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Revista de Sociologia e Política

Print version ISSN 0104-4478On-line version ISSN 1678-9873


BAIRD, Marcello Fragano. O lobby na regulação da publicidade de alimentos da Agência Nacional de Vigilância Sanitária. Rev. Sociol. Polit. [online]. 2016, vol.24, n.57, pp.67-91. ISSN 1678-9873.

This article analyzes the political action of business interest groups throughout the process of food propaganda regulation triggered by the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) in 2005. The main objectives were to describe the strategies and political articulations of these groups in order to assess whether its action has been successful in minimizing or overturning the controversial and conflicting regulation proposed by the agency, which effects would affect directly private sector activities. The study enclosed a detailed follow-up of each stage of the decision-making process, seeking to observe which political arenas are activated by these groups in order to accomplish its goals. For the conduction of this research, we have done a comprehensive examination of the documents related to the proposed regulation, which were produced by the three branches of government and the interest groups, and in-depth interviews with the main political players involved in this issue. The analysis made clear that business groups, reflecting their distinct political and economic resources, have access to many political arenas, such as Anvisa, National Congress, Judiciary and the Attorney General, which was a decisive actor in the political process herein studied. We also found evidences that the pressure exerted by business groups was able to mitigate, to a large extent, Anvisa's regulation, as the rule was considerably altered from the public comment period in 2006 until its promulgation in 2010. Nevertheless, we were able to observe that, despite the irresistible economic power of the two affected sectors, food and advertising industry, its political action was not able to prevent Anvisa from promulgating in 2010 a softer version of the regulation, which shows us the relative political autonomy of the agency. Finally, alterations in the structure and in the command of Anvisa in 2012, which are aligned with business interests, indicate deeper changes in the agency, which seem to have redefined the very bases of the relationship with businessmen.

Keywords : lobbying; interest groups; Anvisa; regulatory agencies; food publicity regulation.

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