The food industry knows that cozying up to potential critics is a great way to avoid taking real responsibility. Notice, for example, how PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, and Hershey’s all announced partnerships with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics within the past five to seven years, just as public scrutiny of their products and behaviors started to ramp up.
In this piece for The Hill, Michael Siegel, a professor of public health at Boston University, explains further:
“There are many areas of public health where corporations ‘use’ partnerships with or sponsorship of public health groups to improve their negative corporate images, which is an important part of these companies’ marketing plans. By allowing their good names to be used by these corporations for public relations purposes, the public health organizations are essentially serving as pawns in the marketing ploys of these companies.”
We urge the Academy — and many of our colleagues — to realize that these partnerships are nothing more than the food industry playing us like a fiddle.