The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is in talks to terminate the Kids Eat Right/Kraft Singles collaboration (which, curiously, is now being referred to as a “pilot program”).
A New York Times article on this latest development quotes Jody Moore, a Kraft corporate spokeswoman, who says: “Although we stand by our decision to work together to shine a light on this issue and not to serve as a product endorsement, we believe misperceptions are overshadowing the campaign. As such, both organizations have agreed it is best not to proceed as originally planned.”
(Note the “this collaboration was misunderstood” narrative).
We want to thank all dietitians who made their voices heard over the past two weeks, whether it was by emailing leadership, signing the #RepealTheSeal petition (many thanks to dietitians Rachel Begun, Kate Geagan, and Regan Jones for drafting it), leaving comments on the Academy’s Facebook page, writing blog posts on the controversy, or generally advocating for change.
While this latest turn of events is certainly promising, this is the time to continue advocating. Keep in mind that Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Kellogg’s, and General Mills are still Academy partners. Animal pharmaceutical giant Elanco gave the AND Foundation a sizeable grant (we have been told it is in the mid six figures) last year; consequently, Elanco is now ‘teaching’ dietitians about farming.
There still need to be discussions on AND’s leadership structure as well as greater transparency on decision making and any conflicts of interest held by decision makers.
In approximately one month, we will share an advocacy toolkit that fellow dietitians concerned with the issue of corporate sponsorship can use to speak to fellow colleagues on this matter.