Sugar Sugar – don’t be misled / laat je niet misleiden

By Professor Brigit Toebes, Academic Director, Global Health Law Groningen Research Centre

Summary in English:

NRC Handelsblad’s Saturday 25 November issue contains an entry of eleven pages entirely devoted to sugar. It discusses a broad range of topics related to sugar, including the role of sugar throughout the centuries, sugar consumption in the Netherlands, the amount of sugar in bread, and sugar production. Several scientists are quoted in an attempt to rebut the increasing scientific claim that sugar consumption causes overweight and obesity. A closer look at this entry shows that it is in fact an advertisement from Royal Cosun, an agro-industrial concern of the Dutch sugar beet producers. Given the neutral presentation of the entry, the reader is easily confused and misled about its content. How much leeway should the industry be given in promoting its products in a newspaper?

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Growing consensus on importance of delinkage in pharmaceutical R&D

By Ellen ‘t Hoen, Global Health Unit Department of Health Sciences, UMCG Groningen, e.f.m.t.hoen@umcg.nl

The movement to delink the cost of developing medicines from their market price received another boost this week, with the publication of a new report from the Netherlands Council for Public Health and Society, an official government advisory body.

This report is part of a recent phenomenon in which even the wealthiest of health systems have been unable to afford medicines developed under a monopoly-based pharmaceutical innovation model, and underlines a growing international consensus that better models to incentivise the creation of new medicines are needed. High priced medicines resulting from this model cause access problems and are a threat to the affordability of health care in almost all European countries. Medical professionals and patients are calling on their governments to take action.

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Part II: Gender and Health in the Context of Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change

By Marlies Hesselman, University of Groningen Faculty of Law, PhD Candidate, m.m.e.hesselman@rug.nl

On  16 October 2017, GHLG member Marlies Hesselman participated in an event on new CEDAW General Recommendation 36 on Gender and Disaster Risk Reduction in a Changing Climate. This two-part post is based on Hesselman’s commentary in response to the presentation of the Draft General Recommendation by CEDAW Committee member Hilary Gbedemah. Part I of this entry discussed the intimate links between gender, health, climate and disaster risk reduction and included examples of practical challenges for women.

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The Underappreciated Banjul Jurisprudence on the Right to Health

By Yohannes Eneyew Ayalew, LLM candidate International Human Rights Law, University of Groningen, eneyewyohannes@gmail.com

By and large, international health law is taken as a nascent branch of  public international law and is still in the making.[1] These days, the issue of public health draws global spotlight and the response of the international community seemed promising though it requires concerted and cooperative solutions. As part of this process, regional organisations have played a pivotal role in the making or unmaking of norms. For instance, courts or commissions established internationally or regionally—have developed some concepts and made interesting pronouncements about the right to health.

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Part I: Gender and Health in the Context of Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change

By Marlies Hesselman, University of Groningen Faculty of Law, PhD Candidate, m.m.e.hesselman@rug.nl

On  16 October 2017, GHLG member Marlies Hesselman participated in an event on the new CEDAW General Recommendation on Gender and Disaster Risk Reduction in a Changing Climate. This two-part post is based on her commentary in response to the presentation of the Draft General Recommendation by CEDAW Committee member Hilary Gbedemah, and is published on the occasion of COP23 in Bonn.

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Breastfeeding and infant and maternal health: a human rights analysis

By Benedetta Inguscio, University of Groningen, LLM Public International Law, benedettainguscio@gmail.com

With millions of children dying each year of malnutrition, breastfeeding holds the potential to save more lives than any public health intervention on infant mortality. This unique practice, achievable at an incomparably minimal cost, has also proven to have positive health effects on lactating mothers, protecting them from, inter alia, osteoporosis and breast and ovarian cancer.

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Contributions to the EAHL conference

By Yi Zhang (Eva), University of Groningen Faculty of Law, PhD Candidate, yi.zhang@rug.nl

On the 28 – 29 of September 2017, Prof. Brigit Toebes, Dr.  Marie Elske Gispen and Yi Zhang participated in the 6th annual conference of the European Association of Health Law (‘EAHL’). The conference was organized by the Faculty of Law, University of Bergen, Norway in cooperation with the EAHL. The theme of the conference was health rights regulations and the distribution of healthcare in Europe. 

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