World Health News Update

November 12, 2012

World Health News Update

Some recent developments seen in the field of health and medicine are that the testing of E. coli is to be expanded in the U.S. and an Australian maker of ear implants has recalled one of its biggest sellers after it developed problems.

Expansion of Testing for E. coli in United States

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which presently only tests for one strain of the food borne pathogen E.coli, will shortly test for an additional six strains. The decision to increase the screening program was taken after an outbreak of E. coli in Europe. The strain found there was a new one, however that strain is not one of the seven being tested for in the U.S.

The Associated Press reports that the testing will begin with tests on beef trimmings used for ground beef, but in the future other meats may be included. The USDA is expected to make an announcement imminently.

In response to the attempt to smother the E. coli outbreaks Wenonah Hauter, director of the Food & Water Watch advocacy organization, said, “We are gratified that the Obama administration finally put public health ahead of industry interests by giving the USDA the authority to take action against these other pathogens”.

Additional testing will add to costs and provide minimal benefits the meat industry stated in opposition to the decision.

Company Issues Recall for Ear Implants

The Associated Press reported that an Australian manufacturer of ear implants has started a voluntary global recall of one of its biggest sellers.

Cochlear Ltd., the company which makes the ear implants to improve hearing is concerned because some units have just ceased working. The problem model is the CI 512, which is the highest selling model in the Nucleus CI 500 range. Additionally, Cochlear Ltd., have recalled the CI 513, the ABI 541 auditory brainstem implant and the CI 551 double array implant.

The company has stated that replacements for re-implantation will be provided.

The company is giving assurances that health problems caused by the defect are highly unlikely and anyone who has one of these implants and does not have any problems should continue using it as normal.

Cochlear CEO Chris Roberts, in response to the situation said, “We don’t know what the cause is”.

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