понедельник, 8 октября 2012 г.

Hallmark/Westland recall: where's the beef?(industry news) - Frozen Food Age

The nation's largest beef recall to date continues to cause repercussions for the food industry, weeks after 143 million pounds of beef was recalled by the Hallmark/Westland Meat Company, Chino, Calif. on Feb. 17. According to federal officials, more than a third of the recalled meat went to federal nutrition programs, and about 35 million pounds of that have been accounted for. But the question now is: Where's the rest of the beef?

The USDA says that products containing any amount of the recalled beef should not be consumed, but the agency also told food industry representatives that manufacturers of products in which the beef was commingled with other beef would not have to notify their customers to return or destroy products, according to USA Today, quoting William Marler, a plaintiff's attorney who specializes in food-safety cases.

The USDA says that the recalled beef poses minimal health risks. None of the meat has been found to be contaminated and no cases of illness have been associated with the recalled products.

On March 6, lawmakers on the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Agriculture Subcommittee demanded that the Agriculture Department disclose which retailers sold meat that had been recalled. Richard Raymond, the department's undersecretary for food safety, said that the information is proprietary and can't be made public. Raymond said that some 10,000 establishments had received the potentially tainted meat, but that he couldn't reveal which ones. According to Raymond, the Agriculture Department's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) had proposed a rule change two years ago that would allow such disclosure, but the rule is in review and hasn't been finalized yet.

Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-N.Y. complained, 'This is not proprietary information. This is information that is directly engaged in the health and safety of the American people, which we have a responsibility, along with you, to protect.' Hinchey demanded a list of the retailers by the second week in March. Raymond replied that he would consult with Agriculture Department attorneys on whether he should comply.

On its web site, California's Department of Public Health has posted a list of hundreds of retailers and restaurants that received the recalled meat, and another list of retail products containing the recalled meat. A state law passed in 2006 requires distributors of recalled meat to notify state officials where those products went, but there is currently no such law at the federal level.

Meanwhile, several national food manufacturers have been quietly notifying retailers that some meat from the Hallmark/Westland recall was used in their products and advised them to pull the products from their shelves, but they have not officially notified consumers, claiming they are not required to do so.

The H.J. Heinz Co., Pittsburgh, recalled 40,000 cases of its frozen Boston Market Lasagna with Meat Sauce in 12.5 oz. cartons, saying that a vendor used a small portion of ground beef from Westland/Hallmark. No other Boston Market frozen products or Heinz consumer products are affected, according to the company.

воскресенье, 7 октября 2012 г.

SoftwareMatrix MicroScience.(SUPPLIER NEWS) - The National Provisioner

SoftwareMatrix MicroScience has announced that one of its clients, the California Dept. of Public Health has won the prestigious International Association for Food Protection Food Safety Innovation Award. The presentation was made to the Microbiology Laboratory Staff of the CDPH Food & Drug Laboratory Branch, Richmond, Calif. at the IAFP 2007 Annual Meeting in Orlando, Fla.

суббота, 6 октября 2012 г.

Studies from M. Elrefaei et al add new findings in the area of HIV/AIDS.(Report) - AIDS Vaccine Week

'CD4(+) T cell dysfunction in HIV-1 infection is associated with increased CTLA-4 and TGF-beta expression. In this study we described a population of TGF-beta-positive CD4(+) T cells with multiple HIV specificities,' researchers in the United States report (see also HIV/AIDS).

'These HIV-specific TGF-beta-positive CD4(+) T cells did not display the immunophenotypic patterns traditionally attributed to regulatory CD4(+) T cells. TGF-beta-positive CD4(+) T cells were FOXP3 negative, CD25 negative, and displayed a heterogeneous surface expression of CD127. We also examined one potential mechanism for regulating TGF-beta expression by HIV-specific CD4(+) T cells. Blocking of the TGF-beta receptor II led to increased HIV-specific IFN-gamma-positive CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cell responses. Interestingly, HIV-specific TGF-beta-positive CD4(+) T cells did not substantially express CTLA-4. Nevertheless, CTLA-4 blockade resulted in a significant decrease in HIV-specific TGF-beta-positive CD4(+) T cell responses, and a concomitant increase in HIV-specific IFN-gamma-positive CD4(+) T cell responses,' wrote M. Elrefaei and colleagues.

The researchers concluded: 'Our study proposes a mechanism by which HIV-specific TGF-beta production may be regulated by CTLA-4 engagement.'

Elrefaei and colleagues published their study in AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses (HIV-Specific TGF-beta-Positive CD4(+) T Cells Do Not Express Regulatory Surface Markers and Are Regulated by CTLA-4. AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses, 2010;26(3):329-337).

For additional information, contact M. Elrefaei, California Dept. of Public Health, 850 Marina Bay Pkwy VRDL, Richmond, CA 94804, USA.

Publisher contact information for the journal AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses is: Mary Ann Liebert Inc., 140 Huguenot Street, 3RD FL, New Rochelle, NY 10801, USA.

Keywords: City:Richmond, State:CA, Country:United States, HIV Infections, HIV/AIDS, Primate Lentiviruses, RNA Viruses, Retroviridae, Vertebrate Viruses, Viral Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Studies from X.Y. Zhang and colleagues provide new data on agriculture and tobacco research. - Agriculture Week

'Using a social norm change paradigm model that reflects the California Tobacco Control Program's (CTCP) priorities, we compare the strength of the relationship of the social norm constructs to key smoking behavioural outcomes. Social norm constructs that correspond to CTCP's priority areas were created from selected California Adult Tobacco Survey knowledge, attitude and belief questions using confirmatory factor analysis,' scientists in the United States report.

'We then examined the relationship between these constructs and quitting behaviours using logistic regression. The secondhand smoke (SHS) and countering pro-tobacco influences'(CPTI) constructs followed a dose-response curve with quitting behaviours. Respondents who rated high on the SHS construct were about 70% more likely to have made a recent quit attempt in the last 12 months and about 100% more likely to intend to quit in the next 6 months than respondents who rated low on the SHS construct. For CPTI, respondents who rated high on this construct were 67% more likely to have made a recent quit attempt in the last 12 months and 62% more likely to have intentions to quit in the next 6 months than respondents who rated low on the CPTI construct. Social norm change constructs represent CTCP's priorities and are strongly related to desired individual behaviour outcomes,' wrote X.Y. Zhang and colleagues.

The researchers concluded: 'This analysis provides strong support for the framework underlying CTCP-namely, that changing social norms affects behaviour change at the individual level through changing population-level smoking-related behaviours.'

Zhang and colleagues published their study in Tobacco Control (The impact of social norm change strategies on smokers' quitting behaviours. Tobacco Control, 2010;19(Suppl. 1):I51-I55).

For more information, contact X.Y. Zhang, California Dept. of Public Health, Tobacco Control Program, MS 7206, POB 997377, Sacramento, CA 95899, USA.

Publisher contact information for the journal Tobacco Control is: B M J Publishing Group, British Med Association House, Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9JR, England.

Keywords: City:Sacramento, State:CA, Country:United States, Agriculture and Tobacco Research

пятница, 5 октября 2012 г.

Studies from M.V. Modayil et al in the area of agriculture and tobacco research described.(Report) - Agriculture Week

'We conducted this study to determine key community-level factors associated with higher tobacco control programme performance. A combination of surveys, administrative and fiscal data were collected to measure local county-level health department performance over a 7-year period,' researchers in the United States report.

'Longitudinal analyses were performed using generalised estimating equations to examine whether counties that exerted higher effort were successful in creating more tobacco retail licensing (TRL) and secondhand smoke policies. Several social, political and contextual factors were examined as confounders. Local county health departments (CHDs) that demonstrated high effort on their work plans increased the proportion of residents covered by TRL policies (7.2%; 95% CI - 1.7 to 16.1%) compared to CHDs with lower levels of effort. Having legislators who voted in favour of tobacco control bills was found to significantly increase the passage of local TRL policies. CHDs demonstrating higher efforts also increased the proportion of residents covered by secondhand smoke policies (9.2%; 95% CI - 3.5 to 21.9%). There was strong evidence that higher county-level efforts predicted an increasing number of local tobacco control policies,' wrote M.V. Modayil and colleagues.

The researchers concluded: 'Evaluations using integrated designs are recommended as effective strategies to provide a more accurate assessment of how well community-level interventions catalyse community-wide change.'

Modayil and colleagues published their study in Tobacco Control (An evaluation of the California community intervention. Tobacco Control, 2010;19(Suppl. 1):I30-I36).

For additional information, contact M.V. Modayil, California Dept. of Public Health, California Tobacco Control Program, MS 7206, POB 997377, Sacramento, CA 95899, USA.

Publisher contact information for the journal Tobacco Control is: B M J Publishing Group, British Med Association House, Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9JR, England.

Keywords: City:Sacramento, State:CA, Country:United States, Agriculture and Tobacco Research

четверг, 4 октября 2012 г.

Studies from H.Y. Park et al further understanding of agriculture and tobacco research. - Health & Medicine Week

According to a study from the United States, 'Current legislative language requires the California Department of Public Health, California Tobacco Control Program, to evaluate the effectiveness of the school-based Tobacco Use Prevention Education (TUPE) programme in California every 2 years. The objective of the study was to measure change and to identify the impact of school-based tobacco use prevention education activities on youth smoking prevalence and attitudes over time, spanning two school year surveys (2003-2004 and 2005-2006).'

'Evaluation focused on school-based tobacco use prevention activities in 57 schools (student sample size, n = 16 833) that participated in the in-school administration of the 2003-2004 and 2005-2006 California Student Tobacco Surveys. Hierarchical linear models were used to predict student tobacco use and precursors to tobacco use. Overall, student tobacco use, intention to smoke, number of friends smoking and perceived smoking prevalence by peers increased as students moved through grades 9 and 10 to grades 11 and 12. TUPE-related activities showed a suggestive association (p = 0.06) with reduced rate in student tobacco use between the two surveys after adjusting for other contextual factors such as each school's socioeconomic characteristics. TUPE activities appears to be beneficial in reducing tobacco use in California high school students over time,' wrote H.Y. Park and colleagues (see also Agriculture and Tobacco Research).

The researchers concluded: 'Other contextual factors were important moderating influences on student tobacco use.'

Park and colleagues published their study in Tobacco Control (Evaluation of California's in-school tobacco use prevention education (TUPE) activities using a nested school-longitudinal design, 2003-2004 and 2005-2006. Tobacco Control, 2010;19(Suppl. 1):I43-I50).

For more information, contact H.Y. Park, California Dept. of Public Health, California Tobacco Control Program, POB 997377, MS 7206, Sacramento, CA 95899, USA.

Publisher contact information for the journal Tobacco Control is: B M J Publishing Group, British Med Association House, Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9JR, England.

Keywords: City:Sacramento, State:CA, Country:United States, Agriculture and Tobacco Research

среда, 3 октября 2012 г.

Research findings from D.W. Cowling et al update understanding of agriculture and tobacco research. - Health & Medicine Week

'The relation between aided ad recall and level of television ad placement in a public health setting is not well established. We examine this association by looking back at 8 years of the California's Tobacco Control Program's (CTCP) media campaign,' scientists writing in the journal Tobacco Control report (see also Agriculture and Tobacco Research).

'Starting in July 2001, California's campaign was continuously monitored using five telephone series of surveys and six web-based series of surveys immediately following a media flight. We used population-based statewide surveys to measure aided recall for advertisements that were placed in each of these media flights. Targeted rating points (TRPs) were used to measure ad placement intensity throughout the state. Cumulative TRPs exhibited a stronger relation with aided ad recall than flight TRPs or TRP density. This association increased after log-transforming cumulative TRP values. We found that a one-unit increase in log-cumulative TRPs led to a 13.6% increase in aided ad recall using web-based survey data, compared to a 5.3% increase in aided ad recall using telephone survey data,' wrote D.W. Cowling and colleagues.

The researchers concluded: 'In California, the relation between aided ad recall and cumulative TRPs showed a diminishing return after a large volume of ad placements These findings may be useful in planning future ad placement for CTCP's media campaign.'

Cowling and colleagues published their study in Tobacco Control (Assessing the relationship between ad volume and awareness of a tobacco education media campaign. Tobacco Control, 2010;19(Suppl. 1):I37-I42).

Additional information can be obtained by contacting D.W. Cowling, California Dept. of Public Health, California Tobacco Control Program, POB 997377, MS 7206, Sacramento, CA 95899, USA.

The publisher of the journal Tobacco Control can be contacted at: B M J Publishing Group, British Med Association House, Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9JR, England.

Keywords: City:Sacramento, State:CA, Country:United States, Agriculture and Tobacco Research