Safe Fruits and Vegetables

November 20, 2011

As headlines from Europe implicate tainted vegetable sprouts in more than 4,000 illnesses and dozens of deaths, American consumers may wonder, “Could that happen here?”

The U.S. has had its own headline-grabbing outbreaks from contaminated vegetables—such as lettuce in 2010, peppers in 2008, and spinach in 2006—but a new law has set in motion sweeping improvements to the safety of our food supply.

President Obama signed the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act into law on Jan. 4, 2011, but the year before, the Food and Drug Administration was already gearing up for important work that was mandated by the act: the Produce Safety Regulation.

This regulation will establish mandatory, science-based, minimum standards for the safe growing, harvesting, sorting, packing, and storage of fresh fruits and vegetables. “This will be a monumental shift in food safety,” says James R. Gorny, Ph.D., FDA’s senior advisor for produce safety.

Since 1998, produce growers have had available the “Good Agricultural Practices” issued by FDA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). But this guidance is not an enforceable regulation like the Produce Safety Regulation will be, says Gorny.

As part of the regulatory process, FDA publishes a “proposed rule” and then invites comments to the proposed rule “docket” (public record) online or by mail.  Anyone can comment on a proposed rule, and the agency considers all comments submitted to the docket before drawing up the final rule, or regulation. FDA also intends to hold public meetings about the proposed Produce Safety rule after it is published, to provide additional opportunities for the public to comment. The agency expects to publish a proposed Produce Safety rule by spring 2012.

Due to the diversity of produce farms throughout the country—ranging from a few acres to thousands of acres, and growing from a few crops to dozens of vegetable varieties—FDA decided to reach out to growers before drafting the proposed rule.

In 2010, technical experts, scientists, and other staff from FDA and USDA went on the road to meet with growers as well as produce industry groups, public policy groups, state agricultural departments, and public health departments in 13 states. They toured farms—both big and small—and talked to the owners. Some of the farm tours were attended by FDA leadership, including FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D., and Deputy Commissioner for Foods Michael R. Taylor, J.D. At the invitation of FDA, USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Ann Wright joined several of the tours as did a number of state commissioners of agriculture.

“Before we put pen to paper, we wanted to find out what growers are doing now and the food safety challenges they face,” says Gorny.

“It was a very refreshing change in the process that was welcomed by the growers and that allowed them to be a part of the process,” says Bob Jones, Jr., co-owner and production manager of the Chef’s Garden, a 300-acre farm in Huron, Ohio.

“The Ohio growers, in general, have a great appreciation and understanding of the necessity of good food safety,” says Jones, who also serves on the board of several agricultural associations in the state. “We have a social responsibility to consumers who purchase and consume the food we grow.”

Several themes emerged from the visits, says Gorny. Many growers commented that produce safety standards should

  • be appropriate and flexible
  • be science-based and risk-based
  • be practical—not overly burdensome
  • apply to both imported produce and domestic produce
  • be accompanied by a strong education and outreach program

The agency is working to create a regulation that will be flexible and appropriate for both large-farm operators and smaller farmers—including sustainable, organic, and Amish farmers FDA met when touring the country.

The description of quick ejaculation is not clear. It can denote ejaculation sooner than sex starts. It can also mean ejaculation in the very beginning of it. There are people that use this term when the man finishes sooner than his partner!

Remember how many times you wanted to make your intercourse longer. It is a common problem for many people. 30% of men are proved by the US National Surveys to ejaculate early. Quick ejaculation is just a sexual condition and by no means should be regarded as a disease. There are also treatments to avoid quick ejaculation.

While quick or premature ejaculation by no means actually causes harm to the person, it can impact his romantic relationship with his lover, who he probably leaves sexually dissatisfied. As a result it can impact his self-confidence, which gradually gets into other areas of his daily life. However luckily, there’s a solution. But you can not just be likely to manage this without treatments.

First thing you have probably used during intercourse – thinking of different non-sexual things in the very process. But usually it affects the quality of your orgasm. Some of you decided to take prescription medication hoping to improve the situation. The medicine is quite expensive and has side effects. I would like to give you some helpful hints that will help you forget about your quick ejaculation and will make sexual intercourse a pleasant experience for two of you.

Mastering the start-and-stop technique will help you avoid quick ejaculation in the most effective way. All you have to do is hold off before the moment you orgasm. Try to do it when you masturbate, and then do it together with your partner. Determine the point when you have it and change the situation. Discontinue any actions once you feel that it is coming. When it is over, start it again. Find out the number of times you can repeat the experience of this type.

You may think it is easy, but actually it’s quite a problem. Sometimes you may think that your erection gets weaker, but do not stop the exercise. When you start this routine with your partner, use these little breaks for kissing or adjusting your pose.

A good way to avoid quick ejaculation is Kegel penis exercises, which positively influence the pubococcygeus muscles, also called the PC muscles. To find them, stop your urination in the very middle of the process – that is your PC muscles. A Kegel exercise means you clench the muscle then hold it for 5 seconds and release. Do the Kegel excersise in sets of ten as many times as you can. Little by little increase the number of repetitions. The results won’t be seen quickly, but if you do it three times a day for 3-4 weeks you will start feeling positive change. This is how it functions during sexual intercourse. As you notice that you are going to have the peak of enjoyment try this method with a muscle. Start and stop clenching it.

Try a herbal supplement to avoid quick ejaculation. Make sure it is produced by a reputable manufacturer, it is safe and effective. With the help of pills you can experience a longer and stronger erection. Apart from increasing the staying power they also increase the power of your orgasm. Now say that you don’t want it! And it works as well as it sounds due to the carefully selected combination of herbal sexual enhancers and with no side effects to worry about.

So what’s more effective: herbal medicines, start-and-stop technique, or pelvic floor exercises? According to the Sexual Advice Association, the best idea is to combine these treatments to avoid quick ejaculation! Based on the recent surveys people can prevent premature ejaculation in a minimum of 95% situations.

When flu season arrives this fall, a liquid form of Tamiflu—the most widely used anti-viral flu medication—will be available in a new, lower concentration to reduce the possibility of medication errors.

The change applies to the oral suspension form of Tamiflu and not the capsule. Oral suspension is a powder form of the prescription medication that a pharmacist mixes with water to make a liquid treatment easier to take by children or adults who are unable to swallow a Tamiflu capsule.

Tamiflu is FDA-approved to treat adults and children older than 1 year who have had influenza symptoms for two days or less. Tamiflu stops the virus from spreading in the body and can help shorten the duration of such symptoms as a stuffy or runny nose, sore throat, cough and muscle aches.

Because there are no quality issues with the 12 mg/mL concentration Tamiflu, it will remain on the market until supplies run out and can be used until its expiration date.

With both dose concentrations being available during the flu season this fall, Kendall Marcus, safety deputy in FDA’s Division of Antiviral Products, cautions that pharmacists and physicians will have to be particularly careful in prescribing and dispensing the medication.

After the next flu season, only the 6 mg/mL concentration will be available.

Marcus says consumers need to know the following:

  • You could receive either the 6 mg/mL or the 12 mg/mL version at your local pharmacy during the next flu season. If you have any questions about how to use the product safely, speak to your pharmacist or other health care provider.
  • If you have taken oral suspension Tamiflu in the past, the container and label will look different.
  • The new oral dosing device is different and the volume (mL) of your dose may differ from past prescriptions.
  • If you have any problems with the medication, report them to your health care provider and to FDA’s MedWatch program.

Marcus notes that pediatric strength Tamiflu capsules (30 mg and 45 mg) have not changed and are still available for children who can swallow capsules. Another option for parents is to open the capsule and mix its contents with a flavored food, like chocolate syrup.