Friday October 30_ 2009

Document Sample
Friday October 30_ 2009 Powered By Docstoc
					                                                                         Friday October 30, 2009
                                                                                      —Sample Issue—

   Media, General Public Still Not Immunized Against
                 H1N1 Misinformation
                —Time for a Shot in the Arm—
   Immunization: The process by which an individual’s immune system is
               fortified against a potentially harmful agent.
                                      [Photo courtesy of NY1]

                                    Granted, since word of a potential new influenza pandemic first broke last April,
                                    some progress has been made in educating individuals and groups to use the term
                                    “H1N1” rather than “swine flu.” The national Newspaper Association recently
                                    urged community newspaper publishers and editors to use “precise language” in
                                    coverage of the flu pandemic. But a great number of people—including those who
                                    should know better—continue with the old label. Even more troubling is the
                                    persistent notion that eating a pork chop can somehow doom you to disease. Such
                                    fallacious, sensationalized, and often agenda-driven “news” is extremely infectious,
                                    which is why so much of the world remains in need of a healthy dose of reality.
[Photo courtesy of]

Six months ago CAST released its first summary of the H1N1 virus outbreak (What May Be Missing from Your
Emergency Flu Kit: The Facts, May 1, 2009 issue of “Friday Notes”), quoting both Health and Human Services
Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and CAST’s then-President Henry Shands:

                                            “Let science drive the protocol.” (Sebelius)

            “People, companies, and organizations can be hurt by the communication of misinformation.
              We need to have a definitive response from knowledgeable scientists and officials before
            casting blame on any one element. This is not the time to assign blame; it is the time to unify
                                     our resolve and work together.” (Shands)

Since that time, H1N1 has been in the news daily, with new developments on many
fronts. In the past 2 weeks alone, there have been several updates, including reports of
complications in vaccine distribution; a presidential-proclaimed U.S. national
emergency because of the virus; approval of an experimental antiviral drug; and word
that H1N1 has been confirmed—for the first time—in a pig in the United States, as well
as being identified in turkeys (in Canada) and a pet ferret (in Oregon). [Photo at right
courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention]

Faced with potentially critical decisions—and consequences— governments,
industries, organizations, human and animal health agencies, communities, and
families must be armed with the facts. Communication of such science-based information provides immunity to
sensationalized, agenda-driven views; focuses energy and resources where the most good can be done; and
serves as an effective inoculation against panic. (See “No-Lines ‘Vaccination Clinics’,” below, for information
sources to learn about H1N1.)

Immune Response
CAST’s 37-year mission has been—and continues to be—to assemble, interpret, and communicate credible
science-based information without motive, expectation, or agenda. CAST is a nonprofit organization that brings
together volunteer task force experts who combine their knowledge and experience to provide fact-based
publications that reflect the best available science, from which legislators, regulators, policymakers, the media,
the private sector, and the public can make informed decisions. To learn more about CAST’s mission, outreach,
                                          and publications, go to (Most CAST publications are
                                          available without charge). [Photo at left courtesy of P. Schmid—Seattle Times]

                                          Within the past 3 years, CAST has published and distributed worldwide several
                                          papers reflecting ongoing challenges to global health, including:

                                          Global Risks of Infectious Animal Diseases (IP28); also in Spanish (IP28SPA)
                                          Vaccine Development Using Recombinant DNA Technology (IP 38)
                                          Avian Influenza: Pandemic Concerns (CAST Commentary QTA2006-1)
                                          Avian Influenza: Trade Issues (CAST Commentary QTA2006-2)
                                          Avian Influenza Vaccines: Focusing on H5N1 High Pathogenicity Avian Influenza
                                          (HPAI) (SP 26)

                For those who continue to perpetuate the myths surrounding H1N1,
         it's time to make an appointment with science and work together for solutions.
                            Roll up your sleeves and get to the point.

                                                   No-Lines “Vaccination Clinics”
                                       (Sources for Accurate Information on H1N1 Influenza)
                                                Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
                                            European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention
                                                    Pan American Health Organization
                                                    U.S. Agricultural Research Service
                                                      U.S. Department of Agriculture
                                                  U.S. Department of Homeland Security
                                                 United Nations World Health Organization

                                                      Additional Resources
                                          American Association of Swine Veterinarians
                                                 American Academy of Pediatrics
                                       Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy
                                                     Facts about Pork Safety
                                      (also available in Spanish)
                                          International Society for Infectious Diseases
                                National Center for Foreign Animal and Zoonotic Disease Defense
                                                                             [Photo courtesy of the A.P.]

                                           "FRIDAY NOTES" NEWS CATEGORIES
Work Groups are established in the CAST bylaws, and each Board Representative serves on one Work Group for the
duration of their tenure. Currently there are three Work Groups:

                                                         Animal Agriculture and Environmental Issues
                                                                    Food Science and Safety
                                                          Plant Agriculture and Environmental Issues

Each Work Group nominates one person in the group to serve for a 3-year term on the Executive Committee. The charges
for each Work Group are to (1) identify, clarify, and prioritize national issues and concerns they believe should be
addressed by CAST; (2) develop appropriate approaches for addressing those topics and suggest candidates for Task Force
Chairs and Members; and (3) make recommendations for proposals to CAST's National Concerns Committee.
                News items below have been bundled for interest areas according to CAST's Work Groups.
                  Some items fit more than one category. General Interest news items also are included.
         [News section photos courtesy of the Agricultural Research Service (Animal Agriculture News and General News); the Food Safety and Inspection Service (Food Science News);;
                                                          and the Natural Resources and Conservation Service (Plant Agriculture News)]
                      October 28, 2009: Pigs from a farm in Iceland have been infected with the A/H1N1 virus.

                      October 29, 2009: What would the world be like without meat?

October 29, 2009: Chinese officials have agreed to lift the ban on U.S. pork imports they imposed last spring because of
H1N1 fears.,0,7691960.story

                     FOOD SCIENCE AND SAFETY
                     October 23, 2009: A phytochemical index that ranks the number of calories consumed from plant-
                     based foods compared with overall daily calorie intake could be a useful tool to optimize dietary
                     intake for disease prevention.

October 27, 2009: Chewing gum can help reduce hunger and increase energy expenditure.

October 28, 2009: Scientists have observed that the more junk food rats eat, the more they want to eat—a behavior very
similar to that of rats addicted to heroin.

                     October 26, 2009: According to researchers, wild animals do not spread genetically modified corn
                     via feces or accumulate transgenic residues in meat.

                    October 28, 2009: Armyworms are still eating up pastures and small grain fields in many parts of

October 29, 2009: Fire is often thought of as something that trees should be protected from, but a new study suggests
that some trees may themselves contribute to the likelihood of wildfires in order to promote their own abundance at the
expense of their competitors.

                      GENERAL INTEREST
                      October 28, 2009: Scientists are looking at diverse sources—such as soil and frog skins—for new
                      antibiotics, worried that doctors will run out of options to treat increasingly antibiotic-resistant

                      October 28, 2009: Pre-consumer vegetative waste is starting to take off in Oregon.

October 29, 2009: California and other Western states are pegging their energy future on renewables, including solar.
But that growth comes at a cost to the region’s already dwindling water supplies.

 “Friday Notes”are a CAST Members-Only benefit. To receive complete weekly issues of the
 Notes (as well as copies of all CAST’s accurate, timely, science-based publications released
     each year), join CAST today. Help champion agricultural science in the 21st century.
            For more information, call 515-292-2125 or visit

Shared By: