Friday, January 25, 2008

EU presents '07 - '13 framework for animal health

Given the devastating impact that serious disease outbreaks can have on farmers, society and the economy, this strategy is based on the principle that “prevention is better than cure”. The aim is to put greater focus on precautionary measures, disease surveillance, controls and research, in order to reduce the incidence of animal disease and minimise the impact of outbreaks when they do occur.
Read more: http://ec.europa.eu/food/animal/diseases/strategy/index_en.htm

Nat'l Geographic: Animals & Human Exchange Disease

In September 1994, a violent disease erupted among racehorses in a suburb of Brisbane, Australia. The place, called Hendra, was a quiet old neighborhood filled with racecourses, stables, newsstands that sell tip sheets, corner caf├ęs with names like The Feed Bin, and racing people. The first victim was a pregnant mare named Drama Series, who started showing symptoms in an outlying pasture and was brought back to her trainer's stable for doctoring, where she only got worse.
Read more: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/2007-10/infectious-animals/quammen-text.html

African germ, Aisian mosquito demonstrate disease spread

A virus from Africa, a mosquito from Asia and a tourist from India met one day this summer on the Italian seaside, showing how globalization hastens the spread of disease from one continent to another.
Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601080&sid=aOphGY2cIOhQ

Scientific American Podcast: Fighting global disease

Oct '07 Podcast from colleague Philip Yam
http://www.sciam.com/podcast/episode.cfm?id=ADB900B7-E7F2-99DF-3ED1ACF35B1A4566

Go-Global Network addresses emerging food & feed chain risks

The overall objective of GO-GLOBAL is to tackle food safety problems effectively at an early stage and on a worldwide scale. By creating a comprehensive network of expertise on emerging risks in the food and feed chain, the GO-GLOBAL project aims to promote international cooperation and communication on food safety issues between authorities, researchers and industry.
www.goglobalnetwork.eu

Book: Elephant & the Dragon - Robyn Meredith

Describes the economic rise of both India and China. The descriptions of the impact of development on the people in these countries is quite fascinating. Understanding the motivations behind people's willingness to take action or not to act is useful to our discussion (whether in the developed or developing world).

Book: Banker to the Poor - Mohammad Yunus

Describes the founding and operation of the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh.
It discusses the founding of a movement (to provide credit to poor women and men living in rural areas).
It describes a movement founded on the principles of self determination.

60 Minutes report: Superbug: MRSA infection

Segment focused on form of staph: MRSA

Mutated and resistant to most antibiotics

Link: http://60minutes.yahoo.com/segment/120/superbug

U.N.'s Nabarro: Governments need to do more to prepare for economic hit of pandemics

David Nabarro said his team had recently collected information from nearly 150 countries to see how prepared they were for a pandemic and the picture was mixed.

"Most countries have now focused on pandemic as a potential cause of catastrophe and have done some planning. But the quality of the plans is patchy and too few of them pay attention to economic and social consequences," he told BBC radio.

"The economic consequences could be up to $2 trillion -- up to 5 percent of global GDP removed," he said, reiterating previous World Bank and UN estimates.

Full article: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080110/hl_nm/birdflu_economy_dc_1

Book: Blessed Unrest by Paul Hawken

All about 'working at the commons'. Subtitle is "How theLargest Movement in the World Came into Being and Why No One Saw It Coming." It describes the organic development of local initiatives on the environment, social justice & indigenous rights & how they've collectively made an impact even though they are unconnected & not part of a centrally motivated or charismatically led international 'movement'. Fascinating thesis that local initiatives can collectively make a global difference.

Feb. 10-15 - Intergov't Engagement in Europe

From Will Hueston:
"Engaging Intergovermental Organizations for Food Safety, Animal Health andPublic Health" will take participants to the OIE in Paris, WHO inGeneva & FAO in Rome plus interactions with international NGOs such as theInternational Federation for Animal Health. Using case studies, such as thepending revision of international guidelines on control of avian influenza,participants will consider how international public policy is shaped & what role individuals, organizations & government can play.http://www.vetmed.wsu.edu/sgah/programs/ParisFeb2008.aspx

Feb 6 - 9 - farm-to-table study tour in Netherlands

From Will Hueston:
From February 6-9 we'll lead a study tour from farm-to-table in theNetherlands. Senior animal health and public health officials will join thegroup for visits to farms, inspection stations, ports and processing plantsas we explore the food safety public health system and its animal healthcounterparts in a country that depends heavily on global trade to exportfood. http://www.vetmed.wsu.edu/SGAH/programs/netherlandsFeb08.aspx