Apr 5 2012

Public Health News Roundup: April 5

IOM Report: U.S. Agencies Should Take Steps to Improve Safety of Food, Drugs from Developing Nations

Many low- and middle-income nations don’t have technologically advanced regulatory systems, which limits their oversight of food and drug safety, according to a new report from the Institute of Medicine. The report recommends 13 steps that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other agencies can take over the next three to five years to bolster the safety systems in developing nations. They include:

  • Developed nations should share technical expertise, training, and tools to strengthen the surveillance systems in developing countries.
  • The United States should work with Mexico, the host of the next meeting of the G20 nations, to add food and medical product safety to the G20 agenda.
  • FDA should evaluate its pilot Secure Supply Chain pilot program, which rewards firms that can track their products from manufacture to market with expedited entry into the U.S. market. If successful, FDA should expand the program to more drug firms and to food companies.

Read more food safety news.

HHS and Education Department Launch New Stop Bullying Website

The U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Education have launched a new website to encourage children, parents, educators and communities to take action to stop and prevent bullying.

The website provides a map with detailed information on state laws and policies, interactive webisodes and videos for young people, practical strategies for schools and communities to ensure safe environments, and suggestions on how parents can talk about bullying with their children. Read more on a recent documentary that tells the stories of kids who were bullied.

Study Finds Truck Exhaust, Heating Oil Can Exacerbate Asthma in Kids

A new study by scientists at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health finds that neighborhood differences in rates of childhood asthma may be explained by varying levels of air pollution from trucks and residential heating oil. Read more on environmental health.

Tags: Asthma, Environment, Food Safety, Food and Drug Administration, Mental Health, News roundups, Pediatrics, Prescription drugs, Public and Community Health, Violence