Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Big Food: Bad News?

Here are two articles I came across in Consumer Affairs this morning:

According the the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Cheerios has stepped out of bounds in its recent campaign to market that "Cheerios may reduce your cholesterol!". GM also promotes other scientific claims such as the ability of Cheerios to lower LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) and to lower cholesterol 4% over 6 weeks. FDA officials feel that these statements market Cheerios as a drug, not food because of these claims.

I applaud the FDA efforts in this area. GM and other large food companies are itching to show just how "healthy" their foods really are -- when really, their foods are not all that healthy. In fact, they would love to play up the RELATIVE advantage of sugary cereal over no cereal or the benefits of diet soda over regular soda. 
Come on! Leave out the sugar, cut back the sodium and use less refined products. Then you might not have to try so hard to prove that your food is good for the public.

Nothing beats a home cooked meal. We all should try it some time.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest, a public health advocacy group, has finally gottenthe attention of Congress in efforts to pass a national tax on soft drinks and sugar-ladenbeverages.

According to the article a study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health in 2006 found that added sweeteners contributed to 1/3 of all carbohydrate calories that Americans consume, and that the sugar from sugar-sweetened drinks is a full 1/2 of that caloric amount.

We have been down this road before without much success. Even in Massachusetts we have a law that explicitly exempts CANDY and SODA from State sales tax. How can this be?! Our Stateneeds money and this sort of sales tax on absolutely, undeniably, unhealthy food seems likelow hanging fruit, right?

How many of our politicians are in bed with the food and beverage industry to block this votefrom passing? We will know in due time.

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