Tag Archives: influenza

Four New Science Books: Food Safety, Energy Efficiency, and more…

Last week brought us four new reports to the NAP site, including our featured publication in the Food and nutrition topic, Enhancing Food Safety, covering an important topic with a snappy book cover.

Featured Publication

Enhancing Food Safety: The Role of the Food and Drug Administration (prepublication)

Recent outbreaks of illnesses traced to contaminated sprouts and lettuce illustrate the holes that exist in the system for monitoring problems and preventing foodborne diseases. Although it is not solely responsible for ensuring the safety of the nation’s food supply, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversees monitoring and intervention for 80 percent of the food supply. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s abilities to discover potential threats to food safety and prevent outbreaks of foodborne illness are hampered by impediments to efficient use of its limited resources and a piecemeal approach to gathering and using information on risks. Enhancing Food Safety: The Role of the Food and Drug Administration, a new book from the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council, responds to a congressional request for recommendations on how to close gaps in FDA’s food safety systems.

Enhancing Food Safety begins with a brief review of the Food Protection Plan (FPP), FDA’s food safety philosophy developed in 2007. The lack of sufficient detail and specific strategies in the FPP renders it ineffectual. The book stresses the need for FPP to evolve and be supported by the type of strategic planning described in these pages. It also explores the development and implementation of a stronger, more effective food safety system built on a risk-based approach to food safety management. Conclusions and recommendations include adopting a risk-based decision-making approach to food safety; creating a data surveillance and research infrastructure; integrating federal, state, and local government food safety programs; enhancing efficiency of inspections; and more.

Although food safety is the responsibility of everyone, from producers to consumers, the FDA and other regulatory agencies have an essential role. In many instances, the FDA must carry out this responsibility against a backdrop of multiple stakeholder interests, inadequate resources, and competing priorities. Of interest to the food production industry, consumer advocacy groups, health care professionals, and others, Enhancing Food Safety provides the FDA and Congress with a course of action that will enable the agency to become more efficient and effective in carrying out its food safety mission in a rapidly changing world.

All New Publications This Week

Persistent Forecasting of Disruptive Technologies–Report 2 (forthcoming)

Real Prospects for Energy Efficiency in the United States (final)

The Domestic and International Impacts of the 2009-H1N1 Influenza A Pandemic: Global Challenges, Global Solutions: Workshop Summary (final)

New Publications: Near-Earth Objects, Engineering, Zoonotic Diseases and More

Happy new year! Things have been a little bit quiet around here with the winter holidays, so we’re listing out all the new publications for the last three weeks in one fell swoop to get the year started with a bang.

Also, don’t forget to check out the YouTube video that accompanies Sustaining Global Surveillance and Response to Emerging Zoonotic Disease.

Featured Publication

Near-Earth Object Surveys and Hazard Mitigation Strategies: Interim Report (final)

The United States is currently the only country with an active, government-sponsored effort to detect and track potentially hazardous near-Earth objects (NEOs). Congress has mandated that NASA detect and track 90 percent of NEOs that are 1 kilometer in diameter or larger. These objects represent a great potential hazard to life on Earth and could cause global destruction. NASA is close to accomplishing this goal. Congress has more recently mandated that by 2020 NASA should detect and track 90 percent of NEOs that are 140 meters in diameter or larger, a category of objects that is generally recognized to represent a very significant threat to life on Earth if they strike in or near urban areas. Achieving this goal may require the building of one or more additional observatories, possibly including a space-based observatory.

Congress directed NASA to ask the National Research Council to review NASA’s near-Earth object programs. This interim report addresses some of the issues associated with the survey and detection of NEOs. The final report will contain findings and recommendations for survey and detection, characterization, and mitigation of near-Earth objects based on an integrated assessment of the problem.

All New Publications, 12/21/09 – 01/08/09

Phase I Report on Review of the Testing of Body Armor Materials for Use by the U.S. Army: Letter Report (final)

Information Assurance for Network-Centric Naval Forces (prepublication)

Engineering Curricula: Understanding the Design Space and Exploiting the Opportunities: Summary of a Workshop (final)

The Domestic and International Impacts of the 2009-H1N1 Influenza A Pandemic: Global Challenges, Global Solutions: Workshop Summary (prepublication)

Liquid Transportation Fuels from Coal and Biomass: Technological Status, Costs, and Environmental Impacts (final)

Sustaining Global Surveillance and Response to Emerging Zoonotic Diseases (final)

Intangible Assets: Measuring and Enhancing Their Contribution to Corporate Value and Economic Growth: Summary of a Workshop (final)

Evaluation of NSF’s Program of Grants and Vertical Integration of Research and Education in the Mathematical Sciences (VIGRE) (final)

An Assessment of NASA’s National Aviation Operations Monitoring Service (final)