While it is the dream for every upright nation and every person with a conscience that everyone and every nation benefit from good healthcare, a comprehensive public health program and policies that will guarantee improved health for all, there are a few others with totally different, darker dreams. This is a saga that exists in absolutely every aspect of life – Light vs Darkness.
It is no longer a secret that it is impossible to satisfy the masses in the promotion of public health and the prevention of non-communicable diseases to the detriment of corporate giants – The chemical industry, food industry, Big Tobacco, Big Pharma, Monsanto and friends etc. who have been well known to deter public health efforts through the production and marketing of unhealthy products, manipulation of data, buying researchers, infiltrating universities, boards, media and legislative agencies.
In Nigeria for example, British American Tobacco held a monopoly in the lucrative tobacco market since their re-incorporation in July 2000 (British American Tobacco had an operational presence in Nigeria since 1912 but shut down in the early 80’s). They knocked out all competition, lobbying at every possible level but with the public cover that allowing other tobacco companies in was an even increased health risk. This however was recently brought to an end when Philip Morris International Nigeria Limited was registered in December 2014.
Donald J. Trump running for US president can easily make promises to the American people and deliver mainly because not only does he fund his own campaign, but he also will never allow “The Big Guys” tell him what to do as a result of that. Pervasive lobbying and political ties limit the independence of regulatory bodies. No wonder many of such attempts to contain the powers of corporate giants go in vain, because the same entities fund most electoral campaigns.
Instead of fighting why don’t we accompany them to reason and work things out like a marriage? These corporate giants on the other hand pay taxes and guarantee job security, sustaining the wellbeing and future of many families globally who may end up nowhere if we have to take them down. We therefore have to carefully work out a balance between good and evil, one in which morality and ethics have to play an important role.
Considering this therefore, more emphasis, time and effort should be put into Research and Development to bring out new healthier alternatives to toxic and cancerous ingredients in processed foods and beverages; GMO products replaced with healthier, natural and more sustainable substitutes. Pharmaceuticals…. well it is an assignment we leave into the hands of civil society, major international organizations and concerned multinational companies and the international community.