Monday, May 23, 2016

The Influence of Vested Interests and How to Overcome Them

 Political scientists and others like decry the power of special interest groups, sometimes described as having pretty complete power over public policy.  That's often true, but not always.  Take the example of the nutrition label on food, which has just been changed.

As background, consider this NY Times  article, which includes this: 
A team of researchers at the University of North Carolina conducted a detailed survey of the packaged foods and drinks that are purchased in American grocery stores and found that 60 percent of them include some form of added sugar. When they looked at every individual processed food in the store, 68 percent had added sugar.
Naturally the food processors liked the status quo.  But with Michelle Obama as the spokesperson, they were defeated.  Among the factors: Obama's image and clout, the easy contrast between self-interested food processors and those who want to improve the nation's health, and the absence of any broad-based coalition in favor of sugar.  There's no NRA, no grass-roots organization, to provide support to the processors.

No comments: