by Linda Youngman, Ph.D., Moderator
DR. YOUNGMAN: Good morning. We will try to stay on time today, and try to start on time if we can. Just a couple of announcements before we start.
DR. YOUNGMAN: Today, there is going to be a lot of discussion. That will be great because we went through a lot of material yesterday, giving you information about the background of NARMS.
Just to provide a brief recap, we started by talking about the NARMS background -- that was Dave White. To mention as an aside, Dave White was in a car accident last night. He hit a deer and he is fine. Just some scratches to his hands, apparently, because the deer went through the windshield. So he will not be here today, but he is doing okay. His family was not in the car. I know we will be missing Dave and Linda Tollefson today, but we will press ahead.
Yesterday, Dave started with an introduction to NARMS, giving some background information. Then Bob Walker talked about the NARMS budget, some of the budget issues that are important to NARMS and about the reality that our budgets next year are not going to be as good as they were this year. We are looking at decreasing budgets in all of the government.
Dave then spoke about the retail meat arm, talking about its inception and gave some of the data. Next, Paula Cray spoke about the animal arm, also giving data, talking about the sampling scheme, molecular studies and how the data is reported.
We then turned to Tom Chiller and Tim Barrett, who talked about the human arm. How they sample the organisms which are slightly different than the ones in the other arms, data reporting, also a little bit of information about the external review that was done on the CDC arm.
Then Neena Anadaraman spoke about the animal isolate sampling, the FSIS scheme for getting the animal isolates from different food animal species. And that is when we started delving into the six questions that we are posing to our panelists that will be discussed at length today. We talked briefly about those six questions and these are the questions -- the latest version is the one that is headed by “discussion points”, I think it has at the heading.
We will be talking about that later today. It was, actually, Scott McEwen’s suggestion that we schedule in some time to hear from each of the panelists and their individual responses to the questions that have been posed. So we will have time for that today. But we will try to finish by noon, if not earlier.
We then turned to the retail meat sampling. Terry Proescholdt gave a talk about the sampling strategy and how we switched from a convenience sampling to a random sampling. Elvira Hall-Robinson then spoke about the NARMS annual reports, how we are reporting data, how we are trying to work toward the three arms reporting in a similar fashion so that data from the three arms can be used and compared directly.
And, finally, we finished with Shaohua Zhao, who talked about the molecular characterization in PulseNet and what we can do with the information from PulseNet that can help guide us toward looking at associations between animal-human outbreaks, that sort of thing.
Today, we are going to be talking about international/national issues. And, Pat McDermott and Tom Chiller are both going to be talking today about some of the international activities that NARMS is involved with in particular. The WHO Global Salm-Surv activities where we provided funding and training around the world.
Dr. Sundlof is going to talk a little bit about funding. And then, after the break, we are going to spend time going through the six questions, hearing from each of the panelists. And, again, we aim to finish by 11:30, 12:00 today.
Just a reminder, to help our transcriber who has been working very hard trying to keep up with all of the comments, we have moved the microphone to the center of the room. It is helpful when she is doing the transcribing if you speak directly into the microphone rather than from your seat.
So without further ado, I am going to turn it over to Dr. Pat McDermott, and then Dr. Tom Chiller, who are going to talk about NARMS international activities.