Foodborne and Diarrheal Diseases Branch, Division of Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
Animal feed is at the beginning of the food safety chain in the "farm-to-fork" model. The emergence of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease has raised awareness of the importance of contaminated animal feed, but less attention has been paid to the role of bacterial contamination of animal feed in human foodborne illness. In the United States, animal feed is frequently contaminated with non-Typhi serotypes of Salmonella enterica and may lead to infection or colonization of food animals. These bacteria can contaminate animal carcasses at slaughter or cross-contaminate other food items, leading to human illness. Although tracing contamination to its ultimate source is difficult, several large outbreaks have been traced back to contaminated animal feed. Improvements in the safety of animal feed should include strengthening the surveillance of animal feed for bacterial contamination and integration of such surveillance with human foodborne disease surveillance systems. A Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point program should be instituted for the animal feed industry, and a Salmonella-negative policy for feed should be enforced.
Implantable Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) devices are currently in clinical trials in the U.S., and their introduction into the Canada could follow in the next few years. This article provides an overview of the research, developments, design issues, and risks in BCIs and an analysis of the adequacy of the regulatory framework in place for the approval of medical devices in Canada, emphasizing device investigational testing. The article concludes that until better safeguards are in place, to best protect potential research subjects, BCIs should not be approved for investigational testing in Canada.
The use of natural health products, such as vitamins, minerals, and herbs, by Canadians has been increasing with time. As a result of consumer concern about the quality of these products, the Canadian Department of Health created the Natural Health Products (NHP) Regulations. The new Canadian regulations raise questions about whether and how the NHP industry will be able to comply and what impact they will have on market structure. The objectives of this study were to explore who in the interview sample is complying with Canada's new NHP Regulations (i.e., submitted product licensing applications on time); and explore the factors that affect regulatory compliance.
Twenty key informant interviews were conducted with employees of the NHP industry. The structured interviews focused on the level of satisfaction with the Regulations and perceptions of compliance and non-compliance. Interviews were tape recorded and then transcribed verbatim. Data were independently coded, using qualitative content analysis. Team meetings were held after every three to four interviews to discuss emerging themes.
The major finding of this study is that most (17 out of 20) companies interviewed were beginning to comply with the new regulatory regime. The factors that contribute to likelihood of regulatory compliance were: perceptions and knowledge of the regulations and business size.
The Canadian case can be instructive for other countries seeking to implement regulatory standards for natural health products. An unintended consequence of the Canadian NHP regulations may be the exit of smaller firms, leading to industry consolidation.
Obesity is becoming an increasing health problem and results when energy intake exceeds energy expenditure. Food has a crucial role in weight management. The new EU legislation on nutrition and health claims permits the use of weight regulation and satiety related health claims on foods, if they are based on generally accepted scientific evidence. In this review the current knowledge on food properties, that have been proposed to affect satiety and/or energy expenditure and thus might be useful in weight control are considered, as part of the project "Substantiation of weight regulation and satiety related health claims on foods" funded by the Nordic Innovation Centre. At this point the scientific evidence of the short term effects of dietary fibers and proteins in relation to satiety seems to be convincing. However, it might be challenging to make product specific satiety and weight management claims as the dose response is not always known. On the other hand two step health claims might be applied, for example rich in dietary fibre - dietary fibre can increase satiety or rich in protein - protein can increase satiety.
Costs and benefits of two Salmonella control policies for broiler production were described and compared. The control options were the Zoonosis Directive 92/117/EC and the more intense strategy, the Finnish Salmonella Control Programme (FSCP).
The comparison included the Salmonella control costs in primary and secondary production and the direct and indirect losses due to Salmonella infections in humans in 2000.
The total annual costs of the FSCP were calculated to be 990 400 EUR (0.02 euro/kg broiler meat). The average control costs in the broiler production chain were seven times higher with the FSCP than with the Zoonosis Directive alone. However, the public health costs were 33 times higher with the Zoonosis Directive alone. The value of one prevented loss of life per year exceeded the annual control costs of the FSCP.
Due to significant savings in public health costs compared to costs of FSCP, the FSCP was found to be economically feasible.