Updates

FDA Takes New Steps to Protect Food Products From Deliberate Attacks

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a revised draft guidance to support compliance with the intentional adulteration (IA) rule set forth under the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act. The IA rule is designed to address hazards that may be intentionally introduced to foods, including by acts of terrorism, with the intent to cause widespread harm to public health.

Emergent BioSolutions Awarded U.S. Department of State Contract to Supply Medical Countermeasures for Chemical Warfare Agents

Emergent BioSolutions Inc. announced that it has signed an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract with the U.S. Department of State to establish a long-term, reliable, and stable supply chain for medical countermeasures that address chemical warfare agents. Emergent will be supplying two of its current medical countermeasures addressing chemical threats: the Trobigard® atropine sulfate/obidoxime chloride auto-injector and RSDL® (Reactive Skin Decontamination Lotion Kit).

FEMA Releases PrepTalk: “Saving Lives After a Nuclear Detonation”

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and its emergency management partner organizations today posted online Brooke Buddemeier’s PrepTalk “Saving Lives After a Nuclear Detonation.” In his PrepTalk, Buddemeier shares the importance of sheltering after a nuclear detonation and provides emergency managers with tools to help citizens, responders, and city officials get ready.

Center for Health Security Makes Recommendations for Heightening Awareness and Motivating Action Around Global Catastrophic Biological Risks

A new report by a team of researchers at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security reframes the discussion of the most severe biological threats to provide policy advocates with an additional tool to help them catalyze expansive international support for work on pandemic prevention and response.

U.S. Department of Transportation Announces Safety Rule to Strengthen Oil Train Spill Response Preparedness

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, in coordination with the Federal Railroad Administration, issued a final rule that requires railroads to develop and submit Comprehensive Oil Spill Response Plans for route segments traveled by High Hazard Flammable Trains.

Juvare™ Acquires Australia/New Zealand WebEOC™ Distributorship From Critchlow Ltd.

Juvare, the leader in incident preparation and response technology and maker of WebEOC, announced it has acquired the WebEOC distribution business of its Australia/New Zealand partner, Critchlow Ltd. The strategic transaction connects regional users of WebEOC with a thriving global user network and grants access to the larger portfolio of Juvare solutions.

USDA Announces Investments to Improve Rural Electric Infrastructure and Finance Smart Grid Technologies

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $122 million to expand and upgrade rural electric systems in Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Oklahoma, and South Dakota. The funding includes more than $7 million to finance smart grid technologies to improve system operations and monitor grid security.

SAFECOM Encourages Comments on the Proposed National Emergency Communications Plan Updates

SAFECOM, in conjunction with its member associations, the Emergency Communications Preparedness Center, and many additional members of public safety, has worked over the past year with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency to update the National Emergency Communications Plan (NECP). The broader community has the opportunity to review and provide feedback on the NECP updates. Comments due by 22 March 2019.

Soligenix Receives US Patent Expanding Protection for Its Ricin Toxin Vaccine, RiVax

Soligenix Inc. announced the allowance of a new U.S. patent protecting its ricin toxin vaccine, RiVax®.  The patent, titled “Multivalent Stable Vaccine Composition and Methods of making same,” supports combination vaccines protecting against ricin intoxication as well as other toxins, such as those associated with anthrax.

FDA, CDC, and CMS Launch Task Force to Help Facilitate Rapid Availability of Diagnostic Tests During Public Health Emergencies

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the launch of the Tri-Agency Task Force for Emergency Diagnostics. This task force has been created to help leverage the expertise of each agency to advance rapid development and deployment of diagnostic tests in clinical and public health laboratories during public health emergencies.