Health & ScienceHealth & Science
A Canadian court has ordered three tobacco companies to pay 15.5bn Canadian dollars ($12bn), the largest award for damages in the country's history. The plaintiffs were Quebec smokers who said the firms failed to warn them of health risks associated with smoking.
Eliminating the illicit trade in tobacco would generate an annual tax windfall of 31 billion dollars for governments, improve public health, help cut crime and curb an important revenue source for the tobacco industry. Those are the key themes of World No Tobacco Day on May 31 when the World Health Organization will urge Member States to sign the Protocol to Eliminate the Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products.
Following reports of suspected Zika virus in Brazil, the health ministries of several Caribbean countries have issued advisories for the mosquito borne viral disease.On Thursday, the Jamaica Health Ministry issued an epidemiological alert after the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) noted the potential spread of this arbovirus across territories where the vectors (Aedes) are present.
Japanese airbag maker Takata has said that mechanisms in the airbags of almost 34 million cars are defective. It will lead to the largest recall in US automotive history, affecting models from 11 carmakers. . The number is double previous estimates for faulty air bags from the manufacturer.
As the seed and chemical maker Monsanto woos Swiss agrochemicals firm Syngenta, the US company is also is trying to win over consumers in key international markets, rolling out social media and marketing campaigns.
State of Iowa Governor Terry Branstad declared a state of emergency due to a rapidly expanding avian flu outbreak, saying the entire state was at risk from the spread of the disease.
The world is closer than ever to being able to wipe out polio, international experts said, with zero cases of the crippling disease recorded across all of Africa this year and fewer than 25 globally.
Only 34 countries have national plans to fight the global threat of antibiotic resistance, meaning few are prepared to tackle “superbug” infections which put even basic healthcare at risk, the WHO has said. In a survey of government plans to tackle the issue, the World Health Organization said only a quarter of the 133 countries that responded were addressing the problem.
A controversial artificial sweetener is being removed from Diet Pepsi in the US amid consumer concerns about its safety. Aspartame-free cans of the drink will go on sale from August in America, but not in Britain. However regulators in the UK and the US insist aspartame is still safe to use in soft drinks.
Progress towards global vaccination targets for 2015 is far off track with 1 in 5 children still missing out on routine life-saving immunizations that could avert 1.5 million deaths each year from preventable diseases. In the lead-up to World Immunization Week 2015 (24 -30 April), the World Health Organization (WHO) is calling for renewed efforts to get progress back on course.