Cruelty Free International Welcomes Date Set by Korea to End Animal Testing for Cosmetics

SEOUL, Korea, Feb. 28, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Cruelty Free International has welcomed the imminent launch of a Korean Bill, with official support, to end all testing of cosmetics and their ingredients on animals by 2017. This follows extensive negotiations by Cruelty Free International with Ministerial officials, the Food and Drug Administration and Parliamentarians, led by Rep. Jeong-Lim Moon, member of the Health and Welfare Committee, who will present the Bill to implement the proposals during March. If this goes ahead, Korea will be the second country in Asia to set out on the route to completely end animal testing for cosmetics.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150121/726834)

Cruelty Free International East Asia Manager, Hyung Ju Lee, said, “I am thrilled Korea has set a concrete date and commitment to ban animal testing for cosmetics ingredients and products following two years of detailed work by Cruelty Free International. I would like to thank all our negotiating partners for working with us in achieving this breakthrough. We look forward to an end to animal suffering for cosmetics in Korea.”

Michelle Thew, Chief Executive of Cruelty Free International, commented, “We are delighted Korea has made the decisive move to ban cruel cosmetics, after years of preparatory work with Cruelty Free International.  This is a great start to the New Year, and we call on the rest of the world to seize this opportunity to consign animal testing for cosmetics to the global history books.”

Cruelty Free International is the only global campaigning organisation whose sole mission is to bring about an end to the use of animals for cosmetics tests for products and their ingredients. With offices in the UK, US, Brazil and Asia, it works with governments, regulators, companies and partner organizations worldwide and has placed the issue of animal testing on the agenda of many governments for the very first time. Cruelty Free International led the 20-year campaign for the European Union animal cosmetics testing ban in 2013.

To date significant progress has been made around the world, including in Brazil, India, Israel and New Zealand in moving towards the Cruelty Free International goal of a world free of cosmetics tests on animals.

Website: http://www.crueltyfreeinternational.org 
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/crueltyfreeinternational 
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/crueltyfreeintl 

For further information, please contact Martin Mallon on +44(0)20-7619-6978 / +44(0)7850-510-955 or email media@crueltyfreeinternational.org

Global Leaders Identify Critical Issues to Overcome Economic Development Challenges at the Economic Development Innovation (EDI) Council Meeting

— Organizations reconvene to solve economic development challenges through a collaborative approach at identifying global best practices

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Dec. 9, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Following the inaugural Economic Development Innovation (EDI) Council conference organized at Frost & Sullivan’s flagship Growth, Innovation & Leadership (GIL) Silicon Valley event, the Council reconvened for its first quarterly web conference on November 12th, 2014.

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The web conference began with case studies on visionary leadership and its importance in economic development innovation. The Council went on to review and vote on critical issues in economic development.

Five critical economic development issues were voted to be included as part the Council’s research agenda for 2015:

  • Bridging the Digital Divide
  • Innovative Education
  • Smart Development
  • Affordable and Disruptive Healthcare
  • Attracting Investments

The Council will reconvene each quarter, encouraging members to share best practices and propagate innovative solutions to ongoing global challenges. Of the five critical issues, Bridging the Digital Divide will form the center of the Council’s focus for the first quarter of 2015. The next quarterly EDI Council web conference will take place on March 11, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. EDT.

To register for the next EDI Council web conference, click here. Join Frost & Sullivan’s Economic Development Innovation (EDI) Council Group to interact with this global community of economic development leaders.

“Visionary leadership from economic development agencies can be transformative in driving growth and solving critical issues,” said Frost & Sullivan Chairman David Frigstad. “The collaborative learning and sharing model adopted by the Council is a powerful way to address approaches to solve global challenges.”

The EDI Council also identified a set of accelerators associated with the critical issues to spur economic development. The following are the set of accelerators:

  • Digital Transformation
  • Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property Protection
  • Public Private Partnerships
  • Localized, Ownership Based, Collaborative & Leadership Driven (L.O.C.A.L) Healthcare Transformation
  • Implementation Focus & Excellence

“We are thrilled with the ability to catalyze and accelerate disruptive approaches to global change. We look to expand the breadth and scope of the EDI Council to facilitate deeper discussion, cooperation, and thought leadership,” said Frost & Sullivan’s Global Vice President- Economic Development Innovation, Sath Rao.

About the EDI Council

The Economic Development Innovation Council is a global body of Economic Development Organization (EDO) leaders who are committed to the growth and success of the EDO sector. The Council does this by uniting EDOs from across the world to deliberate on key global challenges, exchange best practices and share success stories.

About Frost & Sullivan

Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, works in collaboration with clients to leverage visionary innovation that addresses the global challenges and related growth opportunities that will make or break today’s market participants.

Our “Growth Partnership” supports clients by addressing these opportunities and incorporating two key elements driving visionary innovation: The Integrated Value Proposition and The Partnership Infrastructure.

  • The Integrated Value Proposition provides support to our clients throughout all phases of their journey to visionary innovation including: research, analysis, strategy, vision, innovation and implementation.
  • The Partnership Infrastructure is entirely unique as it constructs the foundation upon which visionary innovation becomes possible. This includes our 360 degree research, comprehensive industry coverage, career best practices as well as our global footprint of more than 40 offices.

For more than 50 years, we have been developing growth strategies for the global 1000, emerging businesses, the public sector and the investment community. Is your organization prepared for the next profound wave of industry convergence, disruptive technologies, increasing competitive intensity, Mega Trends, breakthrough best practices, changing customer dynamics and emerging economies?

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Ariel Brown
Corporate Communications – North America
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http://www.frost.com

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Paul G. Allen Increases Commitment To Fight Ebola To $100 Million

— Partners with U.S. State Department and World Health Organization to Evacuate and Treat Infected Humanitarian Workers;

— Collaborates with University of Massachusetts Medical School to Provide Training and Equipment;

— Coordinates and Optimizes Global Giving by Launching “Fund a Need” Donation Platform

SEATTLE, Oct. 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Philanthropist Paul G. Allen today increased his commitment to Tackle Ebola to at least $100 million and called on the global community to join the cause. This crisis requires a multi-pronged approach to solving it. As such, Mr. Allen is leading the following initiatives:

Humanitarian Aid Worker Medevac Fund and Medevac Transport:
Effectively addressing the Ebola crisis requires the continued commitment of medical professionals. One of the key challenges in their recruitment is the lack of a clear medevac pathway should they become infected and require treatment.

Mr. Allen has committed to solving this challenge by funding the development and manufacture of two medevac containment units, which the U.S. State Department will use to safely evacuate medical professionals from West Africa. In addition, Mr. Allen has partnered with the World Health Organization to increase its capacity to coordinate the logistics required to transport international aid workers.

Cost of medevac transport can also be a barrier for organizations to commit to sending their critical care professionals. To address this, Mr. Allen has established the Ebola Medevac Fund, designed to address the gap between what insurance will cover and the actual transport costs. The $2.5 million fund is designed as a dollar to dollar matching grant with the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation.

University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS):
Another important component to tackling this crisis is ensuring education, supplies and medical professionals are on the ground. Mr. Allen is donating to UMMS to help provide training, medical workers and lab equipment for relief efforts in Liberia. The partnership with UMMS will focus on providing decontamination and lab equipment to district hospitals as well as community outreach and education to provide monitoring and support to staff in order to reopen closed district hospitals.

Fund a Need:
Mr. Allen also has created a way for individuals to contribute to specific organizations and fund critical response needs through TackleEbola.com. The donation platform is designed to coordinate and optimize individual global giving.

Donations of all sizes will go to funding the solutions required to treat, contain and prevent the spread of Ebola. Donors will be able to select the need that they are most interested in funding and 100 percent of that contribution will be applied to that need. The site also offers a way for donors to view the impact of their combined contributions with updates on progress towards goals.

Supporting Quotes:
“The Ebola virus is unlike any health crisis we have ever experienced and needs a response unlike anything we have ever seen,” Mr. Allen said. “To effectively contain this outbreak and prevent it from becoming a global epidemic, we must pool our efforts to raise the funds, coordinate the resources and develop the creative solutions needed to combat this problem. I am committed to doing my part in tackling this crisis.”

“We thank Paul Allen and his foundation for their contribution on this crucial issue,” said Andrew O’Brien, Special Representative for Global Partnerships, U.S. Department of State. “We hope that this sets a much needed example for what will be robust and rapid private sector leadership, working in partnership with the U.S. government. Mr. Allen’s #TackleEbola campaign is providing an important catalyst to help us get medical responders to West Africa to fight Ebola at its epicenter. His leadership is timely and greatly augments the work that the U.S. government, international organizations, NGOs, and others are doing on the ground every day.”

“We at the University of Massachusetts Medical School are grateful for the support of the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, which will allow us to specifically work with our strategic partners and our Liberian colleagues to help stem the Ebola epidemic and strengthen Liberia’s fragile health care system,” said Michael F. Collins, MD, Chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Medical School. “Our academic collaborative has worked productively in the past with the Liberian leadership and health care workforce, and we look forward to continuing that partnership by engaging directly with our Liberian collaborators and providing on-the-ground relief, training and supplies.”

Mr. Allen’s Contributions to Date:
From the early days of the outbreak, Mr. Allen and the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation have focused on finding, funding and coordinating strategic solutions that could be deployed quickly and would address some of the most critical needs. To date, Mr. Allen has already helped implement the following solutions:

  • A contribution to the American Red Cross to fund equipment, volunteers and educational materials in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. (August 2014)
  • A matching grant to Global Giving, which more than 700 donors doubled in only four days. Ten groups received funding to distribute sanitation supplies, conduct training sessions and produce public service announcements. (August 2014)
  • A partnership with UNICEF to airlift 50,000 protection kits into Liberia. (September 2014)
  • A partnership with Airlink to execute a continuous air bridge to deliver critically needed medical protective gear and pharmaceuticals. (September 2014)
  • A grant to the CDC Foundation to establish CDC emergency operations centers in the most-affected countries, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. These centers are helping to develop a systematic response with improved data management and communication systems for disease and patient contact tracing, which will ultimately help to detect and stop the disease from spreading. (September 2014)
  • Funding to Medical Teams International (MTI) to help provide infrastructure, housing and transportation needs for MTI’s staff in Liberia. (September 2014)
  • A partnership with Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) to support their existing Ebola emergency programs in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. (September 2014)
  • A grant to BBC Media Action to support education and communications programs in the affected countries aimed at increasing public knowledge and awareness, supporting the government in responding to the crisis and instilling safer health practices among local audiences. (October 2014)

The Ebola Medevac Fund will be administered by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. For more information, visit www.tackleebola.com and follow @TackleEbola and @PaulGAllen on Twitter or Facebook.

Press Contacts:

Alexa Rudin
Vulcan Inc.
+1-206-342-2230
alexar@vulcan.com

Dana Lengkeek
Burson-Marsteller
+1-415-994-4008
dana.lengkeek@bm.com

Musicians of The Philadelphia Orchestra, Renowned Ambassadors of Culture and Goodwill, Perform for World Leaders at United Nations Headquarters

NEW YORK, Sept. 23, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Before 350 distinguished guests from around the world, including first ladies, heads of state, ambassadors to the United Nations, UN officials, and leading entrepreneurs, Philadelphia Orchestra Music Director Yannick Nezet-Seguin conducted an ensemble of the Orchestra’s musicians in the U.S. premiere of “Ode to Humanity” on the occasion of the 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

The Orchestra’s legacy as global cultural ambassadors and its shared advocacy through music of the United Nations core values led to its invitation to perform at the invitation of the Global Sustainable Development Foundation, a new foundation focused on supporting the mission of the UN.

The historic Sept. 22 performance in the United Nations Delegates Dining Room was hosted by pianist Lang Lang and included choristers from the Philadelphia Singers. Wang Ning’s “Ode to Humanity,” arranged by Ke-Chia Chen in collaboration with the Shenzhen International Culture Exchange Association, was specifically selected as a tribute to the United Nation’s commitment to promoting social progress, better living standards, and human rights.

In introducing the U.S. debut of “Ode to Humanity,” Philadelphia Orchestra President and CEO Allison Vulgamore, said, “The Philadelphia Orchestra has shared music’s unique ability to transcend cultural boundaries and touch people wherever they may live. You are about to hear a piece that embodies that universal language  and that is the next step for the Orchestra in our commitment to fostering shared, cross-cultural understanding and to creating people-to-people connections.

“The ‘Ode to Humanity’ expresses themes of tolerance, peace, understanding, and joy across countries and cultures.  These concepts are so well aligned with the principles of the United Nations and the mission of the Global Sustainable Development Foundation, that we offer ‘Ode to Humanity’ as a honored tribute to the work you do on a daily basis.”

The UN performance follows the Orchestra’s recently completed 2014 Tour of Asia & China Residency and honors 35 years of official relations between the United States and China. The Orchestra helped inaugurate the diplomatic relationship between the two countries in 1973 when it became the first American orchestra to perform in China, at the request of President Nixon.

The 2014 Tour of Asia & China Residency was Nezet-Seguin’s inaugural tour with the Orchestra and included a side-by-side rehearsal of “Ode to Humanity” with members of the Shenzhen Symphony and The Philadelphia Orchestra.

Photo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140923/147766
Photo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140923/147765

Food Safety Experts at NSF International Say Elliott Report a “Significant Step Toward Safeguarding Food Supply”

— Challenge will be in effective implementation as food fraud is a global issue that will require international cooperation and action according to NSF experts

OXFORD, England, Sept. 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — The final report of the Elliott Review into the Integrity and Assurance of Food Supply Networks was published last Thursday, September 4th, 2014. Food fraud is the deliberate substitution, addition, tampering or misrepresentation of food, ingredients or packaging and is considered by food safety experts at global public health organization NSF International to be a global issue that cannot be dealt with solely inside national borders. Effective implementation of the report’s recommendations will require industry and government coordination as well as expert support to protect consumers.

“As the Elliott report today makes clear, criminal food fraud is a very serious problem in the international food supply chain, the total scale of which is unknown, but ranging from relatively minor ‘casual dishonesty’ to organized crime encouraged by huge financial rewards. Limited intelligence means that we simply do not know the exact extent of fraud. What we do know is that it can be a cause of major food safety risks which severely undermines consumer trust in the food industry,” said David Richardson, EMEA Food Division Vice President at NSF International, a global public health organization and leading food safety service provider operating in more than 155 countries.

Professor Chris Elliott of Queen’s University in Belfast was commissioned by the UK government to conduct the review in the wake of a major food fraud crisis in 2013 involving horsemeat found in beef products. In the report, Professor Elliott discusses issues impacting consumer confidence in the authenticity of food products, including any systemic failures with implications for food safety and public health, as well as makes recommendations for addressing such failures. His recommendations are based around eight key pillars:

  1. Consumers first – Industry, government and enforcement agencies should always put the needs of consumers above all other considerations. This means giving food safety and food crime absolute priority over other objectives.
  2. Zero tolerance – In sectors where margins are tight and the potential for fraud is high, even minor dishonesties must be discouraged and the response to major dishonesties deliberately punitive.
  3. Intelligence gathering – There needs to be shared investment between government and industry in intelligence gathering and sharing, although to ensure its effectiveness, all organizations must have regard to the sensitivities of the market.
  4. Laboratory services – Those involved with audit, inspection and enforcement must have access to resilient, sustainable laboratory services that use standardized, tested approaches.
  5. Audit – Industry and regulators must give weight to audit and assurance regimes, but also work to minimise duplication where possible. Industry should move to a modular form of auditing.
  6. Government support – Government support for the integrity and assurance of food supply networks must be kept specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely (SMART).
  7. Leadership – Clear leadership and co-ordination of investigations and prosecutions is required and the public interest must be recognised in active enforcement and meaningful penalties for significant food crimes. A new Food Crime Unit, based on the Dutch model, should be created within the FSA and become the lead agency for food crime.
  8. Crisis management – When a serious incident occurs the necessary mechanisms are in place so that regulators and industry can deal with it effectively.

NSF International’s Opinion

David Richardson commented, “NSF International is supportive of all measures to improve food safety and levels of trust between consumers and the food industry. The Elliott report makes many sound recommendations, which if implemented effectively will provide a vastly superior coordinated approach between government and industry to tackling food fraud. The industry now needs expert support to translate these recommendations into practical strategies and systems to protect consumers as well as their own brands. NSF International has in place a comprehensive service package of consulting, training, audit and testing services to help companies globally tackle the risk of fraud effectively.”

NSF International was recently commissioned by the FSA to develop a risk assessment framework, which is discussed in NSF’s white paper “The ‘new’ phenomenon of criminal fraud in the food supply chain.” This framework works as an evidence- and risk-based diagnostic tool that helps to identify risk of fraud in the global food supply chain across different product categories.

Professor Elliott has drawn attention to a major problem that not only affects the UK but the entire global supply chain. “Food fraud does not respect national boundaries and that is a major reason why it is so difficult to track. Transparency, traceability and data sharing among government, industry and third-party organizations worldwide will become major themes in addressing global food fraud threats,” said David Edwards, NSF International food safety consultant and former director of NSF International’s Global Food Safety Division. “Organizations such as NSF International with global resources, technical expertise and cooperative relationships with both industry and government can play a crucial role in facilitating intelligence sharing and developing solutions.”

NSF International has thousands of inspectors and other technical resources on the ground as well as global laboratories and testing capabilities. By working with many international businesses and government agencies, NSF is ideally placed to collect and analyse data and provide advice that can help stamp out international fraud.

View the full Elliott Report here.

For more information on how NSF International can assist your organization with food safety and integrity issues, please contact Dan Fone, Global Business Development Director, NSF International Food Division at dfone@nsf.org or +1-877-893-1325.

Editor’s note: To schedule an interview with David Edwards, NSF International food safety consultant and former director of NSF International’s Global Food Safety Division, contact Kelly Ingerly at media@nsf.org or +1-734-827-6850.

About NSF International: NSF International is a global independent organization that writes standards, and tests and certifies products for the water, food, health sciences and consumer goods industries to minimize adverse health effects and protect the environment (nsf.org). Founded in 1944, NSF is committed to protecting human health and safety worldwide. Operating in more than 155 countries, NSF is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Center on Food Safety, Water Quality and Indoor Environment.

The NSF Global Food Division provides expertise and accredited services across all supply chain sectors, from agriculture, produce, processing, distribution and dairy, to seafood, retail and restaurants. NSF is also the leading certifier of foodservice equipment, nonfood compounds and bottled water/beverages.

Sovereign Patent Funds (SPFs): Next-generation trade defence?

BRUSSELS, July 31, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — The following is being released by the European Centre For International Political Economy (ECIPE):

While there is an increasing demand for a discipline in the next generation FTAs that restricts SOEs in international trade, there is less debate on the proliferation of sovereign patent funds (SPFs) that are increasingly using intellectual property to engage in discriminatory industrial policy in an attempt to augment the competitiveness of ailing national champions against foreign competition.

Some SPFs, like France Brevets, even admit to being retaliatory or discriminatory instruments against foreign actors regardless of whether the original claim is legitimate or not. Such use of intellectual property by government controlled entities threatens to become a new trade defence instrument like antidumping or countervailing duties.

However, such mercantilist tactics by mid-sized economies are futile, as they only serve to legitimise similar behaviour by bigger economies like China that are actively pursuing industrial policy through defensive use of patents through R&D funding, public procurement, competition policy – and the establishment of their own SPFs.

This calls for different priorities on SOE disciplines in next-generation FTAs such as TTIP or TPP. In fact, it makes little sense to argue over SOE exports while refraining from counteracting the potentially more disrupting and systemic effects of SPFs that also spill over on innovation as well as the global trading system

Download the report here

Publication details: Sovereign Patent Funds (SPFs): Next-generation trade defence? by Hosuk Lee-Makiyama and Patrick Messerlin, ECIPE Policy Brief No. 6/2014 Published by European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE), ISSN 1653-8994