In this piece for San Francisco alternative daily Beyond Chron, Dietitians For Professional Integrity Strategic Director Andy Bellatti explains why “sitting at the table” with industry is largely ineffective and misguided for health organizations.
- “The nutritional fable goes something like this: Rather than criticize industry for its questionable practices, health organizations should “sit at the table” with industry leaders and see what compromises can be reached. This all sounds wonderfully cooperative and democratic, but it also ignores some stark realities.”
- “Certainly, coalition politics and “sitting at the table” are paramount for success, but health organizations should prioritize such meetings with other organizations that have similar goals. While industry is always quick to point out how interested and motivated it is to be “part of the solution,” it is crucial to consider its actions, which mainly show how it fights relentlessly against public health and has no qualms about spinning science to its benefit.”
- “Health organizations should be savvy and realize that expending energy on getting Coca-Cola “to do the right thing” is unproductive and inefficient. When it comes to “sitting at the table” with industry, industry sets the table, chooses the menu, and then sticks health organizations with a hefty bill.”