Ahead of a key OECD health ministerial in January, 10 private-sector health policy experts, including USCIB Vice President Helen Medina, met in Paris last week for the BIAC (Business at OECD) Health Committee, took part in a key OECD meeting on “The Economics of Prevention,” and exchanged views on health and innovation policy with selected permanent delegations to the OECD.
With several governments contemplating heavy-handed labeling and marketing restrictions on foods they deem unhealthy, the industry experts sought to underscore how much industry has done to address the health impacts of its products as well as consumer lifestyle choices.
“The fact is, industry has made robust commitments on marketing and advertising, and has reformulated products in response to public concerns about health,” said Medina. “Our goal is to ensure that industry can continue to innovate and contribute to healthy diets while continuing to provide a range of choices for consumers.”
Other BIAC experts emphasized that industry is not afraid of regulation, but wants governments to support research and innovation policies, which would also help smaller companies. They asked OECD governments to consider ways to improve the base of evidence regarding effective disease prevention tools and other interventions. There is a need, they said, for nutritional data and for an integrative comprehensive approach to foster healthy choices, lifestyles and sustainable diets.
The group held bilateral meetings with OECD missions including the United States, Australia and the Czech Republic.