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Prevention Institute

Prevention Institute alert: May 22, 2013

Companies Say the Darnedest Things As They Try to Avoid Regulation

Tobacco. Leaded paint. Junk food. Sugar-laced soda. Seems like every time communities or states try to pass laws that would help protect families and children from unhealthy products, a public relations effort is unleashed by the makers of those products and their allies. 

Scientists friendly to industry are funded to cast doubt on the consensus of other scientists that say cigarette smoke causes cancer or that sugar-sweetened drinks are a major contributor to diabetes.

Front groups disparage the regulatory efforts and talk about the freedoms that may be taken away — like people's "right" to smoke cigarettes on airplanes or in restaurants, or the "first amendment rights" of companies to advertise junk food to toddlers.

Companies start telling us how much they care about us and our children and create new programs to demonstrate it.

In a two-part series that began yesterday and concludes today, Prevention Institute's Rob Waters and William L. Haar take a look at Coca-Cola's new "Live Positively" campaign and at the "nanny state" rhetoric raised by so-called independent groups that promote junk science, and can be counted on to oppose any attempt to rein in the marketing of unhealthy products.

We all want a marketplace that supports small businesses to sell healthy products and families to have truly healthy choices in buying food for their children.

Check out the series here — and then do what you can to raise awareness in your community — with a letter to the editor, a conversation with your neighbors, or a dialogue with a merchant you know about stocking healthy items.

Read our two blogs:

Coca-Cola's "Frank Statement" a Slick Move to Stave Off Regulation

Ignore Evidence. Deny Science. Minimize Problems. Then Cry "Freedom!" (and Invoke the Nanny State)

Our latest blog post...

A Small Tax on Sugary Drinks, a Giant Step for California Health

...from Strategic Alliance explores the need for a statewide sugar-sweetened beverage tax to stem the tide of chronic disease in our communities and fund vital children's health initiatives.

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