Using message communication to promote change
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Using Message & Communication to Promote Change. Remarks of Ken Kelly, JD Center for Science In the Public Interest Food Safety Network’s Communicators Conference University of Guelph June 13, 2006. Promoting Change. Center for Science In the Public Interest (CSPI)

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Using Message & Communication to Promote Change

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Using message communication to promote change

Using Message & Communication to Promote Change

Remarks of Ken Kelly, JD

Center for Science In the Public Interest

Food Safety Network’s Communicators Conference

University of Guelph

June 13, 2006


Promoting change

Promoting Change

  • Center for Science In the Public Interest (CSPI)

    • CSPI is an independent non-profit health advocacy organization with offices in Washington, D.C. and Ottawa. Since 1971, CSPI has been working to improve the public’s health, largely through its work on nutrition and food-safety issues. http://www.cspinet.org/

    • CSPI is supported primarily by over 900,000 subscribers to its Nutrition Action Healthletter, the largest circulation health newsletter in North America.

    • Our Canadian advocacy is supported by over 100,000 subscribers to the Canadian edition.http://www.cspinet.org/canada


Promoting change1

Promoting Change

  • The Problem: Foodborne Disease

    • Health Impact:

      • 75 million illnesses, 325,000 hospitalizations, and 5,000 deaths each year. (CDC)

    • Economic Impact:

      • In 2000, the USDA’s Economic Research Service estimated the cost of just five bacterial foodborne pathogens – Campylobacter, Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria – in terms of lost productivity, hospitalizations, and deaths to be $6.9 billion per year.


Promoting change2

Promoting Change

  • Who Do We Target?

    • Government

      • USDA-Food Safety Inspection Service

        • Meat & Poultry

      • FDA-Center for Science and Applied Nutrition

        • Seafood, Fresh Fruits & Vegetables, Eggs

    • Policymakers

      • Senators

      • Congressmen

    • Industry

      • Meat

      • Poultry

    • General Public


Promoting change3

Promoting Change

  • How Do We Target?

    • Direct lobbying

      • Face-To-Face Meetings (FTF)

      • Letters

    • Advocacy Campaigns

      • FTF Meetings

      • Letters

      • Media

      • Grassroots

    • Litigation Strategies

      • Legal Partnerships

    • State Advocacy

      • State Legislature

      • State Advocacy Groups

    • Regulatory Advocacy

      • Comments


Promoting change4

Promoting Change

  • Direct Lobbying

    USDA’s Recall Policy:

    During a recall, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will only share a firm’s distribution list with states that promise not to release the information to the public.

    • ConAgra

      • In the summer of 2002, public health officials in Colorado and California were barred from obtaining ConAgra’s distribution lists from USDA.

    • Mad Cow Disease

      • December 23, 2003, FSIS recalled raw beef that may have been exposed to tissues containing the infectious agent that causes mad cow disease.


Promoting change5

Promoting Change

  • Advocacy Campaigns

    • Where’s The Beef? Campaign

      • Objective: To reverse the policy of not telling consumers where contaminated meat is distributed and sold.

      • Strategies: Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Requests, Grassroots, Media.

      • Target: Primary=USDA, Secondary=Legislators/General Public


Promoting change6

Promoting Change

  • Advocacy Campaigns Cont.

    • NAIS Campaign – Mad Cow Disease

      • Issue: The US does not have an animal identification and tracking system. The current proposal by the USDA involves a phased in voluntary system that does not become fully operational until 2009.

      • Objective: To make the NAIS mandatory and Expedite implementation.

      • Targets: Primary=USDA, Secondary=Legislators/General Public

      • Strategies: Direct Lobbying, Media, Grassroots


Promoting change7

Promoting Change

  • Litigation Strategy

    • Used as a compliment to our advocacy efforts.

    • Can be directed at either industry or government.

    • Best used in conjunction with an advocacy campaign.

    • Example:

      • Where’s the Beef? Campaign – Recall Disclosure

      • Objective: To focus attention on USDA’s policy of not disclosing critical information to consumers during recalls.

      • Partnered with Williams & Connelly – Pro Bono


Promoting change8

Promoting Change

  • State Advocacy

    • State advocacy can be a compliment to federal advocacy efforts.

    • Similar to the litigation strategy is best used with an advocacy campaign.

    • Example: – Recall Disclosure

      • 12 States have signed the secrecy agreement with USDA prohibiting the disclosure of information during recalls.

      • State Partnership

        • California

      • Vehicle for Change:

        • State Legislation: SB 611


Promoting change9

Promoting Change

  • Regulatory Advocacy

    • Directed towards government agencies

      • U.S. Department of Agriculture

        • Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS)

      • Food and Drug Administration

        • Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN)

    • Meetings

      • One on one with Agency heads and staff

      • In partnership with other consumer groups

        • Safe Food Coalition

    • Participating in the regulatory process

      • Comments on proposed rules

        • Example: Availability of retail consignees during meat and poultry recalls.


Promoting change10

Promoting Change

  • Conclusion

    • Identify the issue, solution, target, method.

    • Typically it is more effective to use a variety of methods.

    • Cultivate media opportunities


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