Wednesday, April 28, 2010


The ever widening gap between the food and beverage industry and consumer groups is reaching crisis proportions and it is difficult to come to a judgment regarding who is right. While industry has every right to earn profit for the investments it has made, consumer has his own right to expect honest and transparent practices from the industry. Probably it may be too much to expect that industry would be able to sacrifice its profits for ensuring global food security and if some one representing the industry takes such a stand, it is nothing short of hypocrisy. Hunger is related to food production for which farmers have to be galvanized through affordable inputs and helpful public policies.

"If we are to successfully combat global undernutrition, efforts must be sustained by multiple stakeholders from various sectors. We believe that trust is built through industry's demonstration of practical actions that improve health, and recognition of these actions by governments and nongovernmental organizations. Only through new and innovative public–private sector partnerships can we truly make a difference.Three international public health leaders counter with no, it can't, in an article entitled "The snack attack." They point to irreconcilable differences between the the goals of private industry and public health: The problem lies with food, drink, and associated companies whose profits depend on products that damage public health and that also have damaging social, economic, and environmental impacts. These most of all include transnational companies, of which PepsiCo is one. To succeed, big business must sustain and increase annual turnover, profit, and share price…We suggest that public health professionals see papers such as those of Yach et al. as part of the marketing strategies of transnational food and drink companies…The privatization of public health does not work".

As for consumer health, it is the responsibility of the processing industry to ensure that what is delivered to the consumer is at least not "worse" than the raw food material processed by them. Voluntary efforts are ideal to stem the present trend of ignoring consumer well being by flooding the market with imbalanced foods of "questionable" nutrition. If self-restraint is not practiced governments have the power to impose mandatory guidelines for forcing the process industry to respect the right of the consumers to have healthy foods from them.


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