PDF Version

NEWS RELEASE
For More Information Contact: Gary Ruskin (202)588-7746
For Immediate Release: May 14th, 2004

Is The Prince of Wales Fronting for the Junk Food Industry?

Is the Prince of Wales using his influence as president of the Prince of Wales International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF) to help the junk food industry solve its public relations troubles arising from the growing worldwide epidemic of obesity?

The IBLF is a charity based in London.  It is supported by Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Cadbury Schweppes, McDonald’s, Kraft Foods, Nestle and other corporations.

The IBLF has launched an initiative—the Healthy Eating, Active Living Global Partnership—which says it “aims to mobilise business as a responsible partner for health and wellness in the marketplace, workplace and community.” Its website says that “the HEAL global partnership is run by a small team from the UK and USA, and supported by a founding group of concerned international IBLF member companies.”

Some of these IBLF member companies have heavily pressured the US government to weaken the World Health Organization’s global strategy on diet, physical activity and health, which they fear will encourage national governments to examine the impact of junk food marketing on children’s health and rising obesity rates.  They also oppose the use of taxes to reduce over-consumption of junk food and soft drinks, and the global strategy’s recommendation to limit the consumption of added sugar in the diet.

The IBLF is holding a global partnership meeting with some of its member companies in Geneva at the World Health Assembly on May 20, apparently to outline the industry’s response to health ministers’ efforts to reduce the incidence of obesity and diet-related chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and some forms of cancer.  It says it “aims to explore the potential and practical scope for collaboration between private sector business and health organisations in the planning, design, implementation and marketing of consumer health campaigns to prevent ill health linked to poor diet and lack of physical activity.”

“Why is the heir to Britain’s throne lending his good name to this organization, which seems to be acting as a front for junk food and soft drink companies?” said Gary Ruskin, executive director of Commercial Alert.  “If the IBLF were serious about social responsibility, it would tell junk food companies to improve public health by halting advertising to children, removing their products from the schools, and ceasing to maximize their profits regardless of the impact on public health.”

“Does the Prince of Wales really want these junk food companies to shield themselves behind his royal hallmark of feathers?” Ruskin asked.  “Instead, it would be a feather in the Prince’s cap if he told the junk food companies to stop their aggressive marketing and the globalization of unhealthy diets.”

Commercial Alert is a US-based nonprofit organization whose mission is to keep the commercial culture within its proper sphere, and to prevent it from exploiting children and subverting the higher values of family, community, environmental integrity and democracy. For more information, see our website at: http://www.commercialalert.org.

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For background, see:
http://www.csrforum.com
http://www.iblf.org/csr/csrwebassist.nsf/content/f1b2a3.html
http://www.iblf.org/csr/csrwebassist.nsf/content/b1q2.html#heal
http://www.iblf.org/csr/csrwebassist.nsf/content/f1e2c3.html
http://www.csrforum.com/csr/csrwebassist.nsf/webprintview/f1a2c3a4.html
http://www.pwblf.org/csr/csrwebassist.nsf/content/f1a2d3.html
http://www.princeofwales.gov.uk/trusts/bus_forum.html
http://www.iblf.org/csr/csrwebassist.nsf/550d4b46b29f68a6852568660081f938/
80256adc002b820485256acb00350c31/$FILE/CorporateMembership.pdf

Contact information for the IBLF:The Prince of Wales International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF)
15-16 Cornwall Terrace
The Regent’s Park
London NW1 4QP
United Kingdom
Tel: + 44 (0)20 7467 3667/6
Fax: + 44 (0)20 7467

PDF Version

NEWS RELEASE
For More Information Contact: Gary Ruskin (202)588-7746
For Immediate Release: May 14th, 2004

Is The Prince of Wales Fronting for the Junk Food Industry?

Is the Prince of Wales using his influence as president of the Prince of Wales International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF) to help the junk food industry solve its public relations troubles arising from the growing worldwide epidemic of obesity?

The IBLF is a charity based in London.  It is supported by Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Cadbury Schweppes, McDonald’s, Kraft Foods, Nestle and other corporations.

The IBLF has launched an initiative—the Healthy Eating, Active Living Global Partnership—which says it “aims to mobilise business as a responsible partner for health and wellness in the marketplace, workplace and community.” Its website says that “the HEAL global partnership is run by a small team from the UK and USA, and supported by a founding group of concerned international IBLF member companies.”

Some of these IBLF member companies have heavily pressured the US government to weaken the World Health Organization’s global strategy on diet, physical activity and health, which they fear will encourage national governments to examine the impact of junk food marketing on children’s health and rising obesity rates.  They also oppose the use of taxes to reduce over-consumption of junk food and soft drinks, and the global strategy’s recommendation to limit the consumption of added sugar in the diet.

The IBLF is holding a global partnership meeting with some of its member companies in Geneva at the World Health Assembly on May 20, apparently to outline the industry’s response to health ministers’ efforts to reduce the incidence of obesity and diet-related chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and some forms of cancer.  It says it “aims to explore the potential and practical scope for collaboration between private sector business and health organisations in the planning, design, implementation and marketing of consumer health campaigns to prevent ill health linked to poor diet and lack of physical activity.”

“Why is the heir to Britain’s throne lending his good name to this organization, which seems to be acting as a front for junk food and soft drink companies?” said Gary Ruskin, executive director of Commercial Alert.  “If the IBLF were serious about social responsibility, it would tell junk food companies to improve public health by halting advertising to children, removing their products from the schools, and ceasing to maximize their profits regardless of the impact on public health.”

“Does the Prince of Wales really want these junk food companies to shield themselves behind his royal hallmark of feathers?” Ruskin asked.  “Instead, it would be a feather in the Prince’s cap if he told the junk food companies to stop their aggressive marketing and the globalization of unhealthy diets.”

Commercial Alert is a US-based nonprofit organization whose mission is to keep the commercial culture within its proper sphere, and to prevent it from exploiting children and subverting the higher values of family, community, environmental integrity and democracy. For more information, see our website at: http://www.commercialalert.org.

-30-

For background, see:
http://www.csrforum.com
http://www.iblf.org/csr/csrwebassist.nsf/content/f1b2a3.html
http://www.iblf.org/csr/csrwebassist.nsf/content/b1q2.html#heal
http://www.iblf.org/csr/csrwebassist.nsf/content/f1e2c3.html
http://www.csrforum.com/csr/csrwebassist.nsf/webprintview/f1a2c3a4.html
http://www.pwblf.org/csr/csrwebassist.nsf/content/f1a2d3.html
http://www.princeofwales.gov.uk/trusts/bus_forum.html
http://www.iblf.org/csr/csrwebassist.nsf/550d4b46b29f68a6852568660081f938/
80256adc002b820485256acb00350c31/$FILE/CorporateMembership.pdf

Contact information for the IBLF:The Prince of Wales International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF)
15-16 Cornwall Terrace
The Regent’s Park
London NW1 4QP
United Kingdom
Tel: + 44 (0)20 7467 3667/6
Fax: + 44 (0)20 7467