Viewpoint: Powerful new food industry group promises to promote science-based policies—but will it?

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Credit: Modern Farmer

Four of the largest food companies have combined forces to form a new advocacy association. Danone North America; Mars, Incorporated; Nestle USA; and Unilever United States have formed the Sustainable Food Policy Alliance. The Alliance seeks to be at the forefront of policies shaping how Americans eat and the impact food has on our health.

The companies will prioritize advocacy in five key areas: consumer transparency, environment, food safety, nutrition, and people and communities.

In a joint statement released by the Alliance, the company presidents said:

…We understand that we don’t have all the answers and will rely on the best available evidence-based science to inform our positions….

Interestingly, these are the same companies that recently pulled out of the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA). Politico reports that the reasons for departing GMA were vague, but followed disagreements between the companies and GMA over food policy.

Related article:  Boosting sustainability and combating world hunger using protein from CO2-munching bacteria

I’m mostly concerned because these are the companies that broke with GMA. Until recently, GMA was a powerhouse lobbying group that generally sided with agriculture interests. The splintering of GMA is worrisome. The formation of this Alliance worries me even more. These aren’t newbies; they understand the game…As four of the largest food companies, they also have a lot of cash. Without other members of GMA reigning them in, it’ll be interesting to see how far they diverge in policy and politics.

Read full, original article: Four Major Food Companies Launch Sustainable Food Policy Alliance – What Does It Mean for Agriculture?

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