As attention around the world focuses on the potential for an avian influenza pandemic, there is concern that sensationalism may overrule facts, ironically creating the very chaos it predicts.
According to Dr. John Bonner, Executive Vice President of the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) in the US it is critical in this situation that individuals and organisations be prepared to act rather than react.
CAST recently published two papers on the impacts of an avian influenza pandemic. These concise Commentaries, written for a general audience, have received wide recognition and are available to view and download without charge by visiting the CAST website.
The first paper, “Avian Influenza: Human Pandemic Concerns” addresses the current situation, evaluates the structure and function of avian influenza viruses, outlines pandemic risk assessment, and provides references and selected websites for more detailed information.
The second paper “Avian Influenza: Trade Issue” brings the trade concerns into sharper focus. Although much of the concern about a pandemic outbreak of high-pathogenic avian influenza centres on human health, the potential impacts on the international poultry and feed grains trade are significant.
The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology, headquartered in Ames, Iowa, assembles, interprets, and communicates credible, science-based information regionally, nationally, and internationally to legislators, regulators, policymakers, the media, the private sector, and the public.