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Health can take precedence over trade issues, says report

BMJ 2002; 325 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.325.7362.460/a (Published 31 August 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;325:460
  1. Sanjay Kumar
  1. New Delhi

    In the ongoing tension between the quest for profits and people's health care, “health can take precedence over trade issues,” reassures a new joint study by the World Health Organization and the World Trade Organization (WTO).

    “If necessary, governments may put aside WTO commitments in order to protect human life,” said the new report, WTO Agreements and Public Health. The principal coordinator of the study was Miguel Rodriguez Mendoza, deputy director general of the WTO.

    According to WTO jurisprudence, human health has been recognised as being “important in the highest degree,” the report also said.

    Serious concerns have been raised that …

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