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Originally published November 2 2004

Food industry giants had big hand in writing US dietary guidelines; nutrition experts bewildered by useless advice

by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor

It's all just another chapter in the history of food politics: food industry giants lobby government departments to make sure their health advice is so watered down as to be meaningless. The USDA, for example, doesn't even have the political courage to admit that drinking soft drinks causes diabetes and obesity (thanks to the lobbying efforts of the soft drink industry). They certainly won't say that red meat causes cancer and heart disease (thanks to lobbying efforts from the beef industry), nor that refined white flour causes nutritional deficiencies and blood sugar disorders (thanks to the grain growers associations).

In fact, if you look at the USDA Food Guide Pyramid, it's really just a marketing piece -- a brochure for the food lobby. The foods that are most strongly recommended on the pyramid end up being those with the greatest lobbying budgets. In fact, the pyramid has no relevance whatsoever to good nutritional science.

That's why nutritionists are dumbfounded. Here we have a nation of rising diabetes and obesity, and yet our own government won't dare tell people to "eat less" of anything. The message from the USDA has always been "eat more," precisely because that's the message that benefits the food industry lobby.

Any ideas why this is the case? It's probably because the vast majority of the people actually writing these dietary guidelines have financial ties to the very food industry groups that would be financially harmed by any advice telling Americans to eat less of anything.

It resembles the situation at the FDA, where many of the people making the decisions on which drugs get approved are, themselves, bankrolled by pharmaceutical companies. Can you spell C-O-R-R-U-P-T-I-O-N?

To learn more about how all this really works behind the scenes of the food industry, read the book Food Politics by Marion Nestle.


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