Scientists Are on Ballot as New Money Tries to Shake Up Washington D.C.

FINANCIAL EXPRESS: “Science should not be a partisan issue,” said Jeff Stier, a senior fellow at the Consumer Choice Center, another new group, which advocates rolling back regulation. “It has obviously become one.”

The outcome of those races matters when it comes to how Congress thinks about science, said Stier of the anti-regulation group Consumer Choice Center. Although that group doesn’t back candidates, it does work to promote its anti-regulatory positions, and it warns a Blue Wave could make it more burdensome on companies trying to keep costs to consumers down.

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About Jeff Stier

Jeff Stier is a Senior Fellow at the Consumer Choice Center. Mr. Stier has been a frequent guest on CNBC, and has addressed health policy on CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, as well as network newscasts. He is a guest on over 100 radio shows a year, including on NPR and top-rated major market shows in cities including Boston, Philadelphia, and Sacramento, plus syndicated regional broadcasts. Jeff’s op-eds have been published in top outlets including The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, Forbes, The Washington Examiner, and National Review Online.

WHO’s afraid of vaping?

For the second time in two years, I sat in the public gallery at a United Nations conference in Geneva as a senior UN bureaucrat told us that all members of the media and public were barred from the proceedings, writes Yael Ossowski for Spiked. This particular occasion was one of the UN’s biannual sessions to update the World Health Organisation’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

The FCTC is the first global-health treaty enacted by WHO. It has been ratified by 181 countries and forms the basis of a number of national laws across the globe, such as tobacco taxes, advertising restrictions, and plain cigarette packaging.

Each biannual meeting is a taxpayer-financed talkfest, dominated by various health ministries and anti-tobacco organisations like the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and the Framework Convention Alliance, who are not only granted ‘observer status’, but also intervene in the large plenary debates and use their platform to shame the delegates of any country that doesn’t adopt a prohibitionist attitude toward tobacco.

Though the conference claims to be about science and public health, it is anything but.

For instance, new vaping and e-cigarette technologies are the most popular stop-smoking aids in England, used by 1.2million Brits according to the latest government figures. A Public Health England report says that vaping can reduce health risks by 95 and can increase the chances of quitting smoking by up to 50%.

But the arguments for vaping are dismissed by WHO as ‘unfounded’ and ‘inconclusive’. One top NGO said parties at the meeting should ‘refrain from engaging in lengthy and inconclusive discussion’ on alternative nicotine products like vaping.

Vaping activists had tried to attend the conference to share their stories of how they quit smoking. Volunteers from the International Network of Nicotine Consumer Organisations proudly blew clouds of water vapour outside the conference’s doors. Unlike the more prohibitionist NGOs, they were denied observer status.

The clear anti-vaping bias led to some absurd claims.

Anne Bucher, director-general of the EU’s Health and Food Safety Directorate, was adamant that, despite containing no tobacco, vaping and e-cigarette devices should be considered ‘tobacco products’, subject to all the same laws, restrictions, and bans.

The treaty itself sought to enforce the same restrictions on vaping and e-cigarettes as cigarettes and cigars. This could actually hamper people’s ability to quit smoking.

Another object of hate was the media. Delegates from countries including China, Zimbabwe, the Maldives and Uganda claimed the entire conference should take place without media or public scrutiny. ‘What we’re dealing with is the mafia’, said the delegate from Afghanistan, referring to the public sat in the gallery above.

A representative from Chad lamented that more people did not know about the FCTC meeting and its impact. In the same breath, he argued in favour of kicking out the public and media after the opening plenary.

It was a bizarre and Orwellian conference. The proposals that emerged in the name of protecting public health could seriously set back the improvements in public-health that have come about thanks to alternatives to cigarettes like vaping, e-cigarettes and snus.

One thing became clear: innovative products, new markets and the much hated ‘industry’ were doing more to bring about better health outcomes than the UN’s supranational health bureaucracy.

* Yaël Ossowski is a Canadian journalist and deputy director of the Consumer Choice Center.

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About Yaël Ossowski

Yaël Ossowski is a journalist, activist, and writer. He's currently deputy director at the Consumer Choice Center, and senior development officer for Students For Liberty. He was previously a national investigative reporter and chief Spanish translator at Watchdog.org, and worked at newspapers and television stations across the country. He received a Master’s Degree in Philosophy, Politics, Economics (PPE) at the CEVRO Institute in Prague. Born in Québec and raised in the southern United States, he currently lives in Vienna, Austria.

This PAC Is Trying to Get Scientists Elected

BLOOMBERG: “Science should not be a partisan issue,” said Jeff Stier, a senior fellow at the Consumer Choice Center, another new group, which advocates rolling back regulation. “It has obviously become one.”

The outcome of those races matters when it comes to how Congress thinks about science, said Stier of the anti-regulation group Consumer Choice Center. Although that group doesn’t back candidates, it does work to promote its anti-regulatory positions, and it warns a Blue Wave could make it more burdensome on companies trying to keep costs to consumers down.

READ MORE

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About Jeff Stier

Jeff Stier is a Senior Fellow at the Consumer Choice Center. Mr. Stier has been a frequent guest on CNBC, and has addressed health policy on CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, as well as network newscasts. He is a guest on over 100 radio shows a year, including on NPR and top-rated major market shows in cities including Boston, Philadelphia, and Sacramento, plus syndicated regional broadcasts. Jeff’s op-eds have been published in top outlets including The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, Forbes, The Washington Examiner, and National Review Online.

Daily on Healthcare, presented by PhRMA: Trump likely to preview Medicare negotiation in speech at HHS

WASHINGTON EXAMINER: “I expected the administration to have a de-regulatory policy as they have done at other agencies like the EPA,” said Jeff Stier, senior fellow at the consumer advocacy group Consumer Choice Center. “I expected that approach [at EPA] that we can protect the environment while still cutting regulations. Why can’t the FDA do the same?”

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About Jeff Stier

Jeff Stier is a Senior Fellow at the Consumer Choice Center. Mr. Stier has been a frequent guest on CNBC, and has addressed health policy on CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, as well as network newscasts. He is a guest on over 100 radio shows a year, including on NPR and top-rated major market shows in cities including Boston, Philadelphia, and Sacramento, plus syndicated regional broadcasts. Jeff’s op-eds have been published in top outlets including The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, Forbes, The Washington Examiner, and National Review Online.

Daily on Healthcare, presented by PhRMA: Trump likely to preview Medicare negotiation in speech at HHS

NEWSLLIVE: “I expected the administration to have a de-regulatory policy as they have done at other agencies like the EPA,” said Jeff Stier, senior fellow at the consumer advocacy group Consumer Choice Center. “I expected that approach [at EPA] that we can protect the environment while still cutting regulations. Why can’t the FDA do the same?”

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About Jeff Stier

Jeff Stier is a Senior Fellow at the Consumer Choice Center. Mr. Stier has been a frequent guest on CNBC, and has addressed health policy on CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, as well as network newscasts. He is a guest on over 100 radio shows a year, including on NPR and top-rated major market shows in cities including Boston, Philadelphia, and Sacramento, plus syndicated regional broadcasts. Jeff’s op-eds have been published in top outlets including The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, Forbes, The Washington Examiner, and National Review Online.

Monthly update: October 2018

DIGITAL SINGLE MARKET CAMPAIGN

On 10 October, the CCC’s Luca Bertoletti and Bill Wirtz handed the Consumer Choice Center’s Digital Single Market research paper to the European Commission’s Head of E-Commerce.

TESTIMONY ON ONTARIO’S CANNABIS RULES

On 12 October, the CCC’s David Clement testified at the Ontario Standing Committee on Social Policy to provide comments on Bill 36, the province’s cannabis regulations.

CAPITOL HILL BRIEFING ON FDA REFORM

On 18 October, our Jeff Stier participated in a panel discussion dedicated to the FDA’s role in approving new consumer products that will improve countless lives. The event was co-hosted by Taxpayers Protection AllianceR Street Institute and the Consumer Choice Center.

PUBLIC CANNABIS CONSUMPTION BAN IN ONTARIO WAS REVERSED

On 26 September, Ontario reversed their decision to ban all public consumption for cannabis. Check out how the Consumer Choice Center contributed to the creation of a more equitable, just and consumer-friendly cannabis market in Ontario.

NICOTINE IS NOT YOUR ENEMY SOIRÉE

On 2 October, the CCC hosted the ‘Nicotine is Not Your Enemy Soirée’ in Genève (Switzerland) to celebrate the life-saving advancements in nicotine consumption technology.

BAN AWARD

The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, a treaty of the World Health Organization (WHO), received the October 2018 BAN Award for preventing tobacco harm reduction and denying the science on life-saving e-cigarette and vaping technology.

EFFECTIVE STAND AGAINST THE FAIR FEES ACT

The FAA reauthorization is off to the White House, after the Senate voted 93-6 to clear the legislation without the FAIR Fees Amendments. Airlines can keep offering modularized services to different passengers with different preferences and price sensitivity. This is a win for consumer choice and competition in the airline industry.Check out how the Consumer Choice Center helped to keep the skies free by effectively opposing the FAIR Fees Act. #FreeSkiesAreFAIR

E-cigarette makers want the Trump FDA to treat them like the EPA treats emitters

THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER: “I expected the administration to have a de-regulatory policy as they have done at other agencies like the EPA,” said Jeff Stier, senior fellow at the consumer advocacy group Consumer Choice Center. “I expected that approach [at EPA] that we can protect the environment while still cutting regulations. Why can’t the FDA do the same?”

READ MORE

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About Jeff Stier

Jeff Stier is a Senior Fellow at the Consumer Choice Center. Mr. Stier has been a frequent guest on CNBC, and has addressed health policy on CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, as well as network newscasts. He is a guest on over 100 radio shows a year, including on NPR and top-rated major market shows in cities including Boston, Philadelphia, and Sacramento, plus syndicated regional broadcasts. Jeff’s op-eds have been published in top outlets including The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, Forbes, The Washington Examiner, and National Review Online.

Advocacy group criticises Canadian cannabis plain-packaging regime

WORLD TRADEMARK REVIEW: Advocacy group criticises Canadian cannabis plain-packaging regime – The Consumer Choice Center (CCC), a global advocacy group focused on consumer choice and market access, has issued a strongly-worded press release on plain packaging in Canada. In it, the group criticises the Canadian government for its strict branding and packaging restrictions on the legal cannabis market. A key contention is that the government has applied its tobacco plain-packaging regime and applied it to cannabis products. At a news conference, David Clement, North American affairs manager for the CCC, claimed the Canadian government “seems committed to treating adult consumers like children”, adding: “What we’ve seen is that Health Canada and our federal government are regulating products with complete disregard for consumers, and complete disregard for a continuum of risk. Our worry now is what started with tobacco has moved to cannabis, and now will move to other products, such as soft drinks, alcohol and various other food items.” The suggestion of a plain packaging ‘domino effect’ has been warned about since Australia introduced the world’s first such regime. It appears these concerns continue. (TJL)

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About David Clement

David Clement is the North American Affairs Manager for the Consumer Choice Center and is based out of Oakville, Ontario. David holds a BA in Political Science and a MA in International Relations from Wilfrid Laurier University. Previously, David was the Research Assistant to the Canada Research Chair in International Human Rights. David has been regularly featured on the CBC, Global News, The Toronto Star and various other major Canadian news outlets.

Fight or business class flight? The WHO needs to get its priorities straight

Expensive hotels, beach resorts, and staggering travel costs: the UN’s World Health Organization (WHO) would have some tough questions to answer, if only the countries that funded it would ask them.

Unfortunately, the United Kingdom happily continues to spend taxpayers’ money on providing health experts with a luxurious jetsetting lifestyle.

The WHO’s travel expenses for one year are £156 million, which means that, on average, a single staffer racks up a total of $21,700 per year. That is the equivalent of Spain’s GDP per capita in Spain. They were likely inspired by Erik Solheim, executive director of UN Environment, who was found in an investigation to be travelling for 529 out of the 668 days audited, at a total cost of £370,380.

Last March, the Associated Press reported that the WHO spent more for the travel of 7,000 staffers than it did for countering malaria, tuberculosis, fighting AIDS and hepatitis, and on tackling mental health and substance abuse. Even more galling is the fact that, against this backdrop, the agency is demanding its budget be increased as it doesn’t seem to have enough money to fulfil its healthcare-providing role.

So how well is the WHO doing in its main role? The answer is mediocre, at best.

As the Ebola crisis was ravaging a number of African countries in 2014, we put our trust into a number of international organisations to assist West African countries such as Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea or Nigeria to contain the spread of the virus and aid those who were unable to receive medical care.

The WHO was one of them. According to its own website the “WHO aims to prevent Ebola outbreaks by maintaining surveillance for Ebola virus disease and supporting at-risk countries to developed preparedness plans.”

Experts in the field, however, beg to differ. As Reuters reported in 2015, a specialist panel convened by Harvard’s Global Health Institute (HGHI) and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) concluded that immense human suffering went “largely unchecked” by institutional responders.

It turned out that WHO officials were aware of the outbreak in spring, yet it took until August to declare it a public health emergency and take action. This is months after the broader public was already aware of the problems with the epidemic.

Where the WHO excels is in ticking people off over their lifestyle. Be it drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, playing video games or eating fatty foods, for each and every one of your behaviours there is a business-class flying bureaucrat who has an opinion on it.

For that purpose, these experts need to be accommodated well. For instance, at the Coral Strand hotel in the Seychelles, which hosted international tobacco control experts from South Africa, Mauritius, Kenya, Uganda and Liberia in order to learn about the Seychelles’ “comprehensive tobacco control laws” which, as the islands’ government admits, are only “in the process of being enforced”.

At around $300 per night, the hotel offers nice rooms, including offsite water sports, badminton lawns, and an ocean deck bar for thirsty health experts to learn “best practice” about policies that do not even exist.

Then there’s the luxurious Mandarin Oriental du Rhone, the five-star hotel hosting the WHO’s bureaucrats for their “Framework Convention on Tobacco Control” in Geneva. With suites at a mere £800 a night, British taxpayers can rest assured that no expense has been spared to promote the WHO’s paternalistic agenda. But delegates should be on the lookout: the £25 breakfast buffet might actually contain food that should be taxed, regulated or banned. Hopefully the health officials manage to survive in this dangerous environment.

The bottom-line isn’t complicated: you can fight Ebola in an economy class seat, lodging in a low-cost hotel. While the WHO throws fancy parties for paternalistic bureaucrats, organisations such as Doctor Without Borders do actual, helpful work on the ground. The United Kingdom should do the right thing and demand far greater efficiency from the WHO, or withdraw its funding.

Originally published at https://capx.co/fight-or-business-class-flight-the-who-needs-to-get-its-priorities-straight/?fbclid=IwAR3t4Lvogd-SbLU5RG4z3faOnoS7yignzQ0hLGov9RpM_Je_So0RLVTeh7Y

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About Bill Wirtz

Bill Wirtz is policy analyst for the Consumer Choice Center, based in Brussels, Belgium. Originally from Luxembourg, his articles have appeared across the world in English, French, German, and Luxembourgish. He is Editor-in-Chief of Speak Freely, the blog of European Students for Liberty, a contributing editor for the Freedom Today Network and a regular contributor for the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE). He blogs regularly on his website in four languages.

OPINIE: Rokende Sean Connery kennelijk gevaarlijker dan moordende John Rambo

VSK: Dat schrijft Frederik Cyrus Roeder, gezondheidseconoom en directeur van het Consumer Choise Center in een opinieartikel op het platform Vocal Europe.

Deze week vergadert in Genève een afvaardiging van de WHO. Op het programma staat onder meer een mogelijk verbod op het gebruik van tabak en aanverwante artikelen in films en andere media-uitingen, bedoeld om roken minder aantrekkelijk te maken. Ook nieuwe producten die hoogstwaarschijnlijk een stuk minder schadelijk zijn voor de gezondheid, zoals e-sigaretten, ontkomen niet aan de regelzucht van de WHO, constateert Roeder.

Lees meer bij Vocal Europe:

Will smoking in movies be banned soon?

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About Fred Roeder

Fred Roder has been working in the field of grassroots activism for over eight years. He is a Health Economist from Germany and has worked in healthcare reform and market access in North America, Europe, and several former Soviet Republics. One of his passions is to analyze how disruptive industries and technologies allow consumers more choice at a lower cost. Fred is very interested in consumer choice and regulatory trends in the following industries: FMCG, Sharing Economy, Airlines. In 2014 he organized a protest in Berlin advocating for competition in the Taxi market. Fred has traveled to 100 countries and is looking forward to visiting the other half of the world’s countries. Among many op-eds and media appearances, he has been published in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Wirtschaftswoche, Die Welt, the BBC, SunTV, ABC Portland News, Montreal Gazette, Handelsblatt, Huffington Post Germany, CityAM. L’Agefi, and The Guardian. Since 2012 he serves as an Associated Researcher at the Montreal Economic Institute.