Big Food: Lobbying Will Only Accelerate the Inevitable
— October 19, 2015
By Hans Taparia
It is hardly surprising that the food industry has gone on the offensive. Federal records show that corporate organizations such as the American Beverage Association spent $15.3 million lobbying on the guidelines in the second quarter of this year, compared to just $1.1 million by groups supporting the proposals such as the American Academy of Pediatrics. The Congressional Representatives who were signatories to the letter to the Secretaries, themselves, received over $2 million in contributions from food and agricultural interests in 2013 and 2014 . In a show of solidarity with Coca-Cola, Warren Buffet, whose Berkshire Hathaway is its largest shareholder, told CNBC after release of the report that a full one-quarter of the calories he consumes comes from Coca-Cola. Industry lobbying has also induced the House of Representatives to introduce a rider in the 2016 Agricultural Appropriations bill that would prevent the release and implementation of the Guidelines, scheduled to come out in December 2015. In an era where corporate lobbying in Washington continues to reach new highs, this behavior may seem like business-as-usual; but this may just be the turning point in the history of America's food industry, where it is no longer in their best interest to stop guidelines that promote health and ecological sustainability.
Read the full article as published on The Huffington Post.
Hans Taparia is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Business and Society.