News Scan for Dec 15, 2014

Chikungunya cases top 1 million
;
Food safety funding

Caribbean chikungunya outbreak surpasses 1 million cases

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) reported 38,042 new chikungunya cases in the Caribbean and Americas on Dec 12, bringing the outbreak total to 1,034,926.

The total includes 1,012,347 suspected and 20,209 confirmed locally acquired cases and 2,370 imported cases. The US Virgin Islands reported its second death since the Dec 5 report, bringing the outbreak fatality total to 155.

Bermuda reported its first 10 cases, 3 of which were confirmed.

The largest case increase occurred in the Dominican Republic, which reported 25,381 cases, bringing its total to 524,381. Case numbers in Colombia continue to rise; the country reported 6,389 new cases this week, bringing its outbreak total to 45,890. Venezuela, which experienced a steep case increase at the start of December, reported no new cases.

Brazil reported 1,956 new cases, and the Cayman Islands reported 160 new cases; both countries previously had reported low case numbers of 210 and 28 cases, respectively.
Dec 12 PAHO update

 

Cromnibus allocates increased funds for food safety

In the so-called cromnibus spending package approved by the US Senate over the weekend, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is to receive nearly $2.6 billion and the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), an agency of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), $1.016 billion, according to a story in Food Safety News (FSN) yesterday. Cromnibus is a term coined to describe the bill as a cross between a continuing resolution and an omnibus bill.

Among specific allocations are $903 million for the FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) and $147 million for the Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM), representing a $27.5 million increase over 2014 funding. An included provision is that no funding will go to purchasing poultry processed in China for use in school and other government-sponsored food programs.

The package directs the FSIS and other agencies to take actions aimed at improving the safety of the US seafood supply, and the USDA along with the Office of the US Trade Representative is charged with making recommendations regarding country-of-origin labeling of meat and poultry.

Under a $353 million allocation to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for discretionary use, almost $48 million will go toward food safety, says the story.
Dec 14 FSN story

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