FVO report – Greece – Brucellosis situation critical for sheep and goats

This report describes the outcome of an audit carried out by the Food and Veterinary office in Greece from 12 to 16 October 2015. The objectives of the audit were:

  • to determine whether eradication measures are in compliance with planned arrangements, implemented effectively and suitable in achieving objectives and
  • to evaluate whether prior epidemiological information, knowledge and experience in implementation of the Programme, have been used effectively in setting objectives and targets of the next year Programme.

The Programme measures such as vaccination and sampling are not implemented to the extent planned. There are significant differences between regions. Under-implementation of vaccination significantly affects its effectiveness in reducing the disease prevalence. Measures on positive holdings are generally implemented according to the Programme, but their effectiveness is compromised by a failure to test all eligible animals in infected herds and insufficient controls of movements of animals from such herds. This may result in prolonged duration and spread of infection. The suitability of the current Programme is hampered by a significant mismatch between the Programme targets and human resources available for its implementation. The Central competent authority had made efforts to overcome the problem of staff resources, e.g. the involvement of private veterinarians but solutions are not operational yet.

Monitoring and review of the progress of the Programme has improved. However, there has been no adjustment of the Programme objectives and targets in order to take into account the available resources. The lack of analysis of existing data on risk factors for introduction and spread of B. melitensis and in particular of the impact of non-vaccinated male animals, prevented adjustment of the Programme measures to the epidemiological situation.

The control of sheep and goat brucellosis is compromised by absence of reporting and analysis of abortions. This results in a lack of detection or late detection of positive holdings, which is often triggered by the investigation of cases in humans. The fact that 65% of human cases are associated with consumption of unpasteurised dairy products and the same proportion of cases come from farming and non-farming communities, indicate that the zoonotic risk is insufficiently controlled in infected dairy herds.

Additional constraints that hamper the elimination of infection in infected herds arise from vaccination of adult animals. This limits the use of serological tests. However, around 50% of animals are vaccinated at the age of 3 to 6 month, meaning they are eligible for serological testing when older than 18 months. However, they are not tested in positive herds. Effective actions are required as regards updating the national herd database and in particular registration of very small holdings to ensure that planning and evaluations are based on reliable data.

Considering the current level of achievements of the Programme objectives and targets on one hand, and available human resources on the other, the Programme and its implementation needs major adjustments to deliver its intended results.

Summer Academy in Global Food Law and Policy 2016 – Final programme and brand new website

Also this year I will be pleased and honored to participate to Alberto Alemanno‘s Summer Academy, leading a panel about food fraud prevention and challenges faced by official controls when it comes to imported goods: a brief comparative analysis on different systems will be  also developed (EU, US, China).

As usual I suggest to any practicioner involved in the food system to attend, due to the invaluable heritage of knowledge and contacts you can gain in just 5 days.

The Summer Academy in Global Food Law & Policy, directed by the excellent friend and Professor Alberto Alemanno, is an established one-week summer programme that brings together practitioners, policymakers, industry representatives and leading academics working in the field of food law and policy. It offers intensive training on the most innovative developments in global food regulation and provides a unique opportunity for professional development and networking in an informal and inter-disciplinary setting. By talking, studying and interacting with food experts from all over the world, participants are able to gain new perspectives into both their own sectors and international regulatory issues. This is achieved by combining traditional classroom instruction with experiential learning opportunities offered by dedicated and distinguished international experts.

The Academy will take place from Monday, 18 July, to Friday, 22 July, 2016 in Bilbao, Spain. The choice of this vibrant city will enable participants to benefit from the world renowned Basque cuisine, its privileged geographical location between the Atlantic sea and the Rioja region, as well as its distinctive architectural landscapes (with the Guggenheim Museum, Norman Foster’s Undergroud, the towers by Arata Isozaki and César Pelli and the Calatrava’s airport).

This edition´s keynote speaker will be Professor Marion Nestle, award-winning author of Food Politics and of the newly published Soda Politics, from New York University.

Here below a preview of the final programme (to download, click here):

Key Note address Soda Politics: Taking on Big Soda (and winning)

Marion Nestle, Paulette Goddard Professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University

Mega Trade Agreements as New Sources of International Food Law

Marsha Echols, Professor of Law at Howard University School of Law, Director of The World Food Law Institute

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership: Where do we stand?

Alberto Alemanno, Jean Monnet Professor of EU Law at HEC Paris and Global Clinical Professor of Law at NYU School of Law

The Trans-Pacific Partnership’s Implications for Food Safety Governance

Ching-Fu Lin, National Tsing hua University, Taiwan

EU Policies to Tackle Obesity and Overweight: Translating Promises into Change

Ilaria Passarani, Head of the Food and Health Department at BEUC – The European Consumer Organisation

The Australian Interpretive Nutrition Labeling

Alexandra Jones, Research Associate, Food Policy Division, The George Institute for Global Health, Australia

A Global Perspective through the Lenses of the Latin American Experience

Oscar Cabrera, Executive Director of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law and Visiting Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center

The Role of Taxation and Economic Incentives in NCD Prevention: the Case for Sugar Taxes and Minimum Price for Alcohol Unit

Oliver Bartlett, Liverpool University
Alberto Alemanno, Jean Monnet Professor, HEC Paris and Global Professor of Law, NYU School of Law

Think Outside the Juicebox: A Commercial Litigation Strategy to Temper the Effects of Food Advertising Targeting Children

Esther Trakinski, New York University

UNGPs and the Right to Food: Joining the Dots

Kirsteen Shields, Lecturer at the School of Law at University of Dundee

Nudging for Good: Towards a New Form of Corporate Social Responsibility?

Francesco Tramontin, AIM

Build Trust in Food: Review of Key Topics and Initiatives to Influence Consumer Behaviour

Petra Klassen Wigger, Scientific Advisor, Corporate Nutrition, Health & Wellness Unit, Nestle

The ‘Consumer’ Angle on the Nudge Debate

Clare Leonard, Director Global Nutrition Strategy and Communications, Mondelēz International

The challenge of Endocrine Disruptors: A European and Global Perspective

Natalie McNelis, EU and International Trade Lawyer, New York and Brussels Bars

Food Frauds and the Global Food Safety Import Challenges: a Comparative Perspective of EU, US and Chinese Official Controls on the Market

Cesare Varallo, Food lawyer and founder of foodlawlatest.com

Francesco Montanari, Food lawyer and Senior Associate at Arcadia International

Hope to see you there and have a enjoyable and fruitful week together!

In case you want to know more about the experience, feel free to contact me (foodlawlatest@gmail.com or 00393495275567) or write directly to summeracademy@albertoalemanno.eu.

Click here to apply and read participant’s feedbacks about the former editions.

To download the 2016 final programme, please click here.