This terrific new paper looks at how corporate practices influence public health and how revent actions that may have a deleterious effect on population health.
* “A comprehensive framework is needed to ensure that no aspect of corporate action is left unexamined by academics and practitioners alike. For example, corporations may interfere with the research process and redefine what constitutes scientific evidence for policy making. Corporations [can also] engage in changing the social discourse around the role of the state or the social value of regulation.”
* “The flow between public and private sector employment may advance corporate interests in three ways. First, it may result in policy decisions about products and practices that favor industry interests. Second, it guarantees industry a voice in the policymaking process, even though other stakeholders have no assurance that their concerns will be addressed by regulatory agencies. Thirdly, it gives industry a competitive advantage when former regulators bring confidential information into their corporate roles.”
* “Corporations may avoid both a negative image and statutory regulation of their products by casting doubt on the scientific evidence documenting negative effects associated with them and by discrediting the scientists who produce such evidence. The rationale is that if the existing evidence around the harmful effects of a given product is ambiguous and there is no consensus around it, then there is no need for regulatory action. The cases of tobacco, acid rain, ozone, global warming, and DDT all have this tactic in common: a group of scientists with extensive political connections, ran effective campaigns to mislead the public and deny well-established scientific knowledge over four decades.”