to shell out $8 for organic but have some vague unease with what is claimed to be wrong with rBST,'' he said.
Publix's Brous said the store had pledged not to raise the price of its milk based on rBST-free herds.
Resigned to the transition, dairy farmer Wright questioned the need to eliminate rBST, but said he understood Publix's move. ''My own wife doesn't want to drink rBST milk,'' Wright said. (9/13/07)

Marijuana Ingredient May Prevent Mad Cow Disease
Sunday, September 16 2007
Edited by: Michael Hess
Source of Article: http://bbsnews.net/article.php/20070916110536662
Cannabidiol May be Effective in Preventing Bovine Spongiforme Enzephalopathy (Mad Cow Disease)
BBSNews 2007-09-16 -- (IACM) According to basic research of scientists of the National Centre for Scientific Research in Valbonne, France, cannabidiol (CBD) may prevent the development of prion diseases, the most known being BSE (bovine spongiforme enzephalopathy), which is often called mad cow disease. It is believed that the BSE may be transmitted to human beings. In humans, it is known as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.
The infectious agent in prion diseases is believed to be a specific type of misfolded protein called prion. Misfolded prion proteins carry the disease between individuals and cause deterioration of the brain. The French researchers reported that the non- psychoactive cannabis constituent CBD inhibited the accumulation of prion proteins in both mouse and sheep prion- infected cells, whereas other cannabinoids were either weak or not effective. Moreover, after infection with mouse scrapie, a prion disease, CBD limited accumulation of the prion protein in the brain and significantly increased the survival time of infected mice. CBD inhibited the nerve damaging effects of prions in a concentration-dependent manner. Researchers noted that CBD may be a promising agent for the treatment of prion diseases.

(Source: Dirikoc S, Priola SA, Marella M, Zsuerger N, Chabry J. Nonpsychoactive cannabidiol prevents prion accumulation and protects neurons against prion toxicity. J Neurosci 2007;27(36):9537-44.)

Salmonella enterica Serovar Typhimurium Exploits Inflammation to Compete with the Intestinal Microbiota
September 17, 2007
Source of Article: http://www.scientistlive.com/
ABSTRACT
Most mucosal surfaces of the mammalian body are colonized by microbial communities (¡°microbiota¡±). A high density of commensal microbiota inhabits the intestine and shields from infection (¡°colonization resistance¡±). The virulence strategies allowing enteropathogenic bacteria to successfully compete with the microbiota and overcome colonization resistance are poorly understood.
Here, we investigated manipulation of the intestinal microbiota by the enteropathogenic bacterium Salmonella enterica subspecies 1 serovar Typhimurium (S. Tm) in a mouse colitis model: we found that inflammatory host responses induced by S. Tm changed microbiota composition and suppressed its growth. In contrast to wild-type S. Tm, an avirulent invGsseD mutant failing to trigger colitis was outcompeted by the microbiota. This competitive defect was reverted if inflammation was provided concomitantly by mixed infection with wild-type S. Tm or in mice (IL10?/?, VILLIN-HACL4-CD8) with inflammatory bowel disease. Thus, inflammation is necessary and sufficient for overcoming colonization resistance.
This reveals a new concept in infectious disease: in contrast to current thinking, inflammation is not always detrimental for the pathogen. Triggering the host's immune defence can shift the balance between the protective microbiota and the pathogen in favour of the pathogen.
Authors: Barbel Stecher, Riccardo Robbiani, Alan W. Walker, Astrid M. Westendorf, Manja Barthel, Marcus Kremer, Samuel Chaffron, Andrew J. Macpherson, Jan Buer, Julian Parkhill, Gordon Dougan, Christian von Mering, Wolf-Dietrich Hardt
(This journal article was originally published in PLoS. Open Access.)

A guide to genetically engineered foods
By Carol Ness | San Francisco Chronicle
September 17, 2007

Source of Article: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/
I could hear my mother's voice in my head as I leafed through Andrew Kimbrell's new quick-guide to genetically engineered foods. "Oh, the government says they're OK. And if they were such a big problem, we'd all be falling down dead by now. They're no different than regular hybrids," she'd say, handing me a pot to wash with a dismissive snort.
Polls have shown that a majority of Americans disagree with her. But many people also have a tough time explaining why, beyond their instinctive or ideological mistrust of this new technology.
I'll admit I've never found the few quick sentences that might open my mother's mind to another view, because the subject is so complicated, involves heavy science and, I suspect, because people aren't falling down dead by the dozen from eating tortilla chips made with GE corn or drinking corn-syrup-laced soda.

That we know of. Yet.
But genetic engineering isn't E. coli, and opponents of GE food, also known as genetically modified organisms (GMO), say problems suggested in some health studies could take years to show up. Meanwhile, we're eating lots of GE foods anyway, whether we know it or not especially in processed foods, because corn, soy and canola are the Big 3 GE food crops.
For people like my mother, this may not be a problem. But for many people who know they don't want to eat GE foods, or for whom the jury is still out, it may be.
"Since our government has refused to label these foods, how do we avoid buying and eating these foods?" asks Kimbrell, an attorney who heads the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Food Safety, a vocal opponent of GE foods.
His new book, Your Right to Know: Genetic Engineering and the Secret Changes in Your Food (Earth Aware Editions, 2007), answers that question. And, remarkably, it accomplishes that in a user-friendly, factoidal, fun-with-graphics way.

Guide to GE foods
For conscious eaters, the heart of the book is a 14-page guide to your local supermarket. It tells you which foods are the most likely to contain GE ingredients (chips, snacks and baby formula), which aren't (fruits, vegetables, wheat), and how to read labels for "hidden ingredients" derived from corn, soy or canola (hint: look for high fructose corn syrup, soy lecithin and canola oil).
A passport-size version of the guide, small enough to slide into most pockets or purses, comes along with the book.
"I wanted to give people a usable tool to avoid these foods so they don't feel so helpless," says Kimbrell.
The book isn't intended to present the pros and cons of GE foods. Kimbrell is 100 percent against the technology and spends a lot of time in court fighting companies like Monsanto, to keep GE crops from spreading. The Center for Food Safety also opposes irradiation and food animal cloning, and has labored to keep industry from weakening federal organic standards.
In fact, Kimbrell is the man who calls the administration's efforts to ensure food safety "Katrina on a plate."
But anyone who has questions about genetically engineered foods, or is confused about the issue, might want to take a look at this book. Kimbrell and his staff lay out the complexities of the case against GE foods in bite-size pieces that manage to be thoroughly researched (220 footnotes!) and easily digestible.
Concerns about human health issues like allergens, toxins and dangerous proteins potentially created as side effects of genetic engineering are aired, as well as the environmental threats.
There are profiles of key players, lists of major food manufacturers and their friendliness to GE foods, and a two-page chart worthy of "The L Word" that draws the many links between top U.S. food regulators and Monsanto and other GE food developers.
As Kimbrell tells me, nobody, not the Food and Drug Administration, which regulates food, nor the GE food companies, has ever declared GE foods to be safe.
"They say they're not proven to be unsafe, and as an attorney I appreciate that turn of phrase," Kimbrell says.
While more than half of all the corn, cotton, soy and canola grown in the United States is now genetically modified, most of it so that it can be sprayed with herbicides, Kimbrell says much of the food supply is GE-free.
"You can get through most of your shopping without buying GE foods and this could be at a supermarket," he says. "It's much better news than you think."

Push for labeling
And he added, a lot of the food that does contain GE ingredients is junk food, or full of high fructose corn syrup.
"You should be avoiding these foods anyway," he says.
The Center for Food Safety continues to push for the labeling of GE foods, both to help onsumers who want to avoid them and also for another reason.
A lack of labels makes it difficult to track an increase in allergic reactions or some other pattern of health problems to a genetically engineered ingredient or food, Kimbrell says.
"If you don't have a government agency looking for patterns," he asks, how will the safety of GE foods ever be determined?
Other countries do require labels and are conducting these kinds of studies.
In the meantime, conscious consumers now have a guide.

Multistate Outbreaks of Salmonella Infections Associated with Raw Tomatoes Eaten in Restaurants --- United States, 2005--2006

FDA Statement by Commissioner von Eschenbach on the Release of the Strategic Framework Document on Import Safety

NEW RESULTS SHOW ALCOHOL-FREE ANTIBACTERIAL LOTION KNOCKS OUT STAPH, MRSA, SHIGELLA, C.DIFICILE AND MORE
Friday, September 14, 2007
Source of Article: http://healthcare.dbusinessnews.com/
Houston -
Invisible Armor released summary
results of new studies of its alcohol-free skin sanitizer and protector conducted by Dr. James Oliver, microbiologist at the University of North Carolina Charlotte. The independent test results indicate that The Invisible Armor formulation is effective against /Staphylococcus aureus
/(Staph), /S. aureus /MRSA, /Clostridium difficile/ and /Shigella flexneri, /among numerous other harmful germs and bacteria.

¡°This represents a tremendous breakthrough in reducing cross-contamination and helping to prevent the spread of dangerous infections caused by Staph, MRSA, C. Dificile, Shigella and more,¡± says company founder and President Tammy Powell. ¡°The statistics speak for
themselves?each of these poses a serious threat to public health. The World Health Organization says that Shigellosis is endemic throughout the world infecting millions each year. We see it cropping up mostly in day care settings in the U.S. but more than 1 million people worldwide die annually as a result of Shigella infections. And almost every day I
read about outbreaks of Staph or MRSA infections in hospitals, schools, correctional facilities, gyms and more. The Invisible Armor is not only effective against these and other germs and bacteria, but unlike other products, it protects against recontamination for up to (4) hours, even with repeated hand washings. While alcohol-based products kill germs and bacteria?when the alcohol evaporates in 15-30 seconds, the protection is gone and once the skin encounters another germ-covered surface it¡¯s contaminated again. In contrast, upon application The Invisible Armor forms an invisible, non-sticky, non-greasy layer on the skin that
continues to kill germs and bacteria for up to (4) hours, making it extremely effective in terms of infection control and reducing cross-contamination,¡± she adds.

The Invisible Armor Inc. is privately-held and manufactures a full line of innovative healthcare products. Its alcohol-free antibacterial formulation contains 0.5% Triclosan combined with 1.5% EDTA. The company¡¯s products are sold through commercial distributors and retail
stores nationwide. Visit the company¡¯s website at http://www.theinvisiblearmor.net .

Oxoid Show New Products for the Clinical Microbiology Laboratory at IBMS 2007
source from : rapidmicrobiology.com
Oxoid will be showing its new product range for the accurate determination of minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values at the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) Congress (24-26 September 2007, Birmingham, UK). Oxoid M.I.C.Evaluators¢â (M.I.C.E.) combine the simplicity and ease of use of the diffusion method with the accuracy of an MIC test, to provide important information for the treatment of patients.

Oxoid M.I.C.E.¢â provide a gradient of stabilised antimicrobial, covering 15 doubling dilutions, in a convenient polymer strip format. When applied to a pre-inoculated agar plate, the antimicrobial is released from the M.I.C.E. strip, forming a defined concentration gradient in the surrounding agar. After incubation, the MIC value is easily read as the value within the box where the growth of the organism touches the M.I.C.E. strip.

As the winter season approaches, rapid tests for Influenza and Norovirus will also be on display. The IDEIA¢â Norovirus test allows Norovirus to be detected in stool samples within just 2 hours, allowing outbreaks to be identified quickly. The Remel Xpect¢ç Flu A & B rapid lateral flow test provides results in only 15 minutes and is useful in rapidly identifying infection in those who are particularly vulnerable, such as the elderly and the immuno-compromised.

The Oxoid Brilliance Range of chromogenic media and the Xpect and ProSpecT¢ç tests for Clostridium difficile will also be on show.

For further information about any of these products please contact your local Oxoid representative or visit the Oxoid website, link is at the top of this page.

New BAX System Assay for Detection of Staphylococcus aureus
source from : rapidmicrobiology.com
Oxoid, marketing partner for the DuPont Qualicon BAX¢ç System Q7 automated food pathogen detection system, has launched the BAX System real-time PCR assay for the detection of Staphylococcus aureus in raw minced (ground) beef and powdered infant formula.

S. aureus are often found on human skin, in nasal passages and in the environment. Some strains of S. aureus produce toxins that can cause illness when ingested through contaminated food, such as meat and dairy products. Whilst certain levels of the bacterium can be tolerated in some foods, most infant formulations including those of dairy origin should not contain any S. aureus.

Traditional methods to test for S. aureus in food require 2 - 6 days for cultural growth and manual enumeration. The BAX System real-time PCR assay for the detection of Staphylococcus aureus dramatically reduces testing times, providing food companies with next-day presence/absence results.

The BAX System Q7 allows molecular technology to be incorporated easily into routine testing of food, both raw ingredients and finished products. The system¡¯s tabletted PCR reagents, automated PCR thermo-cycling process and easy-to-use software all provide increased confidence for laboratory staff and ultimately for food companies and consumers. In addition to the new S. aureus assay, the BAX System can test for Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes, Listeria spp., E. coli O157:H7, Enterobacter sakazakii, Campylobacter species, and Yeasts and Moulds.

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