Take on Big Food to improve malnutrition and environment

A commission of experts have published in The Lancet that the way to really tackle obesity, undernutrition, diet related illnesses and climate change is to take on the food and drink industry in a similar way to the approach taken for tobacco.

Packet of crisps. Photo credit: Pexels

Packet of crisps. Photo credit: Pexels

Writing in the medical journal The Lancet the commission calls for a UN treaty which would ban food and drink industry’s place at the table when discussing ways to improve public health. This treaty would be similar to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in which the tobacco industry is not allowed to take part in negotiations.

The commission also propose a £760m fund for civil society organisations that want to press for sugar taxes and other measures to improve diets.

The food and drink industry has enormous power and the money to exert pressure on governments. In an interview with The Guardian one of the commissioners - Tim Lobstein of the World Obesity Federation - pointed out that in the US Congress there are 294 lobbyists from food and drink companies, more than from either the tobacco or alcohol industries:

“Of that, two-thirds are former Congress staff, so they know what they are doing. That level of lobbying is devoted to preserving the status quo. It is a major barrier to change and must be challenged.”


30/01/2019
Better Food Britain

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