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CoP7 Marred By Journo Ban

Taxpayer funded representatives voted to ban journalists from the CoP7 conference – then refused to explain why.

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As Doctor Vera Luiza da Costa e Silva gave her speech, drawing to an end the seventh Conference of the Parties (COP7) to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), many were left with a sour taste in their mouths.

“The long hours of debate and planning has produced a strong road map for global tobacco control for the future. Despite all the hard work by the Parties it is sad to see the interest, yet again, being promoted in the room,” said da Costa e Silva. “It is determined to undermine and distract us from our goal – to fight against the tobacco epidemic that not only damages health and kills people, but also impoverishes those living in low- to middle- income countries.”

She was referring to perceived attempts, on the part of tobacco companies, to enter the conference and influence its outcomes. In practice, this meant that the WHO identified journalists, all journalists, as pursuing a Big Tobacco agenda.

Journalist being evicted from the conference

“Enough is enough. First, the media got banned from the World Health Organization's nanny state conference,” wrote Rebel Host’s Faith Goldy. “Then, unaccountable and unelected delegates in Delhi wouldn't give us answers in the hall, even those on Canada's public purse.”

Tax-funded delegates refuse to account for their voting

“We have an obligation to protect vulnerable members of the tobacco production chain – the farmers,” continued da Costa e Silva. “But we do that not through encouraging more growing, as the tobacco industry does, but through the development of solid, sustainable alternatives that will promote a better future for farmers and their families.”

One thing that isn’t considered as a viable alternative to growing tobacco is setting up a vape shop. The Parties agreed a motion regarding vaping, or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), that “invited” Parties yet to ban ecigs to prohibit the importation, sale and distribution of electronic cigarettes.

Clearly believing they hadn’t already made themselves enough of a global laughing stock, the Parties supporter a call for “further unbiased, commercially independent and scientifically-based research”. Not just that, but various Parties announced how they were currently preparing evidence-based research for release. We can’t wait to read it.

Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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