Unleashing the power of law to promote better health for all
Thursday 20th May 2021
The value of legal intervention, and its inherent potential in stimulating progressive change for public health, is considerable and laws are expected to contribute to solutions to the most pressing global health challenges.
Not only do international commitments to reduce disease prevalence often call for regulatory interventions, there is also growing recognition that the law, as a discipline, has a major role in framing effective public health strategies at global, regional, national, and local levels. This webinar explored legal channels through public health can be enhanced.
For instance, one of the most contested issues is food packaging. Used mainly to inform consumers about products, labelling has an enormous impact on consumer choice. However, legal regulations are a tool, but it is insufficient alone.
Success depends the collaboration of stakeholders, including the scientific community, food industry, and consumers, and the panel stressed the need of legal actions to create environments where healthy options -from food to physical activity- are the easiest as well as most affordable options.
Also, any solutions need to be fit-for-purpose (legitimacy test) and must not exceed the objective (necessity test). In other words, legal measures should not create unnecessary obstacles (oppose the industry), but rather be an opportunity to regulate food industry operators, providing clear guidelines for the industry and protecting consumers.
Professor Amandine Garde – Law & NCD Unit, University of Liverpool
Lawrence Gostin – Georgetown University, WHO Collaborating Center on Public Health Law & Human Right
Professor Markus Frischhut – MCI
Dr Anniek de Ruijter – University of Amsterdam
Professor Martin McKeen – London School of Hygiene
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