News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Open letter to PM: TPPA puts profits before health

NZNO sends open letter to Prime Minister: TPPA puts profits before New Zealanders’ health.

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) is one of a more than 260 health sector individuals and organisations to sign an open letter to the Prime Minister today, warning of the threat to New Zealanders’ health from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).

Leaked texts of the TPPA trade agreement contain major provisions saying that business interests can sue governments for billions of dollars if a country introduces a law and a company would lose profits. These provisions in the trade agreements say that government regulation must not get in the way of investors’ profit.

Similar provisions in a trade agreement between Australia and Hong Kong are being currently used by tobacco companies to sue Australia for its laws on plain packaging of cigarette.

NZNO president, Marion Guy says, “Smoking is a huge health issue for Māori, yet we have delayed introducing plain packaging laws that we know will reduce smoking uptake, until the outcome of the law suits against Australia is known. We should not have to wait, or be put off from good health regulation because of provisions in trade agreements, especially when they are negotiated in secret.”

“The same thing could happen in any area where we might want tighter regulation to improve public health, for example around alcohol, advertising or fast food,” she says.

NZNO has already voiced strong concerns that the TPPA is likely to lead to higher costs for medicines because pharmaceutical companies will hold onto their patents for longer, preventing the release of the cheaper generic drugs. The TPPA may also interfere with the independent advisory functions of PHARMAC committees if they conflict with industry.

The open letter has been published today, funded by health professionals concerned about the need to protect New Zealanders’ health and access to medicines. Three similar letters have been sent to the Prime Minister or Minister of Health from a variety of different health-related groups over the last 18 months, with little or no response. A copy of the letter with the full list of signatures can be found here.

About the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement
The TPPA is a proposed trade agreement between New Zealand, Australia, United States, Canada, Japan, Chile, Peru, Mexico, Malaysia, and Vietnam. The TPPA is intended to enhance trade and investment among the TPP partner countries, promote innovation, economic growth and development, and support the creation and retention of jobs. It has been criticized globally by health professionals, internet freedom activists, environmentalists, organized labour, advocacy groups, and elected officials, in large part because of the proceedings' secrecy, the agreement's expansive scope, and controversial clauses in drafts leaked publicly.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

A Series Of Tubes: 150 Years Of The Cook Strait Cable

“It was a momentous achievement for its time. The successful connection came on the third attempt at laying the cable, and followed a near disaster when the first cable snapped - almost destroying the ship Weymouth in the process,” says Ms Adams. More>>

ALSO:

February 2017: Guns N' Roses - New Zealand Dates Announced

Founder Axl Rose and former members, Slash and Duff McKagan have regrouped for one of the century’s most anticipated tours... Rolling Stone said: "This was the real thing, the thing we'd all been waiting for: the triumphant return of one of the most important bands to cross rock music history. And it happened in our lifetime.” More>>

Werewolf: Brando, Peckinpah And Billy The Kid

Gordon Campbell: Initially, One-Eyed Jacks was supposed to have been directed by Stanley Kubrick from a script by Sam Peckinpah – yet it quickly became Brando’s baby... More>>

Book Awards: ANZAC Heroes Wins Margaret Mahy Book Of The Year

“Simply stunning, with gold-standard production values,” say the judges of the winner of this year’s Margaret Mahy Book of the Year Award in the prestigious New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. ANZAC Heroes is also the winner of the Elsie Locke Award for the Best Book in the Non-Fiction category. More>>

Baby Animals: Hamilton Zoo Rhino Calf Named

Hamilton Zoo’s latest rhino calf has been named Samburu and he's being celebrated with a unique zoo experience... Samburu arrived after his mother Kito’s 16-month pregnancy and the calf brings the number of white rhinos at Hamilton Zoo to six. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Rio Olympics

Were you pretty excited earlier this week when Vietnam won its first ever Olympic gold medal? Hanoi, reportedly, went wild... Perhaps we should keep Vietnam’s golden moment in mind as we gear up for saturation media coverage of New Zealand’s medal achievements in Rio. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news