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Four years after Clinton's victory over sugary drinks in public schools, they're more widely available than ever

Tuesday, November 02, 2010
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of NaturalNews.com (See all articles...)
Tags: public schools, vending machines, health news

Public schools
(NaturalNews) It was only four years ago that, with much fanfare, former President Bill Clinton announced the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a project of the William J. Clinton Foundation and the American Heart Association. This project was supposed to drastically reduce junk food and soda availability in public schools.

It was a voluntary program involving Kraft Foods, Mars, Campbell Soup, Dannon and PepsiCo, and back in 2006, this was a very big deal of an announcement that had Bill Clinton looking like a hero for solving the "junk food in public schools" problem. I remember how CNN and other news sources called this a "victory for public health" and touted it as a model for solving the childhood obesity problem now facing America.

Of course, the rest of us knew better. We quickly realized this was merely a voluntary program designed to create a lot of positive press at the time of the announcement (which it did). But we also knew it would never be enforced. Just a lot of talk, in other words, and no real action.

Today soda availability in public schools reaches an all-time high

Fast forward four years to the present. It's November, 2010. Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago publish a study in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. That study says students' ability to purchase sugary sodas and sports drinks from school vending machines is at an all-time high!

Instead of vending machines disappearing from schools, they've invaded them. Just as we all knew back in 2006, the voluntary "Alliance for a Healthier Generation" program was a ruse -- a decoy designed to get the government to back off of industry regulation by claiming "the industry can regulate itself."

Four years later, the results are now obvious: MORE sodas in schools. MORE obesity and MORE diabetes among schoolchildren. I guess the industry can't regulate itself, after all. (Is anyone surprised?)

Asking the soda industry to sell less soda is sort of like asking Big Tobacco to stop marketing cigarettes. No industry is going to voluntarily harm its own bottom line.

According to the study, in 2007 only 49 percent of students could buy high-calorie drinks from vending machines or school stores, but by 2009 that number rose to an alarming 61 percent.

So much for Clinton's Alliance. So much for all the spin, hype and grandstanding. Once again, it turns out that food companies always put profits ahead of public health; even when it comes to schoolchildren.

It's time to ban sodas and junk foods from public schools

So what's the real solution to this issue? Ban all sodas and junk foods in public schools, period. A school is not the proper place to poison our children with foods and chemical additives that cause diabetes, cancer, heart disease and attention disorders.

We need to pass laws to reign in the corporations on this issue, because they've proven their voluntary efforts simply don't work.

Selling sodas and junk food to children is wrong. It's something that should be immediately halted across the nation.

At the same time, don't believe politicians when they claim to solve such problems via "voluntary" agreements with the for-profit junk food industry, either. Such agreements aren't worth the paper they're written on.
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About the author:Mike Adams (aka the "Health Ranger") is a best selling author (#1 best selling science book on Amazon.com) and a globally recognized scientific researcher in clean foods. He serves as the founding editor of NaturalNews.com and the lab science director of an internationally accredited (ISO 17025) analytical laboratory known as CWC Labs. There, he was awarded a Certificate of Excellence for achieving extremely high accuracy in the analysis of toxic elements in unknown water samples using ICP-MS instrumentation. Adams is also highly proficient in running liquid chromatography, ion chromatography and mass spectrometry time-of-flight analytical instrumentation.

Adams is a person of color whose descendents include Africans and American Indians. He self-identifies as being of American Indian heritage, which he credits as inspiring his "Health Ranger" passion for protecting life and nature against the destruction caused by chemicals, heavy metals and other forms of pollution.

Adams is the founder and publisher of the open source science journal Natural Science Journal, the author of numerous peer-reviewed science papers published by the journal, and the author of the world's first book that published ICP-MS heavy metals analysis results for foods, dietary supplements, pet food, spices and fast food. The book is entitled Food Forensics and is published by BenBella Books.

In his laboratory research, Adams has made numerous food safety breakthroughs such as revealing rice protein products imported from Asia to be contaminated with toxic heavy metals like lead, cadmium and tungsten. Adams was the first food science researcher to document high levels of tungsten in superfoods. He also discovered over 11 ppm lead in imported mangosteen powder, and led an industry-wide voluntary agreement to limit heavy metals in rice protein products.

In addition to his lab work, Adams is also the (non-paid) executive director of the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center (CWC), an organization that redirects 100% of its donations receipts to grant programs that teach children and women how to grow their own food or vastly improve their nutrition. Through the non-profit CWC, Adams also launched Nutrition Rescue, a program that donates essential vitamins to people in need. Click here to see some of the CWC success stories.

With a background in science and software technology, Adams is the original founder of the email newsletter technology company known as Arial Software. Using his technical experience combined with his love for natural health, Adams developed and deployed the content management system currently driving NaturalNews.com. He also engineered the high-level statistical algorithms that power SCIENCE.naturalnews.com, a massive research resource featuring over 10 million scientific studies.

Adams is well known for his incredibly popular consumer activism video blowing the lid on fake blueberries used throughout the food supply. He has also exposed "strange fibers" found in Chicken McNuggets, fake academic credentials of so-called health "gurus," dangerous "detox" products imported as battery acid and sold for oral consumption, fake acai berry scams, the California raw milk raids, the vaccine research fraud revealed by industry whistleblowers and many other topics.

Adams has also helped defend the rights of home gardeners and protect the medical freedom rights of parents. Adams is widely recognized to have made a remarkable global impact on issues like GMOs, vaccines, nutrition therapies, human consciousness.

In addition to his activism, Adams is an accomplished musician who has released over a dozen popular songs covering a variety of activism topics.

Click here to read a more detailed bio on Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, at HealthRanger.com.

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