My photo
Corvallis, OR, United States
My personal obsession with prion diseases with smidges of music I like and rescue dog advocacy from a disabled Oregonian.


Song in my head: Hey, feelin' good was good enough for me, Good enough for me and my Bobby McGee..........Janis Joplin


Do you get enough sleep every night?

Chronic sleep loss and untreated sleep disorders have become a serious public health concern, and it is time for them to be addressed with the same urgency as the campaigns against smoking, drunk driving and obesity, experts say.

While there is increasing research evidence on the harmful effects of disturbed sleep, getting the word out beyond the lab has lagged, specialists said at a recent two-day meeting on sleep and sleep disorders at the National Institutes of Health

Interesting, the article claims that not only does depression cause insomnia, but insomnia causes depression..

Insomnia has long been viewed as a symptom that can develop as a result of depression. But studies also show there is feedback in the other direction: Those who have trouble sleeping can develop depression as a result. |link|


National Farmers Union backs Creekstone
April 15, 2004
Daniel Yovich
The National Farmers Union is voicing support for Creekstone Farms' efforts to force the Agriculture Department to reverse itself and allow the Arkansas City, Kan.-based processor to test all of its cattle for bovine spongiform encephalopathy and regain access to international beef markets.
"The Japanese and other trading partners have indicated a willingness to lift their ban on U.S. beef exports if specific testing protocols are in place," said NFU President Dave Frederickson. "We find it troubling that the USDA has denied Creekstone Farms the opportunity to meet the wishes of an important customer and regain access to the Japanese market. This decision prevents excellent marketing opportunities for farmer-owned beef cooperatives and other small processors of quality U.S.-grown beef."
In an April 14 letter to Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman, Frederickson urged USDA to reconsider its decision last week not to allow Creekstone to test for the brain wasting disease, noting that requirements for international trade are not always based upon science. Japan and more than 50 other countries closed their borders to U.S. beef after a Washington state cow was found to have BSE in December. Japan alone demands that all beef considered for export to that country be tested for BSE.
"Without taking measures to satisfy the needs of our international beef customers, we cannot expect to regain the full value of our export market or reopen the foreign markets now closed to our products," Frederickson wrote. "While 'sound science' is often recited as rationale to not test all processed animals for BSE, we must recognize that international trade is not based purely on scientific standards."
(from FSNet listserv)

State ag officials may be heading for BSE testing split with USDA
April 15, 2004
Daniel Yovich
The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture may be heading for a split with the Agriculture Department at a meeting in Chicago next month, where the association is scheduled to discuss formulation and approval of a bovine spongiform encephalopathy testing policy quite different than the expanded surveillance program announced March 15 by USDA.
The NASDA board is set to meet May 2, and is nowhere near reaching a consensus as to how to formulate a response to USDA's BSE surveillance program which seeks to test as many as 210,000 cattle — mostly downers — during the next year.
North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Roger Johnson, who chairs the association's rule development committee, said he believes the current tenfold increase in the BSE testing program is insufficient to force Japan and other markets to reopen their borders to U.S. beef.
State officials 'out of the loop'
Johnson also criticizes USDA for keeping state agriculture officials "out of the loop" in its decision making process, and said he "flabbergasted" by the agency's refusal last week to allow Arkansas City, Kan.-based Creekstone Farms to voluntarily test all of its cattle for BSE.
"This is the first time I've spoken publicly about this," Johnson told "But I can't get a grasp on USDA's thinking on this issue. Government, at the state and federal level, should be in the position of setting minimum standards, minimum levels for testing, not maximum levels. For them to turn down Creekstone makes no sense. They want to do it to honor a customer demand. Isn't that what free enterprise is all about?"....... (from FSNet listserv)

R-CALF threatens USDA with lawsuit over opening Canadian border
April 15, 2004
Daniel Yovich
The Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund says it will take the Agriculture Department to court if the United States opens its border to Canadian cattle, which was closed in May after officials there found a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in an Alberta cow.
"We are disappointed the USDA may abandon the science-based animal health regulations that serve as the primary firewall to protecting the United States from BSE," R-CALF President Leo McDonnell said in a news release. "We're prepared to go to court to protect the safety of American consumers and our industry."

From my experience with food safety agencies, major disagreements will impede the whole process. Meanwhile, consumers are at a disadvantage not knowing their food is safe.

No comments: