The Business of Public Health? Health Sector Participation in Food Industry Self-Regulation - The Food Pyramid Meets the Regulatory Pyramid: Responsive Regulation of Food Advertising to Children
36 Pages Posted: 4 May 2015
Date Written: May 4, 2015
This chapter forms part of a thesis submitted in fulfilment of the requirements of a PhD from the Faculty of Law, University of Sydney.
This chapter explores the possibility of enhancing stakeholder participation in food industry self-regulation as a way of strengthening the public’s interest in the program. I use the alcohol industry’s ABAC Scheme as an example of what a more collaborative approach might look like in practice, as it includes both public health and government representation in its governance processes. The chapter draws upon data from interviews with representatives of nine public health advocacy organisations and research institutes and two interviews with academic researchers. I also present findings from interviews with two representatives of alcohol trade associations, one member of the ABAC Management Committee, two members of the ABAC Adjudication Panel and a representative of the Advertising Standards Bureau. The chapter begins by discussing the increasing use of collaborative initiatives in public health. Next I explore the extent to which public health advocates influence food and alcohol industry self-regulation, both indirectly and by participating in self-regulatory processes. Then I report on whether public health interviewees thought it would be appropriate for public health stakeholders to join non-statutory, quasi-regulatory processes governing food advertising, similar to the ABAC Scheme. I conclude by arguing against external stakeholder participation in industry-based schemes, at least in the absence of government intervention and oversight, because of the significant risk that public health interests will be subverted by those of industry.
Keywords: Alcohol industry, food industry, food advertising, public health governance, self-regulation
JEL Classification: K10, K30, K32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation