Baby Milk Action is a founding member of the Conflicts of Interest Network (formerly the Conflicts of Interest Coalition).  Click Here for the Statement and list of 162 organisations representing over 2000 NGOs who endorse it.

Page down for World Health Assembly Resolutions that call for Conflict of Interest Safeguards

What is a Conflict of Interest?

‘[Individual] conflicts of interest are defined as circumstances that create a risk that professional judgments or actions regarding a primary interest will be unduly influenced by a secondary interest.’

‘Institutional conflicts of interest arise when an institution’s own financial interest or those of its senior officials pose risks of undue influence on decisions involving the institution’s primary interests.’ 

1  Lo, B. and M. Field, Inst of Med. (US) Committee on Conflict of Interest in Medical Research, Education and Practice, Eds. (2009) Conflict of interest in medical research, education and practice. Washington DC, National Academics Press, cf.

Find useful links and background information below.

Click on the Conflicts of Interest tag for blog posts on this topic.

Click here for the Alliance Against Conflicts of Interest in India http://www.aaci-india.org

CLICK HERE for a link to papers relating to IBFAN’s capacity-building conference on COI Dec 2015

CLICK HERE for  a paper by Judith Richter on Conflicts of Interest and Nutrition Governance

http://www.aaci-india.org/doc/JRIchter_2016_05_IBFAN_CoI_and_nutrition_governance_FINAL_ANNOTATED.pdf

Valente, F. (2016). “Nutrition and food – how government for and by the people became government for and by the TNCs.” TNI.

https://www.tni.org/en/article/nutrition-and-food-how-government-for-and-of-the-people-became-government-for-and-by-the

Richter, J. (2014). “Time to turn the tide: WHO’s engagement with non-State actors & the politics of stakeholder-governance and conflicts of interest.” Rapid response to BMJ online letter by Nigel Hawkes, ‘Irrelevant’ WHO outpaced by younger rivals d5012 (Title of Hawkes’s BMJ print feature article: Will WHO reforms open the doors to private donors? http://www.bmj.com/content/348/bmj.g3351/rapid-responses

Birn, A.-E. J. Richter  (Forthcoming 2017). U.S. Philanthrocapitalism and the Global Health Agenda: The Rockefeller and Gates Foundations, Past and Present. Health Care under the Knife:  Moving Beyond Capitalism for Our Health. eds. Howard Waitzkin and the Working Group for Health Beyond Capitalism, Monthly Review Press

Posted in May on http://www.peah.it/2017/05/4019/

also posted 6 June 2017 by Oslo Academy of Global Governance

http://www.uio.no/english/research/interfaculty-research-areas/globalgov/globalgov-for-health/news-and-events/news/2017/us-philanthrocapitalism.html

 

World Health Assembly Resolutions that call for Conflict of Interest Safeguards.  

1996 WHA Res  49.15:  Preambular para: “Concerned that health institutions and ministries may be subject to subtle pressure to accept, inappropriately, financial or other support for professional training in infant and child health”…urged Member States:….(2) to ensure that the financial support for professionals working in infant and young child health does not create conflicts of interest, especially with regard to the WHO/UNICEF Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative; (3) to ensure that monitoring the application of the International Code and subsequent relevant resolutions is carried out in a transparent, independent manner, free from commercial influence;  http://www.who.int/nutrition/topics/WHA49.15_iycn_en.pdf?ua=1

2001 WHA Res 54.2  2.    REQUESTS the Director-General: (2) to foster, with all relevant sectors of society, a constructive and transparent dialogue in order to monitor progress towards implementation of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and subsequent relevant Health Assembly resolutions, in an independent manner and free from commercial influence, and to provide support to Member States in their efforts to monitor implementation of the Code;

2002 WHA Res 55.25: “CALLS UPON other international organizations and bodies, in particular ILO, FAO, UNICEF, UNHCR, UNFPA and UNAIDS, to give high priority, within their respective mandates and programmes and consistent with guidelines on conflict of interest……”http://www.who.int/nutrition/topics/WHA55.25_iycn_en.pdf?ua=1

2004  WHA Res  57.17  Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health  5. REQUESTS the Director-General: (6) to cooperate with civil society and with public and private stakeholders committed to reducing the risks of noncommunicable diseases in implementing the Strategy and promoting healthy diet and physical activity, while ensuring avoidance of potential conflicts of interest;

2005  WHA Res 58.32:  urged Member States: “to ensure that financial support and other incentives for programmes and health professionals working in infant and young child health do not create conflicts of interest”  

http://www.who.int/nutrition/topics/WHA58.32_iycn_en.pdf?ua=1

2012  WHA Res 65.6 urged Member States to implement a plan “establishing a dialogue with relevant national and international parties and forming alliances and partnerships to expand nutrition actions with the establishment of adequate mechanisms to safeguard against potential conflicts of interest”   http://www.who.int/nutrition/topics/WHA65.6_resolution_en.pdf?ua=1

2014 WHA Res 67(9) requested the Director-General to convene informal consultations with Member States2 to complete the work, before the end of 2015, on risk assessment and management tools for conflicts of interest in nutrition, for consideration by Member States at the Sixty-ninth World Health Assembly;  http://apps.who.int/gb/ebwha/pdf_files/WHA67/A67_DIV3-en.pdf?ua=1&ua=1

2016 WHA Res 69/9 welcomed with appreciation the WHO Guidance on ending inappropriate marketing of foods for infants and young children )WHA 69/7 Add1)  whose Recommendation 6 stated that: “Companies that market foods for infants and young children should not create conflicts of interest in health facilities or throughout health systems. Health workers, health systems, health professional associations and nongovernmental organizations should likewise avoid such conflicts of interest.” http://apps.who.int/gb/ebwha/pdf_files/WHA69/A69_7Add1-en.pdf?ua=1

16. Recommendation 6. Companies that market foods for infants and young children should not create conflicts of interest in health facilities or throughout health systems. Health workers, health systems, health professional associations and nongovernmental organizations should likewise avoid such conflicts of interest. Such companies, or their representatives, should not:

• provide free products, samples or reduced-price foods for infants or young children to families through health workers or health facilities, except:

– as supplies distributed through officially sanctioned health programmes. Products distributed in such programmes should not display company brands;

• donate or distribute equipment or services to health facilities;

• give gifts or incentives to health care staff;

• use health facilities to host events, contests or campaigns;

• give any gifts or coupons to parents, caregivers and families;

• directly or indirectly provide education to parents and other caregivers on infant and young child feeding in health facilities;

• provide any information for health workers other than that which is scientific and factual;

• sponsor meetings of health professionals and scientific meetings.

17. Likewise, health workers, health systems, health professional associations and nongovernmental organizations should not:

• accept free products, samples or reduced-price foods for infants or young children from companies, except:

– as supplies distributed through officially sanctioned health programmes. Products distributed in such programmes should not display company brands;

• accept equipment or services from companies that market foods for infants and young children

• accept gifts or incentives from such companies;

• allow health facilities to be used for commercial events, contests or campaigns;

• allow companies that market foods for infants and young children to distribute any gifts or coupons to parents, caregivers and families through health facilities;

• allow such companies to directly or indirectly provide education in health facilities to parents and other caregivers;

• allow such companies to sponsor meetings of health professionals and scientific meetings.