July 2009 - CDC Public Health Law News
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
From the Public Health Law Program,
Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support,
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
From the Public Health Law Program, Office of Strategy and Innovation, CDC
*** Express Tuberculosis Control Laws. Two new resources have been developed for use in assessing state, local, and Tribal tuberculosis control laws and in identifying potential steps to improve understanding and use of law to prevent and control TB.
- "Scenario-Based Assessment: Understanding and Sufficiency of States' TB Control Law." CDC's Public Health Law Program, Division of Tuberculosis Elimination, and Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, in collaboration with the National Tuberculosis Controllers Association, developed a scenario and companion PowerPoint slide set and user's guide that public health professionals can use to conduct in-depth assessments of their jurisdictions' TB control laws. To access the Assessment, please visit http://www2a.cdc.gov/Phlp/docs/TB%20scenario%20-%20master.pdf . To access the PowerPoint, please visit http://www2a.cdc.gov/Phlp/docs/TB scenario 110308.pdf . To access the User's Guide, please visit http://www2a.cdc.gov/Phlp/docs/User's Guide for Implementing Scenario.pdf .
- "Express Tuberculosis Control Laws in Selected U.S. Jurisdictions." The Centers for Law and the Public's Health: a Collaborative at Johns Hopkins and Georgetown Universities, researched this descriptive review of the TB control laws of 24 states and New York City. To read the report, please visit http://www2a.cdc.gov/Phlp/docs/Centers%20Report%20-%20Express%20TB%20Control%20Laws%20-%20Final.pdf .
*** Entity Emergency Liability Protection Legislation. In 2009, six states (Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Virginia) have passed laws that provide liability protection for businesses and non-profit entities that assist their governments during emergencies. The North Carolina Institute of Public Health updates its website as more states pass such legislation. To view the updated website, please visit http://nciph.sph.unc.edu/law/ud_070909.htm.
*** Disaster Preparation Article. Sharona Hoffman, Professor of Law & Bioethics and Co-Director of the Law-Medicine Center at Case Western Reserve University School of Law, has published an article entitled Preparing for Disaster: Protecting the Most Vulnerable in Emergencies in the UC Davis Law Review. For the full text of the article, please visit http://lawreview.law.ucdavis.edu/issues/42-5_Hoffman.pdf.
*** Pandemic Influenza Tabletop Exercise After Action Report. The Final After Action Report/Improvement Plan from the Carter County (OK) Tabletop Exercise on the Legal Aspects of Pandemic Influenza is now available. To view the full text of the publication, please visit http://www2a.cdc.gov/phlp/docs/Carter+County+TTX+-+Legal+Aspects+of+Pan+Flu+Final+AAR-IP.pdf .
*** National Health Reform Comparative Analysis Project. The George Washington University's Hirsh Health Law and Policy Program, within the School of Public Health and Health Service, plans to launch an interactive tool for comparative analysis of national health reform proposals. The analysis will be continuously updated. Beginning on Monday, July 20, the comparative analysis and interactive tool will be available at http://www.gwumc.edu/sphhs/departments/healthpolicy/healthreform/.
*** Comment Period on Lifting Ban on HIV Visitors to the U.S. The Department of Health and Human Services has published A Notice of the Proposed Rulemaking to lift restrictions on nonimmigrant visas for people with HIV/AIDS. A 45-day public comment period began on July 2, 2009. For more information, please visit http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getpage.cgi?position=all&page=31798&dbname=2009_register.
*** Report on Obesity Policies. The Trust for America's Health released F as in Fat: How Obesity Policies are Failing in America 2009. For the full text of the report, please visit http://healthyamericans.org/reports/obesity2009/.
*** Report on Menu Labeling. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has released Menu Labeling: Does Providing Nutrition Information at the Point of Purchase Affect Consumer Behavior? For the full text of the report, please visit http://healthyamericans.org/reports/obesity2009/.
*** Emergency Use Authorization Online Course. An EUA online course developed by the FDA and CDC is available to provide public health officials, emergency managers, or Strategic National Stockpile coordinators with an introduction to the Emergency Use Authorization of medical products. To access the course, please visit http://emergency.cdc.gov/training/eua/index.html.
*** Healthy Eating & Physical Activity Toolkit. The policy options and resources in the Action Strategies Toolkit represent a collection of current best approaches in healthy eating and physical activity policy that have been identified, evaluated and selected by the Leadership for Healthy Communities and the eleven policy-maker organizations participating in the program. To view the Toolkit, please visit http://www.leadershipforhealthycommunities.org/
*** Overview of Legal Issues Affecting Tobacco Control Community. The Tobacco Control Legal Consortium's latest publication in its ongoing series of legal overviews on key legal issues affecting the tobacco control community is now available. It is an expansion and update of the 2004 Legal Authority to Regulate Smoking and Common Threats and Challenges. To view the full text of the publication, please visit http://tclconline.org/documents/sbarra-update.pdf.
*** Anti-smoking Legislation Tracked in Europe. The European Public Health Law Network is tracking anti-smoking legislation in Europe on its website, http://www.ephln.org/index.php.
*** H1N1 Flu Preparedness Summit (07/09). On July 9, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, and Homeland Security Advisor John Brennan hosted an all-day H1N1 Flu Preparedness Summit with states to further prepare the nation for the possibility of a more severe outbreak of H1N1 flu. The Summit was held at the Natcher Conference Center at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. For more information, please visit http://www.pandemicflu.gov/summit20090709.html.
1. National: Blood samples raise questions of privacy
States and Localities
2. Arizona: Tucson rainwater harvesting law drawing interest
3. California: Calorie counts don't dissuade most diners
4. California: Health officials inspect clinic that serves porn industry
5. Connecticut: Hookah lounges serve up culture, controversy
6. New Mexico: New Mexico turns a corner on drunk driving
7. Administration issues new rules on egg safety
California school trans fat ban · Public health qualifications · Poison control centers · Florida P.E. requirements · New York helmet law efficacy · Oregon mattress flame-retardant · HPV vaccine · West Virginia mine emergency shelters · Canada organic foods standards · Ice cream inspections · China cervical cancer screening · Job conditions worsen · Finland tobacco import regulations · Greece smoking ban · South Africa HIV herbal remedy · United Kingdom controlled drinking zones · Flu friends
Alcohol advertising regulation · Frequency and drinking patterns · Written informed consent · Alcohol purchasing age limit · Smoking inside vehicles · Tasman oil spill · Counting calories · Health data ethics · Drug and device ads · Alcohol harm reduction · Brazil's right to health · Global health · Health care reform · Universal health care · Influenza pandemic
California contaminated water · Louisiana mold liability · New Jersey municipal garbage collection · Federal chemical plant fire · Dust and silica limits · Seamen occupational injuries
"Blood samples raise questions of privacy"
Washington Post (06/30/2009) Rob Stein
Parents in Minnesota are suing to end the state's practice of storing newborn blood samples and allowing researchers to use them without parental consent. All 50 states require newborns to be screened for various genetic disorders through a few drops of blood collected by a heel stick; how long the states store the blood varies, but at least ten states keep it indefinitely. Several states have allowed scientists to use the samples in various research studies, including those studying genetic disorders, birth defects, and gene-environment interactions. Some parents and bioethicists have questioned whether states should be required to receive parents' informed consent to store the samples and allow researchers to use them, and whether parents should be allowed to decide in which types of studies the samples are used. "Genetics is an area that touches a nerve. The public is concerned about massive databases," said Jeffery Botkin, a pediatrician and bioethicist at the University of Utah. But state officials argue, note that t research studies undergo human subjects review and identifiers are stripped from the samples, which have proven valuable to medical research. "We consider them a national treasure. We think they offer us the beginnings of a national blood bank to understand disease at an early age and follow people longitudinally over time," said Sharon Terry of the Genetic Alliance. The federal Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children will discuss the legal and privacy concerns in September.
"Tucson rainwater harvesting law drawing interest"
Associated Press (07/06/2009) Arthur H. Rotstein
Tucson recently passed a first-of-its-kind municipal ordinance which requires developers building new businesses, corporate, or commercial buildings to supply half of the water needed to irrigate landscaping from harvested rainwater. Water conservation is especially critical in Arizona, where water supplies from the Colorado River are decreasing from global warming and groundwater supplies are challenged by a growing population. "There's only so much water. Unfortunately, Americans are terribly, terribly wasteful with water, and we're running out," said Tim Pope, head of the American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association. Harvesting rainwater includes both active harvesting, which uses cisterns or other collection devices to catch and store rainwater, and passive harvesting, which diverts runoff from roofs and parking lots into soil to provide irrigation. The ordinance was the result of a compromise by developers, architects, environmentalists and ecology advocates. "Nobody thinks it's perfect, but everybody winds up thinking it works," said George Larsen, a Tucson developer. City Council member Rodney Glassman said that landscaping accounts for 40 percent of commercial water use, so "there is huge potential" to reduce water consumption with the ordinance. Several states, including Georgia and Colorado, are considering legislation involving rainwater harvesting.
"Calorie counts don't dissuade most diners"
San Francisco Chronicle (07/02/2009) Michael Cabanatuan
Beginning July 1, California Senate Bill 1420 requires all California restaurants with more than 20 locations to display the calories, fat content, and other nutritional information for their menu items in plain view on posters or in brochures. The law was passed to better educate consumers about their meal choices, with the hope that informed diners will make healthier choices. However, some Californians do not expect the nutritional information to affect customers' choices. "Some people want to be healthy and check everything they eat, but a lot are like me. I'm at the bottom of the nutritional pyramid. I eat everything they put in front of me," said Javier Martinez, a San Francisco Denny's manager. But others say that the information will have the desired effect. "I take it into consideration when I buy food and it will definitely affect how I make my decisions when dining," said Jane Mah, a Berkeley McDonald's customer.
[Editor's note: To read the full text of California Senate Bill 1420, which was signed into law on September 30, 2008, visit http://info.sen.ca.gov/pub/07-08/bill/sen/
"Health officials inspect clinic that serves porn industry"
Los Angeles Times (06/18/09) Kimi Yoshino
+inspects+porn+industry+clin (subscription required)
In June, California state health and safety inspectors performed a surprise inspection of the Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation because they said the clinic is withholding the name of an adult film production company that violated California's bloodborne pathogen law. California's law requires employers to protect workers exposed to blood or bodily fluids on the job. State officials said that an adult film actress recently tested positive for HIV at the clinic, and that the production company violated the law by allowing the woman to work without a current, negative test. Clinic officials allowed health inspectors to inspect the facility without a warrant, said Amy Martin, special counsel to the Division of Occupational Safety and Health. "They allowed our people to do a walk-around. They allowed them to speak to employees. There was no exchange of documents yet," she said. The clinic asserts that it is following all laws, and that it is awaiting final test results for the actress. But health officials were skeptical. "We think they're creating a hazard by sending people into a known unsafe work practice," said Martin.
[Editor's note: To read the full text of the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health standards for adult film producers, visit http://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/adultfilmindustry.html.]
"Hookah lounges serve up culture, controversy"
Connecticut Post Online (06/27/2009) Noelle Frampton
p_params_date-0=date:B,E&p_text_date-0=-31qzD&p_field_adva (subscription required)
Health departments in Fairfield and Milford, Connecticut, must decide whether hookah lounges are included in the state ban on smoking in public places. Health officials say smoking hookahs, 3-foot-tall water pipes which are used to smoke a mixture of tobacco, fruit, and herbs, is as dangerous as smoking cigarettes. Connecticut law prohibits smoking in public places, but not in private clubs, and health officials admit that they are confused about how the law applies to the lounges. The Milford Health Department closed the Olive Tree Hookah Lounge because officials determined that it was a public place and, therefore, subject to the state ban on smoking in public places. The owner appealed the decision, arguing that the lounge is a private club, and the department allowed the business to re-open. The health department later allowed the business to re-open after an appeal by the owner. "This particular type of thing doesn't fall directly within the language of the regulation," said Sands Cleary, Fairfield Health Director.
"New Mexico turns a corner on drunk driving"
Los Angeles Times (07/07/2009) Kate Linthicum
New Mexico has slashed its alcohol-related automobile accident rates after instituting drastic anti-drunk driving legislation. In response to having the highest rate of drunk driving accidents in the nation, the legislature instituted various anti-DWI measures, including mandating ignition interlocks for all drivers convicted of DWI. First-time offenders must drive with an interlock for one year, while fourth-time offenders must have an interlock installed for life. Since the legislation was passed in 2005, fatalities from alcohol-related car accidents have dropped 35 percent, according to research by the Los Angeles Times. Despite the progress, officials cautioned that the problem is far from over. "The interlock is a saving grace, but the problem has not gone away," said state Sen. Phil Griego. Still, New Mexico's success has been noticed and eleven other states have passed ignition interlock laws. "We want all 50 states to do what New Mexico has done," said Chuck Hurley, chief executive of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
"Administration issues new rules on egg safety"
The New York Times (07/08/2009) Gardiner Harris
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has promulgated a new rule intended to reduce Salmonella contamination in eggs. According to FDA, each year approximately 130,000 cases of illness and 30 deaths can be attributed to eggs contaminated by the bacteria. The new rule applies to producers with 3,000 or more hens, who will be required to routinely test their facilities for insects and rodents, to clean and disinfect poultry houses before new hens are added, and to refrigerate eggs at 45 degrees Fahrenheit within 36 hours after time of lay. About 250 U.S. egg producers generate 99 percent of the nation's fresh eggs; thousands of small producers (those with less than 3,000 laying hens) are exempt from the new rule, according to Howard Magwire, vice president of the United Egg Producers. The rule is widely supported by the egg industry, said Magwire. Vice President Biden, who announced the new rule on July 7, said the government would focus on making food safety overall a priority. "There are few responsibilities more basic or important for the government than making sure the food our families in America eat is not contaminated and is safe," he said.
[Editor's note: To read the full text of the new FDA rules, please visit http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodSafety/Product-SpecificInformation/EggSafety/EggSafetyActionPlan/ucm170615.htm.]
California: New state law bans food containing trans fats from school vending machines
"Getting trans fat out of school vending machines"
Los Angeles Times (06/30/2009) Mary MacVean
California: County needs minimum qualifications for public health administrators
"Grand jury says public health officials need more experience"
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin (07/01/2009) James Rufus Koren
California: Governor's plan could close poison control
"Poison control at risk in California, other states"
Associated Press (06/25/2009) Jared Grigsby
Florida: One semester of physical education required for middle school students
"New law requires P.E. in middle school to fight obesity"
South Florida Sun-Sentinel (06/28/09) Marc Freeman
New York: Study reports state helmet laws work for children
"Helmet laws for bicyclists are effective"
New York Times (07/07/2009) Eric Nagourney
Oregon: Bill signed adding mattress flame retardant to a 'phase-out' list
"Senate Bill 596 to phase out flame retardant"
Statesman Journal (06/20/2009) Peter Wong
Oregon: Insurers required to cover cost of HPV vaccine
"Session marked a close call for human services"
Statesman Journal (06/28/2009) Tracy Loew
West Virginia: Inspectors issue citations for mine emergency shelter violations
"West Virginia begins citing mines for missing shelters"
Associated Press (07/07/2009)
Canada: Canadian organics industry implements first standards
"Federal government applies national standards for organics"
Canwest News Service (06/29/2009) Karen Gram
Canada: Ice cream vendors targeted after bacteria found in soft-serve cones
"Inspectors crack down on ice cream sellers"
Toronto Star (06/30/2009) Diana Zlomislic
China: Government sponsored program provides screening for breast and cervical cancer
"China to screen 10 million rural women for cervical cancer"
Xinhua General News Service (06/25/2009)
China: Deteriorating job conditions after landmark labor law
"Despite law, job conditions worsen in China"
The New York Times (06/23/2009) David Barboza
Finland: Imported tobacco products require warnings in Finnish and Swedish
"New law restricts import of tobacco products"
Greece: Greece adopts new public smoking ban
"New Greek law restricts public smoking – but gamblers and mental patients exempt"
Associated Press (07/02/2009) Nicholas Paphitis
South Africa: Government investigates Revivo's herbal antiviral for HIV
"Inquiry into company's claim of herbal remedy for HIV"
Cape Times (06/26/2009) Sonya Bell
United Kingdom: Controlled drinking zones ban people from consuming alcohol
"A glass of wine with your picnic? Sorry…. it's against the law"
The Express (06/26/2009) Martin Evans
United Kingdom: Citizens choose friend to retrieve medication during H1N1 pandemic
" 'Flu friends' to collect remedy"
The Sentinel (06/26/2009) Emma King
"Alcohol advertising regulation: where to from here?"
Addiction (07/09) David Jernigan
"The importance of drinking frequency in evaluating individuals' drinking patterns: implications for the development of national drinking guidelines"
Addiction (07/09) Catherine Paradis and others
http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/122381092/abstract (subscription required)
"Written informed-consent statutes and HIV testing"
American Journal of Preventative Medicine (07/09) Peter Ehrenkranz and others
856389 &md5=8bfa2221d29088763feb8251393cbd7b (subscription required)
"The utility of routinely collected data in evaluating important policy changes: the New Zealand alcohol purchasing age limit example"
American Journal of Public Health (07/09) Kypros Kypri and others
http://www.ajph.org/cgi/content/abstract/99/7/1212 (subscription required)
"Smoking inside vehicles should be banned globally"
Disasters (07/09) Ediriweera Desapriya and others
http://www.ajph.org/cgi/content/extract/99/7/1158 (subscription required)
"The Tasman Spirit oil spill: implications for regulatory change in Pakistan"
Disasters (07/09) Saimi Mian and Suzan Bennett
http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/121498692/abstract (subscription required)
Journal of American Medical Association (07/09) Mike Mitka
http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/extract/302/2/136 (subscription required)
"Ethical collection, storage, and use of public health data: a proposal for a national privacy protection"
Journal of American Medical Association (07/09) Lisa Lee and Lawrence Gostin
http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/extract/302/1/82 (subscription required)
"FDA tells drug and device makers to give balanced picture of risk in ads, labels"
Journal of American Medical Association (06/09) Bridget Kuehn
http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/extract/301/24/2541 (subscription required)
"Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of policies and programmes to reduce the harm caused by alcohol"
The Lancet (06/09) Peter Anderson, Dan Chisholm, and Daniela Fuhr
http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(09)60744-3/abstract (subscription required)
"Judicialisation of the right to health in Brazil"
The Lancet (06/09) Joao Biehl and others
http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(09)61172-7/fulltext (subscription required)
"Who runs global health?"
The Lancet (06/09)
http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(09)61128-4/fulltext (subscription required)
"Congressional action on health care reform – an update"
New England Journal of Medicine (06/09) John Iglehart
http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/extract/360/25/2593 (subscription required)
"The individual mandate — an affordable and fair approach to achieving universal coverage"
New England Journal of Medicine (06/09) Linda J. Blumberg and John Holahan
http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/extract/361/1/6 (subscription required)
"The signature features of influenza pandemics – implications for policy"
New England Journal of Medicine (06/09) Mark Miller
http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/extract/360/25/2595 (subscription required)
The CDC Public Health Law News is published the third Wednesday of each month except holidays, plus special issues when warranted. It is distributed only in electronic form and is free of charge. News content is selected solely on the basis of newsworthiness and potential interest to readers. CDC and DHHS assume no responsibility for the factual accuracy of the items presented. The selection, omission, or content of items does not imply any endorsement or other position taken by CDC or DHHS. Opinions expressed by the original authors of items included in the News, or persons quoted therein, are strictly their own and are in no way meant to represent the opinion or views of CDC or DHHS. References to products, trade names, publications, news sources, and non-CDC Websites are provided solely for informational purposes and do not imply endorsement by CDC or DHHS. Legal cases are presented for educational purposes only, and are not meant to represent the current state of the law. The findings and conclusions reported in this document are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of CDC. The News is in the public domain and may be freely forwarded and reproduced without permission. The original news sources and the CDC Public Health Law News should be cited as sources. Readers should contact the cited news sources for the full text of the articles.
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The News is published by the Public Health Law Program, Office of Strategy and Innovation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Lindsay Culp, M.P.H., Acting Editor. Special thanks to Emily McCormick and Robin Freeman for their work on this issue.