FAO, WHO urge vigilance in light of recent food scares

first_img See also: While the FAO and WHO pointed to two recent food safety incidents that involved food from China—the chemical melamine in animal and fish feed and unauthorized veterinary drugs in seafood imports—they also highlighted food safety gaps in developed countries. Jul 20, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) yesterday urged all countries to strengthen their food safety systems, a day after President Bush issued an executive order establishing a group to examine the safety of imported food and other goods. However, developed countries often have similarly fragmented food safety systems that do not cover primary production where many food safety problems originate, they said. For example, the spread of new Salmonella strains in poultry in recent years originated in developed countries and spread globally. Jul 19 FAO/WHO press releasehttp://www.fao.org/newsroom/en/news/2007/1000629/index.html “Food safety is an issue for every country and ultimately every food consumer,” said Jorgen Schlundt, director of the WHO’s department of food safety, zoonoses, and foodborne diseases, in the statement. “All countries can benefit from taking stronger measures to fill food safety gaps in the sometimes considerable journey food takes from the farm to the table.” The text of the executive order, posted on the White House Web site, says the group’s mission is to review current procedures that are intended to ensure the safety of imported products, assess the level of cooperation with foreign governments and manufacturers about their inspection and certification procedures, and consider whether changes are needed. World Trade Organization rules require developed countries to help developing countries that export food achieve high levels of food safety needed for international trade, the organizations said. The organizations, in a press release today, said in the last 12 months they have investigated an average of 200 food safety incidents per month. Bush also asked the working group to identify additional measures US importers can take to enhance import safety and identify best practices for selecting foreign manufacturers, inspecting foreign production facilities, and inspecting the goods before distribution in the United States. Food production systems in developing countries face steep challenges, such as population growth, intensification and industrialization of food and agricultural production, sanitary conditions, and weak public infrastructure, the FAO and WHO said. Food safety legislation in those countries is often incomplete and not consistent with international regulations, and laboratories lack essential equipment and supplies. In a related development, President Bush yesterday issued an executive order establishing an interagency working group to promote the safety of products imported into the United States. The group will be chaired by the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and membership will include other cabinet secretaries or their designates, as well as representatives from government budget, trade, environment, and consumer protection agencies. Jul 18 press release on Bush executive orderhttp://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/07/20070718-4.htmllast_img read more

Indonesia details reasons for withholding H5N1 viruses

first_imgJul 15, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – In a recent medical journal article, Indonesian officials detailed the rationale for their refusal to share H5N1 influenza virus samples with the World Health Organization (WHO), asserting that it was in part a response to violations of the WHO’s own guidelines by scientists and laboratories.A key part of the Indonesian argument is that the WHO issued a statement in March 2005 that its reference labs should not distribute biological specimens to other organizations without permission from the country that supplied them. The report also maintains that withholding the viruses is not a violation of the International Health Regulations (IHR).The report, authored by four Indonesian scientists and officials, including Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari, was published in the June issue of Annals Academy of Medicine Singapore.The article gives the Indonesian version of the sequence of events leading to the government’s decision in January 2007 to stop sending H5N1 viruses to the WHO’s reference labs. The essential reason was, and remains, the concern that samples provided freely by developing countries are used by companies in wealthy countries to develop vaccines and other products that the developing countries can’t afford. Indonesia wants a guarantee that it will share in the benefits derived from the isolates it provides.”If the world continues to operate in this way, the discrepancies will become wider and wider,” the article says. “The poor will become poorer and the richer become richer. It is the responsibility of all nations to change this situation.”Because scientists need H5N1 isolates to track the virus’s evolution, develop vaccines and diagnostics, and monitor drug resistance, Indonesia’s action generated international concern. The move disrupted a 50-year-old tradition of free sharing of influenza viruses through the WHO.WHO officials declined to comment specifically on the Indonesian report, noting that a series of international meetings to resolve the virus-sharing issue is continuing.”In the meantime, individual countries like Indonesia are free to try and influence other countries,” WHO spokeswoman Sari Setiogi told CIDRAP News by e-mail. “As secretariat, the WHO is more of a referee in this process but is fully supportive of an approach that is feasible, transparent and equitable and that will continue to provide protection and security for all countries.”The Indonesian report also includes a profile of the human H5N1 cases in Indonesia through the end of 2007, noting, among other things, that about a quarter of the 116 cases occurred in 10 clusters of blood relatives.What led to a ‘drastic decision’Indonesia’s first human H5N1 cases were identified in July 2005. From then until the end of 2006, the government sent all clinical specimens to two labs in the WHO’s influenza surveillance network (the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] and Hong Kong University) for confirmation and risk assessment, the report says. In January 2007 the government made the “drastic decision” to withhold the specimens.Incidents that offended Indonesia began in April 2006, the report says. Scientists at international meetings started reporting results of analyses of H5N1 viruses from Indonesia, without first getting permission from, or even notifying, Indonesia. In other cases, foreign scientists who studied Indonesian viruses sent to the WHO offered to include Indonesian experts and officials as coauthors, but only “at a very late stage of the manuscript writing,” according to the journal article.These “unethical practices” contravened the WHO guidance issued in March 2005 concerning the timely sharing of viruses with pandemic potential, the article says.This guidance, according to the report, states, “The designated WHO Reference Laboratories will seek permission from the originating country/laboratory to coauthor and/or publish results obtained from the analyses of relevant viruses/samples.” It also says, “There will be no further distribution of viruses/specimens outside the network of WHO Reference Laboratories without permission from the originating country/laboratory.”The source listed for the guidance is an online document that was accessed in March 2007 but, as the footnote says, is no longer available online. (The url listed for the document elicits only the message “This page is not available in English.”)Another episode that played a role was the emergence in May 2006 of Indonesia’s largest H5N1 case cluster—one probable and seven confirmed cases, all in blood relatives, seven of them fatal. The cluster raised fears that a pandemic was beginning. One result was that Indonesia was criticized for releasing genetic data only to a small network of researchers linked to the WHO and the CDC, the Indonesian authors wrote.In response to this “unfair” criticism, Indonesia decided that all its H5N1 virus sequence data at the CDC and Hong Kong University should be deposited in GenBank, a public database. But at the same time, the government decided to let its own labs confirm human H5N1 cases and not send samples to WHO labs for case confirmation anymore. However, officials elected to continue sending samples to the CDC for risk assessment and generation of seed viruses for vaccine production, the report explains.Australian company’s plan was pivotalThen in late 2006 a journalist confirmed to Indonesian officials that an Australian company planned to develop an H5N1 vaccine from a virus that Indonesia had provided to the WHO network. This plan, the article says, “was not only in violation (again) of the WHO guidance for virus sharing (March 2005) but also . . . revealed the unfairness and inequities of the global system.”The Indonesian authors maintain that their policy is not a violation of the International Health Regulations (IHR) as revised in 2005. The regulations do not “literally or specifically” require countries to share biological samples related to potential public health emergencies, they argue. In their view, the IHR can be interpreted as requiring only the sharing of public health information, not biological materials.Their interpretation also holds that countries have “sovereign control” over their biological resources, in keeping with the Convention on Biological Diversity, an international treaty adopted in 1992. “Hence, countries have the right and authority to decide whether to share their specimens with the WHO system or not, depending on their own judgment,” the report says.The report also traces the series of meetings convened by the WHO to try to resolve the virus-sharing issue. At a major meeting in November 2007, participants failed to reach a solution. But according to the Indonesian authors, the meeting brought an acknowledgement of a “breakdown of trust” in the global flu surveillance system and thereby “laid the foundation for a fundamental and significant change to the existing system.”Sedyaningsih ER, Isfandari S, Soendoro T, et al. Towards mutual trust, transparency and equity in virus sharing mechanism: the avian influenza case of Indonesia. Ann Acad Med Singapore 2008 Jun;37(6) [Full text]See also: Nov 26, 2007, CIDRAP News story “Virus-sharing pact eludes WHO group, but work will continue”Jun 19, 2007, CIDRAP News story “Virus ownership claims could disrupt flu vaccine system”Feb 6, 2007, CIDRAP News story “System for global pandemic vaccine development challenged”last_img read more

Blue Lagoon also sponsors the Sea Star Festival this year

first_imgPlava Laguna will once again be a partner of the Sea Star Festival, the Croatian edition of the EXIT festival.A logical and smart move by the Blue Lagoon, because we all know that the motive for coming in the pre- and post-season is not the sun and the sea, but the motive for coming is quality content. And the confirmation of the successful concept came from the Netherlands, where EXIT was officially declared the best festival in Europe.Awards and various titles are certainly good for branding and as a “proof of concept”, but the most important thing is the following – generating tourist arrivals and tourist spending in the pre-season. And this is where the Sea Star Festival proved that quality content is king. “We are immensely glad that EXIT was named the best festival in Europe. We are very proud to have played one of the key roles in bringing Sea Star to Croatia, ie to Umag. It’s nice to be a part of something so big, and I believe the festival will be even better this year with a rich line-up in preparation. The Exit Award is also a recognition for Sea Star, which has achieved fantastic success in entering the top 10 European festivals in its category after the first edition.”, Said Ronald Korotaj, a member of the Board of the Blue Lagoon.Certainly a smart move by Plava Laguna, because the results of the research conducted by the regional research center “TIM” from Novi Sad, confirmed that the premiere edition of the Sea Star Festival in Umag last year contributed to the Croatian tourist economy. generated tourist spending of more than 60 million. According to the official data of the Tourist Board of the City of Umag, all accommodation capacities in the city and surrounding places were filled and in relation to the pre-festival weekend in Umag and its surroundings, it was recorded attendance growth of as much as 220 percent.Also, the Festival was visited by more than 25 fans from May 28 to 50.000, and as many as 93% of them came from outside Umag, and the host city in hospitality is followed by the Istrian County, which was visited by as many as 85% of guests from abroad. The survey also found that each of these visitors spent an average of 292 euros during the festival, according to organizers, which was conducted on a representative sample of visitors with purchased tickets.Smart enough, and that is another confirmation of the hypothesis that investing in events is not a cost, but an investment.EXIT is officially the best festival in Europe, it was announced at the European Festival Awards in the NetherlandsEXIT won in the main category in a competition of a staggering 350 festivals from more than 35 countries, with over a million audience votes and the opinion of an expert jury made up of the world’s most eminent music industry people. Exit festivals were in the finals in as many as six categories, and EXIT itself in a record three categories, including winning the main prize for the best major European festival, and the best festival organizer in Europe and the ‘Take a Stand’ award for social activism!With this, EXIT Summer of Love 2017, which consisted of 4 festivals in Novi Sad, Umag, Budva and Timisoara, with over 350.000 visitors, was inscribed in golden letters in the world history of the festival. This year’s Sea Star 2018 will be held from 24 to 27 May in Umag’s Stella Maris.Related news: SEA STAR FESTIVAL WITH A NEW PARTNERSHIP UNTIL THE INTRODUCTION OF ADDED VALUE FOR VISITORSlast_img read more

OVI for April 2018: Growing demand for work – more chef, waiter and salesman in demand

first_img Tagseizgindexovijob In April 2018, OVI recorded a growth of 57,6 percent compared to the same month last year, which indicates a strong increase in demand for labor on an annual basisCompared to the previous month, seasonally adjusted index values ​​offer the same conclusion as the seasonally adjusted index rose 7,7 percent in April, the fourth largest increase in 12 months. These positive trends, which come as an announcement of the tourist season, are visible throughout Croatia, the report points out.The announcement of a more successful season is visible from the increase in demand for occupations in the service sector, such as chefs, waiters and salespeople, for which demand, compared to April 2017, increased by more than 50 percent. In the context of the type of contract linked to labor demand, the largest increase was observed in student and seasonal contracts, which increased by 82,7 percent compared to April last year, followed by fixed-term and indefinite contracts with an increase of 62,1 and 47,4 percent, while the number of vacancies related to vocational training without employment increased by 30,7 percent compared to April 2017.Source: Faculty of Economics, Zagreb Online Vacancy Index (OVI) The monthly index of online job vacancies was developed at the Institute of Economics, Zagreb in cooperation with the MojPosao portal. The purpose of the index is to provide timely information on the current state of labor demand. The OVI index is created by simply counting the number of unique new ads whose application deadlines end in the month for which the index is calculated. Since ads published through only one portal are taken, the number of ads is expressed as an index (base year is 2015).The index is interpreted as meaning that values ​​greater than 100 represent an increase compared to 2015, and values ​​less than 100 decrease compared to the base year. The index was seasonally adjusted by the X-12-ARIMA method.center_img Sharelast_img read more

This year, Pula Airport is breaking the historical record for the number of passengers

first_imgAfter the record-breaking June, July, August and September, when Pulapo Airport had four consecutive months with over 100.000 passengers for the first time in history, a successful series of record numbers continues in October.Namely, on October 18, 2018, Pula Airport welcomes 700 thousand passengers, who have not been at Pula Airport since the independence of the Republic of Croatia. While on Saturday, October 20, ZL Pula will cross the historical record from 1987, when 701.370 passengers passed through Pula Airport the most ever. “So far, the total traffic from January to September has increased by 21% compared to last year, when we had a remarkable increase in the number of passengers of 36,5%.points out the director of Pula Airport, Svemir Radmilo.This year, passengers at Pula Airport were able to choose their trip to one of the 20 European countries, with 42 companies to 76 destinations, the most so far. “At Pula Airport, we are proud of the fact that both airlines, even under increased peak load, recognize our work and professionalism and our attitude towards business partners and passengers, which maintains the constant of a serious, safe and top-notch airport. “Concludes Radmilo and emphasizes that this is a historic and important event for the entire Istrian economy.In August 2018, Croatian airports recorded 1 thousand passengers or 809% more than in the same month last year.The largest passenger traffic was realized by Split Airport, with 625 thousand passengers (increase of 5,8% compared to August 2017), followed by Dubrovnik Airport with 479 thousand passengers (increase of 9,2% compared to August 2017) and Zagreb Airport with 372 thousand passengers (an increase of 7,2% compared to August 2017).The most significant international passenger traffic was realized with German airports, 329 thousand passengers, which is an increase of 10,8% compared to the same period last year. The total number of landings and departures of aircraft at airports in August 2018 was 19, which is an increase of 271% compared to August 2017, according to data from the Central Bureau of Statistics.last_img read more

12 travel agents from Belgium and the Netherlands touring Slavonia

first_imgThe CNTB office for Belgium and the Netherlands, in cooperation with the national airline Croatia Airlines and the tourist boards of Vukovar-Srijem and Osijek-Baranja counties, is organizing a study trip for 18 travel agents from the Benelux area from 22 to 12 October.The travel program includes a tour of Slavonia and Baranja, more precisely Vukovar-Srijem and Osijek-Baranja counties.The study trip is entirely dedicated to touring continental Croatia and introducing agents to its rich tourist and eno and gastronomic offer, according to the CNTB, and during their stay the agents will visit Graberje Ivaničko, Vinkovci, Vukovar, Ilok, Osijek, Bizovačke Toplice, Zmajevac. , Batina, Kneževe Vinograde, Đakovo, PP Kopački rit and other places in these two counties, and during their stay they will spend the night in indigenous accommodation facilities and try dyeing zucchini, combing horses, weaving gold embroidery and cooking traditional Slavonian dishes.As part of this study trip, tasting of famous Slavonian wines is also planned, as well as sailing on the Danube and Bosut, cycling and horseback riding. Agents will also participate in a wine and art evening to be held at the Osijek Fortress. Agents participating in this study trip specialize in outdoor vacations, cultural tours, bird watching, rural tourism, active and family vacations.last_img read more

Hostelworld considers product offer options outside of the accommodation itself

first_imgSource: Shift; Hostelworld Currently, 28 hostels in Australia and New Zealand use the Tipi guest management system. Like many other travel brands, Hostelworld is increasingly looking to the future outside of accommodation and believes it could provide a wider range of services to an engaged audience. There are several ways I can accomplish this from Hostelworld. They can work with hostels to help them sell their own extras and products, they can also work with other companies to help them reach younger audiences, and finally, after launching a new payment platform this year, they will have the opportunity to offer additional products like travel insurance . Hostelworld’s immediate plans to improve the guest experience were announced the same day as the provisional results of the acquisition of a minority stake in technology guest management company Tipi for about $ XNUMX million. Morrison hopes the impact of the free cancellation initiative, whose number of cancellations has increased 0,09 million to 0,25 million this year, will equalize in 2020 allowing the company to focus on other areas of business. “Although I noticed the opportunity a year ago, I think there are more now. We have the ability to expand our core platform beyond accommodation where we sell 8 hours a day, so we are considering using this platform to sell products within the remaining 16 hoursSaid Morrison. “It makes absolute sense for hostels to use Tipi’s platform and we could, based on the agreement we made with them, download that content and implement it through our platform.Morrison added.center_img Attractive advertising campaigns with celebrities are a thing of the past, and the company is trying out ways to reach a younger audience by improving the booking experience and providing more individual hostel content. But potentially larger changes are also being considered. “Our competitors have had cancellations free of charge for a long time, so I think that our decision was made for competitive reasons.Morrison concluded. In the first half of 2019, Hostelworld recorded a 9 percent drop in revenue, to $ 43,1 million, and bookings on the primary Hostelworld platform fell 4 percent, to $ 3,7 million. All of this resulted in a drop in pre-tax profit – 86 percent to $ 437. In reality, Hostelworld still feels the effect of providing consumers with the option to cancel bookings free of charge, which is a policy that is aligned with other online travel agencies. The full global introduction of this change took effect in July last year, so it was to be expected that the numbers in the first half of 2019 would be challenging. Tipi technology allows guests to check in and access their rooms via mobile phones, and also provides the ability to interact with colleagues and information about hostel events (similar to what Hostelworld has already worked on with its own bulletin board and chat). Hostelworld CEO Gary Morrison has only been in that position for a short time, but it seems that he was not wasting time, but throwing work around structural changes in the company that offers accommodation, Skift reports.last_img read more

European Commission website for safe travel and tourism in the EU presented – Re-open EU

first_imgPhoto / Source: EU The European Commission has launched a new “Re-open EU” network platform for the safe continuation of travel and tourism in Europe. Real-time information on borders, available means of transport and tourist services in the Member States will be available on the platform.  “Re-open EU”Will contain practical information on travel restrictions, public health and safety measures, such as restricting social contacts or wearing face masks, and other useful information on the tourist offer in the EU and the Member States. This will allow everyone to make responsible and thoughtful decisions about the risks associated with coronavirus while planning vacations and trips during and after this summer. The new platform, which is also adapted for use on mobile phones as an internet application, serves as a main reference point for anyone traveling to the EU because it has centralized updated information. With the help of an interactive map, it will be possible to search for information, news and advice for each of the EU member states. last_img read more