Health groups warn business could hijack UN disease meeting

By REUTERS
September 16, 2011 02:14

LONDON - A group of public health organizations said on Friday they were concerned that industries selling fatty foods, alcohol and cigarettes could hijack a United Nations meeting on how to tackle chronic disease in order to protect their own interests.

Chronic or non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like cancer, heart disease and diabetes kill 36 million people a year, and health groups say the food, drinks and tobacco industries contribute significantly to that toll.

In a letter to The Lancet medical journal, more than 140 international health organizations and campaign groups said the United Nations should ensure industry lobby groups are not able to manipulate the Sept. 19-20 meeting and its outcomes.

"There are clear conflicts for the corporations that contribute to and profit from the sales of alcoholic beverages, foods with high fat, salt, and sugar contents, and tobacco products - all of which are important causes of NCDs," they wrote.


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