165424 Corporate strategies to influence trade & health policies

Wednesday, November 7, 2007: 1:00 PM

Bill Wiist, DHSc, MPH , Health Sciences, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ
Since the early historical establishment of for-profit corporations they have sought to influence governing institutions to obtain policies giving benefit to commercial trade, often with advantages to specific corporations. Those policies and the ensuing worldwide trade have often resulted in devastating effects on the health status of populations, healthcare organizations, governments, economies and social and environmental conditions. Contemporary transportation and communication technologies, government polices and global extra-governmental trade organizations have extended corporate influence. Examination of historical and contemporary strategies that individual corporations and industries have used to influence policies shows a collection of strategies in common. A comprehensive model will be presented that summarizes the strategies that corporations use to influence policies. Commonly used corporate strategies include manipulation of scientific research, support of “educational, front” groups, distribution of public relations material as news, use of paid experts, funding university research, control of regulatory agencies, conceptual framing, and others. Illustrative examples of corporate strategies to influence the development and implementation of policies that affect health such as those used by the tobacco, food and consumer product industries will be presented. Suggestions will be made for strategies that public health professionals and organizations can use to address the growing power and influence that corporations have on health, civil society, governments and the environment.

Learning Objectives:
1.Identify at least four strategies that corporations use to influence trade and health policies. 2.Describe at least three examples of corporate strategies to influence trade and health policies. 3.Identify at least three strategies public health professionals can use to address corporate influence on policy.

Keywords: Public Health Advocacy, Social Justice

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.