An Unwelcome Seat at the Table: The Role of Big Food in Public and Private Standard-Setting and its Implications for NCD Regulation
The implications of public and private standard setting in unhealthy diet and alcohol regulation
With the enshrinement of the private sector as a key actor in the Non-Communicable Disease (‘NCD’) and sustainable development agendas, there is a pressing need to control undue influence by Big Food in public health norm-setting and in the formulation and implementation of unhealthy diet regulation. In the absence of clearly established guidelines governing interactions between public health norm-setting bodies and private sector interests, such as those observed in tobacco control, the regulation of unhealthy diets threatens to be undermined by Big Food interference, ultimately impacting on public health. In addition, the weight attributed to international private standards that are heavily influenced by Big Food interests should be carefully considered in the application of international trade law to NCD regulatory measures under the dispute settlement system of the World Trade Organization (‘WTO’).
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