The publication, titled "Avian Influenza: a Primer on the Science, Regulations and Policies," was written as a resource for food companies, business owners and the media in response to a growing sense of uneasiness as the threat of an avian influenza pandemic rises.
The primer briefly summarizes the science and history of avian influenza, including past outbreaks in the U.S. and the recent outbreaks in Asia and Europe. It also includes a discussion of the various regulations and policies in the U.S., as well as worldwide, that have been adopted to prevent the spread of avian influenza and, hopefully, its mutation to a human-transmittable form.
The reference guide also addresses questions such as:
Why is avian influenza a health concern?
What does it mean for food businesses?
What controls are in place to prevent the spread of avian influenza in the U.S.?
What happens if avian influenza is found in the U.S.?
What controls are in place internationally?
What is the World Health Organization doing about the threat of a pandemic?
"Armed with the information found in this publication, the food industry will be better equipped to respond to consumer and customer inquiries regarding the disease and its impact, if any, on food safety," said contributing author and Olsson, Frank and Weeda attorney Jolyda Swaim. "It also serves as a great resource for health and medical consultants, reporters, policymakers or simply those concerned about the possibility of a pandemic, better informing them of the possible scenarios and the planned responses."