Sunday, 16 December 2012

The MRSA Secret List - Denmark

We usually look to Denmark for the most transparent government in respect of animal and zoonotic disease.

They have a very good record.

Even so, it seems that even Denmark have been withholding some data in respect of MRSA and pigs, even though much more information is publicly available in Denmark than in Britain.

This is one of those situations where the better a country behaves in the short term, the more they suffer: but only in the short term.

The more transparent, the better they will survive the looming antibiotic resistance disaster.

Denmark relies on its pork exports and any level of MRSA, even if lower than their competitors, is a problem.

The pattern of the trade organisations and veterinarians receiving information denied the public is certainly a massive problem in Britain too: a much worse problem than in Denmark, but one that is now just starting to be tackled.

Quotes below: the full article is available on (mechanical Translation)

10th December 2012 |

The Secret List

DVFA exchange confidential information with Agriculture and Food, the public can not get near. It is contrary to law, says leading lawyer.

- By Esben Christensen

For years, Openness parliament through aktindsigter and complaints attempted to access a list of MRSA-infected pig herds. Every time unsuccessfully, and the case has now been transferred to the Ombudsman.

But in the recent rejection showed that the trade association Agriculture and Food had received the list....

...Later, Food & Agriculture confirmed that they received the list around the turn, although they have previously denied it.

- We had not asked for it and really had no interest in having it, says Nicholas Norgaard, who is director of the Centre for Pig Production in L & F.

Breaking the law

According to one of the leading experts in media law and public law, Oluf Jørgensen, should public access be approved long ago. ...

...Maintain refusal

The new information and the sharp criticism is not enough for the Food & Drug Administration will reconsider its denial.

...Export Considerations bulky

It can be difficult to see why the Food & Drug Administration will take issue with the Public Records Act to help the agricultural industry.

But several sources Openness parliament have spoken to suggest that the great Danish pork exports play a role. Denmark exports about 90% of the produced pork, which in 2010 earned more than 28 billion dollars.

Since exports are so great, are called into question by the authorities' interest in implementing legislative changes, which probably will benefit food security, but will also go beyond agriculture's ability to produce good, exportable products to a global market where MRSA is not yet considered a major problem. And at the DVFA one can understand the mindset....

...The government is always many considerations to weigh against each other. This is no different than so many other things, and consideration for exports and industry obviously does not mean that we neglect regulation.