Imperatively Coordinated Associations: FDA

Ralf Dahrendorf theorized that underlying all social order are imperatively coordinated associations. This is described as organizational groups based on power relations. In other words, the same people rotate in positions of power, and therefore, their ideals shape social order. These people achieve this authority through government, corporation and lobbyist positions. The best way to understand this concept is to look at an example so lets look at the food industry. During the Bush administration, the head of the FDA, Lester M. Crawford Jr. was the former executive Vice President of the National Food Processors Association and the chief of staff at the USDA, James F. Fitzgerald, was the former chief lobbyist for the beef industry in Washington. I see this being a HUGE social issue. This means that these men who have authority over the FDA, which is responsible for protecting and promoting public health through the regulation and supervision of food safety are making these very important decisions based on their own interest. It should come as no surprise that the FDA increased the amount of dairy that it is considered a part of a healthy diet, when research has shown that diary really isn’t all that “healthy” to begin with. Yet, these FDA reports are sent to schools across the nation, and are informing the public that they need to have more dairies in their diet. This is done all because the man in charge of making FDA decisions is making a profit from the dairy consumption.


4 thoughts on “Imperatively Coordinated Associations: FDA”

  1. I like your post and I am glad that you compared it to something so relevant. This made it very realistic and makes you wonder. It is really scary that these men in charge aren’t thinking about others and are only using and deciding what is in their own interest. This is a really big social issue and this allows us to relate to something that directly affects us on a day to day basis.

  2. My friends get really upset with me whenever I try to explain that most people who make policy/marketing/production/legislative decisions do not, in fact, have our best interests at heart. Your post exemplifies what I wish I could get through to more people. There are so many people with so much power over most of us, and we know so little about what would be a conflict of interest if there was such a restriction on their job. I also never thought about this particular example you gave. I can’t believe I never realized that recommended dietary habits are just as prone to corporate influence as any other public policy.

  3. I think this concept is so scary and yet, it’s our reality. I had always suspected that people of “power” were rotating within the system but it I’d never heard it confirmed until the professor said so in class. The fact that they are promoting dairy when it’s not really all that healthy just goes to show how selfish and corrupt our system is. We need change :/

  4. Awesome post! Your example was on point and really puts into perspective how big of an issue this is. I would think the majority of the population would want expert opinions especially when it comes to what we are putting in our bodies. Just because someone is of high power status does not mean they should be qualified to make these decisions. This example also reminds me of the Caucasian middle aged Catholic men in government putting their beliefs first and above equality for all such as marriage rights. But anyway, I hope our generation or the one after, will fix this corrupt system…somehow, someway.

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