The United Kingdom's Department of Health is currently brainstorming new policies on alcohol, obesity, and diet-related diseases. While the department is getting advice from the usual suspects like doctors, public health groups, and academics, it's also seeking input from some pretty notorious names in the sustainable food movement. McDonald's, Kentucky Fried Chicken, PepsiCo, Mars, and Unilever are just a handful of the junk food producers Secretary of Health Andrew Lansley has engaged to offer expert opinions on everything from diet-related disease to caloric intake to obesity.
Lansley claims that effective health policy means moving away from government mandates and relying instead on voluntary measures with companies. Perhaps Lansley is forgetting one crucial fact: Junk food producers like Pepsi, McDonald's, and KFC make money off of consumers' poor dietary choices. Doing what's best for the fast food industry's bottom line means continuing to pimp unhealthy products on a vulnerable consumer base, regardless of the health implications.
Junk food producers and consumers' health just don't mix. Sign our petition asking Secretary Lansley to immediately remove food and alcohol company representatives from the Department of Health's "responsibility deal" networks.