Health & Science

Health & Science
Tuesday, June 2nd 2015 - 06:01 UTC

Canadian tobacco companies ordered to pay 12bn dollars for failing to warn health risks

Imperial Tobacco, Rothmans Benson & Hedges and JTI-MacDonald vowed to appeal against the decision. The class-action lawsuits were filed in 1998

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.

Friday, May 29th 2015 - 09:22 UTC

WHO calls for action against illicit tobacco trade on World No Tobacco Day

“The Protocol offers the world a unique legal instrument to counter and eventually eliminate a sophisticated criminal activity,” says Dr Margaret Chan

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.

Friday, May 22nd 2015 - 08:48 UTC

Caribbean epidemiologic alert following reports of Zika virus in Brazil

The Aedes mosquito is present in much of the Americas and also transmits dengue fever and chikungunya.

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.

Wednesday, May 20th 2015 - 05:27 UTC

Japanese airbag maker Takata admits defects forcing the recall of 34m vehicles

“Today is a major step forward for public safety,” US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said.

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.

Tuesday, May 19th 2015 - 01:53 UTC

Monsanto hits back with global campaign: “food is more than just a meal, it's love”

“Discover Monsanto” campaign calls on consumers to “be part of the conversation” and ask about company’s GE seeds and key herbicide products.

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.

Monday, May 4th 2015 - 14:16 UTC

Avian flu in the US: third state declares state of emergency

Iowa, the top egg-producing state in the United States, which could lead to the extermination of up to 21 million chickens and turkeys

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.

Saturday, May 2nd 2015 - 10:46 UTC

“World closer than ever to wipe out polio, but no victory declaration yet”

Latest global data show just 23 polio cases reported so far in 2015. That compares to a year-to-date total of 54 cases worldwide in 2014

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.

Thursday, April 30th 2015 - 10:08 UTC

Only 34 countries with plans to fight threat of antibiotic resistance, says WHO

“This is the single greatest challenge in infectious diseases today,” said Keiji Fukuda, the WHO's assistant director-general for health security

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.

Tuesday, April 28th 2015 - 20:53 UTC

Pepsi changes artificial sweetener over consumer concerns about its safety

PepsiCo says its decision is a commercial one, responding to consumer preferences. Last year, sales in Diet Pepsi fell by more than 5% in the US.

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.

Monday, April 27th 2015 - 21:57 UTC

WHO calls for renewed efforts in global vaccination targets for 2015

In 2013 nearly 22 million infants missed out on the required three doses of diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis-containing vaccines (DTP3)

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.

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