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FDA suspends plan to close field labs

first_img Von Eschenbach denied that the closings relate to outsourcing, but he later said the agency would consider certifying or credentialing private labs to do some testing, the AP report said. However, the next day President Bush issued an executive order establishing a cabinet-level interagency working group to promote the safety of imported products. The panel was created in light of recent food contamination and other product safety problems linked to imported goods. The order instructs the group to report back in September unless an extension is deemed necessary. Von Eschenbach, in an Aug 1 AP report, said he wanted to make sure that before proceeding, the FDA was “doing the right thing and doing it in the right way.” Margaret Glavin, the FDA’s deputy commissioner for regulatory affairs, said the agency’s proposal is to close 7 of its 13 labs, CongressDaily reported yesterday. She wrote in an e-mail to her staff that the FDA might reconsider the lab reorganization plan, as well as a proposed consolidation of 20 district offices into 16, depending on the findings of the president’s import safety working group, the report said. Jul 18 press release on Bush executive orderhttp://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/07/20070718-4.html Some lawmakers, however, oppose the lab consolidation plan, and CongressDaily reported that House and Senate agricultural appropriations bills include language that would stop the FDA from shuttering the labs until it can prove that the closures are warranted. In a Jul 31 letter to the FDA, Stupak and Dingell wrote that they couldn’t fathom why the FDA would contract out a critical import testing program, “particularly in light of the numerous recent incidences of harmful foods exported from other countries,” CongressDaily reported. See also: Aug 3, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach announced this week the postponement of a plan to close about half of the FDA’s field laboratories until the agency hears the recommendations of President Bush’s import safety working group. Bart Stupak, a Democratic congressman from Michigan, told CongressDaily that the FDA, in reams of documents submitted to a house subcommittee, has not explained why consolidating the labs makes sense from safety or cost perspectives. “Whether they are closed today or 90 days from now, closing the FDA’s field labs and consolidating the district offices, which places more power in Washington, makes no sense for America’s food safety,” Stupak was quoted as saying. Von Eschenbach had said the FDA laboratory reorganization would greatly enhance the agency’s ability to assess and rank risks to better utilize inspection, enforcement, and analytical resources, the Associated Press (AP) reported on Jul 17. Stupak and John D. Dingell, another Democratic congressman from Michigan, asked whether the lab consolidation plan represents a step toward privatizing or outsourcing the testing of imported foods, the AP reported.last_img read more

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Salim 7 crowned champions of GRUPA Sevens Rugby Festival

first_imgSalim 7, one of the squads drawn from Cosmos Buffaloes Rugby Club won the Ghana Rugby Union Players Association (GRUPA) Sevens title after a fiercely contested final against Large Star, a squad from Titans Rugby Club at the Accra Sports Stadium. 3 tries and 3 conversions was what Salim 7 needed as they cruised to 21 points with Large Star trailing with 0 point at the end of proceedings in the finals. Salim 7 will go into the history books as the first ever winners of the GRUPA 7s Rugby Festival in the unprecedented tournament organized by a player’s union in Africa.In what looked like a big day for Cosmos Buffalos Rugby Club, their second team named as Buffalos placed third as they scored Zanzibar 21 to 14. Team Buffalo scored a late 7 points to snatch the needed victory leaving team Zanzibar which was drawn from Dansoman Hurricane Rugby Club to settle for the fourth position A total of 10 teams from different clubs across the country participated in the festival which brought together several Rugby dignitaries and stakeholders to witness the beauty of the fastest growing sport in the country.The winners were presented with prizes and other exciting packages from the sponsors of the event. The Rugby festival was a delight to behold as kids showcased their talent whiles the ladies also displayed rugby at its best. Spectators also enjoyed themselves in a kicking competition and the winners walked away with prizes.President of GRUPA, Mr. Michael Ako Wilson highlighted in an interview that he was pleased with the success of the programme due to the massive turnout, participation and maturity displayed in all the matches.  “The objective of the festival is to create unity, camaraderie and for players to network. As you can see we had a lot of people attending the festival, the games were fantastic and were of the highest standards”. He was grateful to the sponsors and the Ghana Rugby Football Union (GRFU) for their support and hinted that GRUPA Sevens Festival will be an annual event with participation from other countries. Mr. Wilson used the opportunity to appeal to corporate bodies to invest in Ghana Rugby since the major challenge has been funding.  The general captain of the national rugby team also stated that what was witnessed by fans was just the tip of the iceberg and promised a very exciting competition when the Ghana Rugby Club Championship kicks off on November 7th, 2015. The General Secretary of GRFU, Mr. Abdul Aziz Issah couldn’t hold back his joy at the achievement of GRUPA in organizing the festival and being the pioneers of such an initiative. He told the media in an interview that, “We [GRFU] are very proud of GRUPA, its members and what they have accomplished today. It has never happened before and I know other countries will emulate”. He was impressed with the improvement in the games and was hopeful that Ghana rugby will reach higher heights with more guidance, training programmes for clubs, good facilities and courses to upgrade the coaches.  Mr. Aziz lamented about the lack of funding which has stifled the development of rugby in the country. He wants all stakeholders and the sports authorities to commit resources to push Ghana rugby to reach higher heights. “Financing has always been our problem. It is our President, Mr. Herbert Mensah who comes to our aid but it cannot always be so. We need the support of government and the corporate bodies to develop the game”. International Brands Ghana, importers of T’ Best Natural Juice was the official beverage sponsor for the event. Wish Bone Commodities Limited, producers of Royal Atlantic Tuna were official partners with support from Largestar Batteries.   á§last_img read more

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Foster’s Fairplay | Give Champs the attention it deserves

first_img There is absolutely no question that these “hide and seek” games which admittedly enhance the hype and make the successful professional forecasters seem like geniuses, have their negative effect. The cat and mouse play advances the view that Champs is the pinnacle showcase for this generation of athletes. Several see the March/April event as the fulfilment of their dreams in the sport. What comes after in the Summer is not given as serious an approach as it deserves. This columnist has travelled with junior teams to international competitions and some of the talk coming from a few of the team members, is absolutely chilling. The words, “this is not Champs but I’ll see what I can do” swiftly comes to mind. In other words, it is equivalent to putting school over country. Bear in mind that the much maligned Captain Burrell, Jamaica’s football supremo, will have none of this in his ranks. As far as he is concerned, representing Jamaica even as far as preparation exercises go, must supersede any other activity. As a remedial response, there have been calls for the dilution of the Champs model and some of what it embraces. Stronger focus, those protagonists claim, ought to be given to national exploits. They continue to express the view that, “the schoolboy and schoolgirl model being the most important one, must go.” Foster’s Fairplay has time for that argument but it has to be structured in a manner that will not detract from the value of Champs. Neither should its component parts be seen as an overkill. As it stands, too many positives, which can be further developed, are woven into the fabric of Champs. Champs is too high profile and by extension, highly marketable an event to allow for any diminishing of its format. All it needs is to be tweaked a bit to allow the dollars that it attracts to flow in with greater intensity and rapidity. The ISSA executives need to contract the expert services of the world’s most efficient marketers to assist in selling the product to a more diverse set of buyers of sporting content. The annual Penn Relays forays can be utilised as working trips to launch this and similar initiatives. Let Champs and how it has impacted the world, be a major contributor to the country’s Gross Domestic Product. – Email feedback to [email protected] Last weekend, athletes from two different age groups – Under 18 and Under 20 – participated in the country’s Trials for the Carifta Games, which takes place during the Easter holidays in Curacao. Foster’s Fairplay will allow the erudite statisticians to catalogue the plethora of brilliance which emanated from that event. Suffice to say, it provided further indication that, as the colloquialists would put it, “wi nuh tap yah.” The coaches who guide the country’s young sporting products have displayed that they too are of world class rating. They have prepared their charges to have them peak at what they deem to be the right time. This could be seen in the performing language of some name brand participants parading their skills while at the same time showing that, “I am not quite ready” or “I am holding back.” It seemed to many watching from various vantage points, that it was not yet time to serve the “pudding”, the proof of its delectable taste, being withheld until Champs. The InterSecondary Schools Sports Association’s flagship event, the ISSA GraceKennedy Boys & Girls’ Championships is just under three weeks away. The five day spectacle, known to the world of track and field as ‘Champs’, is once again expected to roll out top-drawer performances by the nation’s young athletes. The runners, jumpers and throwers on show, will clearly demonstrate how talent-blessed is this piece of rock, discovered by Christopher Columbus approaching the close of the 15th Century. So much so, that if the Spain-funded Italian explorer’s ability to foretell, matched his genius at discovering countries, he would have called this one, Atletico Xamayca instead. In time to come, its athletes would have removed any doubt among critics as to how appropriate the name had been. Erudite statisticians Hide and seeklast_img read more

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