Tuesday, December 25, 2012

How The Food Industry Influences Food Policy

Hope you're enjoying this holiday season! This week is traditionally my blog-cation and so instead of writing new posts, here is a favourite of mine from back in 2009.
Simple - they're invited to the table and once there they're able to extend their considerable influence and spin on the proceedings (how many public citizens, scientists, doctors or dietitians have teams of PR folks and scientists helping craft their messages?).

I've blogged about this a great deal in the past and commented on how bad an idea it is to bring people with a vested interest in national food policy to the table when trying to develop new national food policies.

Rather than go through all that again I strongly encourage you to spend 6 minutes of your morning watching the following video. It does a great job covering just who it is who attends and gets involved in the consultations surrounding national food policy development.

While this particular video deals with American school lunch programs, rest assured this video could have been filmed at every "public" consultation surrounding Canada's Food Guide and of course the non-public, stakeholder invited consultations as well.

(Thanks to Marion Nestle for featuring the video on her blog)

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1 comment:

  1. Good video.

    Margo Wootan, Director of Nutrition Policy for the Center for Science in the Public Interest(CSPI), has always been a staunchly low-fat and anti-saturated fat. In fact, she and the CSPI are largely responsible for increasing the omega-6 industrial seed oils/trans fat content of the food supply(1).

    Marion Nestle also belongs to the low-fat/anti-traditional (animal) fat crowd. These people say that their recommendations to restrict animal fats are science-based but, in reality, their views are based on epidemiology rather than biochemistry(2) and on logic rather than hard scientific evidence(3).

    References and notes
    1. "In 1989, CSPI was instrumental in convincing fast-food restaurants to stop using animal fat for frying, promoting the use of trans fats instead. They would later reverse their position on the use of trans fats." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Center_for_Science_in_the_Public_Interest
    2. "Results and conclusions about saturated fat intake in relation to cardiovascular disease, from leading advisory committees, do not reflect the available scientific literature." http://www.nutritionjrnl.com/article/S0899-9007%2811%2900314-5/abstract
    3. We’ve long been told that saturated fats are bad. But the fact is saturated fats are the good guys. They help to raise beneficial HDL cholesterol, improving your triglyceride/HDL ratio—a key marker of cardiovascular health.