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Some Fear Industry Interests Are Stalling Negotiations On U.N. NCD Summit, BMJ Reports

“In the run up to the U.N. summit on non-communicable diseases (NCDs), there are fears that industry interests might be trumping evidence-based public health interventions,” BMJ reports. “Many hope that this meeting will force [NCDs] into the spotlight just as the first health-related U.N. summit did for AIDS a decade ago,” but “[w]ith only weeks to go before the summit … [d]iscussions have stopped on the document that forms the spine of the summit,” BMJ writes.

While a deep divide among member states on key issues “including access to essential medicines and vaccines; control of risk factors; and resources to prevent and control NCDs” has contributed to the stalled negotiations, “[t]here are numerous examples of the powerful sway that the tobacco, alcohol and food industries have over international governments and how this impedes effective health policy,” according to BMJ. “WHO Director-General Margaret Chan warned in Moscow this year that many threats to health come from powerful corporations, driven by commercial interests,” BMJ writes (Cohen, 8/23).