Tag Archive: VA

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20:17 08.11.2015(updated 20:43 08.11.2015) Get short URL

Why are suicide rates among veterans higher than in the general US population, American author David Swanson asks, posing yet another question: why does the subject of war as a suicide-related motive never arise in official studies?

The problem of high suicide rates among war veterans is widely discussed in the United States: the latest study has found that the suicide rate among recent veterans is 50 percent higher than non-military civilians.Incredible as it may seem, official reports brush aside the idea that war itself has anything to do with the problem, American activist and author David Swanson notes.

“Remarkably, the subject of war, their role in war, their thoughts about the supposed justifications (or lack thereof) of a war, never come up,” Swanson wrote in his article for Information Clearing House.

The psychiatric studies and mass media reports are being focused on various “factors to blame” from “prior suicidality” to “poverty.” However, they tell us virtually nothing, according to Swanson.

“Perhaps their goal isn’t to tell us something factual so much as to shift the conversation away from why war causes murder and suicide, to the question of what was wrong with these soldiers before they enlisted,” the author remarked.

Suicide rate for veterans far exceeds that of civilian population

Nearly one in five suicides nationally is a veteran, 49,000 took own lives between 2005 and 2011

By Jeff HargartenForrest BurnsonBonnie CampoChase Cook

6:00 am, August 30, 2013 Updated: 12:19 pm, May 19, 2014

Veterans are killing themselves at more than double the rate of the civilian population with about 49,000 taking their own lives between 2005 and 2011, according to data collected over eight months by News21.

Records from 48 states show the annual suicide rate among veterans is about 30 for every 100,000 of the population, compared to a civilian rate of about 14 per 100,000. The suicide rate among veterans increased an average 2.6 percent a year from 2005 to 2011, or more than double that of the 1.1 percent civilian rate, according to News21’s analysis of states’ mortality data.

Nearly one in every five suicides nationally is a veteran — 18 to 20 percent annually — compared with Census data that shows veterans make up about 10 percent of the U.S. adult population.

“Anytime a veteran who fought our enemies abroad or helped defend America from within our borders dies by their own hand, it’s completely unacceptable,” Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., chairman of the House Committee on Veteran’s Affairs, told an American Legion conference in Washington earlier this year. The suicide rate has remained consistently high, he said, adding that more work was needed to address gaps in veterans’ mental health care.

“It’s not enough that the veteran suicide problem isn’t getting worse,” he said, “it isn’t getting any better.”


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Report: Suicide rate spikes among young veterans

WASHINGTON — The number of young veterans committing suicide jumped dramatically from 2009 to 2011, a worrying trend that Veterans Affairs officials hope can be reversed with more treatment and intervention.

New suicide data released by the department on Thursday showed that the rate of veterans suicide remained largely unchanged over that three-year period, the latest for which statistics are available. About 22 veterans a day take their own life, according to department estimates.

But while older veterans saw a slight decrease in suicides, male veterans under 30 saw a 44 percent increase in the rate of suicides. That’s roughly two young veterans a day who take their own life, most just a few years after leaving the service.

“Their rates are astronomically high and climbing,” said Jan Kemp, VA’s National Mental Health Director for Suicide Prevention. “That’s concerning to us.”

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Food Safety

USDA Announces New Traceback Policy for Contaminated Beef

May 3, 2012 By

Dr. Elisabeth Hagen, USDA’s Under Secretary for Food Safety, announced in a press conference on May 2, 2012 that the government is changing its traceback policy for contaminated beef that test positive for shiga-toxin producing E. coli bacteria (STEC).

“Our keys goals are to strengthen our ability to protect consumers and to bolster prevention-based public safeguards,” she said. “We are going to use traceback policies as a proactive measure, launching the investigations earlier to identify contaminated products before they reach consumers.”

Traceback is the path investigators follow to find out where the contaminated product came from, and to discover where bacteria were introduced into the product. The new policy will allow the USDA to begin traceback and investigations if “presumptive positive” test results occur.

There are three steps in the polymerase-based chain reaction (PCR) test used to test for bacteria in meat. First, a “potential positive” test gives investigators a signal that there may be bacteria present. The second test is called “presumptive positive”, and finally the “confirmed positive” test is conducted if the second test is positive. The whole process can take 24-48 hours.

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Raw Milk Still Suspect in 14 Missouri E. Coli Cases

Fourteen cases of E. coli O157:H7 infection, including at least two severe cases requiring hospitalization, have been confirmed in the central Missouri outbreak linked to unpasteurized milk. A raw milk dairy in Howard County has been implicated as the source of the illnesses.

A 2-year-old from Boone County who was given raw milk developed symptoms of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a complication of E. coli infection that leads to kidney failure. The child remained hospitalized Wednesday.

Buncombe County Salmonella Paratyphi B Outbreak Grows; Strain Less Severe

May 3, 2012 By



According to the Buncombe County Department of Health, there are now 40 cases of Salmonella ParatyphiB in that county. Test results have confirmed that particular bacteria is causing the outbreak. But further testing shows that this particular strain of bacteria causes an illness with “symptoms that are less severe, and which don’t require control measures that are quite as strict.”

Disease control nurses are contacting twelve of the positive cases, who have been restricted from work, telling them they may be able to return to work. In addition, because this strain is less severe, new cases in the outbreak won’t need a course of antibiotics unless they have other special health issues.

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N.C. State Epidemiologist: We Expect More Cases In Salmonella Outbreak

May 2, 2012 By

A routine inspection of an Asheville food manufacturer has advanced the investigation of a Salmonella outbreak in North Carolina that has sickened 38 people, but the state’s leading health official expects to see more cases before the outbreak reaches an end.

“We’re in the midst of the investigation and interviewing patients,” North Carolina State Epidemiologist Megan Davies, MD, told Food Poisoning Bulletin in an interview this week. “We’re expecting more cases to develop.”

 A break in the investigation came this week when, during  a routine inspection by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, samples of soybean tempeh, produced by Smiling Hara of Asheville tested positive for Salmonella.

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Recall Expanded for Sprouts With Listeria Risk

Henry’s Farm Inc. of Woodford, VA has expanded the recall of its soybean sprouts to include natto soybean sprouts because they, too, may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.


The initial recall was announced on April 27, 2012.
Test sampling by the state of Virginia’s Food Safety and Security Program returned positive results for Listeria.
No illnesses have been reported.
The recall is for:


Articles of Interest

Jerry Dell Farm, Source Of 2011 Outbreak, Ends Raw Milk Sales

May 3, 2012 By

Jerry Dell Farm, a New York dairy that was linked to a raw milk Campylobacter outbreak in October 2011, will no longer sell raw milk.

Owned by the Sherman family, the dairy, which has been certified organic since 2000, will continue to operate but has given up its raw milk license effective April 30. On its Facebook page, the dairy apologized for leaving raw milk customers without a source and thanked them for their loyalty. The dairy will continue to operate but the milk it produces will now be sold under an organic, pasteurized label.

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