Voluntary food fortification policy in Australia: did ‘formal’ stakeholder consultation influence the outcome?

Ashton, B, Star, C, Lawrence, Mark and Coveney, J 2021, Voluntary food fortification policy in Australia: did ‘formal’ stakeholder consultation influence the outcome?, Health Promotion International, pp. 1-10, doi: 10.1093/heapro/daab003.

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Title Voluntary food fortification policy in Australia: did ‘formal’ stakeholder consultation influence the outcome?
Author(s) Ashton, B
Star, C
Lawrence, MarkORCID iD for Lawrence, Mark orcid.org/0000-0001-6899-3983
Coveney, J
Journal name Health Promotion International
Start page 1
End page 10
Total pages 10
Publisher Oxford University Press
Place of publication Oxford, Eng.
Publication date 2021-02-07
ISSN 0957-4824
1460-2245
Keyword(s) food policy
food regulation
problem representation
voluntary food fortification
Summary Summary This research aimed to understand how the policy was represented as a ‘problem’ in food regulatory decision-making in Australia, and the implications for public health nutrition engagement with policy development processes. Bacchi’s ‘what’s the problem represented to be?’ discourse analysis method was applied to a case study of voluntary food fortification policy (VFP) developed by the then Australia and New Zealand Food Regulation Ministerial Council (ANZFRMC) between 2002 and 2012. As a consultative process is a legislated aspect of food regulatory policy development in Australia, written stakeholder submissions contributed most of the key documents ascertained as relevant to the case. Four major categories of stakeholder were identified in the data; citizen, public health, government and industry. Predictably, citizen, government and public health stakeholders primarily represented voluntary food fortification (VF) as a problem of public health, while industry stakeholders represented it as a problem of commercial benefit. This reflected expected differences regarding decision-making control and power over regulatory activity. However, at both the outset and conclusion of the policy process, the ANZFRMC represented the problem of VF as commercial benefit, suggesting that in this case, a period of ‘formal’ stakeholder consultation did not alter the outcome. This research indicates that in VFP, the policy debate was fought and won at the initial framing of the problem in the earliest stages of the policy process. Consequently, if public health nutritionists leave their participation in the process until formal consultation stages, the opportunity to influence policy may already be lost.
Notes In Press
Language eng
DOI 10.1093/heapro/daab003
Indigenous content off
Field of Research 1117 Public Health and Health Services
1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30148231

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences
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