Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Who is setting the global health agenda?

We have a new addition to our on-line Virtual Shop.

It is called Global Health Watch 2 and is an alternative world health report. Our Policy Director, Patti Rundall, contributed to the section on infant feeding.

If you are concerned about the corporate takeover of the health agenda it is a particularly relevant read. Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, is pumping large sums of money into initiatives such as GAIN, which is operating in the field of infant nutrition. GAIN has companies such as Danone on the board. Danone is a major violator of the World Health Assembly marketing requirements, more so since its takeover of the Nutricia, Milupa and Cow & Gate brands. We have asked Danone's Chief Executive to indicate the company will bring policies and practices into line with the WHA marketing requirements and he refuses to give this undertaking.

GAIN is pursuing the promotion of processed foods for addressing micronutrient malnutrition in developing countries. Critics suggest it is more beneficial, cost effective and respectful of indigenous cultures to promote more balanced use of local foods. But with the sums being pumped into GAIN and the involvement of transnational corporations there is a danger that the public health debate is being distorted.

You can find the book and lots more information about it (including a flier) at:

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