So it was with a hearty mix of annoyance and alarm that the food community fielded a recent comment by a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) representative that "[t]he use of wooden shelves, rough or otherwise, for cheese ripening does not conform to [FDA] requirements, which require that 'all plant equipment and utensils shall be so designed and of such material and workmanship as to be adequately cleanable, and shall be properly maintained.' […] Wooden shelves or boards cannot be adequately cleaned and sanitized."
The comment was in response to a request for clarification by the New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets' Division of Milk Control and Dairy Services, after the FDA cited several New York cheese-makers for violations.
In light of the foodie furor, the FDA has clarified its position, noting, "The FDA does not have a new policy banning the use of wooden shelves in cheese-making, nor is there any [Food Safety Modernization Act] requirement in effect that addresses this issue. Moreover, the FDA has not taken any enforcement action based solely on the use of wooden shelves."
All but the most anti-government folk have little problem with governmental regulation/enforcement that has the genuine effect of promoting the general welfare. It's more than reasonable to have an organization like the FDA because, as history has taught us again and again, a free market of any scale sans oversight is a free market full of wholesale abuse. If you're going to have industrial-level production of food, you damn well better have someone at least attempting to mind the store.
But the recent cheese brouhaha points up a problem with the U.S. government: it often fails to mind its own business. The FDA's business, for example, is "Protecting and Promoting Your Health" (italics in original). That's a good business to be in. But taking a libertarian line—which I definitely do—the government should restrict people's freedom no more than it has to in order to safeguard against the impingement of others' rights.
Were there a problem in the artisanal cheese-making community, were a particular cheese-maker or a general practice making people sick, intervention—by the FDA, the police, whomever—would be perfectly appropriate, even necessary. But that's not the case here. Using wood to age cheese is a practice that goes back hundreds of years. And as L.V. Anderson noted in a recent Slate article, although improperly maintained boards can harbor listeria, a genus of bacteria that you don't want your stomach to touch with a 10-foot pole, "[W]ell maintained boards are home to a rich ecosystem of bacteria and fungi that are harmless to human health yet crucial to cheese texture and flavor."
Part of the problem many people have with the FDA is that it seems to be all over the map when it comes to protecting and promoting our health. On the one hand there are regulations like this wood/cheese deal (which have no corollary in not-exactly-savagely-unsanitary places like Canada), while at the same time the FDA is seen as often being too quick to green-light dangerous pharmaceutical medications, such as recently occurred with Zohydro, a new opioid that's such an obvious candidate for addiction and abuse that 29 states have asked the FDA to reconsider its approval. (This, of course, while the federal government continues to categorize cannabis in "the most dangerous class of drugs with a high potential for abuse and potentially severe psychological and/or physical dependence" and claims it has no acceptable medicinal value.)
"Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen," Albert Einstein is alleged to have said. While there's an aculeate truth in the quip, there's also a sense of common sense that is far less mindless. Sometimes collective wisdom is the most pragmatic course. Take, for example, the suggestion of a commenter on the Slate article:
Over the past few decades the federal government has required more disclosure concerning food items, which has increasingly enabled consumers to make informed choices. That's good. We should want an informed populace. And an informed populace should be allowed to choose to put whatever they want in their bodies, including cheeses made in the same manner that they were before there ever was a FDA or a federal government or a country called the United States of America. What we don't need is to worry about reinventing the wheel.
Source: Greggory Moore, When Government Should Keep Its Hands Off the Wheel, Moore Lowdown, HWN, July 5, 2014.
Guns kill 35,000 Americans a year. They’re a threat to public health. Let’s act like it.
In the UK, suicide is the biggest cause of death for men up to the age of 49, and our emotional well-being must no longer be shrugged off.
The evidence is clear that this is not an effective strategy.
Obama’s Clean Power Plan would have averted asthma attacks. Trump wants to undo it.
If you have 4 to 5 drinks in one sitting at least once a week, that's considered high-risk behavior.
There are many major societal trends for which architects can contribute health-promoting improvements: obesity, housing and social inequities, an aging population, hazardous chemical exposures, urbanization, nature contact deficit, energy poverty, water shortages and excesses, natural disasters, and climate change.
A 1996 bill has had a chilling effect on the CDC’s ability to research firearms.
Organs are not the only item of value from the deceased.
In the new “Smoke Belt,” it’s raining ash and respiratory illnesses.
Like most public-health crises, this one requires a societal solution. Today, not a single state has a sensible law. Most forbid holding a phone while driving, but penalties and enforcement are weak — and hands-free use is still dangerous, studies show. The distraction, not the physical act of holding a phone, creates the problem.
Most people who read health journalism with a critical eye would say it's in bad shape. For evidence, look no further than your local newspaper (if one still exists), or go to your favorite website and learn about "the 10 ways to bust your belly fat for good." Coffee will help you live longer on Monday and kill you quicker by the weekend.
Police misconduct has been big news lately. With citizen confidence in law enforcement ebbing away, it may be best for both police and the public if every encounter between the two is witnessed by unblinking eyes.
Heatwaves, disease-carrying insects and prolonged allergies are some of the early symptoms noted in a major new report.
If the political system is broken—a popular notion these days—shouldn't the Americans vote for candidates who fall outside the status quo? Luckily there's someone running for president who can lead us somewhere better.
Los Angeles County voters awarded schools billions of dollars for upgrades and repairs. But half a decade later administrators are supplying students with iPads, even though the backlog for basic repairs runs into the tens of thousands.
Over the last 40 years the United States has sacrificed schools and other means of social betterment so as to incarcerate a greater number of nonviolent offenders than ever before. It's a practice that has damaged the fabric of our nation. The question is: Are we ready to change course?
Some might say it's government intrusion, but we're talking about children, and we're only saying that public schools ought to be providing them with more than just proper mental nourishment.
While the U.S. is a democracy in some respects, when it comes to policy, a recent study shows that politicos do the bidding of the rich and pretty much ignore the rest of us. He who pays the piper calls the tune, right?
No doubt allowing people to sell their organs would increase the supply for those awaiting transplants. But would the societal benefits of such a move be offset by a further widening of the gap between the rich and poor?
There is, of course, the grand charge against all governmental intercessions on behalf of public health: they are on the slippery slope to a nanny state. At odds with the charge, though, are again the testimonies of history. The greatest advances in human health and longevity ever produced were courtesy of sanitation and immunization campaigns--both mediated through government programs. I no more want government telling me what to eat for breakfast than anyone else does. But the idea that our only choices are between the Wild West and a nanny state is nonsense propounded by ninnies.
Food stamps don't come with many restrictions. But some lawmakers are looking to change that. Are politicians on either side of the issue interested in genuinely debating the question, or is it just politics as usual?
Just about the only time the CPB is in the news is when pols make noise about choking off federal funding for public media. But if more people knew the whole story, the conversation might be different.
Infectious-disease outbreaks not only have the potential to destabilize societies, they pose a threat to international economies, as well.
What should public-health officials and businesses be doing to prepare?
Most of us would agree that cruelty is unhealthy. And so a recent failure to act by the California legislature gives us a window into another way in which we are a very unhealthy society.
A recent brouhaha over government restrictions on the aging of cheese is a case in point of how the feds sometimes seem not to know where they're needed and where they're not.
As a diagnostic tool for the health of the American political system, Candidate Trump is just what the doctor ordered.
Public health approaches promote good health for everyone, not just those who can afford it or are educated enough to make appropriate choices.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and partners have issued the National Action Agenda for Public Health Legal Preparedness as a resource that public health officials, policy makers, and partners may use in assessing and improving their jurisdictions'' legal preparedness for public health emergencies.
AARP is dedicated to enhancing quality of life for all as we age. We lead positive social change and deliver value to members through information, advocacy and service.
AcademyHealth promotes interaction across the health research and policy arenas by bringing together a broad spectrum of players to share their perspectives, learn from each other, and strengthen their working relationships.
As 1 of 12 agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) supports health services research initiatives that seek to improve the quality of health care in America. AHRQ's mission is to improve the quality, safety, efficiency, effectiveness, and cost-effectiveness of health care for all Americans.
The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research is a private, nonpartisan, not-for-profit institution dedicated to research and education on issues of government, politics, economics, and social welfare.
APHA is the oldest and most diverse organization of public health professionals in the world and has been working to improve public health since 1872.
Promoting Public Health, Fostering Uniformity, and Establishing Partnerships
The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, DC. Our mission is to conduct high-quality, independent research and, based on that research, to provide innovative, practical recommendations.
The Center for Health and Public Policy Studies
conducts research and policy analysis on current issues in health policy and politics that affect California and the nation.
A nonprofit health policy resource center dedicated to improving the quality and cost effectiveness of health care services for low-income populations and people with chronic illnesses and disabilities. We work directly with states and federal agencies, health plans, and providers to develop innovative programs that better serve people with complex and high-cost health care needs.
Welcome to the website of the Center for Insurance Policy and Research (CIPR). The CIPR serves international, federal and state policy makers, thought leaders and insurance consumers enhancing intergovernmental cooperation and improving consumer protection while promoting legitimate marketplace competition
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities is one of the nation''s premier policy organizations working at the federal and state levels on fiscal policy and public programs that affect low- and moderate-income families and individuals.
Change.org is the world's largest petition platform, empowering people everywhere to create the change they want to see.
We live in an amazing time, when the opportunity to make a difference is greater than ever before. Gathering people behind a cause used to be difficult, requiring lots of time, money, and a complex infrastructure. But technology has made us more connected than ever.
The International Institute of Concern for Public Health is a Canadian-based nonprofit organization dedicated to helping communities assess and improve their environmental health status. The IICPH alerts and informs the public of the health hazards of pesticides, nuclear industries and other commercial, military, and industrial products.
Recalls of pharmaceutical products have surged in recent years...
The EU has a mandate to complement national action on health. This consists mainly of:
-protecting people from health threats and disease
-promoting healthy lifestyles
-helping national authorities in the EU cooperate on health issues.
When the government tells you that you cannot grow your own food, and slips pesticide-ridden GMOs into the nation’s food supply unlabeled, it’s time to discard the system.
Food & Water Watch works to ensure the food, water and fish we consume is safe, accessible and sustainably produced. So we can all enjoy and trust in what we eat and drink, we help people take charge of where their food comes from, keep clean, affordable, public tap water flowing freely to our homes...
Greenpeace exists because this fragile earth deserves a voice. It needs solutions. It needs change. It needs action.
Commentary on healthcare, the economy, politics and public health.
Health Canada is the Federal department responsible for helping Canadians maintain and improve their health, while respecting individual choices and circumstances.
Health Hippo is a collection of policy and regulatory materials related to health care, with some graphics sprinkled in. It would be wise to confirm anything you intend to rely on with a hardcopy of the reference.
Health Metrics Network (HMN) is a global partnership that facilitates better health information at country, regional and global levels. Partners include developing countries, multilateral and bilateral agencies, foundations, other global health partnerships and technical experts.
The Health Policy Institute is a multi-disciplinary group of faculty and staff dedicated to conducting research on key issues in health policy and health services research.
The mission of the Center for Studying Health System Change is to inform policy makers and private decision makers about how local and national changes in the financing and delivery of health care affect people.
Health Wonk Review is a biweekly compendium of the best of the health policy blogs. More than two dozen health policy, infrastructure, insurance, technology, and managed care bloggers participate by contributing their best recent blog postings to a roving digest, with each issue hosted at a different participant's blog.
Published since 1981, Health Affairs is nonpartisan and presents a wide range of timely research and commentary on health issues of current concern in both domestic and international spheres.
Public Health News is an EIN News Service for health professionals. Constantly updated news and information about health.
Healthmatters is an independent non-profit UK magazine covering the NHS, public health and health politics.
Unbiased facts. Informed opinions. Our mission is to provide accurate, accessible information about health care to the public, practitioners, journalists, students, managers and policy makers; to be a forum for thoughtful deliberation about Canada’s health care systems; and to increase the frequency with which health system leaders use evidence and informed public input when making policy and management decisions.
The Heritage Foundation is a research and educational institute whose mission is to formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense.
an independent, not-for-profit organization with a mission to develop transformative solutions to health system problems.
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) is an independent, nonprofit organization that works outside of government to provide unbiased and authoritative advice to decision makers and the public.
The Intercultural Cancer Council (ICC) promotes policies, programs, partnerships, and research to eliminate the unequal burden of cancer among racial and ethnic minorities and medically underserved populations in the United States and its associated territories.
Founded in 1929, the John A. Hartford Foundation is a committed champion of health care training, research and service system innovations that will ensure the well-being and vitality of older adults. Its overall goal is to increase the nation''s capacity to provide effective, affordable care to its rapidly increasing older population.
The mission of Health Policy and Management is to advance the public''s health through the development, implementation, and evaluation of science-based policies and practices.
To provide a medium for publication of scholarly articles on the epidemiologic and social foundations of public health policy; to present the results of research bearing on such policy; to evaluate administrative experience in the implementation of specific public health policies and programs; and to help make more effective the services provided by health departments.
We are a non-profit, private operating foundation focusing on the major health care issues facing the U.S., with a growing role in global health. Unlike grant-making foundations, Kaiser develops and runs its own research and communications programs, sometimes in partnership with other non-profit research organizations.
This blog is prepared by CMG (Kim) Buttery MD MPH to develop discussion among peers and students on the hot topics of public health, preventive medicine and the health care system.
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation is a private, independent grantmaking institution dedicated to helping groups and individuals foster lasting improvement in the human condition.
Mathematica strives to improve public well-being by bringing the highest standards of quality, objectivity, and excellence to bear on the provision of information collection and analysis to our clients.
The latest Public Health News articles published daily. Includes news on public health hazards, health services administration, biostatistics, epidemiology, access to care, health education, legislation, law enforcement and more.
The National Academy for State Health Policy is an independent academy of state health policymakers working together to identify emerging issues, develop policy solutions, and improve state health policy and practice.
Our mission is to promote understanding and informed policymaking on social insurance and related programs through research, public education, training, and the open exchange of ideas.
To improve the health and well being of Hispanics. The National Alliance for Hispanic Health is the premier science based organization focusing on Hispanic Health. Alliance community based members reach over 15 million Hispanic consumers throughout the U.S.
Founded in 1979 to improve the health of the people of the United States by helping to develop health policy, formulating and initiating legislation to implement such policy, and supporting measures to strengthen the public health services.
One of the original patient safety coalitions, NCPIE works to advance the
safe, appropriate use of medicines through enhanced communication.
The National Health Council (NHC) harnesses the collective power of the patient community to address systemic health care issues that affect all patients.
The National Health Policy Forum seeks to inform the public policy process by helping participants''federal health policymakers in the legislative and executive branches and in congressional support agencies''engage in rigorous, constructive, and respectful dialogue.
The National Health Policy Forum's mission is to cultivate a learning community among key senior staff in Congress, its support agencies, and the executive branch of the federal government in order to improve the policymaking process on the nation's critical health issues.
The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that uses public education and advocacy to promote fairness in the workplace, quality health care, and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family.
For 60 years, NSF has been committed to public health, safety, and protection of the environment. While focusing on food, water, indoor air, and the environment, NSF develops national standards and provides learning opportunities.
Life expectancy and overall health have improved in recent years for most Americans, thanks in part to an increased focus on preventive medicine and dynamic new advances in medical technology. However, not all Americans are benefiting equally.
Our mission is to "balance" international, national and state policies to ensure adequate availability of pain medications for patient care while minimizing diversion and abuse, and to support a global communications program to improve access to information about pain relief, palliative care, and policy.
A collaboration of U.S. government agencies, public health organizations and health sciences libraries.
The Institute serves as a focal point for applied public health and health policy within the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health as well as a bridge to public health and health policy practitioners in the state.
Public Agenda is an objective explorer of public opinion and a scrupulously fair minded producer of citizen education materials. Public Agenda's unique research explains and clarifies public attitudes about complex policy issues.
We fight for openness and democratic accountability in government, for the right of consumers to seek redress in the courts; for clean, safe and sustainable energy sources; for social and economic justice in trade policies; for strong health, safety and environmental protections; and for safe, effective and affordable prescription drugs and health care.
The Public Health Foundation is dedicated to achieving healthy communities through research, training, and technical assistance.
PHI is committed to providing the world’s citizens with freedom from death and suffering from preventable disease through the implementation of basic, low cost public health programs. This commitment is reflected in the development of well-planned and sustainable public health programs and in PHI’s long-standing support of cooperating humanitarian organizations
Public Health Online began in early 2014 with Dan Schuessler and Wes Harris. Our vision is to provide students, parents and general readers with accurate and expert-driven information and resources about public health topics, careers and the post-secondary educational landscape. We want our in-depth guidebooks and degree- and subject-focused pages to help anyone interested in public health make informed decisions at every turn.
Public Health Policy highlights the work of Dr. Kumanan Wilson and other researchers into this increasing important area of study. The goal of the site is to provide a knowledge transfer and dissemination resource that can provide timely information.
Public Health Reports (PHR) has been published since 1878 and is the official journal of the U.S. Public Health Service. Since 1999, PHR has been published by the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH). PHR is a peer-reviewed journal published on a bi-monthly basis. The six regular issues produced annually offer articles in three main areas: public health practice, research, and viewpoints/commentaries.
Public Health Solutions is a large, multi-faceted organization using a repertoire of methods to generate practical solutions to major public health challenges. We work to improve the health of the public from a variety of angles including service delivery in low income neighborhoods, public health research and evaluation, and technical assistance/capacity building for government and other nonprofits.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis.
We are a nonprofit grassroots advocacy organization committed to creating the political will to end hunger and the worst aspects of poverty. RESULTS is committed to individuals exercising their personal and political power by lobbying elected officials.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation seeks to improve the health and health care of all Americans. Our efforts focus on improving both the health of everyone in America and their health care''how it's delivered, how it's paid for, and how well it does for patients and their families.
The Alliance of State Pain Initiatives (ASPI) is a network of state-based Pain Initiative organizations that work to remove the barriers that impede pain relief through education, advocacy and institutional improvement.
At The Atlantic Philanthropies, we are dedicated to bringing about lasting changes in the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable people. We award grants to carefully selected organisations that serve disadvantaged people to help these organisations increase their reach and impact, and advocate for social change.
Founded in 1996, the Center for Consumer Freedom is a nonprofit organization devoted to promoting personal responsibility and protecting consumer choices. We believe that the consumer is King. And Queen.
The Center for Health and Health Care in Schools (CHHCS) is a nonpartisan resource center at The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services. CHHCS builds on a 20-year commitment to achieve better health outcomes for children and adolescents through school-connected health programs and services.
The Pew Charitable Trusts is driven by the power of knowledge to solve today's most challenging problems. Pew applies a rigorous, analytical approach to improve public policy, inform the public and stimulate civic life.
Most people don't realize the impact that Public Health has on their lives, but there are examples all around you. There are factors that determine your health that you can control, and there are factors that you cannot. It's Public Health that fights both of those battles.
Trust for America's Health (TFAH) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to saving lives by protecting the health of every community and working to make disease prevention a national priority.
The staff of U.S. MEDICINE works to provide objective information about events and policies in federal medicine. We welcome your comments, questions and suggestions
The UCLA Center for Health Policy Research improves the public''s health by advancing health policy through research, public service, community partnership, and education.
To promote sound social policy and public debate on national priorities, the Urban Institute gathers and analyzes data, conducts policy research, evaluates programs and services, and educates Americans on critical issues and trends.
US Recall News is not associated with any government agency. We provide what information we can relating to recalled products in the United States, but our list of recalls may not be all-inclusive. While we endeavor to stay up-to-date with all of the latest recalls, your best bet is always to contact the appropriate organization in charge of the recalls...
The Wait Time Alliance (WTA) was formed out of concern among Canada's doctors over delayed access to care for their patients, and an interest in working collaboratively with stakeholders to improve wait times. The WTA is comprised of several national medical specialty societies whose members are directly involved in providing care to patients.
Wake Up World is a platform for new ideas, positive ideas, new ways forward. You’ll find nutritional advice from nutritionists who don’t have a vested interest in which product you buy. You’ll find medical research reported without the bias of big pharma companies or the governments they control. You’ll find political analysis from writers who see our current time period in an historical perspective, and who don’t conform to the status quo thinking of government-controlled media and academia. And you’ll find discussions of our burgeoning new world…. and it isn’t just sustainable and peaceful, it’s multidimensional too!
Covering worldwide weather including nuclear fallout, volcanic ash ...