Big tobacco focuses on the facts to hide the truth

Sep Tob

Donald J. Cohn of Webster & Sheffield, a cigarette manufacturer’s counsel, is shown  speaking to the jury in Cipollone v. Liggett Group, Inc., 683 F.Supp. 1487 (1988), in U.S. District Court D in New Jersey by Marilyn Church.  Source.

The language used by attorneys in tobacco litigation reveals key elements of the strategies deployed by cigarette makers and their courtroom opponents.  In a new article in Tobacco Control, Risi and Proctor use methods from computational linguistics to identify differences in the rhetorical strategies deployed by defense versus plaintiffs’ lawyers in cigarette litigation. 

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David Sanders: Activist, Teacher, Scholar and Public Health Practitioner

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David Sanders 1945-2019

Professor David Sanders , an activist, scholar, colleague, mentor, role model and friend to health activists around the world passed away in Wales on 30th August after a heart attack. David was a founding member of the People’s Health Movement in 2000 and the co-chair of PHM for the past six years. A pediatrician by qualification, David was very much interested in the issues of public health. He went on to head the School of Public Health at University of Western Cape in Cape Town, South Africa from its inception in 1993 till 2009.

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JOIN TO RECLAIM PEOPLES RIGHTS OVER INVESTORS AND CORPORATE PROFITS AND IMPUNITY

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Neoliberal globalization has opened the doors for the savage exploitation of the world by the big economic powers. Megaprojects, agribusiness and militarization, among other processes, express a patriarchal, neoliberal and racist system that amounts to an assault  on life as such. As a result, peoples’ rights have been systematically violated, the Earth and its resources destroyed, pillaged and contaminated, while corporations continue committing economic and ecological crimes with total impunity. They also throw us into an environmental and climate crisis of unknown proportions, for which they do not take responsibility.

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The politics of voluntary self-regulation: insights from Australian Beverages Council

CHW aug 13

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In new report in Public Health Nutrition, Lacy Nichols and colleagues used a data set of industry documents published by the Australian Beverages Council (ABC) between 1998 and 2016 to analyze the evolution of the soft drink industry’s use of self-regulation as a response to obesity. They also examined the motivations driving its development and the strategies used to promote it to policy makers. 

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2020 Democratic Candidates on Food Industry Consolidation and Regenerative Agriculture

July chw

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In a commentary in FoodTank, Tiffany Finck-Haynes, the Pesticides & Pollinators Program Manager at Friends of the Earth,  rates three leading Democratic candidates, Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren on their policies related to  food. Friends of the Earth Action is focusing on two key agriculture issues in the Presidential campaigns: where candidates stand on corporate consolidation and what their plans are to transition to a just, ecologically regenerative agriculture system which is both climate-friendly and resilient. Fink-Haynes summarizes the positions of the three candidates on these two issues.

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Cities vs. Big Pharma: Municipal Affirmative Litigation and the Opioid Crisis

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The opioid crisis has been called the worst drug epidemic in American history, writes Nino Monea in the Urban Law Journal. It has already killed thousands and scarred millions more. Over the last few years, there has been a rise in affirmative litigation by municipalities, proactive suits that seek to vindicate some public interest, not merely the municipality’s corporate interests. This article examines the recent wave of lawsuits by cities and counties against the opioid industry. 

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The Corporation, the Individual and Public Health

CHW July 29

Since corporations are at the center of  many of the world’s  most serious public health crises, improvements in health require more focus on the harmful practices of global corporations.   In an interview with Corporate Crime Reporter, a newsletter for those concerned about corporate crime, Corporations and Health Watch’s Nicholas Freudenberg explained the rationale for this approach to public health. In decent societies, Freudenberg said, healthy choices ought to be easy choices. 

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USMCA (NAFTA 2.0): tightening the constraints on the right to regulate for public health

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In late 2018 the United States, Canada, and Mexico signed a new trade agreement, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, to replace the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).  Although not yet ratified, the agreement is widely seen as indicative of how the US will engage in future international trade negotiations.

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The capitalist diet: Energy-dense and profitable. A Review of The Neoliberal Diet: Unhealthy Profits, Unhealthy People by Gerardo Otero. (2018).

CHW July

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A recent book by Gerald Otero, The Neoliberal Diet: Unhealthy Profits, Unhealthy People,  analyzes how global diets have changed in recent decades, what caused these changes, and who loses and gains by the transformation. In the book, Otero describes how the global diet that emerged at the turn of the 21st century has contributed to world-wide increases in overweight and obesity and how neoliberalism, the variant of capitalism that evolved in this period, promotes obesogenic diets.  

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The Philip Morris-funded Foundation for a Smoke-Free World: tax return sheds light on funding activities

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In September, 2017, notes a new letter in Lancet,  Philip Morris International, one of the world’s largest tobacco companies, set up the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World, with almost US $1 billion of funding over 12 years. The Foundation claims to be an independent scientific body aiming to “accelerate an end to smoking”. Yet controversy has surrounded the Foundation since its inception; its claims of legitimacy and independence have been strongly disputed and WHO  and hundreds of public health organizations globally have taken a strong stance in rejecting collaboration with the Foundation. 

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