SPECTRUM Consortium

Challenging the influence of unhealthy commodity industries on public health policy

New SPECTRUM briefing highlights tactics used by unhealthy commodity industries (UCIs) to influence the policy process.

15 December 2021

Ahead of a meeting of the Cross Party Group on Improving Scotland's Health, SPECTRUM has produced a briefing for MSPs highlighting the influence of powerful corporate actors as a barrier to progress in public health policy.

Featuring research from Professors Jeff Collin, Mark Petticrew and Cecile Knai, Dr Nason Maani, and the NCD Alliance, the briefing brings together evidence on the strategies and approaches used by unhealthy commodity industries (UCIs) to influence policy. Drawing on examples from the SPECTRUM and NCD Alliance report, ‘Signalling Virtue, Promoting Harm’, the briefing also highlights the exploitation of the COVID-19 pandemic by UCIs to advance preferred policy positions.

Policy makers must be aware of attempts by UCIs to influence their decision-making and the need to actively manage conflicts of interest in public health policy.

The briefing includes a set of recommendations for policy makers to limit future influence, and allow the development of public health policies to reduce the burden of harm from non-communicable diseases.

Read the briefing

Further information

Professor Jeff Collin, University of Edinburgh, and Professor Mark Petticrew, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, will both present during the Cross Party Group on Improving Scotland's Health meeting on 15 December.

More on the SPECTRUM and NCD Alliance report ‘Signalling virtue, promoting harm’