International Baby Food Action Network

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Meeting: 
Seventy-second World Health Assembly (A72/1)
Agenda Item: 
- Prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases
Statement: 

The prevention of NCDs requires us all to tackle the power of corporations and their threat to public and planetary health.
WHO’s proposals rely on a mix of regulatory approaches alongside voluntary commitments and self assessments that are to be monitored by a consortium of institutions. This is a major undertaking that risks WHO’s name being exploited for public relations purposes. Indeed, some of the named institutions work closely with the companies on the presentation of their findings.

IBFAN recommends that WHO focuses on its own internal conflicts of interest and sends a clear message that binding regulations, independently monitored using public funds are what’s needed. Governments cannot be in the driver’s seat and at the same time in a corporate partnership.

WHO’s work on misleading baby food marketing and conflicts of interest in this particular area is an important model to follow, especially the integration into Codex trading standards.

Highly processed products, supplements and deceptive biofortification claims will not solve the NCD problem. Instead support small farmers, biodiverse and culturally appropriate foods and prevent soil depletion, deforestation and land-grabbing.