By Michelle Simon
As with other health professional organizations, such as the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the American Academy of Family Physicians, ASN has many problematic ties with the food and beverage industry. These ties can taint scientific objectivity, negatively impact the organization’s policy recommendations, and result in industry-friendly research and messaging that is shared with nutrition professionals and the general public alike. Moreover, the media views health organizations like ASN as purveyors of independent and objective information, largely unaware of the many connections with junk food and beverage giants.
ASN sponsors are referred to as “sustaining partners,” a moniker given to companies that pay at least $10,000 a year. There are a total of thirty; The list consists of purveyors of highly processed and minimally nutritious foods and biotech giants. For their financial contributions, sustaining partners receive “print and online exposure, annual meeting benefits, and first choice to sponsor educational sessions, grants, awards and other opportunities as they arise.” In other words, food, beverage, supplement, biotech, and pharmaceutical industry leaders are able to purchase cozy relationships with the nation’s top nutrition researchers.
“I’d like to buy the world a drink that doesn’t cause disease,” the song goes. “I’d like to teach the world about what sugar did to me.”
“For the past 45 years, Coca-Cola and other makers of sugar drinks have used the most sophisticated and manipulative advertising techniques to convince children and adults alike that a disease-promoting drink will make them feel warm and fuzzy inside,” said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson. “It’s a multi-billion-dollar brainwashing campaign designed to distract us away from our diabetes with happy thoughts. We thought it was time to change the tune.”
By Cooking Up a Story
Many of the issues that those in the food movement feel are wrong with our dominant food system can be found in the poultry egg industry at large. Whether it’s examining our food production through the lens of animal welfare concerns, environmental impacts, worker’s health, deceptive consumer marketing practices, weak government oversight—the egg industry could serve as the poster child of much that is wrong with our industrial agriculture system.
Right off the bat, two things should concern those of us that enjoy eating fresh chicken eggs. First, does it really require almost a 15-minute video to explain what we are actually buying when we purchase a dozen eggs at the supermarket?
And second, ask yourself this question. If we were permitted to visit any egg production farm in the country without notice and without any on-site viewing restrictions, would we likely purchase those eggs if we saw how the chickens lived and what they were fed?
Today, at 10 a.m., Reps. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.), G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) and their band of pro-GMO, anti-consumer, stomp-all-over-states’-rights outlaws will stand before the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health and ask the Committee to support H.R. 1599.
In addition to preempting states’ rights to label GMOs, the latest iteration of H.R. 1599 will wipe out all state and local laws that regulate the growing of GMO crops—laws like the one passed in May 2014, Jackson County, Ore.—and weaken federal oversight of GMO crops and foods.
We’ve been calling H.R. 1599 the DARK (Deny Americans the Right to Know) Act, because that’s what the bill is intended to do—keep you in the dark about the toxic chemical-drenched GMOs in your food.
But that’s only half the story. Since Pompeo introduced his bill-to-kill GMO labeling laws earlier this year, he’s been tinkering with the language. Now, the latest version of the DARK Act is even darker than the original.
In fact, if you thought the Monsanto Protection Act was bad (and it was), the new-and-improved DARK Act is the Mother of all Monsanto Protection Acts.
What can you do? Call Congress TODAY!, ask your Representatives and Senators to oppose H.R. 1599. 202-224-3121 (tips for calling)
Join a district meeting or rally
Organize a district meeting or rally
On March 20 2015 the World Health Organisation’s cancer agency IARC declared that glyphosate is a probable human carcinogen. IARC reached its decision based on the view of 17 top cancer experts from 11 countries, who met to assess the carcinogenicity of 5 pesticides.
Get informed, get tested, and protect yourself!
Over 80% of genetically modified (GM) crops grown worldwide are engineered to tolerate being sprayed with glyphosate herbicides. GM glyphosate-tolerant crops have led to a 239 million kilogram (527 million pound) increase in herbicide use in the US between 1996 and 2011, compared with the amount that would have been used if the same acres had been planted to non-GM crops. People and animals that eat GM glyphosate-tolerant crops are eating potentially high levels of Roundup residues.
Over 80% of genetically modified (GM) crops grown worldwide are engineered to tolerate being sprayed with glyphosate herbicides,1 the best known being Roundup. The herbicide kills all plant life in the field apart from the crop. These crops are known as glyphosate-tolerant or “Roundup Ready” (RR) crops.
The idea behind such crops was to simplify weed control for farmers. The farmer could douse the entire field with glyphosate herbicide, killing all weeds without killing the crop.
But this is not the way things turned out. Weeds have quickly become resistant to glyphosate herbicide through a process called selection pressure, in which only those weeds that tolerate the herbicide survive to pass on their genes. The resulting epidemic of glyphosate-resistant “superweeds” has caused huge problems for farmers in countries where glyphosate-tolerant crops are widely planted.
Get informed, get tested, and protect yourself!
Consumer and farm advocates fought for more than a decade to get Country of Origin Labels (COOL) for our food. Due to overwhelming consumer and farmer support, country of origin labeling on our fruit, vegetables, and meat became mandatory in the U.S. as part of the 2008 Farm Bill.
COOL is a sensible law that the vast majority of Americans want, yet our trading partners are driving a race to the bottom. Rather than throw the baby out with the bathwater by repealing COOL, the U.S. should slow down and take the time to find a legislative solution that works without sacrificing the fundamental purpose of existing U.S. law and regulation.