EXPOSING the FDA and the USDA - Broad Casting here the things that they would prefer us NOT to know about our FOOD & DRUGS & Farming.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Truth About Cow Poop

Click on title above to see interesting vid dedicated to the DRILL BABY DRILL Folks (isnt the idea to break our dependance on oil and seek alternative fuels?)
Remember this as you watch the vid

Saturday, April 10, 2010

USDA Food Safety Conference

Click on title above to see how it went


Friday, April 9, 2010

Virus Visits Harvard Hit Hard

Norovirus closes Harvard Faculty Club

Since Sunday, 100 reports of illness

By Brock Parker
Globe Correspondent / April 8, 2010

As many as 200 people may have been affected by a norovirus outbreak at the Harvard Faculty Club, forcing the restaurant and lodge to close for the second time in a week.

The club, which closed last week because of concerns about the virus, shut down again Tuesday as about 100 people reported becoming ill after eating at the club between Easter brunch Sunday and Tuesday morning.

Crista Martin, a spokeswoman for the school’s hospitality and dining services, said the decision to close was made immediately Tuesday when illnesses consistent with the gastrointestinal ailment were reported.

The club will remained closed for at least seven days while the building located on Quincy Street in Cambridge is cleaned, said Louise Rice, director of public nursing for the city.

“It’s very hard to rub out entirely,’’ Rice said.

The club was closed from March 30 to Saturday for what has now been confirmed as a norovirus outbreak, Rice said.

Common norovirus symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and some stomach cramping, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Rice said no one has been hospitalized from the outbreak at the club.

But Rice estimated that about 100 other people became ill during the first outbreak. Many of them were visiting students.

Harvard voluntarily closed the club when the first wave of illnesses was reported last week, and the club brought in an outside cleaning crew to scrub the building down, Rice said. The city inspected the club, and Rice said the building was “spotless.’’ The city also screened full- and part-time employees at the club, about 100 of them, before it reopened Sunday, she said.

But by Tuesday morning, Harvard notified the city that a number of people had reported becoming ill after eating at the club between Easter Brunch and Tuesday morning.

Norovirus infections are spread by eating food or drinking liquids contaminated with the virus, touching contaminated surfaces before putting fingers into one’s mouth, and having direct contact with an infected person, according to the CDC.

The norovirus outbreak at the club is not the only one in recent weeks. A norovirus may have caused more than 70 students to become ill at Emerson College in Boston since the middle of last month.

Although Harvard Faculty Club employees were screened for the illness before the club reopened, Rice said, it is possible that at least one employee was carrying the virus without any symptoms. Otherwise, Rice said, the outbreak is probably tied to the virus being in the environment.

Cleaning crews will need to scrub every surface in the building from doorknobs to walls and telephones, she said.

Martin said the Faculty Club will follow all of the recommendations made by public health officials and work with them to “safeguard the health of our customers.’’

In a message on the Harvard Faculty Club’s website yesterday, the club was encouraging anyone who became ill after dining there to contact a doctor with immediate medical concerns and report an illness to the Cambridge Department of Public Health at 617-665-3800 so the cases can be accurately documented.

Brock Parker can be reached at brock.globe@gmail.com.


Wednesday, April 7, 2010


A ProMED-mail post

ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

Date: Sun 4 Apr 2010
Source: Times Picayune, New Orleans [edited]

Shutdown of Louisiana oyster grounds is largest in 10 years
After at least 38 people became sick after eating raw oysters during
the past month [March 2010], Louisiana's seafood industry is
contending with the most widespread closures to state oyster grounds
in a decade.

A total of 3 harvest areas in St. Bernard, Plaquemines and parts of
Lafourche and Jefferson parishes have been closed to oyster fishing
as a precaution in the past 2 weeks. But the root of the stomach flu
outbreak remains a mystery to state health officials and those in the industry.

The disease, _Norovirus_ [infection], is a more common and much less
serious oyster-related sickness than the bacterial _Vibrio
vulnificus_ disease that prompted the Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) to flirt with restrictions on raw oysters last fall. But the
symptoms of norovirus [infection] -- fever, chills, aches, nausea,
and diarrhea that can last up to 2 days -- are not to be
underestimated. "It's certainly not a bad [!] virus, but it's one
that gets everybody's attention," said Jimmy Guidry, state health
officer with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH).

As of last week, 38 cases of norovirus [infection] in Mississippi and
the New Orleans area were tied to oysters from the 3 separate zones
in Louisiana waters. A total of 11 people got sick near Pascagoula
after eating oysters at a seafood-related conference at the Grand Bay
National Estuarine Research Reserve; another 13 got sick at a wedding
in New Orleans. Although DHH has confirmed that everyone who was sick
had eaten oysters, Guidry said it's still unclear whether the problem
was due to contamination in the water where oysters were harvested or
if someone handling them passed on the virus.

Noroviruses are highly contagious, and can be transferred from
someone who has the virus onto the raw shellfish, or to another
person through human contact. That makes pinpointing the source of
the disease particularly challenging. DHH has tested the water in the
3 zones for fecal coliform, often present in sewage and human waste,
but found nothing. Sometimes the virus can get into the oysters if
boats dump waste overboard in a harvest area.

Unlike _Vibrio vulnificus_ bacteria, which can be reduced through
refrigeration or largely eliminated by post-harvest treatment
methods, noroviruses in oysters are difficult to track or prevent.

The Plaquemines beds will remain closed through Thursday [8 Apr 2010]
and the St. Bernard grounds through next week. The oyster grounds
near Grand Isle in Lafourche and Jefferson parishes are still under
investigation, because DHH officials believe the problem may be
confined to one specific harvest area. Industry officials say the
closures have not markedly affected the supply of oysters. There are
still vast areas of the state that remain open to fishing, and no new
cases have been reported in the past week.

Sherry Koptish, a manager at Felix's Restaurant and Oyster Bar in the
French Quarter, said a few people have asked about the virus but that
the bar has been full all week. John Tesvich, a co-owner of AmeriPure
Oysters in Franklin who chairs the state's oyster task force, said
the supply is still brisk but that the number of closures has been
unusual this year. "It happens annually in some areas of the country,
and unfortunately we've had more than our share this year," Tesvich
said. "We expect everything to be back to normal in the next couple
weeks. This is the way it's supposed to work. Industry would rather
stop harvesting if there's any indications of a problem with the
quality of the product."

What's most confounding is the geographic expanse of the closures, in
parts of the state that are not connected. Some believe the series of
extreme weather events this winter, with numerous fronts bringing
lots of rainfall during low tides, may have circulated more runoff
from the land into the water.

In the 1990s there was a series of norovirus closures in December
that hit the industry hard around Christmas and New Year's, a popular
time for the salty delicacy. Although it is later in the season,
industry observers say that any time news of illnesses breaks there
will be impacts on consumer attitudes. "Easter time is not the peak
for oyster consumption, but I wouldn't say it's the bottom of the
barrel, either," said Patrick Banks, who manages the state's oyster
program at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

[Byline: Chris Kirkham]

Communicated by:

[Norovirus infection associated with consumption of raw oysters is a
global problem (see ProMED-mail references below) and is more
frequently associated with sewage contamination of oyster beds than
with downstream processing of harvested oysters. There is no specific
treatment for norovirus-infection which results in transient illness
with no serious sequelae. The best protection is to avoid consumption
of uncooked oysters and related sea-food.

A map of the Louisiana oyster bats can be accessed at:
The HealthMap/ProMED-mail interactive map of the United States can be
used to locate Louisiana:
- Mod.CP]

[see also:
Norovirus, oysters - Europe: (UK, Norway, France, Sweden,
Denmark) 20100325.0954
Norovirus, raw oysters - USA: recall, alert 20091207.4169
Norovirus, oysters - New Zealand: (North Island) 20081013.3242
Norovirus, oysters - USA (TX): recall 20070304.0754
Norovirus, oysters - USA (OR) ex Korea 20061213.3503
Norovirus, oysters - New Zealand ex Korea 20060714.1947]

ProMED-mail makes every effort to verify the reports that
are posted, but the accuracy and completeness of the
information, and of any statements or opinions based
thereon, are not guaranteed. The reader assumes all risks in
using information posted or archived by ProMED-mail. ISID
and its associated service providers shall not be held
responsible for errors or omissions or held liable for any
damages incurred as a result of use or reliance upon posted
or archived material.
Donate to ProMED-mail. Details available at:

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Monday, April 5, 2010

H1N1 D225G Transmission Destroys WHO's Hypothesis

March 24, 2010

Twelve HCPs reported influenza symptoms during the study period; none were tested for pH1N1. Five reported working while ill; one of these received oseltamivir. Viral isolates from the four patients had complete genomic homology and the H275Y mutation for oseltamivir resistance, which was not identified in other pH1N1 specimens obtained from the hospital or throughout the state.

The above comments describe potential sources for the death cluster at Duke University Medical Center. Four patients were infected with Tamiflu resistant (H274Y) H1N1 which had the rare HA marker, Y233H, leaving little doubt that the virus was transmitting among the patients. However, the source remains unclear. The index case had completed a 5 day prophylactic regime of oseltamivir (Tamiflu) but did not develop symptoms until 8 days post-treatment. Thus, the minimum of 13 days between exposure and symptoms suggests the source of infection was another contact in the hospital, and the above comments describe multiple potential sources who had symptoms, but were not tested.

The cluster of three fatalities, who died within a few days of each other, signaled transmission of D225G, which had been associated with fatal cases worldwide, although the WHO/CDC working hypothesis was that the D225G/D225N cases were sporadic and due to random copy errors. However, 27/37 autopsy lung samples in Ukraine had D225G, D225N, or both, indicating the RBD changes were transmitting, which was also supported by the detection of D225G in two family members in Italy.

The transmission was also supported by the HA sequences from isolates from the index case (42F) samples collected on Oct 15, A/North Carolina/39/2009 and 16, A/North Carolina/49/2009 had D225G. D225N was also found in the isolate from a second fatal case indicating both markers were transmitting, but the sequencing failed to identify D225G or D225N in the other two patients.

However, these detection failures may have been due to ratios in the mixtures, D225G can bind to gal 2,3 receptors which are in human lung, so the detection in the index case may have been linked to the sample source. Oct 16 is the last data point for Gantt chart of the index case, suggesting the Oct 16 sample may have been collected at autopsy and D225G would be more easily detected in lung samples. In contrast, samples from the other two fatalities were collected on Oct 14, one or four days prior to death, and were likely samples from the upper respiratory tract, where D225G samples could have been lower, since wild type H1N1 RBD was present in all four patients.

Thus, three of the four samples from the three fatal cases had D225G or D225N, as expected from a death cluster, but these changes were not mentioned in any of the three reports on the outbreak. Moreover, it is unclear if the cases were included in the tally of 7-8 D225G cases cited by the CDC.

The failure of the CDC or WHO to address this transmission in a fatal cluster is cause for concern, as is the failure to collect/release sequence data from autopsy material. The transmission of Tamiflu resistant H1N1 is rarely reported and the transmission of D225G has been denied directly or indirectly by the CDC and WHO. Since two of the three fatalities were treated on the day of death, BAL or autopsy collections should have been convenient and routine.

The failure to release sequence data from autopsy samples is cause for concern. Detection of D225G would destroy the WHO and CDC working hypothesis which has no real scientific basis. It is dependent on false negatives and lack of testing as highlighted in the Duke death cluster. Although both isolates from the index case had D225G, the direct sequencing of the first collection failed to detect D225G. Moreover, the direct sequencing of the second collection was not reported/released. Similarly, direct sequencing of the sample that yielded the D225N positive isolate also failed to detect D225G or D225N. Like the index case, no direct sequencing or isolates from samples closer to the date of death have been reported/released for either of the other fatal cases.

The WHO/CDC working hypothesis can only survive through the withholding of data or the failure to test, as demonstrated by the investigation of the Duke death cluster which failed to identify the origin of the cluster, in spite of two rare markers in the HA and NA sequence.

The testing failures and the reliance on false negatives by the CDC and WHO to prop up their outdated and false hypothesis of genetic drift and acquisitions via random mutations continues to be hazardous to the world’s health.

Media Links

Recombinomics Presentations

Recombinomics Publications

Recombinomics Paper at Nature Precedings


PETA Exposes Pig Farm Cruelty

Click on title above to see: WARNING - Graphic Slaughterhouse Scenes

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Court Rejects Meat Industry Attempt to Thwart Regulation

9th Circuit Court Of Appeals , Agribusiness , American Meat Institute , Animal Cruelty , Animal Slaughter , California , Cows , Downer Cows , Factory Farming , Factory Farms , Horse Slaughter , National Meat Association , Pigs , Pollution , Subsidies , Taxpayer Money , Usda , Westland/Hallmark Meat Co , Green News

For decades, the federal government has not only allowed the meat industry to self-regulate, but it's taken the hard-earned tax dollars of Americans to enrich the industry at every turn. At the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it's historically been a revolving door, with leaders from industry occupying senior posts within the bureaucracy. Through programs often authorized by Congress, and cooked up by industry lobbyists and carried through the legislative process by representatives and senators serving on the agriculture committees on Capitol Hill, USDA has burned a hole in the pockets of American taxpayers by delivering commodity price supports, surplus commodity buy-outs, agricultural research, market promotion programs, and trade promotions and agreements that all benefit agribusiness. Americans hardly get the best service for the investment. Americans continue to be sickened by the tens of thousands every year by eating tainted food. And in addition to producing cheap meat, milk, and eggs, factory farms produce vast amounts of animal cruelty and ground and air pollution.

The meat processing industry and its allies within the production agriculture sectors have always fought, with hammer and saw, efforts at the federal level to address animal welfare problems within the industry, including the abuse of downers, the failure to require humane slaughter of poultry, the absence of any humane care standards for animals on farms, and the miserable trade in horses for slaughter for human consumption. As far as I can recall, they've never supported a single legitimate animal welfare legislative reform.

With a few exceptions -- such as legislative bans on tail docking of dairy cows in California and certain confinement practices in Colorado, Maine, Michigan, and Oregon -- they've generally taken an equally hostile view toward reform at the state level. When it comes to slaughter practices specifically, they typically argue that the states have no authority whatsoever to regulate humane treatment of farm animals and that federal law preempts the imposition of any state standards at federally inspected facilities. Unfortunately for them, the federal courts keep telling them how wrong they are, and that happened again today.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in National Meat Association (NMA) v. Brown, ruled today that the state of California is well within its authority to ban the sale, transport, or purchase of downer cows and pigs. The NMA and the American Meat Institute challenged a 2008 California law, passed in the wake of The HSUS's investigation at the Westland/Hallmark slaughter plant, and argued that the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) preempts state authority over any aspect of slaughter. The HSUS and other animal welfare groups intervened, and today the court ruled in our favor.

"Regulating what kinds of animals may be slaughtered calls for a host of practical, moral and public health judgments that go far beyond those made in the FMIA," wrote Chief Judge Alex Kozinski. "These are the kinds of judgments reserved to the states, and nothing in the FMIA requests states to make them on a species-wide basis or not at all. Federal law regulates the meat inspection process; states are free to decide which animals may be turned into meat."

This is the third straight federal appellate court ruling against the meat industry. Other players in the industry sued to invalidate Illinois and Texas statutes banning the slaughter of horses for human consumption. In response, both the 5th Circuit and the 7th Circuit in separate rulings in 2007 declared it is the prerogative of the states to ban horse slaughter if they so choose. In fact, Judge Alex Kozinski wrote in today's 9th Circuit ruling, "Its purpose [FMIA] is certainly not to preserve the slaughter of any kind of animals for human consumption."

Robert Martin, former executive director of the Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production, said it well in his executive summary to the report in 2008: "At the end of his second term, President Dwight Eisenhower warned the nation about the dangers of the military-industrial complex -- an unhealthy alliance between the defense industry, the Pentagon, and their friends on Capitol Hill. Now, the agro-industrial complex -- an alliance of agriculture commodity groups, scientists at academic institutions who are paid by the industry, and their friends on Capitol Hill--is a concern in animal food production in the 21st century." The courts and consumers must provide a check on the excesses of industrialized agriculture because it's not happening by other means.

As I am sitting here working on my blogs and watching (listening to) tv, (been sitting here about an hour or so now)....a HSUS "humane" commerical starring National President Wayne Pacelle, (author of this article) must have played at least half a dozen times. Something else we can thank HSUS for---helping to get the word out to expose animal cruelty.