Reuters Report: Food, beverage industry pays for seat at health-policy table - Reuters Report

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Food, beverage industry pays for seat at health-policy table

Click here for  the Reuters report  on WHO that has generated a flurry of responses - page down

The World Health Organization bills itself as an impartial advocate for global health. But for countries such as Mexico, a Reuters investigation has found that WHO relies on the very companies whose sugary drinks and salty foods fuel many of the maladies that WHO is trying to prevent. For example, this year, for the first time in its 110-year history, the Pan American Health Organization, a WHO regional office, accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations from the food and beverage industry -- an act that goes against WHO’s worldwide policies. Reuters found that, increasingly, WHO is relying on what it calls “partnerships” with industry, opting to enter into alliances with food and beverage companies rather than maintain strict neutrality.

The Daily mail:


Response from PAHO


Corporate Accountability International


Manufacturing epidemics: the role of global producers in increased consumption of unhealthy commodities including processed foods, alcohol, and tobacco.

Stuckler D, McKee M, Ebrahim S, Basu S.

PLoS Med. 2012 Jun;9(6):e1001235.

Global health philanthropy and institutional relationships: how should conflicts of interest be addressed?

Stuckler D, Basu S, McKee M.

PLoS Med. 2011 Apr;8(4):e1001020. Epub 2011 Apr 12


Two articles by GAIN and 1000 Days - arguing for greater involvement of the private sector.  

Public private partnerships: the future of development cooperation: via @GAINalliance

Private Sector Serious About Tackling NCDs Despite Concerns of Civil Society

Private philanthropy and conflicts of interest in global health



Article by David Legge


BMJ 2012; 345 doi: (Published 25 October 2012)

WHO is in crisis. Unless member states can be persuaded to “untie” their donations and give the organisation leeway to control its budget and set priorities WHO will slide further into irrelevance with disastrous consequences for global health, warns David Legge

 A substantial shortfall in the funds available for basic administrative functions led WHO’s director general, Margaret Chan, to initiate another reform of the WHO in 2010. Although the reform programme has expanded to include priority setting, governance, and management, financing is the fundamental problem. The process of reform is also bedevilled by the same problem that led to the funding crisis in the first place—a switch in power from the assembly of member states to donors (including some member states as well as other donors) with specific interests. This article outlines the problems and what the reforms are trying to achieve.

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