Monday, April 16, 2012

Explanatory Note


The Statement of Concern below was developed by the Conflicts of Interest Coalition (COIC) and was submitted to the President of the UN General Assembly in September 2011.  It has now been endorsed by 162 national, regional and global networks and organisations working in different fields of public health, including medicine, nutrition, cancer, diabetes, heart, liver and lung disease, mental health, infant feeding, food safety and development.   

The principles and recommendations of this Statement can be applied to all areas of public health policy setting, but in particular to work on NCDs. 

The statement  focuses on the lack of clarity regarding the role of the private sector in public policy-making and calls for the development of a Code of Conduct and Ethical Framework to help protect the integrity of  the UN's  public policy decision-making, to ensure it is transparent and to identify, safeguard against and manage potential conflicts of interest.

The Statement calls for:
a clear distinction to be made between business-interest not-for-profit organisations (BINGOs) and public interest non-governmental organisations (PINGOs) 
a clear  differentiation between policy and norms and standards development  and appropriate involvement in implementation. 

Since the major causes of preventable death are driven by diseases related to tobacco, poor diet, physical inactivity and alcohol drinking, the endorsers of the Statement are concerned about the overuse of the term  ‘partnerships’  - without any clarification of what this term means.  We remain concerned that  public-private partnerships in these areas can counteract efforts to protect and improve public health.

The Conflict of Interest Coalition is calling on WHO to develop  guidance for Member States to identify conflicts and eliminate those that are not permissible. We ask that WHO perform thorough risk/benefit analyses on partnerships and provide surveillance on those considered acceptable. 

Transparency, although an essential requirement and first step, is not a sufficient safeguard in and of itself against negative impacts of conflicts of interest.


* The Conflicts of Interest Coalition comprises civil society organisations united by the common objective of safeguarding public health policy-making against commercial conflicts of interest through the development of a Code of Conduct and Ethical Framework for interactions with the private sector.

1 comment:

  1. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/notes/2013/salt_potassium_20130131/en/
    "Addressing the optimal ratio of sodium to potassium was outside the scope of this guideline; however, if an individual consumes the amount of sodium recommended in this guideline and the amount of potassium recommended in the WHO guideline on potassium intake, the ratio of sodium to potassium would be approximately one to one, which is considered beneficial for health (12)."
    (12) WHO Diet, nutrition and the prevention of chronic disease. Report of a Joint WHO/FAO Expert Consultation. Geneva, World Health Organization (WHO), 2003
    http://whqlibdoc.who.int/trs/WHO_TRS_916.pdf
    From this report, on page 90 (100 of 160):
    "Potassium Adequate dietary intake of potassium lowers blood pressure and is protective against stroke and cardiac arrythmias. Potassium intake should be at a level which will keep the sodium to potassium ratio close to 1.0, i.e. a daily potassium intake level of 70--80 mmol per day. This may be achieved through adequate daily consumption of fruits and vegetables."
    Why close to 1.0? Where is the exact (original) reference of this statement? Has it any traces of strength of evidence? From where did they pick this ratio out? I never saw such ratio in mature human milk! Only in the colostrum is this molar ratio close to one to one, but this has an evolutionary explanation. The average Na:K molar ratio is closer to 1:2.5 in mature human milk.
    The WHO misleads all of the humanity. This is not science, but charlatanry!
    Read more:
    http://padre.uw.hu/ekvis/entropyobesity.htm

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