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China approves use of GSK vaccine Cervarix for cervical cancer

Drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline Plc said on Monday the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) has approved its human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, Cervarix, for use in the country to help women fight cervical cancer. GSK's China unit said in a statement Cervarix will be the first HPV vaccine licensed for use in the country and is expected to be launched there in early 2017. Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women aged between 15 to 44 years in China, with an estimated 130,000 new cases each year, it said.

Strasbourg, Lyon join race to snatch EMA from London after Brexit

Officials from the cities of Strasbourg and Lyon are pressing France to wrest the European Medicines Agency (EMA) from London following Britain’s vote to leave the European Union. The EMA approves medicines for all EU countries and employs 890 people including temporary staff. Philippe Richert, president of Grand Est regional council in eastern France, urged President Francois Hollande in a July 1 letter to call for the EMA to be headquartered in Strasbourg.

More urgent action needed on air pollution in Britain – MPs

By Nina Chestney LONDON (Reuters) – A government plan to tackle air pollution in five major cities in Britain by 2020 will not be enough and more urgent action needs to be taken, lawmakers said on Wednesday. Britain has some of the highest levels in Europe of the pollutant nitrogen dioxide, which is produced by diesel vehicles, and has already breached EU limits. Last year, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said it would introduce so-called clean air zones in areas of Birmingham, Leeds, Nottingham, Derby and Southampton by 2020 in a bid to improve air quality.

One in eight adults now obese: global survey

The research warned of a looming crisis of “severe obesity” and disease brought on by high-fat, high-sugar diets causing blood pressure and cholesterol to rise. “There will be health consequences of magnitudes that we do not know,” author Majid Ezzati of Imperial College London told AFP. Among men globally, obesity tripled from 3.2 percent of the population in 1975 to 10.8 percent in 2014 (some 266 million), and among women from 6.4 percent to 14.9 percent (375 million), said the survey — 12.9 percent combined.

Britain unveils plan for sugar tax on soft drinks industry

Britain will introduce a sugar levy on soft drinks in two years' time to tackle a growing obesity crisis, Chancellor George Osborne said in a surprise announcement on Wednesday, hitting share prices in drinks and sugar firms. Just months after the government ruled out a sugar tax, Osborne said the planned levy, which would be imposed on companies and based on the sugar content in drinks, would raise 520 million pounds. “Of course, some may choose to pass the price onto consumers and that will be their decision, and this would have an impact on consumption too,” Osborne told parliament during his annual budget speech.

India backs 2 degree global warming limit – French ministry source

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi clearly backs the goal of limiting global warming to no more than 2 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels, a source close to French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Saturday. Leaders from 195 nations will meet from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11 in Paris to try to nail down an agreement after the last global climate change conference in Copenhagen in 2009 collapsed. Fabius, who will chair the conference, has embarked on a three-day tour to make sure big emerging nations are on board.

WHO projections warn of burgeoning obesity crisis in Europe

Europe will face an obesity crisis of vast proportions by 2030, according to new World Health Organization projections, with many countries likely to see far more than half of adults above the healthy weight limit. The figures, which predict 89 percent of Irish men and 77 percent of Greek men will be overweight by 2030, present “a worrying picture of rising obesity across Europe”, researchers said, with very few countries showing decreasing trends. “Although there is no silver bullet for tackling the epidemic, governments must do more to restrict unhealthy food marketing and make healthy food more affordable,” said Dr Laura Webber of the UK Health Forum, which worked with the WHO and the European Commission to produce the new projections. She also said insufficient data from some countries in the WHO's European region – which comprises 53 nations – made surveillance of obesity more difficult, hampering efforts to make accurate predictions.