Monday, October 20, 2008

ADA, Corporate Sponsors, Food Industry

As my email and snail mail box become engulfed with cards from Cargill, The Beef Council & Coca Cola, I can't help but respond to the many people that have engaged in dialog regarding ADA's corporate sponsors and the upcoming FNCE sessions. I hope free IPODs and Tiffany's jewelry don't put rosey colored glasses on my fellow Dietitian's ability to think critically.

I thought I would share two important pieces published this month:

10 Things the Food Industry Doesn't Want You to Know --Two nutrition experts argue that you can't take marketing campaigns at face value:

I have also attatched: Can the Food Industry Play a Constructive Role in theObesity Epidemic? published this month by JAMA. In it, it cites our Association: While we may realize and argue the importance of corporate sponsorship, let us not forget those in the Public Health arena who remain critical. From the article.

"Food companies also donate large sums of money to professional associations. In return for a donation to the American Dietetic Association (ADA), Coca-Cola becomes an ADA partner and receives "a national platform via ADA events and programs with prominent access to key influencers, thought leaders, and decision makers in the food and nutrition marketplace."13 Some professional associations continue to accept fees to endorse sugary breakfast cereals and processed snack foods, even though this practice was considered potentially deceptive by state attorneys general nearly a decade ago."

"But inferences from any one action miss a fundamental point: in a market-driven economy, industry tends to act opportunistically in the interests of maximizing profit. Problems arise when society fails to perceive this situation accurately."

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