What Can I Do About My Wheat Allergy?

By Ramone Stevenson

Food allergies are very common. There are several different types of food allergies but a wheat allergy is one of the most common.

A wheat allergy occurs when a person suffers an adverse reaction to the protein fractions of the wheat and all or some of the other components like gluten. When suffering from a wheat allergy your allergy symptoms will be activated when food containing wheat is eaten but it can also be from inhaling flour that contains wheat which is called baker’s asthma.

Although it is not known the exact number of people who suffer from a wheat allergy it is believed from data that has been collected that is up around the 40% mark. That’s a lot of the population that has a wheat allergy. In the baking industry it is believe that about 42% of all bakers develop baker’s asthma.

Symptoms of a wheat allergy can develop instantly or a few hours after ingesting wheat. The most common symptoms are related to the skin – eczema, itchy skin, or even hives are commonly seen.

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The second most common wheat allergy symptom is related to the gastrointestinal tract with any are all of the following symptoms – nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramping, or diarrhea.

A wheat allergy can also affect the respiratory tract causing asthma like symptoms. And it can also cause life threatening anaphylaxis in a few unlucky individuals. The problem is many of the symptoms of a wheat allergy are caused by cross contamination from other gluten cereals like rye, barley, and oats.

For some the diagnosis of a wheat allergy is very simple. You have the same reaction every time you eat a certain food and when you remove it from your diet you no longer suffer the symptoms. Pretty straight forward right? Not always. It can be difficult to diagnosis if it is a food that you eat regularly with other foods. In these cases diagnosis usually entails a lot more.

The first step to treating your wheat allergy is to avoid all foods that contain wheat. Now that said it can be harder to do then one might think because wheat is a staple food in our diets. A wheat restricted diet creates a very restricted diet which means they may be missing out on other important nutrients. If you have children that have a wheat allergy it would be a good idea to work with a dietician to make sure they are getting everything they need in their diet.

Sometimes children will outgrow a wheat allergy while other times they will live with it for the rest of their lives. Learning to cope can be a two part problem. First one must learn to avoid the foods that cause the symptoms and second one must learn to deal with the psychological part which our brains tend to crave most what we cannot have.

If your wheat allergy is mild you might be able to control it by reducing your wheat intake or using an over the counter medicine. And don’t forget that natural supplements can bring your body back to a healthy state and it can help energize your immune system the underlying cause of all allergies.

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Astronomers discover smallest known star

Friday, July 14, 2017

On Wednesday, astronomers at the University of Cambridge in England announced the discovery of a dwarf star, known as EBLM J0555-57Ab, which is slightly bigger than Saturn and smaller than Jupiter. It was found using data from an array of automated telescopes called the Wide Angle Search for Planets (WASP). The study was published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.

The star belongs to the Milky Way galaxy and is approximately 600 light years away from Earth. Its mean radius is about 80 percent the size of the largest planet in the Solar System, Jupiter, but despite its small size it is very dense. Its mass is almost 85±4 times the gas giant, the study said. The star’s surface gravitational pull is about eleven times stronger than the Sun’s — 300 times the strength by which the Earth attracts matter. It is part of a binary star system, meaning it moves around the galaxy with another star, both orbiting around the same central point. However, it stays so close to its companion star, that it takes about 7.8 days to orbit around the pair’s shared centre. The distance between the two stars is less than between Mercury and the Sun, and about eight percent of an astronomical unit, in stark contrast to the 100–1000 astronomical units that typically separates two stars in such a system.

It was discovered by the method called “astronomical transit”. This method is used to discover planets or satellites, and the astronomers initially thought it was merely an exoplanet. During a planet’s revolution, when it crosses its parent star, there is a dip in the brightness of the light coming from the parent star. The companion of this dwarf is the size of the Sun, and it is brighter than the dwarf, making the discovery more difficult. “Indeed, until we measured the mass it looked just like a transiting planet”, Amaury Triaud, co-author of the paper, told Popular Mechanics. With a brightness 2000 to 3000 times fainter than the Sun, it was the mass that indicated it was actually a dim star.

According to lead author of the study, Alexander von Boetticher, their “discovery reveals how small stars can be.” He added, “Had this star formed with only a slightly lower mass, the fusion reaction of hydrogen in its core could not be sustained, and the star would instead have transformed into a brown dwarf”. A brown dwarf converts hydrogen to deuterium, a hydrogen isotope, rather than helium, which is the usual result of such a process from most stars including the Sun.

The tiny star’s temperature is lesser than most known gas giant exoplanets. “That star likely represents the smallest natural fusion reactor that we know of[…] We’re trying to replicate fusion on Earth in labs, but that’s basically as small as it gets in nature”, Triaud told CBC News. The size of the star makes it difficult to study, but the brightness of its companion star also makes it more challenging. “It’s like trying to look at a candle beside a lighthouse,” Triaud said.

200 candles: Chileans celebrate country’s Bicentennial

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Chile is celebrating its Bicentennial, with several events that have been organized by the government for almost a decade. It commemorates two hundred years since the First Government Junta of 1810 was formed, starting the Independence process, that ended in 1818 after Bernardo O’Higgins proclaimed it.

The Bicentennial takes place on a holiday from September 17th until 21st. Sebastián Piñera inaugurated the official fondas (places where typical food and drinks of Chile are sold; similar to a tavern) earlier on Friday. Piñera also danced a “pie” of Cueca, Chile’s national dance, with Government Spokeswoman Ena Von Baer.

More than 60 thousand people gathered on Plaza de la Ciudadanía (Citizen’s Square) in Santiago to celebrate the Bicentennial. There was a projection of historical images that also contained a message from the trapped miners in Copiapó. A giant flag of Chile (18 meters of height, 27 of width; weighing 200 kilograms) was raised on the square on Friday morning.

Celebrations of the Bicentennial in Pichilemu started earlier this month. On September 2, two thousand people lined up in a formation to create the message “Viva Chile Bicentenario Cardenal Caro” on Pichilemu beach “Las Terrazas”. The message was used to create a postal stamp to be released worldwide. The event was promoted by the Government of Cardenal Caro Province.

Private schools in the city, such as Colegio Preciosa Sangre, prepared events specially for their students. On Thursday, “Fonda Don Vicente Nario” was opened on Preciosa Sangre. Several games were performed there on that morning, including “el emboque”, “ponerle la cola al burro” (to put the tail to the donkey), and others.

Another event on Preciosa Sangre took place on Thursday night, when students recreated scenes of the History of Chile, including: a tertulia featuring Manuel Montt (starred by Luis Rojas); a chingana (a popular tavern); and selected colonial professions, such as the “motero” (person who sold motemei and chestnuts).

The official fonda of Pichilemu, La Bombonera, was inaugurated on Thursday night by Mayor Roberto Córdova, who danced cueca with people who attended the event. According to Córdova, at least 30,000 people have arrived at Pichilemu as of Friday, and it is estimated that another 30,000 will arrive during the next three days.

A great event took place on Pichilemu beach on Friday afternoon. Chilean typical games highlighted the event. People danced reggaeton, Américo’s cumbias and cuecas, while others were swimming. The National Shoe Fair (Feria Nacional del Calzado) was established on Agustín Ross Hotel on Thursday, and will stay in the town until September 23rd. Alicia Grez, who works on a kiosk in the Pichileminian Craft Fair located in front of One Discotheque, said that “sales have been excellent,” and that “[they] won’t miss the possibility to experience such an event like this.”

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File:Parque bicentenario.JPG

Postcard released by the Chilean Government in 1910. At the top, from left to right: José Miguel Carrera, José de San Martín, Bernardo O’Higgins, Lord Thomas Cochrane, and Manuel Rodríguez. At the bottom, from left to right: Manuel Vicuña, Manuel Blanco Encalada, José Manuel Balmaceda and Pedro Montt.

Official poster of the Centennial of Chile.

Official plans for the Centennial of Chile, in 1910. Pedro Montt is pictured at the top, and Bernardo O’Higgins at the bottom.Image: Memoria Chilena.

Fire kills 32 in theatre in Beni Suef, Egypt

Tuesday, September 6, 2005

A fire Monday night in a theatre in Beni Suef, Egypt, has killed at least 32 and injured a similar number. The fire was started during a performance when a candle on the set was knocked over by an actor and the curtains were set alight. The blaze spread to the stage, which was covered in paper, and then quickly engulfed the rest of the building.

There was a stampede as the panicking audience of at least 100 rushed for the only available exit door, which was blocked at one point by falling supports as the building slowly burnt. The other exit was covered in paper and caught fire before it could be used. Firefighters brought the fire under control after several hours, but not before the building was destroyed.

It is believed the deaths were caused by burns, smoke inhalation and injuries from the stampede. The remaining injured were reported by hospital director Ahmed el-Sharqawi to have burns covering between 30% and 90% of their bodies. A medical team specialising in burns and related care has been flown in from Cairo, and Cairo hospitals have indicated that they are ready to accept patients if necessary. The fire occurred on the third day of a nine-day theatre festival in the farming community, 120 km from Cairo, which featured groups from all over Egypt.

Is Your Business Engaging In Poor Marketing Strategies?}

Submitted by: Salim Omar, CPA

It is so easy for a business owner to get caught up in the daily operations of their business. The inventory ordering, order processing, data input, putting out fires and more, can become all consuming. Then, one day you look up and wonder what happened to the business. If you fail to consistently market your businesss products and services, you will be out of business before you know it.

Even if you have a strong customer base that produces re-orders for your business regularly, there is a natural amount of attrition that occurs within a client base. So, if you are not replacing customers and growing with the addition of new ones, your business is at risk of sliding backwards in sales figures and overall revenue numbers.

Marketing is all about future sales. You plant the seed today to reap the benefits tomorrow. If you want a long-term successful business you can hand off to your children, dont neglect marketing. Every month, set aside at least twenty percent of your time to dedicate toward marketing activities.

Marketing activities include:

– studying and knowing the difference between good marketing vs. bad marketing

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– deciding to expand an existing product line

– dumping unprofitable products or adding new products

– determining where your advertising can generate the biggest return for the investment

– planning your marketing materials and activities for the year ahead

– nurturing your existing customer relationships via a touch plan to regularly stay in contact with your customers (I teach my client that an ideal touch plan should have at least 24 touches in the course of the year, other than the touches when you are servicing them.)

All the activities listed above are crucial functions for your success.

Every year I come across small business owners who throw thousands of dollars into bad, ineffective advertising methods. For example, I will meet a business owner who advertises in the Yellow Pages and after getting little or no business from it, concludes that the Yellow Pages does not work for his business. Or, I talk to a business owner that just printed 2,500 of their nice, 4 colored brochures and mailed them out to businesses in their area. After not getting much response they conclude that this method does not work. That is simply not true and you will see why in a second.

One of my marketing mentors is John Carlton, one of the leading and highest paid marketers in the world. He says that America sorts their incoming mail over their trash can. Anything that looks like junk will end up in the trash. What this means is that the small business has to invest the time to understand the difference between good marketing and bad marketing, in order to gain the attention of the prospects they are targeting.

What is bad marketing? (also known as Institutional ads) Institutional ads represent the most common form of advertising. These ads talk specifically about you, the business owner. Yellow Page ads are good examples of this form. But institutional ads dont direct the potential buyer to a buying decision. Thus, they can be a waste of money.

What is good marketing (also known as direct response ad) Direct response advertising, on the other hand, makes a complete case for the company, product or service. It overcomes sales objections. It answers all major questions. It promises results, backing up the promise with a risk-free warranty or money-back guarantee. Direct response advertising is all about your customer and his or her needs. Its purpose is to stimulate a phone call, letter or a visit. Best of all, unlike an institutional ad, it is trackable so you can make every dollar you spend on it accountable. This then helps to measure the effectiveness of each ad.

So, spend time with professionals who can give you financial insight into which marketing strategies will produce the best possible results for your business. Dedicate at least twenty percent of your week to marketing your businesss products and services. Track your results and make adjustments accordingly on an ongoing basis to ensure that your business is experiencing the levels of success needed to meet your needs.

About the Author: Salim Omar, author of

“Straight Talk About Small Business Success In New Jersey”

specializes in providing accounting and tax services to small business owners and professional practices in NJ. Salim’s articles are featured in various national magazines including Accounting Today, The CPA Journal, Chiropractic Economics, Wealth Manager and The Two River Times. You may request a free copy of Salim’s new special report titled

“How To Drastically Reduce Your Taxes By As Much As 62% This Year Alone And Put Thousands Back In Your Pocket”



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Saudis boycott Danish dairy produce

Friday, January 27, 2006

On January 26, 2006, a massive boycott of dairy produce from Arla Foods started in Saudi Arabia over what is perceived as a Danish attack on Muslim values. The Saudi ambassador to Denmark has been recalled for consultations.

The Danish/Swedish dairy company Arla is facing a massive loss after a spreading boycott of its produce in Saudi Arabia. Four Saudi retail chains have already removed Arla products from the shelves. One retail chain has placed yellow warning tape (common fare for accidents and crime scenes) over Arla products. There have been cases reported of Arla delivery trucks being attacked by stones thrown from bystanders. Marianne Castenskiold, a senior consultant for Dansk Industri, expressed a fear that the boycott will spread to other countries in the region and have detrimental effects on other Danish products. Denmark is one of the leading exporters of agriculture in northern Europe, whose economy is heavily dependent on foreign trade and investment.

The boycott has been announced at Friday prayer services in Saudi mosques since January 20, 2006, obviously helping to foment popular support of the nation’s response to Denmark’s alleged ignorance of Muslim values. On at least one occasion, a delivery truck has been greeted by thrown stones.

The boycott is a response to the publication of an article in a major Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten. In its September 30, 2005 issue, the paper printed 12 drawings of the Muslim prophet Muhammed, as a response to previous news reports that the publisher of a forthcoming childrens’ book about the prophet had had difficulty in finding an illustrator, due to fear of extremist reactions; drawings of the prophet are prohibited by Islamic Law (see aniconism). In an attempt to start a debate over freedom of speech in Denmark, the newspaper printed 12 drawings of the prophet. Four of these were of a satirical nature, with one showing the prophet with a turban hiding a lit bomb.

The immediate reactions to the publication of the drawings included ambassadors from 12 Muslim countries demanding that the Danish Prime Minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, denounce the newspaper. Rasmussen rejected this demand, stating that “Danish freedom of speech does not allow the government to control what newspapers print”. He further noted that the only possible legal action against the newspaper would be one under the charge of blasphemy.

A debate ensued over the following months about freedom of speech and its value in relation to avoiding religious taboos. In mid-December 2005, a delegation from several Danish Muslim organizations went on a tour in several Middle-Eastern and Arabic countries, reportedly to gain sympathy for their point of view. Several reports state that during the tour the difficulties faced by Muslims in Denmark were grossly overstated.

Report reveals Top 10 most-confusing tech buzzwords

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Danville, California – The California-based Engligh language tracker, Global Language Monitor, released its 2005 list of most confusing – yet frequently cited – high tech buzzwords to be “HTTP,” “Voice Over IP” (VoIP), and “Megapixel.” Closely following were “Plasma,” “Robust,” “WORM” and “Emoticon.”

In early March, the group used a predictive index computer algorithm to track specific words and phrases in the media and on the Internet. They were tracked in relation to frequency, contextual usage and appearance in global media outlets.

The Global Language Monitor claims to analyze and catalogue trends in word usage and word choices, focusing on the linguistic impact on various cultures. The GLM says it relies upon a global network of volunteer linguists, professional wordsmiths and other bibliophiles to monitor the trends in the evolution and demise of world languages.

GLM’s list, in order of frequency of use, of the most-confusing technology terms with the group’s explanation as to why they are faulty follows:

  1. HTTP – HyperText Transfer Protocol is the standard protocol used for transmitting web pages (which are written in HTML (HyperText Markup Language)), not text written while hyper on too much Starbucks coffee. There are more than 1 billion references to HTTP on the web alone.
  2. Voice over IP – Voice over Internet Protocol, (pronounced voyp, similar to Detroit) is a way of transmitting voice data over the Internet. VoIP is becoming more popular as services such as Skype offer people free voice communication with anyone with a broad-band connection.
  3. Megapixel – Approximately one million pixels, not a single, big pixel (“mega” is the metric system prefix for million). “Pixel” itself is a technical term which means “picture element”. Digital pictures consist of a grid of millions of pixels, which are square or rectangular dots, each having a single colour.
  4. Plasma – A plasma display (commonly used in televisions) is a flat, lightweight surface with a grid of millions of tiny glass bubbles containing plasma. A digitally controlled electric current flows through the bubbles causing the plasma inside to glow various colours. Plasma displays have nothing to do with blood plasma.
  5. Robust – Robustness generally means “it won’t break easily.” It supposedly describes computer programs or hardware that have been well-tested and demonstrated to not crash or fail often, but since it is a vague term by nature (how robust is robust?) it is frequently used by marketing types regardless.
  6. WORM – While a worm is a type of computer virus, WORM stands for ’Write Once, Read Many’. It describes a file system primarily used for optical disks, such as CDs and DVDs. For example, CD-Rs can only be written (or “burned”) once but afterwards can be read many times (otherwise you could only listen to your music CD once). This excludes re-writable CDs which can be written many times.
  7. Emoticon – Emoticon stands for emotional icon. An emoticon is a sequence of characters that look visually like a face and are used in text chat to convey emotion. The most common emoticon is the smiley face – 🙂 – which looks like two eyes and a mouth turned 90 degrees.
  8. Best of Breed – Not to be confused with the Westminster Dog Show, a best-of-breed product is a personalized solution made of components from various manufacturers; in other words, it’s a sort of high tech ‘mix-and-match’.
  9. Viral Marketing – A recent marketing trend which relies on word-of-mouth to spread, rather than traditional advertising strategies. It is called “viral” because as people talk about it, the marketing message “spreads” to new people, who in turn inform others, and so on, which is how viruses spread. The Burger King “Subservient Chicken” campaign is considered an example of viral marketing. Computer viruses used by spammers to turn desktop computers into “zombie” spam relays are something completely different.
  10. Data Migration – Data migration is an idealistic (though usually impossible) concept where data can be used by different versions of the program in which it was created (newer or older). The migration (migration means “to move”) refers to the fact that the data is moved from one version (or program) to another without difficulty or loss of information. It is a subset of backward and forward compatibility.

Other terms being tracked included “client/server,” “solution,” “paradigm,” “backward compatible,” and the “STUN protocol.”

Chinese researchers crack major U.S. government algorithm used in digital signatures

Wednesday, February 16, 2005 According to computer security expert Bruce Schneier, a widely-used cryptography algorithm, known as SHA-1, has been broken by three researchers at Shandong University in China. Designed by the US intelligence agency NSA, SHA-1 has been adopted as an official US government standard and has become widely-used in security applications worldwide, notably digital signatures. The three female researchers, Xiaoyun Wang, Yiqun Lisa Yin, and Hongbo Yu, have reduced the amount of time needed to find two documents with the same signature by a factor of more than 2000.

The SHA-1 algorithm is used to compute a short string of numbers, known as a hash, for any digital document. The algorithm is constructed such that small changes in the document cause the hash to change drastically. By this means, the hash can be used to verify that a document has not been tampered with.

The attack that Schneier describes is a “collision attack,” rather than the more useful “pre-image” attack. In a pre-image attack, the codebreaker is able to find a document with different contents that matches an existing hash and so can claim an existing signature was on something else. In the somewhat less valuable “collision attack,” the codebreaker is able to devise two documents that both have some particular hash. A adversary might use this to claim that an altered document is the original on the grounds that they have the same hash. A crafty adversary might also be able to trick someone into signing an innocuous document, one of a pair from a collision. The other document, which might not be as harmless, would then also appear to have been signed by the same person. If collisions can be found for SHA-1, then digital signatures will no longer vouch for a document’s authenticity.

The attack, for now, is more of a theoretical than a practical kind: it would currently take thousands of years on a modern personal computer, and would still be slow even if a large number of computers were used in parallel.

Xiaoyun Wang is currently a professor at Shandong University, while Hongbo Yu is a doctoral candidate at the same institution. Yiqun Lisa Yin is currently a visiting researcher at the Princeton Architecture Laboratory for Multimedia and Security (PALMS). Last year, Xiaoyun Wang and Hongbo Yu also took part in breaking a series of similar algorithms, including the widely used MD5 hash, as documented in their paper presented at the Crypto 2004 conference.

Officials from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have recently recommended dropping SHA-1 in favor of stronger, slower algorithms, such as SHA-256, Federal Computer Week reported on February 7, 2005, just 7 days before Schneier announced the SHA-1 break. Despite deprecating SHA-1, William Burr, the head of NIST’s security technology group, said that “SHA-1 is not broken, and there is not much reason to suspect that it will be soon.”

Tips For Finding Account Management Jobs}

Tips for finding Account Management Jobs


jim d

In the Pharmaceutical Marketing context Account Management Jobs are mainly found in Medical Communications / Medical Education Agencies, Public Relations Agencies and Healthcare Advertising Agencies. These are all companies providing bespoke communications services to Pharmaceutical, Biotech, Medical Device and associated industries. These communications services aim to provide content and strategic advice in marketing, promotion, medical education and training.

Account Management jobs are usually client facing roles, the level of interaction dependent upon the seniority of the position. In general the account management team has a hierarchical structure. Leading an account you might have a Client Services Director (CSD) or Associate Director; these people have overall responsibility for the account and provide an ambassadorial role for the agency. They may not be involved day to day in the delivery of the account but will play an integral role in planning the strategy to be adopted and implement. The CSD is also usually a member of the agency management team and also involved with company development.

Reporting to the CSD is the Account Director (AD). These are the people who ensure that the account is running optimally, resolving client issues, keeping to the budget, ensuring deadlines and milestones are met and that the marketing plan is being implemented according to the CSD’s instructions. They keep the CSD informed on the account’s status and manage the account team to keep everything on track.

Subordinate to the Account Director are the Account Managers. The Account Managers run the account on a day to day basis. They are the ones getting everything done, putting the plan in to practice. They liaise with the client on an ongoing basis and keep the AD appraised of developments and the need for review.

The Account Managers are supported by Account Executives (AE). The AEs can absorb some of the account running responsibilities which don’t require an in depth understanding of marketing practices and processes. In this way over time the AE can build up their knowledge and take on further responsibilities as their experience grows.

This is obviously a simplified scenario of how an account team works in a medical communications agency and each company will have a slightly different modus operandi and may well have different job titles and job responsibilities, but hopefully it gives a flavour of how the account team might interact. Within an agency the account management team will work in unison with the editorial team to guarantee the seamless delivery of content.

As you become a more senior member of the account management team, you can also expect to start taking on more new business responsibilities, whether that entails the organic growth of an existing account or becoming part of the pitch team tasked with seeking out and winning new account opportunities.

If you would like more information regarding account management jobs or you would like a more general conversation about medical communications jobs always look for an agency which specialises in placing medical communications professionals into medical communication agencies and pharmaceutical companies.

Editor, writer. Interests include writing on recruitment

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FEMA employees pose as fake reporters during press conference

 Correction — September 10, 2013 The headline should not contain the word fake: the employees posed as reporters; they didn’t pose as fake reporters, on the contrary they were fake reporters posing as real reporters. We aopologize for the error. 

Friday, October 26, 2007

The United States Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is under fire after the agency held a fake press conference with fake news reporters in regards to individuals affected by the California wildfires and the assistance they could receive.

The agency called a press conference on Tuesday, giving the press only 15 minutes to show up. When many did not, FEMA brought in agency officials to pose as fake reporters and ask questions. The option for reporters to call into the conference was also available, but the ones who did call in only got to listen to the press conference, and could not ask questions. No reporters were actually present during the conference, parts of which were carried live on Fox News and MSNBC.

During the briefing, FEMA employees asked Deputy Administrator Harvey Johnson a series of what The New York Times called “decidedly friendly questions” such as “What type of commodities are you pledging to California?”, “What lessons learned from Katrina have been applied?” and “Are you happy with FEMA’s response so far?”. The briefing followed the format of a press conference, with FEMA’s press secretary at one point cautioning that he would allow just “two more questions”, then calling later for a “last question”. Officials who posed as fake reporters included the deputy director of public affairs Cindy Taylor and Director of External Affairs John “Pat” Philbin.

White House officials said that they do not condone FEMA’s actions and also state that they had no idea that the conference was taking place.

“FEMA has issued an apology, saying that they had an error in judgment when they were attempting to get out a lot of information to reporters, who were asking for answers to a variety of questions in regard to the wildfires in California. It’s not something I would have condoned. And they — I’m sure — will not do it again,” said Dana Perino, the White House’s press secretary in a statement.

FEMA apologizes for the mishap and says that their intentions were only to get the information to the citizens of California.

“[The purpose was] to get information out as soon as possible, and in trying to do so we made an error in judgment. Our intent was to provide useful information and be responsive to the many questions we have received. We can and must do better,” said Harvey E. Johnson, the agency’s vice administrator. “The real story — how well the response and recovery elements are working in this disaster — should not be lost because of how we tried to meet the needs of the media in distributing facts,” a FEMA statement said.

FEMA is currently deciding whether or not any officials should face punishment for the incident. One of the officials responsible, Pat Philbin, is going on to be the new head of public relations for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

This is not the first time that the Bush administration has come under fire for planting reporters at press conferences. In February of 2005, White House reporter Jeff Gannon was accused of being planted to ask softball questions to President Bush. FEMA itself had earlier undergone criticism during Hurricane Katrina for using disaster workers for public relations in 2005.