Staffan Dahllöf

Recent Posts

EU-commissioner says MEPs should open up

Competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager says the Parliament ought to disclose the working conditions and salaries for assistants hired by MEPs, as she comments on an on-going transparency case. In the case brought to the European Court of Justice in 2015, 29 journalists have challenged the European Parliaments refusal to disclose reimbursements paid to its 751 elected members. The Parliament’s administration, backed by its legal service, claims a disclosure of how the money is used would infringe the MEP’s privacy.  The journalists argue that elected politicians’ use of taxpayer’s money cannot be shielded behind privacy rules. On top of salaries, reimbursements for travel costs, and daily allowances for attending meetings, each MEP receives up to 21 379 euros for hiring staff, and 4 320 euro in ”general allowances” per month. Each MEPs thus disposes over all in all some 36 000 euros on a monthly basis. Continue Reading →

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US blocks antibiotic measures in TTIP

EU attempts to regulate against antimicrobial resistance are opposed by the US in the TTIP-negotiations. American and interests and ”stakeholders” threaten proposed EU-legislation

 

The EU wants to reduce farmer’s use of antibiotics in animal feed. The US does not want any such measures written into a TTIP- agreement. »That’s how we understand it, although we haven’t been told right out and we haven’t got access to any negotiating texts to prove it,« says Zoltán Massay-Kosubek from European Public Health Alliance (EPHA), an umbrella organisation for health related interest groups in Brussels. EPHA takes regularly part in TTIP Advisory Group, a forum set up by the Commission to promote the understanding of TTIP among interest groups. Continue Reading →

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Historic initiative by journalists taking the EU-Parliament to Court

Journalists from all over Europe have asked the EU-court to rule on the hidden records of parliamentarians’ allowances. The 29 journalists representing all EU member countries have come together in a simultaneous complaint over the Parliament to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg. The group called The MEPs Project (MEP – Member of European Parliament) consists of individuals who have all tried to get access to documentation of how the elected politicians from their respective country use their allowances. That is money given for different reasons on top of the salaries. All in all the accounts for 751 parliamentarian’s allowances have been asked for. Continue Reading →

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New rules in Denmark to fight dangerous swine-bacteria: Banning visits to infected farms – but farms remain clandestine

At least every second Danish swine farm is probably infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria, according to new investigations. Ministers demand total sterilization of 500 farms for breeding pigs and ban public visits to infected farms – but keep the names of these farms secret. – The Danish Food Administration is in the process of analyzing tests from 200 farms. The results will be available later this year. But I can say now that we expect that 50 percent or more will be tested positive. I have therefore asked for a reassessment of the risks, said Danish Minister of Food and Agriculture Dan Jørgensen (S) in an open meeting in the Agriculture Committee under the Danish Parliament Wednesday 27th of August. Continue Reading →

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The cost of antibiotic resistance: 25,000 deaths per year, and counting

European authorities have no records on the new spread of resistance germs from pigs to humans. Scientists say the total death toll for resistant antibiotics is outdated and too low. The news of four deaths in Denmark caused by infections from livestock associated (LA) resistant germs has not reached European authorities, except through media reports. The European Centre of Disease Prevention and Control, ECDC, based in Solna, Sweden keeps no record of infections from different strains of resistant bacteria. Dominique L. Monnet, Head of the Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare-Associated Infections Programme at ECDC, explains in a written comment:
”No EU survey on human infections due to LA-MRSA CC398 is currently planned by ECDC. Continue Reading →

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Germs can take shelter behind EU-law

The European Union has so far only ”recommendations” and ”support” to offer against resistant germs. A ”stamping out” strategy Norwegian style is ruled out in the EU. The Commission, the EU’s governmental body and the only institution empowered to propose legislation, has so far taken a cautious stand on the threat of antibiotic resistance. An action plan was put forward in 2011 in what is called a communication (COM/2011/748). EU-ministers in the Council adopted its conclusive points the year after. None of the 12 identified key actions sanctioned by the Council go further than to ”introduce recommendations”, “promote efforts”, “co-ordinate research” and the like; all different expressions of soft law. Continue Reading →

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Danish journalists sentenced to fine for releasing names of infected farms – they will try to appeal the case

Two journalists, Kjeld Hansen and Nils Mulvad, released a story in October 2010 about the spread of pig-to-human infection, which subsequently led to four deaths. Lawyer Tyge Trier (left) with the two journalists Nils Mulvad (middle) and Kjeld Hansen (right) in the district court of Aarhus 6 of May. The verdict came 22 of May 2014. Photo: Lone Hougaard. The story from 2010 violated the Data Protection Act, according to the district court in Aarhus. Continue Reading →

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Three deaths of hospital bacteria spread by pigs

Three people have died in Denmark due to infection from drug-resistant bacteria from pigs. None of the deceased themselves had been in contact with the animals. Data on the three deaths emerged in testimony given in the City Court of Aarhus, Denmark, on Tuesday. Hans Jørn Kolmos, professor of microbiology and chief physician at Odense University Hospital, testified about a death last December at his own hospital. “I have since learned of two other deaths, which authorities have not published,” Kolmos said in court. Continue Reading →

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Danish pigs spread hospital bacteria

Nine out of ten pigs in Danish slaughterhouses are infected with bacteria that cannot be knocked down with penicillin. Erik Larsen fights the bacteria by changing boots, washing his hands and using high-pressure flushing. DYREHAVEGÅRD, Overby: In each of Erik Larsen’s five pig stables, overalls hang in a certain colour – one for each stable. They are boil washed in the stable. They must not be mixed. Continue Reading →

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Possible punishment for revealing the names of pig farms

Two Danish journalists wrote about abscesses in children – accused of having named 12 infected farms.

Children with abscesses at the size of tennis balls in a Kindergarden in Løgstør, Denmark. Flickr. On 21 October 2010, journalists Nils Mulvad and Kjeld Hansen published an article on the website Aabenhedstinget.dk, a forum for debate on public law and journalism. They wrote of a silenced case about the difficulties in treating abscesses and ulcers in two children in the city of Løgstør in Jutland. The children were carrying resistant bacteria (MRSA). Continue Reading →

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