This past Sunday, Australia’s Daily Telegraph ran an excellent piece on Big Sugar’s backroom and strong-arm tactics that serve as a stark reminder of how much power industry yields.
- “World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention says the industry has vast ‘backroom’ influence. “We need greater transparency around governance and public policy-making because there is a lot of pressure behind closed doors,” Professor of Nutrition and Global Health, Boyd Swinburn, said. “Health policy is being shaped by those with a commercial interest in the outcome,” he said, citing junk food advertising to children. “It’s in all the ‘recommendations for action’ but it never happens due to the tactics of the industry.”
- “Fast food and soft drink manufacturers have inserted themselves in professional bodies such as the Nutritional Society of Australia (NSA).Coca-Cola, for example, is a gold sponsor of the NSA and sponsored last year’s ‘Insights into weight loss maintenance’ research seminar.The Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) has commercial partnerships with Nestlé and Arnotts.”
- * “Professor Heather Yeatman of the Public Health Association of Australia said the industry had too much influence. “They are trying to influence policy and key individuals, they are employing scientists to undertake research in their interest and he who pays the piper calls the tune,” she said. Researchers point to a study put out by Coca-Cola Institute of Health and Wellness which blamed obesity on a lack of physical activity.”
- “Former NSW shadow health minister Dr Andrew McDonald said the junk food industry was a “fearsome and mean lobby” and the Food and Grocery Council was “deeply embedded” in the Liberals. ‘(Their members) have no interest in the health of the population, they are a lobby group and their job is to maximise profits and they’re closely entangled with the Liberal Party,” Dr McDonald said.”