Nurturing Health Through Sound Food Policy

Effective food policy can do a lot to fix the damage caused by the fast food industry. It can help:

  • Create a food environment that nourishes – rather than harms – our children
  • Promote healthful alternatives to fast food
  • Make space for farmers markets, urban farms, and other forms of local agriculture to thrive

That’s why we work to promote and secure food policy at the local, national and international level.

Local Policies Slow Down Fast Food

Communities can take concrete steps to reduce the negative effects of fast food and its ubiquitous marketing.

To empower local action, we have released “Slowing Down Fast Food: A Policy Guide for Healthier Kids and Families” in partnership with City University of New York’s School of Public Health.

It focuses on key food policy approaches, offering case studies like the following:

  • St. Paul’s public school district rid its halls and cafeterias of fast food and its marketing.
  • An indefinite moratorium on fast-food outlets in south and southeast Los Angeles, the city's lowest-income neighborhoods, means residents are actively pursuing healthful alternatives like food co-ops and community gardens.
  • A hospital in Dallas, Tex. threw out McDonalds and brought in a smaller restaurant chain with more nourishing fare.
  • San Francisco passed a groundbreaking ordinance curbing predatory marketing to kids by focusing on the toy giveaways. Its impact has been felt well beyond the Bay Area.

A National Farm Bill That Puts Farmers and the Public First

More than any other federal policy, the U.S. Farm Bill guides the way our food is grown and produced.

But that's not all. It also affects a whole range of other practices and policies related to the food system, including food assistance, safety and nutrition. In short, the Farm Bill's wide reach impacts trade, the environment, social programs and the livelihoods of many rural communities.

Unfortunately, the Farm Bill has been hijacked by global corporations to better their bottom lines at the public's expense. Corporations employ tactics like lobbying, political spending, corporate PR schemes and junk science to bring the full weight of their financial and political clout to bear on the legislative process. The result is policy that maximizes corporate profits at the expense of family farms, the environment and our public health.

We work with allied organizations to challenge this kind of political interference by Big Ag and fast food corporations.

We advocate for a fair Farm Bill that is free of corporate interference. Such a bill would:

  • Create fair markets for agricultural products. 
  • Increase access to healthy foods.
  • Promote sustainable farming practices that protect the environment.

Global Food Policy Improves Global Health

We helped secure the global tobacco treaty – the world’s first public health and corporate accountability treaty. We work with non-governmental and government allies to advance international food policy as well. 

Just like Big Tobacco, Big Food exports its abuses and the resulting human and environmental tolls to Global South countries. We must secure strong global standards to protect health and promote a more sustainable food system.

So far, Corporate Accountability International, through our official status as an NGO, has been instrumental in developing a set of marketing recommendations with the World Health Organization (WHO) that aim to protect all children from predatory junk-food advertising.

And, we continue to work with the WHO, its Member States and our international allies to implement the recommendations in countries around the world.

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