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

 

Kiwi Pride: Accolades For Film About Man Who Falls In Love With A Stick

A short animated film written and directed by New Zealand born Matthew Darragh has been selected for the Courts des îles, International Festival of Short Fiction Films. More>>

ALSO:

Anniversaries: Vivid Memories Four Years After Christchurch Quake

Four years ago, an earthquake that would change the lives of thousands shook Christchurch at 12.51 p.m. More>>

ALSO:

Environment 'n' Conservation: Slash Meets Tāne The Tuatara

Rock and Roll superstar and former Guns 'n' Roses guitarist Slash visited Zealandia Ecosanctuary along with collaborating band Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators. More>>

Foo Fighters: Exclusive Show In Support Of Music Foundation

Frontier Touring has today announced that the Foo Fighters will play a last minute intimate and exclusive benefit show at the Auckland Town Hall this Friday February 20 with all profits going to The New Zealand Music Foundation. More>>

ALSO:

Canterbury Quakes: Feedback Sought On Short-Listed Memorial Designs

Six short-listed designs for the Canterbury Earthquake Memorial have been released for public input... The Memorial will honour the victims of Canterbury’s earthquakes and acknowledge the suffering of all those who lived through them as well as the heroism of those who participated in the rescue and recovery operations. More>>

ALSO:

Celia Lashlie: Legacy Will Live On

Social justice advocate Celia Lashlie leaves a legacy that will continue to have a positive impact on the lives of New Zealanders for years to come, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “Celia was a powerful voice for reason, sense and compassion. Her work, particularly with teenage boys, was ground-breaking." More>>

ALSO:

Obituary: Sad Farewell To PPTA Activist Robin Duff

Duff has been a long-time fixture of the association... Most recently Duff has been working hard to support Canterbury teachers through the quakes that devastated the region. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news