October 22nd, 2012
Special Report: Food, beverage industry pays for seat at health-policy table
By Duff Wilson and Adam Kerlin
As the world’s foremost health agency, the World Health Organization bills itself as an impartial advocate working on behalf of 194 member nations.
Its mission as the public health arm of the United Nations ranges from stanching communicable diseases such as malaria and AIDS to battling what the U.N. considers the latest “global epidemic”: chronic ailments such as diabetes and heart disease caused primarily by unhealthy diets.
But to fight those diseases in Mexico, the nation with the world’s highest rate of obese and overweight adults, a Reuters investigation found that WHO’s regional office has turned to the very companies whose sugary drinks and salty foods are linked to many of the maladies it’s trying to prevent.