Earlier this week, England’s The Daily Mail published the results of an investigation which looked into how the well-established ties the food industry has with government officials.
We were quite surprised to see this article, since the Daily Mail is mainly known for celebrity-centered fluff pieces. While this is by no means an investigative piece you would see in the likes of Mother Jones or the New York Times, there are some highlights worth sharing:
- “The Food and Drink Federation, the lobbyist for the food industry which has led opposition to calls for anti-obesity legislation, has had 16 meetings with ministers and 99 meetings with officials since the Coalition [the current political party] took over, official figures reveal.”
- “Public health experts said the extraordinary access showed that the Government was keener on listening to the food industry than to those with the interest of people’s health at heart.”
- “A study published in the Bulletin of the World Health Organisation says there is a correlation between countries with few regulations on food production and those with consumption of unhealthy fast foods.”
One of the main concerns is that there is no equal time — or access — given to public health advocates.
This reminds us of what happens with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, where the likes of Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, General Mills, Kellogg’s, and McDonald’s are put on a pedestal and lauded as companies that champion wellness.