News & Perspective

Sep 14, 2011

Sep 14, 2011

US ag and food defense efforts criticized

(CIDRAP News) – Although no successful attacks on the US agriculture and food system have been reported in the past decade, the nation's efforts to defend the system came in for a barrage of criticism yesterday about a lack of coordination and various other shortcomings.

Apr 02, 2009

Apr 02, 2009

Poultry program's changes aim to stiffen avian flu safeguards

(CIDRAP News) – The US Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) approval yesterday of two more avian influenza (AI) tests for use in a voluntary national poultry health program will improve the protection of US flocks from avian flu, according to USDA officials and animal health experts.

Jun 02, 2008

Jun 02, 2008

USDA releases sequences of 150 avian flu viruses

(CIDRAP News) – The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced the release of complete genetic data for 150 avian influenza viruses in an effort to connect genetic information with the biological effects of the viruses and to improve diagnostic tests.

Feb 13, 2008

Feb 13, 2008

USDA seeks more funds for food defense

(CIDRAP News) – The US Department of Agriculture is proposing a big increase in spending to protect the US food and agriculture system from terrorist threats and other disasters in fiscal year 2009, while seeking somewhat less money for avian influenza.

Dec 20, 2007

Dec 20, 2007

New swine flu virus supports 'mixing vessel' theory

(CIDRAP News) – A new influenza virus discovered in Missouri pigs has a combination of genes from avian and swine flu viruses, supporting the theory that pigs can serve as a mixing vessel for flu viruses and a potential source for a human pandemic strain, according to a report published yesterday.

Oct 12, 2006

Oct 12, 2006

FAO launches disease crisis center

(CIDRAP News) – To speed emergency responses to avian influenza and other animal and plant diseases, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) inaugurated a new crisis management center (CMC) at its Rome headquarters today.

Jul 14, 2006

Jul 14, 2006

USDA, FAO to launch animal disease crisis center

(CIDRAP News) – The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) announced today that a new animal disease crisis management center will begin operating in late July at FAO headquarters in Rome, with an initial focus on H5N1 avian influenza.

Jul 12, 2006

Jul 12, 2006

USDA releases farm biosecurity guide

(CIDRAP News) – The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) today released a guide to helps farmers protect crops and animals from security threats.

The guide, titled "Pre-Harvest Security Guidelines and Checklist 2006," offers voluntary, practical measures to help farmers protect crops and animals from natural disasters and naturally or intentionally introduced pathogens.

Jun 21, 2006

Jun 21, 2006

Report faults USDA surveillance for avian flu

(CIDRAP News) – The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) does not have adequate measures in place to test for and monitor avian influenza in commercial poultry, an audit by the department's inspector general said yesterday, according to news services.

Jan 21, 2005

Jan 21, 2005

Smuggled animals may bring disease

(CIDRAP News) – The next infectious disease to enter the United States might cross the border taped to a traveler's leg or tucked snugly under a tourist's hat.

Smuggling of wild animals has always posed hazards to human health, but the stakes may be getting higher today, given the role of animal hosts in lethal outbreaks such as SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and avian influenza.

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