Lawmakers are rightly concerned about the 200 deaths caused each year by food allergens that are insufficiently noted on food product labels. Some 30,000 people are hospitalized each year thanks to allergic reactions to ingredients like peanuts, cow's milk and wheat, and many food manufacturers neglect to warn consumers about such ingredients in a clear, concise manner.
But if lawmakers are so concerned over the 200 deaths caused each year by allergens, why aren't they similarly concerned about the millions of deaths caused by more blatant food ingredients like sodium nitrite (causes cancer), high-fructose corn syrup (causes diabetes), hydrogenated oils (causes heart disease), MSG (causes obesity) and white flour (causes nutritional deficiencies)? If we want to save lives by mandating more informative labels on foods, we should require food makers to include phrases like, "Warning: Causes Obesity" right on the label of any food or beverage made with high-fructose corn syrup -- which would include soft drinks, by the way. Margarine made with hydrogenated oils should carry a large red warning that says, "Warning: This product promotes heart disease."
Let's require food manufacturers to tell the truth about their disease-promoting products. Stop letting them hide behind a tiny list of ingredients that most people don't read in the first place. As a nation, we should require food manufacturers to warn consumers about the health consequences of the foods they eat there. And it shouldn't be limited to grocery products, either: national fast food restaurants should be required to carry similar warnings: "Warning: this hamburger promotes diabetes and heart disease." It should be in large, red letters right on the product box.
Of course, this has been tried already with cigarettes, and people just keep on smoking anyway. Some people don't care what foods do to their health. But awareness is part of the answer here, and better food labeling can certainly enhance awareness. I think there are a great many people who simply aren't aware that sodium nitrite, for example, causes colon cancer. If grocery store products containing sodium nitrite were required to display cancer warnings on the label, you can bet there would be plenty of consumers who would start buying nitrite-free products.
The bottom line? There's nothing wrong with requiring better labeling for consumers who suffer from chronic food allergies, but why not protect everyone else, too? Let's require the labeling of all ingredients that promote obesity and chronic disease.
About the author: Mike Adams is an award-winning journalist and holistic nutritionist with a mission to teach personal and planetary health to the public He is a prolific writer and has published thousands of articles, interviews, reports and consumer guides, and he has created several downloadable courses on survival and preparedness, including his widely-downloaded course on personal safety and self-defense. Adams is an independent journalist with strong ethics who does not get paid to write articles about any product or company. In 2010, Adams co-founded NaturalNews.com, a natural health video sharing site that has now grown in popularity. He also launched an online retailer of environmentally-friendly products (BetterLifeGoods.com) and uses a portion of its profits to help fund non-profit endeavors. He's also a noted technology pioneer and founded a software company in 1993 that developed the HTML email newsletter software currently powering the NaturalNews subscriptions. Adams volunteers his time to serve as the executive director of the Consumer Wellness Center, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, and practices nature photography, Capoeira, martial arts and organic gardening. He's also author of numerous health books published by Truth Publishing and is the creator of several consumer-oriented grassroots campaigns, including the Spam. Don't Buy It! campaign, and the free downloadable Honest Food Guide. He also created the free reference sites HerbReference.com and HealingFoodReference.com. Adams believes in free speech, free access to nutritional supplements and the ending of corporate control over medicines, genes and seeds. Known as the 'Health Ranger,' Adams' personal health statistics and mission statements are located at www.HealthRanger.org
Have comments on this article? Post them here:
people have commented on this article.