Friday, July 9, 2010

USDA, a conflict of interest?

Post is in response to:

Article: "Dietary Guidelines Hearing Unleashes a Predictable Circus of Food Lobbying"

By Melanie Warner | Jul 9, 2010

to read her article, go to:


Government decision makers and lawmakers, etc, upon entering office must fill out and abide by conflict-of-interest statements. If a judge for example owned a million in shares of Monsanto, would need to recuse her/himself if there were a criminal case brought forth. If this is true to avoid problems with certain areas of government, how is it that it is allowed elsewhere? The United States Department of Agriculture's first interest is in promoting Industrial Agriculture. Message: eat more eat MORE. The USDA also has the job of pretending at the same time to be a good source of nutrition advice, promoting their Food Guide Pyramid Scheme and the last pyramid that even put 100% of the emphasis on exercise since there isn't even food in the picture. An often abbreviated design, the picture of a person running up a rainbow pyramid doesn't really bring home the message that the USDA cares about your nutritional health. The language has even been weakened. Message: choose certain foods in moderation. The messages of the USDA have been purposely watered down into meaningless language, eat less sugar became choose in moderation.

Until the Dietary Guidelines and the Pyramid--or any other picture that has a goal of simplifying the nutrition message--until these guidelines our out of the hands of the USDA, and out of the pocket of Industrial Agriculture, I do not expect much of value to be published. It isn't about science and the healthy recommendations that scientists, advisors, and committees have pushed for years, it's about the Pork, Cattlemen, Sugar, Salt, etc. lobby groups are WINNING OUT OVER PUBLIC HEALTH.

The USDA itself is a conflict of interest. How can they possibly give fair nutrition advice based on science and extensive research, when their primary goal is to promote, i.e. sell MORE of certain foods--often the ones we would be better off eating less of or avoiding entirely: beef, chicken, pork, dairy, foods high in sugar and high in salt, which are often foods with any nutritional value processed out of them.

We need to discontinue this practice of collusion with industry and get serious about nutrition. Since the Dietary Guidelines are designed to prevent and control disease, it would be very logical and practical to allocate the resources and responsibility to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The CDC wouldn't be afraid of saying eat less salt it can promote hypertension and ulcers, eat less meat, it is high in saturated fat and Americans already consume more than twice the protein we need, which stresses the kidneys. The lobby groups wouldn't have a say. Why do they need to? My health is more important than industry lobby groups worries about the facts being told.
Here's to the CDC Food Guide Target, emphasizing the nutritional benefit of moving towards a more plant-based way of eating.

Two thoughts to end with.
>> If the public in the United States were to have available to them general nutritional recommendations based on science, emphasizing the benefits of moving towards a plant-based diet, wouldn't this really be a great way of attacking the costs of sickcare?

>>Why is it that when becoming a physician the Hippocratic oath is taken, but through education (1 class or less is required in Nutrition) and in practice the advice to: “Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food,” this advice of the Father of Modern Medicine is mostly ignored?

Thank you, now I'll get back to enjoying my local organic mixed field green salad, topped with avocado, walnuts, celery, carrots and garden cucumbers, apple cider vinegar and a touch of E.V. olive oil Yum!

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