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United Nations: Commission Issues Declaration on Gender Equality and Reproductive Health

(Sept. 23, 2013) The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), in cooperation with the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA), hosted the Sixth Asian and Pacific Population Conference in Bangkok from September 16-20, 2013. Ministers and senior officials from 47 countries, as well as civil society representatives, almost 500 delegates in […]

Sri Lanka: Food Safety Measures Approved

(Sept. 5, 2013) It was announced on August 29, 2013, that Sri Lanka’s Cabinet has approved a set of measures designed to make imported food safe for consumers. The immediate concern is the contamination of imported milk powder with dicyandiamide (DCD), a chemical used in agriculture, and of whey protein concentrate with the bacteria clostridium […]

European Union: New Regulation on Biocides

(Sept. 4, 2013) On September 1, 2013, a new European Union Regulation on Biocides entered into force. Biocides are chemicals used to control organisms that are harmful to human and animal health and to the environment, such as pests and germs (e.g., molds and bacteria). The Regulation also applies to insect repellents, disinfectants, and industrial […]

Italy: Plan to Control Boat Traffic in Venice

(Aug. 29, 2013) On August 27, 2013, the city of Venice announced a plan to better control boat traffic in the city’s canals. Citing the need to increase safety following the August 17 death of a German tourist in a boating accident, city officials stated that several measures would be taken to control the traffic. […]

ASEAN; Indonesia: Indonesia Urged to Ratify Smog Treaty

(July 8, 2013) On June 30, 2013, the other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) urged Indonesia to ratify a treaty designed to limit smog pollution across borders, the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution. The statement was part of a joint communiqué from a meeting of the foreign ministers of the […]

Denmark: Doctors Concerned About Data Sharing

(June 28, 2013) Denmark is in the midst of a debate on a revision of its health care law, and doctors in general practice are concerned about the proposed changes to how they work. In particular, some doctors have expressed concern that under the law now being considered, they will have to submit more patient […]

Israel: Heavy Penalty for Violation of Smoking Ban in Public Places

(June 17, 2013) On May 20, 2013, the Supreme Court of Israel approved a plea bargain that included an unprecedented high amount of compensation in a class-action suit for violation of the prohibition on smoking in public places, in accordance with the Prevention of Smoking and Exposure to Smoking Law (5743-1983) (hereinafter Anti-Smoking Law). (CA […]

Denmark: Government Plans Health Care Reforms

(May 13, 2013) According to a May 2, 2013, press release from <?Denmark's Minister of Health and Prevention, Astrid Krag, the government is planning an overhaul of the country's health care system. (Press Release, Regeringen Udstikker Ny Kurs På Sundhedsområdet [Government Sets a New Course for the Health Section] (May 2, 2013), Ministry of Health […]

Germany: Patients’ Rights

(Apr. 23, 2013) On February 25, 2013, Germany promulgated an Act Improving the Rights of Patients [hereinafter Patients’ Rights Act]. (Gesetz zur Verbesserung der Rechte von Patientinnen und Patienten,Bundesgesetzblatt [BGBl] I at 277.) The Act creates the “treatment contract,” a special contract that by law now governs every relationship between a person administering medical treatment […]

China: Mental Health Law Takes Effect on May 1

(Apr. 19, 2013) On May 1, 2013, China’s first Mental Health Law will enter into effect. The National Health and Family Planning Commission, a State Council commission created in March through the merger of the former Ministry of Health with the National Family Planning Commission, issued the key points and explanations of the Law to […]