Top Ten Food Companies Paying off the Government

Hats off to HuffPo Food (with the help of OpenSecrets.org–awesome site!) for assembling this list of the ten food/beverage companies that have spent the most on government lobbyists in 2011. While I won’t deny that there’s lobbying that’s legit, but most of it falls in the unjust weights and measures category–and, at the risk of sounding like a Bible-thumper (which I might be), is an abomination to God.

Here are the top 10 companies that press their big corporate thumbs most heavily on the scales of justice, along with the issues they’re most preoccupied with.

10. Dunkin’ Donuts/Baskin Robbins

pay to influence government in their favor concerning laws that touch on…

nutritional labeling, international trade agreements

9. Hershey’s

pay to influence government in their favor concerning laws that touch on…

Sugar and cocoa trade laws related to NAFTA (see this post!),  advertising unhealthy foods (see this one!); nutritional labeling

8. Starbucks

(I know, I know. I love Starbucks coffee, too. But Equal Exchange is pretty good, too–promise.)

pay to influence government in their favor concerning laws that touch on…

Nutritional labeling, Green initiatives; Trade agreements with South Korea, Panama and Colombia 7. YUM! Brands (Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut)

pay to influence government in their favor concerning laws that touch on…

Use of SNAP (food stamps) in restaurants; Employer health care mandates; Tort reform

6. Sodexho–which provides catering to a huge number of institutions, including the U.S. Armed Forces (see this post!)

pay to influence government in their favor concerning laws that touch on…

Childhood nutrition guidelines (see above post); Labor/management issues 5. McDonald’s (have I never written about McD’s before?! Shame!)

pay to influence government in their favor concerning laws that touch on…

Nutritional labeling in restaurants; Corporate taxes; Affordable Care Act; Immigration reform 4. Olive Garden/Red Lobster

pay to influence government in their favor concerning laws that touch on…

Unemployment insurance; Catfish inspection; Childhood obesity reduction; Affordable Care Act

3. Mars (M&Ms, Snickers, Wrigley’s Gum)

pay to influence government in their favor concerning laws that touch on…

Sugar taxes and regulations; SNAP (food stamps); Trucking rules for Mexico-America trade 2. PepsiCo

pay to influence government in their favor concerning laws that touch on…

Patent reform; Childhood obesity; Soda taxes; Advertising to children and teens (see this post.)

and you might’ve guessed it…

I'm sorry. I know this is very wrong in so many ways.

1. Coca-Cola

pay to influence government in their favor concerning laws that touch on…

Water policies; Military catering; SNAP; free trade and foreign investment agreements

The really frightening thing is how many smaller “brands” these big corporate monsters control. Odwalla juices and VitaminWater? That’s Coca-Cola. Fritos, Doritos, Cheetos, Quaker Oats, and a zillion others? PepsiCo. And it just goes on.

And on.

And on.

(Click over to HuffPo Food if you want to see the sums they’ve spent.)

{All images CC licensed for reuse.}

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