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prada Tests for fatal deer disease f

Tests for fatal deer disease face long delays

A second special deer hunt is underway this week in southwestern Wisconsin. It’s part of an attempt by state wildlife officia prada ls to eradicate chronic wasting disease. Ultimately, they hope to eliminate the regions entire deer population. The real kill is expected this fall, when hunters from across Wisconsin will likely bag as many 50,000 animals. A good percentage of those deer will be tested for the fatal brain wasting illness. But at the moment, only six laboratories in the country are federally certified to perform the test.

Brain samples from deer killed during this week’s hunt in Wisconsin are being sent t prada o the nearest federal labratory in Ames, Iowa for testing. The testing takes months. In fact, it’s expected to be spring before state officials know if chronic wasting disease has spread from Madison to Milwaukee. Part of the reason is time needed for the test itself. On top of that, however, the handful of the federal labs certified to do the work are flooded with samples.

So Butch Johnson and a couple of friends decided to open a private laboratory in Hayward in north central Wisconsin. Johnson says they hope to provide speedy testing.

“The turn around time is we can do it in three days that would be the turn around in the lab that we proposed,” explains Johnson.

He says his lab would serve hunters who want to find out whether their meat is infected.

However, Johnson’s laboratory may never make it beyond the drawing board. Department of Agriculture is refusing to certify private labs. The USDA is the lead agency in charge of chronic wasting disease. It controls the rights to the testing process. Johnson says the decision to exclude private laboratories is irresponsible.

“The hunter can’t sit and wait for six months to a year to find out what the result is, nor should the state not have the data available,” says Johnson. “The best time to collect that material is during the hunting season.”

Johnson says hunters contribute roughly $2 billion to Wisconsin’s economy each year. Fewer hunters are expected to come out this year because of chronic wasting disease.

The USDA doesn’t see the issue quite the same way. Ed Curlett works in the agency’s division of Plant and Wildlife Inspection. Curlett says allowing private tests to individual deer for the disease misses the point. He says this is a test meant for entire populations.

“It’s a test we can use to determine where it exists. But if you want to know individually if the animal a hunter kills is has chronic wasting disease this test isn’t designed to that,” says Curlett. “It’s not a food safety test.”

The test is not always accurate. It has a 30 percent false negative rate. As a result Curlett says hunters may wrongly believe their venison is free of chronic wasting disease.

“Hunters are going to have to make the decision depending on where they hunt and the conditio prada ns of where they kill, whether they want to consume that animal,” explains Curlett. “There’s no evidence that chronic wasting disease is transmissible to human but there’s no evidence to the reverse either. There’s not a whole lot known about this disease.”

The USDA is making no recommendation as to whether hunters should eat venison, even in the area around Madison where infected animals have been found.

Bob Manwell works for the Wisconsin DNR. Manwell says his department will focus this fall on mapping the disease.

“While we won’t be able to on demand testing for every hunter in the field we will be able to tell with a high degree of statistical accuracy whether the disease is present in a given county,” says Manwell.

The USDA is opening an additional lab in Wisconsin in time for the fall hunt. Information about the spread of the disease probably won’t be available until after hunting season.

Meanwhile federal scientists are investigating whether chronic wasting disease can be passed onto humans who eat infected venison. Wisconsin’s senate and congressional delegation is lobbying the USDA to change its position on private laboratories and Butch Johnson says he’ll go ahead and open his lab for businesses this fall regardless of federal approval.

Wisconsin pressured to change response to fatal deer disease Plans for a wide scale deer hunt in southwestern Wisconsin are becoming complicated. Last winter, evidence of chronic wasting disease was found for the first time east of the Mississip prada pi River. Portions of three Wisconsin counties are now designated hot spot zones. The current plan calls for extermination of about 15,000 deer. The Wisconsin DNR is bowing to public concern, scaling back plans for a summer hunt. But local residents are still not satisfied.

prada Tests find lead in reusable ba

Tests find lead in reusable bags

Twenty one reusable bags sold as alternatives to disposable plastic or paper bags had dangerous levels of lead, according to new test results provided to USA TODAY.

The non woven polypropylene bags, sold by chains including Safeway, Walgreen’s and Bloom, all had lead content above 100 parts per million the highest level that many states allow in consumer pa prada ckaging. The tests were conducted by Frontier Global Sciences for the Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF), which plans to release the results Monday. The group tested 71 bags and inserts from 44 retailers and organizations.

Often it was the bags’ inserts that contained the high lead levels. The Safeway bag inserts had the highest level of lead 672 ppm behind only CVS bags recalled in November. Earlier this month, the Center for Environmental Health (CEH) reported finding lead levels 15 times the federal limit for kid’s products in Disney themed Safeway reusable bags.

Safeway said Friday night it was pulling the O by Organics reusable bags from sale while it awaits information from the bag maker. It recommends throwing away the bottom insert. It stopped selling the Disney bags, as well.

Bloom says it stopped offering the bag tested in November and will refund anyone concerned about the bag. Walgreen’s says it now tests for lead and other toxins, and all current bags pass. It sells several bags and wasn’t sure exactly which bag CCF tested.

CCF is part of a public affairs firm owned by Richard Berman, who has represented the restaurant industry and runs ads critical of unions. CCF only says it is funded by “businesses, f prada oundations and consumers.”

CEH says there is no safe level of lead exposure, which can lead to brain and kidney damage.

Bruce Lanphear, a public health doctor who has testified before Congress about lead exposure, says “it’s hard to quantify” prada the risk of bags’ lead, but notes lead builds up in body tissues and that levels once thought safe are not.

“It just doesn’t make sense to allow a poison to be used in reusable bags,” says Lanphear, a health sciences professor at Canada’s Simon Fraser University.

Food and Drug Administration spokesman Douglas Karas says the agency would need more time to review the results, but woul prada d “expect the use of safe materials” in bags. Still, he says lead in some bags “would present little or no likelihood of migration to (packaged) food.”

While CEH and CCF are both testing for lead in reusable bags, CEH favors bans on disposable bags that the business funded CCF opposes. CCF wants to show the “unintended consequences” of “fad legislation.”

The American Chemistry Council, which is pushing recycling instead of bans or fees, has also paid for testing showing bacteria in reusable plastic bags. The group says it is for “consumer choice” and that people need to know that they have to wash the bags between uses.

“It’s an interesting irony for them to say that we should stay away from plastic bags,” says CEH’s Charles Margulis.