Newsweek Pakistan forced to apologize for love song to the Marlboro Man

The Network for Consumer Protection, a Pakastani consumer protection organization, has won a judgment against Newsweek Pakistan for publishing an article that both implicitly and explicitly promoted tobacco use and the use of Philip Morris products. In the opinion of the Inquiry Commission of the Press Council of Pakistan, this violated the country’s Ethical Code of Practice.

“Tobacco control advocates are celebrating the ruling,” says Dr Ehsan Latif, Director of The Union’s Department of Tobacco Control, “because it strikes back against the tobacco industry’s use of opinion pieces by influential people as a means to circumvent laws, such as Pakistan’s, that ban tobacco advertising.”

The offending article, “My Favorite Mistake: When Syeda Abida Hussain Fell in Love with the Marlboro Man”, is a first-person testimonial by the well-known Pakistani politician that dwells more on the upside of her “mistake” than any downside to smoking. Although the tone is light, she paints a highly misleading picture: attributing some of her success in politics to her husky smoker’s voice, pointing out that her non-smoker father died of cancer at 55, and poignantly describing sharing a last cigarette with her mother just six hours before she died at the much older age of 76.

The article appeared on 24 February 2012 and TheNetwork for Consumer Protection filed a complaint immediately, but the final ruling of Islamabad Inquiry Commission of the Press Council of Pakistan only came on 17 June 2015. While Newsweek Pakistan’s Editor-in-Chief Fasih Ahmed denied that there was any violation if the article was read correctly, the Commission found against it and ruled that the magazine must publish an apology promptly on the same page and space.

Bad Medicine: How the pharmaceutical industry is contributing to the global rise of antibiotic-resistant superbugs is a global movement of consumers, investors, and workers all around the world, standing together to hold corporations accountable for their actions and forge a new, sustainable and just path for our global economy. The executive summary of their new report Bad Medicine is below and the full report is here.

The effective treatment of infections and diseases, which has been taken for granted for decades, is under threat. The emergence of virulent strains of drug-resistant bacteria, commonly known as superbugs, is prompting scientists and medical practitioners around the world to warn of a return to the pre-antibiotic era and a looming public health disaster.

Continue reading Bad Medicine: How the pharmaceutical industry is contributing to the global rise of antibiotic-resistant superbugs

Has the American Society for Nutrition Lost All Credibility?

By Michele Simon, cross –posted from Eat Drink Politics

In my new report, I expose the American Society for Nutrition (ASN), the nation’s leading authority of nutrition scientists and researchers, for its cozy relationships with the likes of PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Nestle, McDonalds, Monsanto, Mars, and even the Sugar Association. Such conflicts of interest are similar to those exposed in my previous report about the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Powerful junk food companies purchase “sustaining partnerships” from the American Society for Nutrition, gaining access to the nation’s leading nutrition researchers at their annual meetings, and in their policy positions. ASN’s “Sustaining Member Roundtable Committee” includes PepsiCo’s Chief Scientific Officer and the Chief Science Officer at National Dairy Council.

Continue reading Has the American Society for Nutrition Lost All Credibility?

The Misinformation Industry: Food flavor safety system a ‘black box’

By Chris Young and Erin Quinn, Center for Public Integrity

Ingredients created by food companies flavor what Americans eat each day — everything from juice drinks and potato chips to ice cream and canned soups. They give Cheetos their addictive cheesy taste and help distinguish Jolly Ranchers from other fruit-flavored candies.

But the organization responsible for the safety of most “natural” and “artificial” flavors that end up in foods and beverages isn’t part of the U.S. government. Rather, the Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association — a secretive food industry trade group that has no in-house employees, no office of its own and a minuscule budget — serves as the de-facto regulator of the nation’s flavor additives.

The trade association, which operates with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s blessing, says that it makes research on the safety of various flavors available for public inspection.

This story was co-published with TIME and Huffington PostRead the full story at CPI here.


Watch Center for Public Integrity’s video The Food Additive Highway.

Congress Forms Anti-Regulatory Committee Instead of Protecting Americans

By Amit Narang, Re-posted from Public Citizen

Here are some of the headlines from the past few weeks: 34 million cars outfitted with dangerously defective airbags have been recalled; passenger trains and oil trains have derailed, putting commuters and communities at risk; nail salon workers are being exposed to dangerous conditions and abusive employers. What these stories have in common is a regulatory process that is too slow and too captured by industry to protect Americans. Instead of attacking regulations, Congress should be empaneling committees to investigate why regulations are so slow to be issued and so poorly enforced.
But now a group of U.S. senators led by U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) is calling for a new, permanent, bicameral committee to review and recommend eliminating federal safeguards. The proposed committee could Continue reading Congress Forms Anti-Regulatory Committee Instead of Protecting Americans

The deregulatory desires of the alcohol industry: a hidden health threat in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)

By Robert S. Pezzolesi, Diane Riibe, Emma Woodford and Donald Zeigler

Despite being globally traded products consumed by millions of people, alcoholic drinks are psychoactive substances with health harming properties, not only if over-consumed but also at relatively low levels of consumption. Since alcohol is the world’s third largest cause of preventable cancers, the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer stated in the European Code Against Cancer that ‘Not drinking alcohol is better for cancer prevention.’[1] This messaging is often countered by advice that Continue reading The deregulatory desires of the alcohol industry: a hidden health threat in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)

Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids #StopMarlboro

The Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids is asking those concerned about Philip Morris International’s BeMarlboro global marketing campaign to sign the petition below. Read more about the campaign here.


Dear (Government Officials) (cc PMI): 

The Marlboro Man marketing campaign helped make Marlboro the most popular cigarette brand with youth across the world – fueling a global tobacco epidemic that kills six million people annually and is projected to kill one billion people this century. Over 80 percent of these deaths occur in Continue reading Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids #StopMarlboro

Tracking the Effects of Corporate Practices on Health