Group Criticizes Public Health Leadership as Piecemeal, Haphazard

January 10, 2004
by Marilyn Werber Serafini
National Journal

When Trust for America's Health complained in August 2003 that federal efforts to prevent and control animal-borne illness were lacking, mad-cow disease hadn't yet been discovered in the United States. Now that bovine spongiform encephalopathy has been found, anxiety about whether to let our kids eat a McDonald's hamburger has added a new urgency to the trust's mission. The organization, a nonprofit, nonpartisan group founded to raise the profile of public health matters, charges that the federal government and Congress have allowed the growing problem of animal-borne illness to be addressed in a diffuse and, therefore, needlessly haphazard way. "No one's truly in charge, and it leaves you at risk," said Shelley A. Hearne, the group's executive director.

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