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Climate Change

Background: Climate Change represents the single-most pressing public health concern of the current era with an increasing frequency and severity of extreme weather events resulting from global warming. The linkages between such events and human health are both direct and indirect and are occurring on a grand scale globally.

INEP has recently partnered with the Going to Zero campaign in Pennsylvania, USA. The campaign is a broad consortium of universities, governments, and civil society members that are working together to reach net zero emissions targets for the State of Pennsylvania, as dictated by the Paris Accord. INEP brings its network and expertise in climate change and public health to the discussions and planning. Although the campaign is based in Pennsylvania, participants hope to create a model that is translatable to other cities, states, and countries around the world. The campaign aims to provide not only technical guidance to individuals, governments, and NGOs on how to reduce emissions, but also ethical and legal arguments on the need to reduce emissions, right now.

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Conflict-of-Interest and Disclosure

Background: Since its founding at the 2nd Epidemiology Congress of the Americas in Seattle in 2006, INEP has grown globally to include 24 national and international member organizations. Societies/associations of epidemiologists continue to be invited to join; few have separated.

As a consortium, INEP attracts epidemiology organizations committed to translating valid scientific knowledge into health policy. Its focus is on appropriately protecting the public health interest. A major function of INEP is to develop position statements to counter biased scientific influences on clinical, prevention and/or health policy decision-making.

A most recent initiative of INEP is a Position Statement on Conflict-of-Interest (COI) and Disclosure. While its initial professional release was expected to be in June 2016, other INEP work delayed its completion. Aspects of the work completed to date were, however, presented in Miami at INEP's 10th anniversary Symposium as part of the 4th Epidemiology Congress of the Americas, which took place in Miami, June 21-24, 2016. The Position Statement is expected to begin the process of member organization review before 2017.

The Symposium provided a review of INEP 10th anniversary accomplishments, a scoping of the problem of conflict-of-interest and disclosure as grounding for the Position Statement, issues around COI in publishing in the United Kingdom, an example of ongoing COI at two Quebec, Canada, universities in the context of asbestos, and the issue of COI as applied by INEP to its Board to ensure full transparency. Also, a current conundrum was presented around a policy framework for accepting, or not, donations from potentially financially-interested parties. A closing panel discussion resulted in a vigorous exchange.

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The 24th annual international conference of the Global Ecological Integrity Group (GEIG) took place in Munich, Germany, July 4-8 2016, on the theme The Common Good: The Role of Integrity in the Support of Life and Human Security. Colin Soskolne presented SCOPING THE EXTENT OF THE PROBLEM OF CONFLICT-OF-INTEREST AND MONEYED INFLUENCE IN PUBLIC HEALTH. The presentation was placed in the session on Governance and the Protection of Human Rights. This presentation brings together components of the presentations that Colin Soskolne and Kathleen Ruff had delivered at the Special Symposium of the International Joint Policy Committee of the Societies of Epidemiology (IJPC-SE) as part of the 4th Epidemiology Congress of the Americas, Miami, Florida, June 21-24, 2016 (see ​above).

The IJPC-SE

Background: The founding of the Joint Policy Committee of the Societies of Epidemiology (JPC-SE) occurred in Seattle, Washington in 2006, at the Second North American Congress of Epidemiology. It was recognized that a consortium of epidemiology societies/associations was needed to speak on behalf of its members on matters relating to the application of epidemiology to policy. The need was soon recognized internationally, resulting in a name-change in 2013 to include "International" (hence, IIJPC-SE). Each member society/association works under the umbrella of, or in tandem with the IJPC-SE in advancing a unified position about epidemiological understanding as it relates to knowledge translation from epidemiology to policy. This includes providing opportunities at annual/biennial/quinquennial conferences for a symposium, workshop or the like, at which the mission of the IJPC-SE can be presented, along with its current initiatives being advanced and discussed.

Presentations have taken place as opportunities have presented themselves. One took place at the American Public Health Association (APHA) annual conference in Boston, Massachusetts, in 2013 on the topic of the IJPC-SE's then recently launched Position Statement on Asbestos. The next to take place was at the 2014 APHA conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, on the topic of the census. Each of these is accessible under its respective heading on this page of the website.

Further opportunities have presented themselves. In 2015, the work of the IJPC-SE was presented at the Canadian Society for Epidemiology and Biostatistics (CSEB) biennial conference in Mississauga, Ontario, on the topic of Epidemiology and Public Policy. In Parma, Italy, June 29 – July 3, in São Paulo, Brazil, August 30 – September 3, and in Taiwan, March 25-31, 2016 further presentations were made. A presentation was made at Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, Canada, on October 20, 2016 and in Carpi, Italy, at the annual conference of the Collegium Ramazzini, October 27-30.

In 2017, an invited keynote plenary speech was given at the IJPC-SE-endorsed 2017 Aircraft Cabin Air Quality Conference​.​ The Conference was organized by the Global Cabin Air Quality Executive (GCAQE) and took place at Imperial College London, England, September 19-20, 2017. Most recently, a Luncheon Roundtable was presented at the American College of Epidemiology annual conference on September 25.

Each of these presentations is accessible on the right​ in reverse chronological order​.

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Census

Background: Governments, at least in Canada, the United States and Great Britain have begun to make changes or are working toward changes that will serve to dismantle and/or erode the census. As part of the epidemiologist's toolkit, the implications are of serious concern and damaging to our mission. The O'Connor Group was formed with, among others, members of INEP during the American Public Health Association’s (APHA) Annual Conference in Boston, 2013. Organized under the leadership of Robin Taylor Wilson and Shirley Cramer, a special symposium took place at the APHA 142nd Annual Meeting and Expo, New Orleans, LA on November 17, 2014 entitled "International Threats to the Mission of Public Health as Governments Dismantle/Erode the Census." The intent is to produce a paper to advance the thinking developed in the symposium for peer-reviewed publication.

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Asbestos

Background: Despite grave warnings, put forward by a variety of cancer, public health, and regulatory agencies, regarding the health hazards of all types of asbestos, controversy continues to be fomented by powerful moneyed interests. This has permitted some countries to promote continued use of asbestos. INEP therefore undertook the development of a Position Statement that, for the first time, puts forward, from an epidemiologic perspective, the clear evidence confirming that all forms of asbestos should be banned.

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