Partnerships of Peril: Keeping Food, Alcohol and Beverage Industries Out of Global Health Governance

In a blog on PLOS Medicine, Heather Wipfli, from the University of Southern California, highlights the lack of consensus regarding the role of private industry in efforts to control the burden of non-communicable diseases. At the May meetings of the World Health Assembly, there was widespread discussion about the role of the private sector in NCD control. While WHO’s position on the tobacco industry is definitive, the definition and parameters of partnerships with other industries driving NCD epidemics are not, despite recent efforts to put safeguards in place. The lack of clarity on when and how to engage with the private sector and the increasing push for public-private partnerships to address global health challenges provides industries with vested interests in policy outcomes direct access to, and greater influence on, decision makers.