Deborah Cohen on Nestlé and the International Diabetes Federation: comfortable bedfellows?

from BMJ Group Blogs - May 14, 2012

Nestlé has just announced a three year partnership with the International Diabetes Federation(IDF)—an umbrella organisation representing national diabetes societies from around the world— as part of its contribution to the fight against non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Such diseases include cardiovascular disease, cancer respiratory illness and diabetes. 

“As part of our commitment to nutrition, health and wellness, we will work with the International Diabetes Federation to build awareness and promote healthy lifestyles including healthy nutrition and physical activity,” Janet Voûte, Global Head of Public Affairs at Nestlé, said.

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The IDF has attempted to position itself as an objective voice for diabetes public health. But it fights against inherent corruption. All around the corporate forces from the food and pharma industry lurk. The IDF depends on member organizations, which in the US are the ADA and AADE for support and these organizations are already permeated by corporate interests. You can only make so much money holding a world congress. It is only a matter of time before fiscal pressure resulted in such alliances.

Nestle has a long history of buying itself social graces whilst destroying the health of the nations it purports to protect. From trying to discourage nursing in developing nations in the 70's to its support front-of-package "healthy" labeling of inherently unhealthy foods, Nestle has been the foe of healthy eating for decades...

You might like the book "Chocolate Wars" which contrasts the rivalries between Cadbury and Nestle. Cadbury was founded and led by Quakers, who had a long history of social duty and honesty. This is in total opposition to Nestle. In the end, Krafts took over Cadbury. Krafts is no better than Nestle.

Ugh OK? I guess? But really not the bestest thing I've heard lately

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