World Health Organization officially classifies artificial sweetener “aspartame” as a carcinogen

The World Health Organization (WHO), through its International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), has officially classified aspartame, a widely used artificial sweetener, as a potential carcinogen.

This suggests that it could pose a risk for causing cancer in humans. However, the acceptable daily intake limit for aspartame remains at 40 milligrams per kilogram of body weight.

This standard has been reaffirmed by the Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA), a scientific advisory body jointly administered by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.

Critics say treaty text in international accord by WHO member states on pandemic is ‘step backwards’

Observers warn of weakened efforts to ensure equitable access to medical products in negotiations for a new pandemic treaty.

Critics express concern over revisions that water down language aimed at addressing the inequity in accessing vaccines and medical products during the COVID pandemic.

Urgency grows to align positions before the looming threat of future pandemics.

WHO members approve nearly US$7 bn budget

The World Health Organization (WHO) has secured approval for a US$6.83-billion budget over the next two years, including a 20% increase in mandatory membership fees.

This move, hailed as historic by WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, aims to provide more stable and reliable funding for the organization. The budget still awaits final approval from member states, but it is expected to be a formality.

The decision follows last year’s agreement to overhaul WHO funding in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

WHO chief hopes for ‘historic’ pandemic accord

The World Health Organization (WHO) chief emphasized the need for a historic agreement on global health security as negotiations for a new pandemic accord begin.

The aim is to better equip the world to prevent and respond to future pandemics. The accord, expected to be reached by May 2024, would mark a paradigm shift and recognize the interconnectedness of nations in addressing global health threats.

The devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic serves as a reminder of the importance of a collective response and the lessons learned.

Raccoon dog data sparks new debate about COVID origins

New genetic evidence of raccoon dogs present at the Wuhan market has reignited debate over the origin of COVID-19.

The researchers who found the genetic data say it supports the theory that the virus may have originated in animals and then jumped to humans at the market. However, this is still uncertain, and the virus’s origin continues to be a divisive issue for the scientific community.

Some believe it leaked from a Wuhan lab, while others argue it likely originated in animals. The WHO has called for more data to shed light on the start of the pandemic.

No human-to-human bird flu transmission found in Cambodia: officials

PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA — Cambodian health authorities have said there was no human-to-human transmission of bird flu in the case of a father and daughter who caught the virus. The 11-year-old girl died last Wednesday and her father tested positive two days later, prompting the World Health Organization to voice concern about possible transmission between … Read more

WHO says bird flu situation ‘worrying’ after girl’s death

PARIS, FRANCE — The World Health Organization said on Friday that increasing reports of the H5N1 avian flu among humans were “worrying” following the death of an infected 11-year-old Cambodian girl. The girl’s father has also tested positive for the virus, according to Cambodia’s health ministry, prompting fears that the virus could have been transmitted … Read more

WHO chief to ‘push until we get the answer’ on COVID origins

by Nina Larson GENEVA, SWITZERLAND — The World Health Organization will continue pushing until it finds an answer to how the COVID-19 pandemic started, the agency’s chief said Wednesday following a report suggesting it had abandoned the search. Solving the mystery of where the SARS CoV-2 virus came from and how it began spreading among … Read more