World Acupuncture Day! A Celebration in Paris of Eight Years Acknowledging Acupuncture as Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH)

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15 November 2018, UNESCO headquarters, Paris

Report by Nora Laubstein

Beginning at 8 a.m, a flock of visitors from around the world waited in front of the grey concrete palace of UNESCO in Paris to be let inside. Although off to a slightly late start, the day began. Mr. Dr. Denis Colin, the president of WADO (World Acupuncture Day Organization), moderated the event that was well-attended by many Chinese representatives.

The first speaker, the president of WFAS (World Federation of Acupuncture-Moxibustion Societies), Professor Luis Bao-Yan, spoke out in favor of scientific research and integrative medicine. He pointed out the special role of the 34 Traditional Medicine (TM) centers around the world. Mr. Buon Hong Tan, a member of the Paris city-parliament, described the history of the application filed in 2009 that served to acknowledge and solidify acupuncture as Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH): Two hospitals, the St. Salpitiere in Paris, and a hospital in Hong Kong provided the practical basis for the application at UNESCO.
Mr. Michel Spinelli , the permanent representative of Greece in UNESCO, congratulated the organizers and pointed to the special role of Greece’s Hippocratic medicine. Mr. Laurent Stefanini, who represents France within UNESCO, emphasized the success of acupuncture treatment by talking about its use by actress Juliette Binoche.
Professor Yang Long-Hui discussed the government-funded, “China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences” (CACMS) and their research pool. [Further information for CACMS is available at: www.catcm.ac.cn.] For example, the research that led to the Nobel Prize for medicine in regard to Artemisinin comes from the CACMS.

European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Conference 2018: “Science, Food, Society”

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September 18 - 21, 2018, Parma, Italy

By Lauren Tuchman

This Fall EFSA hosted their annual conference in Parma, Italy. The attendees numbered upwards of one thousand and were a diverse group made up of national and international organizations, EU bodies, stakeholder organizations, research institutes, consumer groups, and food safety agencies. This was a four-day event and while the general theme focussed on the dynamic power and relationship cause and effect between ‘science, food, and society’ —the title of the event— more specific discussion centered on the role of: “contextualizing risk assessment,” which was the motto of the conference. This motto played out throughout the conference in the exploration of the role of risk assessment within science, and its interplay in human health, environment, nutrition, biological hazards, etc. Additionally, there were prominent discussions involving the concept of designing and projecting for the future, and managing current evidence whilst concurrently actively engaging with society.

Balneotherapy = water therapy + X in the bathroom?

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A report of Nora Laubstein on the 13th Vincenz Priessnitz conference at 5th - 7th October in Jesenik, Czech Republic (ANME + DNB)

The main issue of this year’s conference was defined by the operators, the Spolecnost (association) Vincenze Priessnitze z.s. and the Priessnitz Spa AG (Priessnitzovy lecebne lazne a.s.) as follows: „The history and present of the spa therapy in Central Europe“

The chairperson of the „Association Vincenz Priessnitz“ Dr. Jaroslav Novotny started the conference with his lecture on the effect of balneotherapy on mentally ill people. Basis of his study was the Knobloch-questionaire no5 which couldn’t provide clear results in single measures though. The study started with 100 patients in 2007 and finished with 69 persons. All participants were suffering from anxiety disorders and were asked 33 questions on subjective improvements. During the whole time the existing pharmaceutical medication was not changed.

The health resorts had to cover the costs for this qualitative research themselves, although depression is currently the most common disease in the Czech Republic. In order to have at least the treatment costs covered a psychiatrist has to make a stigmatizing diagnosis.

Besides the salutary conditions of a health resort (climate, environment, reputation) walks, social activities belong to the indispensable factors of a hydro therapeutic treatment. A treatment period of 21 until 28 days is considered a medical treatment and will be paid for by the public system if a prescription of a psychiatrist is on hand.

How long is the Arm of “Big Pharma”?

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European Parliament, Brussels, Belgium 9.1.2018 – Report by Lauren Tuchman, ANME e.V.

This event at the European Parliament involved the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and was co-hosted by WEMOS (an independent civil society organization based in the Netherlands, whose aim is to improve public health worldwide)...

One intent behind this event was to discuss and understand how the European Medicines Agency (EMA) tackles the idea of transparency, and how the EMA is addressing and minimizing ‘conflicts of interest’. An additional focus was on a discussion of EMA’s openness/willingness to work toward greater attention, time, and allocation of resources to the idea of ‘added therapeutic value.’ This added therapeutic value could be applied to new medicines and independent clinical research as a precursor to decisions made on marketing authorization and acceptance of new pharmaceuticals; added therapeutic value could also aid in assessing, monitoring, enforcing safety, standardization, and accountability for those pharmaceuticals that are already approved and on the market.

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Game Changers for Better and Affordable Medicines for Europe

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Universal Access & Affordable Medicines Forum of the European Public Health Alliance, organized by the European Public Health Alliance (epha) under the auspices of the Belgian Ministry of Health 21.11. 2017

By Lauren Tuchman, ANME

This was a well-attended event filled with varying participants from a multitude of organizations. The atmosphere was lively, questions were raised, and the panels throughout the days were diverse, interactive, and the members actively engaged with the attendees. In the opening remarks from Yannis Nastis, (Policy Manager, Universal Access and Affordable Medicines, European Public Health Alliance [EPHA]), one point was made that was reiterated by many of the panelists of the day: Access to medicine is no longer just a topic and concern for the Ministry of Health; it is important that the Ministry of Finance become more involved and address public concerns.

“Science-Innovation-Policies”

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Report from the 9th World Health Summit 2017 in Berlin, 15th-17th of October

A political update: What’s going on in mainstream Health Policies?

By Nora Laubstein

About 2000 participants attended the three day World Health Summit (WHS) in Berlin under the patronage of Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron and German Health Minister Herman Gröhe. The presidency for this year was held by Helene Boisjoly, University of Montreal and WHS-founding President Detlev Ganten, Charite-University. Both are partners of the M8-Alliance, a 2009 founded network of 20 global Academic Health Centers, Universities and National Academies.

Science as a battle: The European Academies Science Advisory Council /EASAC attacks all Homeopathy!

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Homeopathic products and practices: assessing the evidence and ensuring consistency in regulating medical claims in the EU” - full report under: http:/www.easac.eu/↗

Please read here the statements of the Homeopathy Reseach Institute/ HRI: https://www.hri-research.org/↗

Bundesverband Pharmazeutischer Industrie/BPI: http://www.bpi.de/↗

and our partner ECHAMP:

ECHAMP is the European Coalition on Homeopathic & Anthroposophic Medicinal Products. It works to develop the industry for these medicinal products so as to ensure availability of both medicines for self-medication and medicines recommended by prescribers. It advocates in favour of an appropriate regulatory environment for these products in the EU.

EFSA Press Release: Bee groups embrace new EU partnership

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Beekeepers, scientists, policy-makers and other relevant parties are to set up a European bee partnership that could transform the way bee health is assessed in the EU – Brussels-2017-26th of June.

Comment by Dr. Friedrich Hainbuch, ANME:

As a participant of group TWO I can only speak for this group. In principle, I can say that many delegates and representatives of various EU institutions were involved. Also many representatives of the agrochemical groups and a few scientists attended.
I missed critical and rather skeptical scientists, such as Thomas Seeley, Randolf Menzel, Prof. Tautz, Dr. Safer, Dr. Alexandra Henrion-Claude or G.-E. SérTalini.

In this spectrum research and industrial interests were located, on one side:
The first EU-wide field-study which documents bee-damaging by neonicotinoids, "The degradation rate of thiamethoxam in European field studies"  and on the other side a contradictory study, commissioned by BAYER industries, which showed that Imidacloprid and other neonicotinoids were absolutely non-toxic for bees.