Submitted by Laura Miller on
"Years ago, the environmental movement coined the term "greenwashing" to describe how corporations use public relations to make themselves appear environmentally friendly. Now, nutrition advocates need their own moniker for a similar trend among major food companies - call it 'nutri-washing,'" writes Michele Simon, a public health lawyer and director of the Center for Informed Food Choices. "Some nutrition advocates have applauded such efforts as an attempt by industry to make improvements, however minor. But to praise companies for such 'reforms' too easily rewards them with the positive public-relations spin they seek. Also, these voluntary actions deliberately attempt to deflect any mandatory government regulations - for, as we are starting to learn, voluntary acts can easily be rescinded. ... Moreover, these PR efforts don't tell the whole story. Behind the scenes, industry is lobbying hard to undermine public-health advocacy, especially that aimed at improving the nutrition environment of public schools."