mediated and made based on and to a certain extent by the interests of the powerful food industry … can be taken to pitorreo or even considered the blogger in question, that is, a servant, has fallen into the crudest of conspiracy approaches. I have it assumed.
However, to be publicly stated by the Director General of the World Health Organization, Dr. Margaret Chan , and not to tremble when it comes to explaining this accusation, it is likely that the form will change substantially. in which the same message is interpreted.
Yes, you read correctly, the WHO accuses the food industry of intervening in an important and negative way in the health policies of many governments. And governments to let themselves be done . A little more than a year ago, in the opening speech of the 8th World Conference on Health Promotion of 2013 that this brave woman starred in, she pointed with her accusing finger and without the slightest hint of doubt at the food industry and the administrations of many governments to distort health policies aimed at the general population for their own benefit . The first, the industry, to increase sales of their businesses and the second, governments, leaving “anoint” (consciously or unconsciously). Thus, the health policies that are published are formulated to a certain extent based on the interests, nothing praiseworthy, of each one : the industry and the administrations … all benefit. All but one, the passive subject of the film who at the same time is the main actor, that is, the citizenship on which those policies are directed.
You do not believe me? I do not blame you, if to me before reading the speech to which I refer on the same official page of the WHO, I would have been told, I would not have believed it either. So that you can judge it yourself, you can find the full speech in this link . I have taken the liberty of making a free translation of part of your message (I am not an official translator) so that you understand better trying to keep its literal and context to the maximum. These are some of the truths that Margaret Chan launched in the face of the food industry and of those governments that twist public health programs at will . As you can see from his words, it is not a question of a few governments, not a few companies, but rather, on the contrary, it is quite usual:
The public effort aimed at preventing noncommunicable diseases [after making a special reference to obesity, diabetes and cancer] is facing commercial interests of powerful economic agents . In my opinion, this is one of the biggest challenges facing health promotion campaigns.
As shown in the publication that summarizes this conference [ see the whole in this link ], it is not only the problem that was once observed with the big tobacco companies (Big Tobacco). Now, Public Health has to deal with other industries in the same terms as then; It’s about the “Big Food”, “Big Soda” and “Big Alcohol”. It is these industries that at this moment fear a regulation of their products by the health administrations and those that are resorting to the same tactics that the tobacco industry once put into practice .
The recent past provides sufficient evidence to document that these tactics by the food industry have already been launched. These include the creation of companies within the same group with a “friendly face” , the creation of pressure groups [lobby], making promises of self-regulation , filing lawsuits and financing research studies. What they get is distort the evidence and confuse the citizen.
In addition, this type of tactics also includes the realization of donations, gifts and contributions related to noble causes, or seen by the community, so that these industries end up being perceived as respectable corporations both in the eyes of the citizenry and those of the political class. Among its strategies, it is also important to rest the responsibility of bad health in each person , individually; as well as pretending to make believe that the actions of governments to regulate these issues are nothing else but a way to interfere in each person’s personal freedom and their right to freely choose .
The opposition exercised is of a formidable magnitude. Since ample power in the markets translates in a short time into political power, few governments have prioritized health issues over large businesses . As we have learned from previous experiences, as with tobacco, when a powerful corporation proposes it, it can sell almost anything to the population .
Let me remind you one thing. Not a single country in the world has managed to turn around the obesity epidemic in all age groups. This reality is not the result of a lack of individual will. It is a consequence of the absence of political will at the time of getting into this big business .
I am deeply concerned about two current trends
The first implies the possibility that the industry and the administrations reach “commercial” agreements resulting from the denunciations of the former over the latter. Currently, some of the governments that have put in place measures to protect the health of their citizens are being brought to court by the industry . And this is dangerous.
The second refers to the industry’s interest in shaping Public Health policies, especially those measures that affect their products. If an industry is involved in the formulation of public health policies , be assured that those most effective measures will be either minimized or set aside in their entirety . This trend is also well documented and is also dangerous.