The Government
United Kingdom

According to The Guardian: “The Department of Health is putting the fast food companies McDonald's and KFC and processed food and drink manufacturers such as PepsiCo, Kellogg's, Unilever, Mars and Diageo at the heart of writing government policy on obesity, alcohol and diet-related disease.

In an overhaul of public health, said by campaign groups to be the equivalent of handing smoking policy over to the tobacco industry, health secretary Andrew Lansley has set up five 'responsibility deal' networks with business, co-chaired by ministers, to come up with policies.

The groups are dominated by food and alcohol industry members, who have been invited to suggest measures to tackle public health crises. The alcohol responsibility deal network is chaired by the head of the lobby group the Wine and Spirit Trade Association. The food network to tackle diet and health problems includes processed food manufacturers, fast food companies, and Compass, the catering company famously pilloried by Jamie Oliver for its school menus of turkey twizzlers. The food deal's sub-group on calories is chaired by PepsiCo, owner of Walkers crisps.

Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, the leading liver specialist and until recently president of the Royal College of Physicians, said he was very concerned by the emphasis on voluntary partnerships with industry.......He doubted whether there could be 'a meaningful convergence between the interests of industry and public health since the priority of the drinks industry was to make money for shareholders while public health demanded a cut in consumption..... On alcohol there is undoubtedly a need for regulation on price, availability and marketing and there is a risk that discussions will be deflected away from regulation that is likely to be effective but would affect sales. On food labelling we have listened too much to the supermarkets rather than going for traffic lights [warnings] which health experts recommend.' ”

The Shadow public health minister Dianne Abbott, has called for the Health Select Committee to launch an enquiry into this decision. Please show your support for this enquiry by signing this petition.

We, the undersigned, call on the UK government to reverse the Department of Health's decision to allow corporations such as McDonald's a key role in writing public health policy.

Such companies' aims involve maximising sales of their products, which lie in direct contrast to the public's health. It is therefore completely illogical to allow them direct influence over it.

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The Corporations must not dictate public health policy petition to The Government was written by Josh Cullimore and is in the category Health at GoPetition.