Delon Human

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Delon Human is a South African doctor based in Switzerland where he runs a number of companies / consultancies and charities, predominantly to do with health and tobacco harm reduction. At least two of his companies have taken money from British American Tobacco (BAT). He is also a Director of Biologix Hair, a hair loss replacement company and the ex-head of a food and drink industry lobby group, the International Food and Beverage Alliance.

Health Diplomats

Health Diplomats, one of Human’s companies, says its clients “are the world's largest health care and largest pharmaceutical companies, several governments, foundations and global health professional association”.[1][2]

Funded by BAT

Dr. Human admits that Health Diplomats has “received funding from BAT under consultancy arrangements for services relating to tobacco harm reduction”.[3]

NicoLIFE

In 2008, Human set up a company called NicoLIFE.[4]. Human says NicoLIFE “is focused on the promotion of wise nicotine policy, science and products to enable smoking cessation and reduce tobacco harm."[5] Human did not have a background in tobacco harm reduction before.

Also Funded by BAT

NicoLife has provided consultancy services to BAT to support their approach to harm reduction.[6] In addition, in 2010 BAT funded NicoLIFE/Human to write a book on harm reduction, entitled Wise Nicotine.

According to BAT, “the book is a commentary on the current interpretations and use of tobacco harm reduction within the medical community. We also provided access to appropriate company information to assist in the writing of a chapter specifically about the tobacco industry, which we reviewed for accuracy, but NicoLIFE SA had full editorial control”.[7]

The Foreword to the book says “British American Tobacco (Holdings) Limited, a subsidiary of British American Tobacco PLC, has provided funding and access to appropriate company information for the development and production of the book to NicoLIFE SSA, of which the Dr Delon Human is the principal”. The foreword continues: “Other than the provision of funding, BAT’s role in the production of the book has been limited to supplying information on request and to reviewing extracts from the final version of the book for technical accuracy of any information it provided,” but added that “the statements, findings, conclusions and recommendations contained in the book were developed independently of BAT”. [8]

BAT Can be Part of the “Solution”

Human is also quoted in BAT’s 2013 Sustainability Report, saying that “through its public commitment to tobacco harm reduction” BAT “makes itself accountable to its consumers and society. This should be applauded and, if successful, BAT could become part of the solution to addressing the epidemic of tobacco-related disease.”[9] To be perceived part of the solution, and thus policy partners in tobacco control, is something the tobacco industry has long aspired to, with harm reduction offering them the opportunity to (re)-establish dialogue with policy makers, and to rebuild their corporate image as a responsible business.[10]

Other Organisations Owned by Human

  • EuroSwiss Health SA, established in 2003.[11] This consultancy provided funding for a 2013 study into the harm of e-cigarettes.[12]
  • The Human Salmon Foundation, a charitable organisation established in 2007 to support vulnerable children through health, education and community programs.[13]
  • Swisspine Sarl, established in 2009, and offering spinal implants under the motto “first world technology at third world prices”.[14]. This company also appears to be trading under the name ‘Saspine Pty’.[15]
  • Ruth Properties, a website offering vacation rental accommodation.[16]

World Health Organization

Human was an adviser to the WHO Director-General and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon.[17]

Other online information, dated 2014, suggested that Human was still a “Special Envoy” to the WHO.[18]

International Food and Beverage Alliance

Human was also the Secretary-General of the lobby group, the International Food and Beverage Alliance (IFBA), an alliance of the leading ten food and non-alcoholic drinks companies, such as Nestle, McDonalds, Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Unilever, amongst others.[19]

Human also represented the IFBA at WHO events. [20]

As of September 2014, IFBA’s Secretary-General was Rocco Renaldi, the founder and Managing Director of the Brussels-based PR company Landmark Europe.[21]

However, IFBA’s office is still registered 8, Place de la Tour, 1275 Trélex, Switzerland,[22], the same address as Human’s other businesses.[23][24]

A Conflict of Interest?

If Human was representing WHO at the same time as representing a lobby group for the drink and food industry, there could well have been a conflict of interest between the two positions. Although it is unknown whether he is still working with BAT, Human is still speaking at tobacco industry events, such as the Global Tobacco Networking Forum:

Speaker at the Global Tobacco and Nicotine Forum (GTNF)

Human is a regular speaker at the Global Tobacco and Nicotine Forum (GTNF), formerly known as the Global Tobacco Networking Forum, which is part- funded by tobacco companies.[25] He presented in 2012 and in 2014,[26][27] and moderated a panel discussion at the event scheduled in September 2015.[28]

Biologix Hair

He is also a Director of Biologix Hair, a hair loss replacement company, although as of September 2014, the company’s website was not live.[29]

Notes

  1. Health Diplomats, President, Health Diplomats Website, accessed August 2014
  2. Human, Biography on WiseNicotine Website, accessed August 2014
  3. D. Human, Foreword to Wise Nicotine, Dennis Barber, 2010
  4. MoneyHouse, NicoLIFE, accessed August 2014
  5. D. Human, Statement by Delon Human at the FDA Public Workshop on the Risks and Benefits of Long ‐ term use of Nicotine Replacement Therapies Washington DC, 27 October 2010
  6. British American Tobacco, A focus on harm reduction. Why it matters. Sustainability focus report 2013: How we address the public health impact of our products, 28 November 2013, accessed August 2015
  7. British American Tobacco, Sustained engagement, Website, undated, accessed August 2014
  8. D. Human, Foreword to Wise Nicotine, Dennis Barber, 2010
  9. British American Tobacco, Why it Matters - A Focus on Harm Reduction, BAT’s Sustainability Focus Report, 2013, accessed August 2014
  10. S Peeters, AB Gilmore, Understanding the emergence of the tobacco industry’s use of the term tobacco harm reduction in order to inform public health policy, Tobacco Control Online first 22 January 2014, accessed August 2015
  11. Moneyhouse, EuroSwiss Health SA entry, 31 March 2009, accessed August 2015
  12. D Nutt, L D Phillips, D Balfour, H V Curran, M Dockrell, J Foulds, K Fagerstrom, K Letlape, A Milton, R Polosa, J Ramsey, D. Sweanor, Estimating the Harms of Nicotine-Containing Products Using the MCDA Approach, European Addiction Research 20 (5) September 2014, accessed August 2015
  13. The Human Salmon Foundation, About Us, THSF website, undated, accessed August 2015
  14. Swisspine Pty, Quality Spinal Implants, homepage, undated, accessed August 2015
  15. Saspine Pty, Quality Spinal Implants, homepage, undated, accessed August 2015
  16. Ruth Properties, Homepage, undated, accessed August 2015
  17. Biologix, Biologix Hair Inc. Announces Appointment of Mark Maybank as Chairman, Dr. Delon Human as Director, 8 October 2013, accessed August 2014
  18. The World Jewellery Confederation, CIBJO hosts conference focusing on industry’s social responsibility commitment, at United Nations headquarters during joint General Assembly and ECOSOC session, 10 April, 2014, accessed August 2014
  19. International Food and Beverage Alliance, Members on website, accessed August 2014
  20. WHO, Informal dialogue with selected private sector entities on the development of a Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases 2013-2020, 7 March 2013, accessed August 2014
  21. Landmark Europe Website, Rocco Renaldi, accessed September 2014
  22. IFBA, website, accessed September 2014
  23. Health Diplomats, Welcome, Website, accessed September 2014
  24. MoneyHouse, NicoLIFE, accessed September 2014
  25. J Gornall, Public Health England’s troubled trail, BMJ 7 November 2015, accessed December 2015
  26. Global Tobacco Networking Forum, Look Who is Talking, undated, accessed August 2014
  27. Global Tobacco Networking Forum, Who’s Talking, undated, accessed August 2014
  28. Global Tobacco Networking Forum, GTNF 2015 agenda, undated, accessed August 2015
  29. Biologix, Biologix Hair Inc. Announces Appointment of Mark Maybank as Chairman, Dr. Delon Human as Director, 8 October 2013