Feed the truth

The CEO of KIND Healthy Snacks, Daniel Lubetzky, has committed to donating $25 million over the next 10 years to exposing the outsized influence the food industry plays in shaping public health policy in the U.S through a new organization named Feed the Truth. According to Lubetzky, it will operate as an independent organization with no ties to KIND or himself.

To set up the organization, he appointed three prominent public health advocates to determine who will sit on the board of governors. This list includes Deb Eschmeyer, the former executive director of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign, and Michael Jacobson, the co-founder and president of the Center for Science in the Public Interest. The board will then be in charge of picking an executive director and establishing a series of priorities, which are expected to include support for investigative journalism and education campaigns geared towards consumers and lawmakers alike.

“In establishing Feed the Truth, my intent is to elevate reputable science, bolster the voices of the nutrition community, and improve the guidance and information offered to Americans,” Lubetzky said in an announcement. “As a business owner, I understand the importance of prioritizing your bottom line, but it’s equally as important to consider how you can succeed while also thinking about the long-term impact on the community.”

KIND has grown over the past 13 years into an established force in the snack foods industry, employing around 500 employees and generating close to $700 million in revenue per year. The company has built a niche by pitching itself as a healthier alternative to existing chocolate bars and other snack foods, with greater transparency around ingredients, nutrition and supply chain management.

Agricultural and food interests have been working to influence the legislative and regulatory process for decades, most recently involving added sugars on food labels. One study published last year in the medical journal JAMA Internal Medicine detailed a concerted effort by the Sugar Association in the 1960s to shift public concerns away from sugar and towards fat in American diets “through our research and information and legislative programs.”

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