Researchers: Food industry looks to tobacco for inspiration
Apparently, Big Oil isn’t the only industry that has cast an admiring gaze at Big Tobacco’s track record of avoiding regulation and accountability for decades. Over on Yale Environment 360, there’s an interesting interview with Kelly D. Brownell, director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University, on parralels between the food and tobacco iindustries’ tactics for protecting lucrative markets against mounting evidence that that products destroy lives. In a nutshell:
[T]he common strategies include dismissing as “junk science” peer-reviewed studies showing a link between their products and disease; paying scientists to produce pro-industry studies; sowing doubt in the public’s mind about the harm caused by their products; intensive marketing to children and adolescents; frequently rolling out supposedly “safer” products and vowing to regulate their own industries; denying the addictive nature of their products; and lobbying with massive resources to thwart regulatory action.
Big Food followed that playbook flawlessly when evidence recently emerged that high-fructose corn syrup, that ubiquitous sweetener, often contains mercury.