Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Letter to food industry researcher

Dr Alison Henderson
Senior Lecturer
Department of Management Communication
University of Waikato
Private Bag 3105
New Zealand
Phone: 0064 (7) 838 4466 ext 6111
>>> Winston Riley <> Monday, 12 October 2009 4:57 AM >>>

Dear Dr. Henderson:
Congratulations on receiving the Mardsen Fund Research Grant.

My research has helped me to agree with Marion Nestle that food companies will produce anything which is profitable, whether it is healthy or not.
Still, I think that what we are mostly dealing with is culture...specifically corporate culture. It is inherited. It is a legacy.

Slowly we are learning to break the chain of irresponsible and destructive corporate behavior. Unfortunately when we are dealing with food issues, the bad corporate behavior can result in catastrophic results in terms of human health and suffering, and environmental crimes.

The problem is even more tragic around the world, where the issue isn't obesity but starvation. I'm sure if someone will continue to tunnel to the bottom of the root problem, they'll grasp the connection to obese Americans and starving world citizens.

I find the solution to be to educate the employees and executives in the corporations. Gradually this is occurring. But naturally, employees will defend their employer. The pay and benefits which they receive is how their children are clothed, fed and educated. It is a threat, as understandably it should be, to suggest that their employer is causing havoc to health and the envirnoment.

But if they came to see that their employer could still provide all the security which they've come to rely on, AND become a better global steward--and especially if they were to grasp the danger to children which their own employer is risking, in the name of profit--they would want to know the truth.

We feel that foods should be first--SAFE. Next, they should be nutritious. And finally, their value should be assessed by the ecological and ethical ramifications related to their production. We hope that a standard will be developed by a third party, organized and supported by the industry, which are the food wholesalers, retailers and manufacturers.

If we can be of service to you, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Sincerely yours,
--Winston RileyChief Executive OfficerEcological Food Manufacturers Association417-581-0738www.ecofma.comPlease follow on Twitter: ecofma