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Food, Drink Industries Undermine Health Policy, Study Finds


Business  (tags: food, health, government, research, safety, science, society, study, warning, nutrition, protection, humans, abuse, business, consumers, corporate, corruption, dishonesty, law, society, marketing, money, lies, politics, usa, world, ethics, cover-up, ameri )

JL
- 425 days ago - organicconsumers.org
Multinational food, drink and alcohol companies are using strategies similar to those employed by the tobacco industry to undermine public health policies, health experts said on Tuesday.



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JL A. (269)
Thursday February 14, 2013, 10:36 am
Food, drink industries undermine health policy, study finds
Mon, Feb 11 19:12 PM EST

By Kate Kelland

LONDON (Reuters) - Multinational food, drink and alcohol companies are using strategies similar to those employed by the tobacco industry to undermine public health policies, health experts said on Tuesday.

In an international analysis of involvement by so-called "unhealthy commodity" companies in health policy-making, researchers from Australia, Britain, Brazil and elsewhere said self-regulation was failing and it was time the industry was regulated more stringently from outside.

The researchers said that through the aggressive marketing of ultra-processed food and drink, multinational companies were now major drivers of the world's growing epidemic of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

Writing in The Lancet medical journal, the researchers cited industry documents they said revealed how companies seek to shape health legislation and avoid regulation.

This is done by "building financial and institutional relations" with health professionals, non-governmental organizations and health agencies, distorting research findings, and lobbying politicians to oppose health reforms, they said.

They cited analysis of published research which found systematic bias from industry funding: articles sponsored exclusively by food and drinks companies were between four and eight times more likely to have conclusions that favored the companies than those not sponsored by them.

"Regulation, or the threat of regulation, is the only way to change these transnational corporations," wrote the researchers, led by Rob Moodie from the University of Melbourne in Australia.

Ian Gilmore, special adviser on alcohol to Britain's Royal College of Physicians said the findings were "a final nail in the coffin" of the idea that involving the alcohol industry in public health measures could work.

"Any government serious about public health should in future divorce its public health activities from industry involvement," Gilmore, who was not involved in study, said in a statement.

Responding to the study's criticisms, UNESDA, which represents the non-alcoholic drinks industry in Europe, said experts recognize obesity has many causes including diet, lack of exercise, genetics and lack of nutritional knowledge.

It added that, within the EU, the European Commission had opted to take a "multi-stakeholder approach gathering governments, industry, the healthcare community and civil society to work together to teach people how to eat better, take more exercise and lead healthy, balanced lifestyles".

The researchers said, however, that their evidence showed this collaborative approach had failed. They recommended that, in future, food, drinks and tobacco firms should have no role in national or international policies on chronic diseases.

Instead, they proposed a system of "public regulation" which they said would focus on directly pressuring industry by "raising awareness of their shady practices and maintaining active public pressure".

(Editing by Robin Pomeroy)
 

Terry V. (30)
Thursday February 14, 2013, 5:58 pm
We need better labeling and people need to make better CHOICES.

Life is about CHOICES, to each their own.

If the DEMAND wasn't there, the companies would QUIT making the product
 

John B. (215)
Thursday February 14, 2013, 6:16 pm
Thanks J.L. for the post. Self regulation by any industry does not work and that has been proven time and again.I thoroughly agree with the article's conclusion; That what is needed is "a system of "public regulation" which would focus on directly pressuring industry by "raising awareness of their shady practices and maintaining active public pressure". Read and noted.
 

Jerry B. (118)
Thursday February 14, 2013, 9:34 pm
Noted..thanks JL.
 

JL A. (269)
Thursday February 14, 2013, 9:34 pm
I agree with both of you John and Terry. You cannot currently send a star to Terry because you have done so within the last week. You cannot currently send a star to John because you have done so within the last week.
 

JL A. (269)
Thursday February 14, 2013, 9:46 pm
You are welcome Jerry.
 

Michael Kirkby (82)
Friday February 15, 2013, 10:12 am
Use your two best weapons - information/education and refusal to buy their products.
 

JL A. (269)
Friday February 15, 2013, 1:49 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Michael because you have done so within the last week.
 

Kirsten Taufer (43)
Friday February 15, 2013, 2:12 pm
At what point does the poisoning of the food suppky become treason? Let's start with Monsanto and Coca-Cola.
 

Birgit W. (135)
Friday February 15, 2013, 4:22 pm
Thanks
 

JL A. (269)
Friday February 15, 2013, 4:27 pm
You are welcome Birgit
 

Mitchell D. (123)
Friday February 15, 2013, 6:18 pm
John is right, self-regulation is a veritable oxymoron, and the craving for MORE drives the greedy to manipulate in any way they can.
 

JL A. (269)
Friday February 15, 2013, 6:25 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Mitchell because you have done so within the last week.
 

Mary Donnelly (44)
Friday February 15, 2013, 6:32 pm
Thanks again.
 

JL A. (269)
Friday February 15, 2013, 6:38 pm
You are welcome Mary (again).
 

Judy C. (106)
Saturday February 16, 2013, 1:00 am
This is excellent news, and published in the Lancet, these findings will get considerable exposure. Thanks J.L.
 

Birgitta S. (216)
Saturday February 16, 2013, 6:14 am
Thanks, J.L
 

JL A. (269)
Saturday February 16, 2013, 6:34 am
Yes, the quality of the source does indeed make a difference Judy.You cannot currently send a star to Judy because you have done so within the last week.
You are welcome Judy and Bee.
 
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