Oct 17, 2012
By Dale Goldhawk
11:30am ET | Jim Wilson President, Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation
12:15pm ET | Chef Rich Garcia, Soupstock chef from Boston
TOPIC – Public Health Ontario’s draft Labstract, LAB-SD-088 Lyme disease guidelines. Jim Wilson will put the following into “mere mortal” terms to help Zoomers understand how this impacts those who suffer from Lyme Disease.
INFO – Proposed laboratory guidelines for Lyme disease testing in Ontario.
“Dear Mr. Wilson: Thank you for your recent communication and feedback regarding Public Health Ontario’s draft Labstract, LAB-SD-088 Lyme disease guidelines.
The purpose of a Labstract is to update specimen submitters on changes to testing methodologies or algorithm at the Public Health Ontario Laboratories. Draft Labstracts are circulated to external stakeholders including public health officials in health units, private laboratories who submit specimens to PHO for reference testing, and to other health-care organizations in Ontario for their input prior to finalizing the Labstract. We make every attempt to incorporate all suggestions and comments from external consultation process before releasing the final document.
In the case of Lyme disease, diagnosis is a complex process involving clinical presentation, epidemiological risk factors, and laboratory testing. Results from laboratory testing are used to support the clinical suspicion of Lyme disease. Laboratory testing methodologies for Lyme disease are also complex; different methodologies have advantages and disadvantages, and the performance of each test is dependent upon sensitivity, specificity, specimen type and reproducibility. In addition, within each testing methodology, test characteristics are significantly influenced by when a specimen is taken within the course of the disease with respect to the symptom onset date (i.e., early vs. late stage of disease). With any laboratory test, its characteristics are also dependent on the pre-test probability and the prevalence of disease in the community.
When selecting a commercial assay for the laboratory detection of markers of infection in human specimens, PHO uses several recognized criteria for test selection by public health laboratories. These include whether it is approved by Health Canada for clinical diagnostic use, the technical evaluation of particular test characteristics, evaluation of the published literature, and analysis and correlation against the assay which is in current use at the lab.
While it is our goal to use an assay that detects various species and strains of Borrelia, currently there is no Health Canada approved test that will detect all Borrelia species. PHO continues to explore new diagnostic assays as they become available and are licensed by Health Canada..
Public Health Ontario considers and incorporates stakeholder input into its operational processes. We also continually monitor best available evidence as it becomes available, along with provincial, national and international guidelines to maintain our standards and meet the requirements for laboratory accreditation in the province of Ontario.
TOPIC – Mega-Quarry & Soupstock – Sunday, October 21 – Toronto’s Woodbine Park 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
INFO – The Baupost Group, the hedge fund behind the mega quarry proposal, is from Boston. Chef Rich Garcia from Boston is going to come to Soupstock next weekend to stand in solidarity with Canadian chefs. He writes about why he’s getting involved here.
Soupstock set for Toronto’s Woodbine Park
On October 21st, the Canadian Chefs’ Congress and David Suzuki Foundation will host Soupstock, a mega-culinary event to raise awareness about the fight to stop the Highland Companies’ proposed limestone Mega-Quarry in the Township of Melancthon, 100 kilometres northwest of Toronto.
The event will feature more than 120 Canadian chefs, some of Canada’s best, including Jamie Kennedy, Anthony Walsh and John Higgins, who will concoct original soup creations to celebrate the Melancthon region’s rich agricultural, cultural and natural history.
“We want Torontonians to join us for an epic event in support of stopping the Mega-Quarry,” said Chef Michael Stadtländer.
Last October, Chef Stadtländer and dozens of Canada’s best chefs held an outdoor culinary event adjacent to the proposed Mega-Quarry site. The event drew more than 28,000 supporters. And thanks to a growing community of support to stop the Mega-Quarry, the Ontario government has ordered the first-ever Environmental Assessment of a quarry application in the province’s history.
“Foodstock was one of Canada’s largest-ever celebrations of great food, clean water, and healthy communities,” said Dr. Faisal Moola, director of the David Suzuki Foundation’s Ontario program. “This year we hope to continue building momentum by bringing the mega-culinary Soupstock event to the city — a delicious way to inspire thousands more to join the movement to protect Melancthon’s prized farmland and precious headwaters.”
The Highland Companies, which is backed by a $25-billion Boston hedge fund, proposes to blast a pit deeper than Niagara Falls from beneath a landscape of great agricultural and ecological importance. The Mega-Quarry would permanently destroy more than 2,300 acres (930 hectares) of the best vegetable farmland in Ontario. It would require 600-million litres of water to be pumped out of the pit each day in perpetuity. Up to one million Ontarians downstream rely on this water.
Soupstock will be held in Toronto’s Woodbine Park from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, October 21.
Funds raised will be used to build a community of support for stopping the controversial Mega-Quarry and for other environmental and food-related issues.
BIO – Chef Rich Garcia – Award winning Chef and industry leader for his sustainable business practices , Richard Garcia is on a mission to help save American fisheries and local farms. His focus is on promoting sustainable and responsibly harvested products through community driven support and the human element often forgotten about when talking about a sustainable future for our food systems. He is the chair of the advisory board for Trace & Trust, an organization focused on transparent food systems through traceability and relationships. He collaborates with the New England Aquarium on promoting underutilized fish species and is the Chefs Collaborative network leader for the Boston region where he helps other chefs in the region with connecting them to local and responsibly harvested products. His work has been featured in well know publications including Food & Wine, Oprah Magazine, and the Boston Herald. He has also been invited to showcase his cuisine at the prestigious James Beard House.
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