Call for evidence on the health impacts of trade and investment agreements

Posted by Kate Barth on February 9, 2015

The Independent Panel on Global Governance for Health, a collaborative initiative between the University of Oslo and The Lancet, recently released a call for evidence regarding the health impacts of trade and investment agreements.  These submissions will be considered in a report on the impact on health and its social determinants of such agreements and negotiation processes, which the Panel will publish in The Lancet later in 2015.

This report aims to analyze the positive and negative effects which trade and investment agreements can have people’s health and wellbeing. According to the call for evidence: “The effects can be broad, for example on agriculture, the availability and safety of food, and employment; the agreements can also affect health directly, for example through rules that can impact access to and availability of drugs, labeling of food, or environmental regulation. A critical issue is the effect of trade and investment agreements on policy space: ‘the freedom, scope, and mechanisms that governments have to choose, design, and implement public policies to fulfill their aims’. These agreements are formalized and interpreted according to legal procedures that are complex and technical. Powerful states and corporations exert a strong influence on the outcome because of the greater resources they bring to the negotiating table. As a result, affected communities and stakeholders may be excluded from the process.”

Contributors are requested to email their submission to by 30th April 2015.

Kate Barth is a Legal Officer at Lawyers Collective.