Excellent read in the European Journal of Public Health: “Public health sector and food industry interaction: it’s time to clarify the term ‘partnership’ and be honest about underlying interests”.
We especially like these three important questions raised by the authors when it comes to partnerships between the public health sector and the food industry:
- “Would engaging with the food industry help achieve the objective faster and more effectively? (with an answer likely to vary depending on the activities involved);
- Would the interests involved (on both sides) enhance or threaten the likelihood of achieving the specific objective as well as longer-term public health objectives?; and
- If interaction is a viable option, what form of engagement would most effectively achieve the objective while accounting for the different interests: a real partnership or a looser form of interaction?”
It’s important to remember that “by giving the impression to the private sector that it is a real ‘partner’, the public sector is, like it or not, inviting for-profit actors to use the arrangement to serve their own private sector interests.”
A cost-benefit analysis of food industry partnerships with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, for example, reveals that these unions benefit the food industry at the cost of a professional organization’s membership and credential.