Investigating the political influence of five Australian food industry companies

A study of the corporate political activity of five key organisations within the Australian food industry has found diverse practices. The study reported extensive use of framing the debate and shaping the evidence base on diet-related disease by the Australian Food and Grocery Council and Nestle (e.g. a focus on personal responsibility such as energy balance and physical activity or a reference to a shared solution). Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Woolworths focused on their involvement in the community (e.g. their charity work and involvement in sports’ programs). This study only looked at publicly available strategies but the authors suggest such monitoring could strengthen accountability mechanisms to protect public health policy development from commercial interests.

Mialon, M., Swinburn, B., Allender, S., & Sacks, G. (2016). Systematic examination of publicly-available information reveals the diverse and extensive corporate political activity of the food industry in Australia. BMC Public Health, 16, 1-13
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