Assessing the health impact of transnational corporations: its importance and a framework

A framework for assessing health impact of transnational corporations. Source.
A framework for assessing health impact of transnational corporations. Source.

The adverse health and equity impacts of transnational corporations’ (TNCs) practices have become central public health concerns as TNCs increasingly dominate global trade and investment and shape national economies. Despite this, methodologies have been lacking with which to study the health equity impacts of individual corporations and thus to inform actions to mitigate or reverse negative and increase positive impacts. A new report in Globalization and Health  describes a framework designed to conduct corporate health impact assessment (CHIA), that was developed at a meeting held at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center in May 2015.

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Supreme Court Sides with R.J. Reynolds in RICO Case

The New York Times reports that the Supreme Court sided with the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company earlier this week in a lawsuit filed by European countries accusing it of complicity in an international money laundering scheme. The court, by a 4-to-3 vote, found that the company could not be sued under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO, over its conduct abroad. The case was brought by the European Union and 26 of its member states. They accused RJR Nabisco and several associated companies of being part of a sprawling cigarette smuggling enterprise that deprived them of billions of dollars in customs and tax revenues.

Judge Compares Guns to Cigarettes In Sandy Hook Lawsuit

A Connecticut judge struggled for reasons to avoid dismissing a potentially groundbreaking lawsuit against Remington Arms, reports Forbes. At one point she asked lawyers whether claims against the manufacturer of the gun used in the Sandy Hook school massacre were similar to tobacco litigation.  At the end of the hearing in Superior Court in Bridgeport Judge Barbara Bellis urged attorneys for the gun maker and families of the victims to consider sending a crucial question about the applicability of a state consumer-protection statute to the Connecticut Supreme Court for review, because, she said, “One way or another it is going to end up there.”

Gun Industry Describes Mass Shootings like Orlando as a “Big Opportunity”

Above, a Glock 17, one of the two guns used in the Orlando shooting. Credit

Lee Fang writes in The Intercept that in recent corporate presentations, leading gun makers celebrated the fact that consumers bought more firearms because of the December terrorist attack in San Bernardino. And, prior to the massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando on Saturday night, executives were telling investors to expect another big bump — because of the upcoming elections.

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Unhealthy marketing of pharmaceutical products: An international public health concern

This report considers the current state of pharmaceutical marketing vis-à-vis ethical and legal standards and advocates measures to improve it. There is abundant evidence of unethical or illicit marketing. It fuels growing concerns about undue corporate influence over pharmaceutical research, education, and consumption.

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Governing the (un)healthy child-consumer in the age of the childhood obesity crisis

In recent years, multinational food and drink corporations and their marketing practices have been blamed for the global childhood obesity ‘crisis’. Unsurprisingly, these corporations have been quick to refute these claims and now position themselves as ‘part of the solution’ to childhood obesity. Corporations’ anxieties about being blamed for childhood obesity are fused with technologies of ‘healthy consumption’: the consumption of corporate products, corporate philanthropy, the corporate brand and corporate ‘education’.

Citation: Powell D. Governing the (un) healthy child-consumer in the age of the childhood obesity crisis. Sport, Education and Society. 2016; 4:1-4.

Popular Music Celebrity Endorsements in Food and Nonalcoholic Beverage Marketing

Image credits: will.i.am, Maroon5, and Baauer

Food and beverage marketing has been associated with childhood obesity. In a descriptive study published in Pediatrics, the authors quantified the number and type of food or beverage brands promoted by music celebrities, assessed the nutritional quality of the products, and examined Teen Choice Award data to assess the celebrities’ popularity among adolescents.

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Tracking the Effects of Corporate Practices on Health