Political Hub

Political Hub

2017 has started on a high for EuropaColon with a very generous offer of PR support for the next three years from the Editor and owner of the eureporter – Mr Colin Stevens. His offer to support the work of EuropaColon and to help us raise the profile of digestive cancers is a most welcome contribution to our work. We are most grateful that eureporter have chosen EuropaColon for this partnership.

In a press release announcing this important collaboration, the eureporter said: “We hope to push the work of EuropaColon up the European political agenda so that it can gain the required political support.” They also stressed that health is a personal responsibility and making individuals aware was an important task for us all.

For our part EuropaColon is delighted to work with the eureporter and look forward to a dynamic three years. We believe it offers us a unique opportunity to inform all stakeholders of the importance of digestive cancers.

Commenting on this donation Jola Gore Booth Founder and CEO of EuropaColon emphasised that for change to happen political will is needed!


Latest News from Political Hub

Update news and politics from across Europe updated every week here at our new Political Hub

January 2017

Careful with your drinks

Recent research has shown that the anecdotal views of clinicians might be correct: That drinking very hot liquids might contribute to oesophageal cancer along with high alcohol consumption and smoking.

Researchers for the National Natural Science Foundation of China and National Key Research and Development Programme surveyed the health and habits of 456,155 people aged 30 to 79, suggesting that tea-drinking may be playing a role in the rising prevalence of oesophageal cancer in China.

Participants who drank high-temperature tea, consumed alcohol excessively and smoked had an oesophageal cancer risk more than five times greater than those with none of those three habits. This same risk was not present among those who did not smoke or drink to excess.

While this research was carried out in China, the views have also been expressed in other countries where the incidence of oesophageal cancer is high.

December 2017

Food and healthy eating

Food and its effect on the health of people is in the news in a number of countries this month.

In Bulgaria, as President of the EU Council, is launching its health agenda for its term with a conference on healthy nutrition for children. Experts will be looking at the links between health and nutrition, although not specifically stated one hopes this will include obesity.

The meeting coincides with the Bulgarian plans to influence the role of traditional diets and the Common Agricultural Policy to be more responsive to the need for nutritious and affordable food. Bulgaria is hoping to use the meeting to affect the draft Council conclusions on these issues while also hoping to help countries exchange best practice.

It is also on the agenda in Spain where the Health Ministry has announced a deal with 500 food companies to reformulate 3500 food products to reduce salt, sugar and fat content by around 10% by 2020. Included are companies who cater for schools and hospitals where meals are likely to include Grilled dishes and lean meats will increase as will vegetables, fruits and fish in season, with pre-cooked and fried products reduced.

Abortion tops the agenda in Ireland

One of the last bastions to abortion is Southern Ireland but this looks to be changing as the general public seem to be moving towards a change of policy. The Eighth Amendment current gives mother and child equal rights to life.

A pole last week has indicated that 64% back a rule change that will allow a woman to get an abortion if she decides. At present the rule only allows for an abortion if the mothers life is at stake. As a result the following day the Irish Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar, finally acknowledged his support for liberalizing Irelands abortion law. “These terms pro-life and pro-choice don’t really comprehend the complexity of this issue, which is a very private and personal one and one, I think, that contains a lot of gray areas,” Varadkar said.

A referendum is likely although the final decision will only be taken in March. While it looks like the result will be positive for change previous referenda in recent Irish history haven’t always followed the trend and cant be determined by surveys as these have misled in the past.

Alcohol not far behind in Ireland politics

One of the most draconian pieces of legislation in the EU regarding alcohol consumption was due for debate in the lower house of the Irish Parliament , the Dáil, on 6th February.

The Public Health Alcohol Bill has been lingering for some time and aims to crack down on heavy drinking by 2020 by the introduction of minimum unit pricing, separating of alcohol products from other products in supermarkets, and introducing health warnings and advertising restrictions.

The legislation was passed in the upper house in 2017. The Health Minister, Simon Harris referred to it as a landmark piece of public health legislation.

Wine uproar in France

In France the French National Association of Prevention in Alcohol Addition (ANPAA) is up in arms because of wine producers in the country are been given a say in the French Health Strategy after a former wine lobbyist became an agriculture adviser to President Macron last year.

A more laid back approach is being adopted by the Presidents officer where the view is that all stakeholders should be involved in the development of a national strategy. The wine producers were previously categorised alongside tobacco and illicit drugs as harmful substances for discussion in the French health strategy for the period 2018 – 2022. They are now recognised as legitimate actors in the development of the strategy.

November 2017

Battle for the Heart of Medicines

After months of strategic positioning and hype the decision of the new home for the European Medicines Agency EMA was decided with the successful candidate being drawn from a plastic bowl. The Member State voting had resulted in a tie with Milan and Amsterdam each with 13 votes in the third round.

The EMA is the agency responsible for approving all medicines and devices used in health systems throughout the EU. Until the Brexit vote the agency was hosted in London by the UK. Faced with the need to relocate all EU agencies from the UK the positioning began. This ended on 20th November 2017 when the results of the voting and then ballot were announced.

The politics of the EU were exposed in this process lasting 18 months from start to finish. 19 countries in Europe applied to host the agency though three withdrew before the vote took place. The EMA is perceived to be one of the most lucrative agencies guaranteed to bring considerable income to the host country from the regular stream of visitors. The agency has nearly 900 well-paid employees and around 36,000 visitors each year. Milan was the long running favourite.

Halbe Zijlstra, the new Dutch foreign affairs minister, told Politico Playbook: “Amsterdam is ready to receive the staff of EMA, all 900 of them and their families. They are very welcome in the Netherlands,” a pointed reference to concerns of some LGBT EMA staff that other candidate cities would not be as welcoming as Amsterdam. (Politico Brussels Playbook, 21 November 2017)

A Look Behind Could Save Your Life

Thousands of men are unnecessarily at risk of dying from bowel cancer because they are too embarrassed to provide a stool sample. Public Health England (PHE) said the situation is so grave it is calling on all men and women, aged over 60, to get screened for bowel cancer after the latest figures show over 40 per cent are not getting tested.

A new plan is to encourage wives, partners and daughters to encourage the older men in the family – as well as the women – to overcome any embarrassment and ensure they send in a sample to be tested. “Men in particular are less likely to send in a sample, so we’re asking their partners, children and grandchildren to encourage them to do so.” Professor Anne Mackie, Director of Screening, Public Health England

A new report, Screening Programmes in England 2016-17, shows that despite a 3 per cent increase on the previous year, the take-up for bowel cancer screening (59 per cent) is still significantly lower compared to other cancer screening programmes – breast screening (76 per cent) and cervical screening (72 per cent). Bowel cancer screening is offered to all men and women aged 60-74, who are sent a home test kit to provide stool samples.

In 2016-7 over 3,000 bowel cancers diagnosed through screening. In over 90 per cent of these cases, cancers were found at an early stage, where treatment is more likely to be successful.

Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in England, but the second leading cause of cancer deaths, with around 13,000 people dying from it every year. If detected early bowel cancer is highly treatable, which is why screening is vital and it has been shown to reduce the risk of dying from bowel cancer by 16 per cent. Thousands more lives could be saved if more people, particularly men, returned their stool samples to be tested.

Home test Improvements are being simplified and next year there will be a new home test, the faecal immunochemical test (FIT), which requires just one sample rather than the current three, and will detect bowel cancer more accurately. In addition to the home test, a one-off test called bowel scope screening is offered to men and women at the age of 55. Professor Anne Mackie, PHE’s director of screening, said: “It’s of great concern that 4 out of every 10 over 60 year olds are not taking up the offer of getting tested for bowel cancer. Men in particular are less likely to send in a sample, so we’re asking their partners, children and grandchildren to encourage them to do so.

Read more at: https://inews.co.uk/essentials/news/health/stool-samples-bowel-cancer-men-public-health/


February 2017

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September 2017

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