Corporations and Health Under Trump


The election of Donald Trump is expected to bring about significant changes in how the federal government regulates corporations to protect public health and the environment.  It will take some time to analyze what changes are likely and how public health advocates can respond most effectively.  To begin that analysis, Corporations and Health Watch highlights some of the first such assessments.

What President Donald Trump Will Mean for U.S. Food Policy

President-elect Donald Trump made a few issues central to his platform: immigration, taxes, and healthcare among them. Food policy has gone largely ignored, though Trump’s statements on other issues will certainly inform the way food policy will look for the next four years — and possibly beyond that, writes Virginia Chambee for Eater.  Trump has been especially vocal about immigration. His plan to build a wall on the southern border of the U.S. will likely hit the agricultural and restaurant industry hard. He has called climate change a “hoax,” which means it likely won’t be high on his list of priorities; this could be devastating for farmers. When it comes to minimum wage, Trump believes it’s an issue best left up to states (so don’t expect a higher federal minimum any time soon). And on employee benefits, Trump wants to repeal President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, but is seemingly in favor of paid maternity leave (though it’s unclear if that plan will cover single mothers). Chamlee takes a closer look at where Trump stands on policies related to food safety, agriculture, and workers’ rights.

Trump Expected to Seek Deep Cuts in Business Regulations

Hours after Donald J. Trump won the race for the White House, scores of regulations that have reshaped corporate America in the last eight years suddenly seemed vulnerable, writes The New York Times. While many questions remain about how Mr. Trump will govern, a consensus emerged Wednesday in many circles in Washington and on Wall Street about at least one aspect of his impending presidency: Mr. Trump is likely to seek vast cuts in regulations across the banking, health care and energy industries.  “This is going to be a president who will be the biggest regulatory reformer since Ronald Reagan,” Stephen Moore, one of Mr. Trump’s economic advisers said in an interview on Wednesday. “There are just so many regulations that could be eased.”

Get Used To High Drug Prices As Big Pharma Emerges From Election Stronger Than Ever

On the campaign trail, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Donald Trump agreed on at least one thing: the need to control America’s spiraling costs of prescription drugs, writes Buzz Feed News.  But after Tuesday’s election, the likelihood of drug pricing reform seems small. In California, Big Pharma spent more than $100 million to help defeat a ballot measure that would have pegged the state’s drug purchases to the discount rates currently offered to the Veterans Administration (VA).

That’s not to say that Big Pharma is thrilled with president-elect Trump, who has suggested that the huge Medicare program, which provides health insurance for senior citizens, should be able to negotiate prices with drug companies — something that’s currently prohibited by law. But with both houses of Congress remaining firmly under GOP control, legislation to shake up drug pricing seems unlikely. And specific plans proposed by Clinton, including fines for companies that jacked up prices without clear justification, are now off the table.

When Will Food Issues Be on Politicians’ Plates?

Even though the cultural conversation around food and agriculture seems to grow louder every day, the American food system was on the sidelines at the Republican Convention in Cleveland last week, and at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia this week, writes Kim Severson in The New York Times. Even among those most likely to push for it, food isn’t getting much attention as a political issue. “What people think is cool about food and what people think is cool about politics are different,” said Matt Birong, a Democratic delegate from Vermont who continues to support Senator Bernie Sanders.

Selling Off the Farm: Corporate Meat’s Takeover Through TTIP

Citizens in both the European Union (EU) and the United States (U.S.) are demanding a healthier, more just and more sustainable food system. As parties negotiate the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), proposed trade rules threaten to undermine the good food and farm movements on both sides of the Atlantic.

Continue reading Selling Off the Farm: Corporate Meat’s Takeover Through TTIP

Food and Water Watch Calls GMO Labeling “Compromise” a Cop-Out

Last week,  over major public opposition, the Senate passed a bill that would nullify Vermont’s GMO labeling law—and any future attempts in other states for mandatory, on-package GMO labeling legislation. For the voters in Vermont, the activists across the country who fought for our right to know what’s in our food, and the vast majority of Americans who support GMO labeling, this news comes as a disappointment. This is a serious setback for our movement – but we’re not giving up yet. Read more

The great FLOTUS food fight

In an in-depth assessment of Michelle Obama’s food policy initiatives, Politico make the case that “Obama and her bulldog personal chef engineered and enacted the most aggressive food policy agenda in living memory—a modern example of how a White House spouse can use her unelected platform to wage a genuine Washington policy fight.”

Media coverage of legal basis for sustainability in dietary guidelines

By Michele Simon, Cross-posted from Eat Drink Politics

As I posted last week, I conducted a legal analysis to counter the claim that considerations of environmental sustainability do not belong in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The same week, the USDA and HHS announced they would exclude sustainability from the final document not yet out, despite the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s recommendations that eating less meat and more plants is best, both for our own health and that of the planet.

Below is a media round-up of coverage of my analysis.

Continue reading Media coverage of legal basis for sustainability in dietary guidelines