From the magazine you can trust (when they're not reporting about physics), Scientific American:
"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An outbreak of salmonella food poisoning linked to peanut butter has widened to 329 people in 41 states, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Thursday.
Local health officials in Illinois and Pennsylvania were checking to see if the deaths of an elderly man and an elderly woman might have been caused by the contaminated peanut butter.
Last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said all Peter Pan peanut butter bought since May 2006, and all of Wal-Mart Inc.'s Great Value peanut butter with the batch code 2111 should be discarded. ConAgra Foods Inc. makes both, and has recalled all potentially contaminated batches.
The company said on Thursday that tests by some states found the salmonella bacteria in peanut butter produced at its Sylvester, Georgia, plant, where its Peter Pan and Great Value brands are made.
ConAgra spokeswoman Stephanie Childs said salmonella had been detected in its peanut butter in Iowa, and in other unspecified states.
"We are truly sorry for any harm that our peanut butter products may have caused," Gary Rodkin, chief executive of ConAgra, said in a statement released on Thursday."
When it comes to peanut butter, I've always held that its not something to skimp on. Choosy moms choose Jiff for a reason: Its not contagious! (and its the tastiest!)
I also looove how this whole thing started in Iowa. Seriously Iowa, what the fuck is going on with you guys? One more outbreak originating from you and I will officially label you "the plague state". I'll make a graphic too, and put it right above my topic cloud. You've been warned.
And please people, don't ever buy anything made by ConAgra or Sysco, it's all crap. Have a little nutritional self-respect.
Saturday, February 24, 2007
Sunday, February 18, 2007
In Russia, the Birds Cull You! Sorry, that was bad. Anyway, looks like there's a pretty bad H5N1 outbreak in Russia's capitol right now... Here's the story from The Toronto Star:
"MOSCOW (AP) – A Russian official reported a fourth outbreak of dead domestic poultry in a suburban Moscow district Sunday as experts tightened quarantines following confirmation of the presence of the H5N1 bird-flu strain.
The presence of H5N1, confirmed by tests late Saturday, was the first such outbreak to be recorded so close to the Russian capital.
Dead domestic fowl were reported Sunday in the Taldom district, north of the capital, Andrei Barkovsky, a spokesman for the Moscow regional governor, told Ekho Moskvy radio, although it was unclear exactly when the deaths occurred.
Earlier, officials with the federal agricultural oversight agency Rosselkhoznadzor said three districts west and south of Moscow had recorded bird deaths.
Agency spokesman Alexei Alexeyenko said late Saturday that tests had confirmed H5N1 in poultry found dead in two districts, Odintsovo and Domodedovo, where two dozen birds died this week. Results of tests taken in the Podolsk district, where nearly four dozen birds died, were pending.
Officials said several people who were in close contact with the dead poultry were taken in for medical observation, but no health problems had been reported.
Russian television broadcast footage showing veterinary workers clad in protective suits checking homes in one district and spraying vehicle tires with disinfectant, while police began enforcing a quarantine in an effort to prevent the virus's spread.
Regulators also shut down an outdoor poultry market in Moscow where some of the dead birds appeared to have been bought and Nikolai Vlasov, a senior veterinary official, warned that more outbreaks were possible.
No human cases of bird flu have been reported in Russia, which had its first reported cases of the H5N1 strain in Siberia in 2005. Outbreaks have since occurred farther west, but mostly in southern areas distant from the capital."
In other Bird Flu News, Turkey has outbreaks in ten villages, the lady infected in Egypt died, and Bernard Matthews is under investigation.
Let's just hope the Ides of March is good to us this year, the Ides of February was not so kind.
Posted by Frobisher Smith at 2/18/2007
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
From the International Herald Tribune:
"CAIRO, Egypt: An Egyptian woman has tested H5N1 positive, bringing the total number of persons infected with the deadly bird flu strain in the country to 21, a World Health Organization official here said on Wednesday.
The 37 year-old woman, from the oasis town of Fayoum, some 70 kilometers (45 miles) south of Cairo, was moved to a hospital for contagious diseases in the Egyptian capital, WHO's John Jabbour said.
Twenty-one people have been infected with the deadly H5N1 strain in Egypt so far, with 12 of them dying from the disease. Of the 12 deaths, 11 have been women.
Almost all cases reported in Egypt were among families raising domestic poultry and women accounted for most of the patients. In Egypt, women and girls tend to look after chickens and turkeys kept in backyards, making them more vulnerable to avian flu.
Since the avian influenza outbreak a year ago, Egypt has been one of the countries worst afflicted with the deadly bird flu outside Asia, where the disease originated.
Also, Egypt has seen an increase in the death rate from the bird flu infection over the winter months, which sparked fears that the strain of the virus may be mutating to a more drug resistant form.
Egypt's latest case was identified as Nadia Mohammad Abdel Hafez. The woman was first admitted to a clinic her hometown of Fayoum on Monday, with high fever and symptoms of pneumonia, Jabbour said.
Once she tested positive, she was transferred to Cairo but is reported to be in stable condition."
Posted by Frobisher Smith at 2/14/2007
Monday, February 12, 2007
"Authorities in Britain have been caught on the back foot after it was revealed by the media that turkey meat from Hungary had been allowed into the country.
The meat, 20 tons of it, was imported into the country only three days after an outbreak of the deadly H5N1 virus was confirmed at a farm in Suffolk, owned by Bernard Matthews.
It seems government inspectors did nothing even though they knew the meat was coming from a slaughterhouse 50 km from the site of a Hungarian bird flu outbreak in January.
The British government is defending the decision to allow the turkey meat into the country.
Bernard Matthews is one of Europe's largest turkey producers and has large farms in England and in Hungary.
Initially any suggestion of a link between the two enterprises and the outbreak of the deadly virus in the UK was hotly denied by both the British authorities and the company.
The Hungarian outbreak was at a goose farm in Szentes in Hungary 160 miles from the Bernard Matthews farm in Sarvar.
The Hungarian meat was processed at the Suffolk farm in sheds a few hundred yards from the where 160,000 turkeys were culled after the bird flu virus was found.
According to the Environment Secretary David Miliband, European Union (EU) rules restricts the movement of turkey within a 30 km radius of an avian flu outbreak, and Britain would have been inviting retaliation if it had imposed a ban on all poultry from Hungary.
Miliband insists the government behaved correctly in rigorously implementing the EU rules but this is the same government which initially suggested the British infection was most likely from wild birds.
The authorities have since admitted a link with Hungary was possible after tests showed the virus to be identical to the Hungarian one and now say it could have been spread by infected meat.
Bernard Matthews has now suspended the movement of poultry products between its British and Hungarian operations and says it had not imported any turkey meat from farms within the Hungarian restriction zone.
In Hungary officials are checking if there could be a link between the two outbreaks, but are skeptical that live birds could have been contaminated the virus in processed meat.
British officials speculate that the virus could also have reached British shores on vehicles from Hungary.
Critics have labelled the authorities behaviour as "completely ridiculous" in allowing the Hungarian shipment into the country last week in view of the potential massive public health risk.
Miliband says government agencies are working with Hungarian authorities and Bernard Matthews to track down a lapse in bio-security that led to the Suffolk outbreak.
Experts however say as it remains unclear where the outbreak in Hungary came from as there could be a third source of infection which was most likely spread by human contact.
Apparently an abattoir in Hungary handled both the geese that were infected with H5N1 and the turkeys destined for Suffolk and although the equipment would have been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected the virus could easily have been passed on to the turkeys."
Oh yeah, 30km is way too close to an outbreak to import chickens from, but another 20km makes it absolutely safe! What spectacular business practices! Way to stick exactly to the letter of EU law, Bernard Mathews!
Not to mention, the Suffolk processing plant is still in full operation. I'm sure it got a thorough cleaning, however, in the three days before it began importing and processing H5N1-infected birds.
"Bernard Mathews: Spreading H5N1 as far and as fast as we can to serve you! Please try the chicken!"
I wouldn't want to be that company's spokesperson right now. Hot is the seat that lax bird flu controls creates.
This reminds me of a truism I just created right now: Never trust a corporation that has a first and last name. The more a corporation acts like a real person the more its gonna fuck-up.
Posted by Frobisher Smith at 2/12/2007
Sunday, February 11, 2007
"A 20-year-old woman died of bird flu early today, bringing the number of people killed by the virus in hardest-hit Indonesia to 64, health and hospital officials said.
The victim was from the West Java village of Karangpawitan, where at least four other people also have fallen ill with symptoms of the disease, said Yogi Suprayogi, a spokesman at Slamet Hospital where she was admitted on Friday.
"She was in really bad condition when she came here," said Suprayogi, adding that the woman apparently had contact with dead chickens a week before she was admitted.
Hundreds of chickens have dropped dead in the village in recent days and officials were heading to the area, 125 miles south-east of the capital Jakarta, to test other residents for the disease, he said.
The H5N1 virus has prompted the slaughter of millions of birds across Asia since late 2003, and has caused the deaths of 167 people worldwide, including Indonesia's latest victim, according to the World Health Organization."
But of course, no samples of the H5N1 strain that killed her will be sent to the WHO, just the report of her death.
Posted by Frobisher Smith at 2/11/2007
Thursday, February 08, 2007
I had this article e-mailed to me last night. Just thought I'd post it:
"In 2007, now continued by the 2006 established Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA). Under the "NATIONAL SECURITY MISSIONS" of BARDA continued in 2007 is the advancement of the SHAD R&D biological lessons learned? BARDA also lacks the MILITARY Shipboard Hazard and Defense (SHAD) oversight and accountability for their CIVILIAN contamination. One of the starting in 1962 DOD Project 112 chemical and biological experiments. BARDA too, as most conducted on "hundreds of thousands", will be under the cover of our nation's wars.
The 1950 U.S. Supreme Court Feres decision stopped claims against the federal government for injuries arising from or incident to military service. Documented by the 1994 U.S. Senate Report over the same time period is a from 1944 study. This is their, under the cover of our nations wars, 50 years of conducted on "hundreds of thousands" Department Of Defense (DOD) "experiments that were designed to harm"! Its NOTES (No.'s 72, 168 & 169) cite, "The Nazi Doctors and the Nuremberg Code, Human Rights in Human Experimentation". Not addressed is their own Report's many conducted in direct disobedience of the DOD Secretary's 1953 order; "The Nazi Doctors" pages 343-345.
The 1987 U.S. SUPREME COURT in the 1958 order disobeyed STANLEY Case makes very clear that UNLESS CONGRESS CHANGES IT, BY REASON OF MILITARY SERVICE AFTERWARDS VETERAN'S LOST ARE PRIOR TO CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS. The Report noted that rights be restored. To-date not done!! All for the greater good, end justifies the means! The excuse for an in 2007 from 1944 ongoing 63 years of JUSTICE AND TREATMENT DENIED for "hundreds of thousands"!
These DOD human experiments demonstrate Research and Development (R&D) protocol by both military and BARDA agencies. First, all prior R&D is reviewed. The resulting Scope of Work defines what each research program is to accomplish. The where, how, when and who is involved is spelled out. Each "designed to harm" project's cause and effects are closely followed and recorded. Developed is the specific needed treatment and from "harm" protection. This crucial human "experiments...designed to harm" revealing evidence is not part of a subject's medical history. Therefore, unavailable for an ongoing 63 years of past, present and future victim's diagnosis and treatment by:
1. Health Maintenance Organization Physicians'.
2. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Physicians'.
3. For use during any VA and Judicial Branch processes!
The 12 July 1973 National Personnel Records Center fire destroyed "designed to harm" military service records. Congress's 1974 Privacy Act censored the names of all witnesses from surviving and future records. "The court may not review the schedule of ratings for disabilities or the policies underlying the schedule." The Chief Judge's statement during 17 & 18 Oct. 1994. Which is the "schedule" withheld R&D evidence and the underlying "experiments...designed to harm" policies? His severely restricted 12/18/88 established ‘no teeth' Veterans Court is Congress's oversight and accountability response to the 6/25/87 STANLEY.
THEREBY, THE VICTIM NEVER THE WISER BECOMES! AN AFTER SERVICE AND "NATIONAL SECURITY MISSIONS" MISSED MEDICAL DIAGNOSIS. CREATED ARE INCREASED SERIOUS AND CHRONIC INJURIES!
In 2007 is the H. R. 4259 "To establish the Veterans' Right to Know Commission" . A proposal to study the DOD's SHAD lack of oversight and "Right to Know" "designed to harm" accountability?
Requested is your support by contacting your members in the U.S. Congress. Please have them return to Veterans' their Constitutional Rights with oversight and "designed to harm" accountability for everyone! Thank you.
 Feres v. United States, 340 U.S. 135, 146 (1950)
 DOD Secretary's 26 February 1953 NO non-consensual, human experiments Memo pages 343-345. George J. Annas and Michael A. Grodin, "The Nazi Doctors and the Nuremberg Code; Human Rights in Human Experimentation" (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992). In REFERENCE 6 as NOTES 72, 168 & 169.
 "Project 112 (Including Project SHAD) Home"; www1.va.gov/ shad/ Starting in 1962 chemical and biological experiments.
 U.S. SUPREME COURT, JUNE 25, 1987, U.S. V. STANLEY, 107 S. CT. 3054 (VOLUME 483 U.S., SECTION 669, PAGES 699 TO 710). In REFERENCE 6 cited in NOTE 169.
 Chief Judge and colleague statements, Court of Veterans Appeals, Annual Judicial Conference, Fort Meyer, VA., 17 & 18 October 1994. www.goodnet. com/~heads/ nebeker.html
 December 8, 1994 REPORT 103-97 "Is Military Research Hazardous to Veterans' Health? Lessons Spanning Half a Century." Hearings Before the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs, 103rd Congress 2nd Session. With NOTES 1 to 170.
 Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), Bill S. 3678 2006.
 H. R. 4259 "To establish the Veterans' Right to Know Commission."
Does anyone have the slightest clue as to what this is talking about? I assume it has something to do with the DOD's biowarfare tests done in VA hospitals, but that has nothing to do with BARDA, as it is basically an investment and research oversight organization and does not carry out its own research, nor is it attatched at all to the Department of Defense.
But hey, when I get a crazy e-mail about BARDA, I'm damned sure gonna post it.
Posted by Frobisher Smith at 2/08/2007
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
This, in the wake of their massive flooding that has killed scores of people and left Jakarta in a state of ruin. Flood, famine, pestilence, Indonesia has it all!
I truly feel deep remorse for all the people displaced and killed in the flood, but the actions of the Indonesian government is just appalling. The situation on the ground (Jakarta being turned into a cesspool) is now ripe for H5N1 to make a complete transition into human-to-human transmission, and the government decides to shut down access to samples of it's bird flu. Here's VOA news:
"The Indonesian government has announced it is withholding samples of a deadly bird flu virus in light of its new partnership to develop a vaccine with a U.S. drug company. As Chad Bouchard reports from Jakarta, the move may hamper efforts by other countries to develop vaccines to prevent a possible worldwide bird flu pandemic.
Indonesia this week signed a memorandum of understanding with U.S.-based drug maker Baxter International to develop a human vaccine against avian influenza.
But since late last year, when the deal with Baxter began to take shape, the country has been refusing to share samples of the local strain of the H5N1 bird flu virus with foreign laboratories, or with the World Health Organization.
Indonesia did not say why it is withholding samples of the virus. But it, Thailand, and other developing countries have expressed concern that their H5N1 samples will be sent to Western nations, and used there to develop vaccines that citizens of the originating country won't be able to afford."
BUUUULLLSHIIT! Western nations using our bird flu to make vaccines too expensive for us to use!!! What a weak-assed attempt at sympathy-garnering geopolitics. Indonesia isn't a third world nation too poor to develop its own vaccines, it just has a shitty government!
This is all about trying to cover-up Indonesia's massive H5N1 problem. What's worse is that this decision does nothing to affect vaccine productions and only keeps the WHO from knowing what genetic changes are occurring in Indonesian bird flu!
The pandemic could already be starting and we wouldn't know because Indonesia doesn't trust the Western World with it's H5N1 samples. Simply outrageous.
In brighter news, however, the British Vet who had been tested for bird flu came back negative. Poor guy just has a regular flu.
Posted by Frobisher Smith at 2/07/2007
Sorry for the lull in posts, not much had been happening besides a Nigerian bird flu death... Then, BAM, all of a sudden H5N1 infiltrates Britain. It's, how would they put it?? mmm... rather unsettling and quite a bother. Here's Best Syndication with the latest update:
"British officials have reported that 159,000 birds were killed at one turkey farm in Suffolk. This began on late Saturday to stop the spread of the virus. At this time it appears that the virus is located at a turkey farm and has not shown up in any new locations.
The farm will undergo a complete disinfecting process were the birds were housed. The 320 farm workers were instructed to take the antiviral drug Tamiflu. These farmer workers have not complained of any illness. These workers may have handled the over 2,000 birds that became infected with the H5N1 virus.
A worker that has helped in the culling of the 159,000 turkeys is being tested after coming down with illness and complaints of congestion. The worker’s health complaint was reported as "mild respiratory illness." At this time they are testing for the H5N1 virus. The Health Protection Agency (HPA) doesn’t believe that this person is infected with the bird flu virus, because of all the precautions taken during the culling. The results will be known in the next day.
The UK has put into place restrictions to bird farmers in the surrounding vicinity to keep their livestock indoors. Other countries have banned the import of UK poultry for fear on spreading the H5N1 virus. Transport of poultry needs to have proper clearance in the UK.
Since the beginning of the H5N1 virus it has been estimated that 200 million birds worldwide have been culled in attempts to prevent the spread of the deadly infection."
Ha! Looks like someone has been counting up the deaths-by-culling after all. I suspect that if H5N1 doesn't develop into a pandemic, within a year or so we'll start seeing books like "Did 200 Million Have to Die?" and "Cold Turkey: How the Culture of Fear Destroyed the World's Poultry Industry."
Anyway, looks like Suffolk's got some 'splainin to do! At least they don't have cholera...
Posted by Frobisher Smith at 2/07/2007