Culture Beat / May 23, 2016

FDA Peddling in Junk Food Science

This nutrition label change is merely par for the course.

Thanks to pressure from Michelle Obama’s campaign to end obesity, the Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved an update to the nutrition facts label that may or may not disregard nutritional science. Thanks to the regulatory tweak, food manufacturers must now print the calorie count larger and disclose how much added sugar the food contains. The change was based off the 2015 Dietary Guidelines, which The Washington Free Beacon notes was created without the help of any expert who focused on sugars. So the change on sugar labeling was based on what sounded good. Actual food scientists find that consuming food with added sugar isn’t as insidious as the Obama administration might like everyone to believe.

A dozen scientists — including an expert that worked on the 2010 Dietary Guidelines— wrote in a letter to the government, “We are concerned that U.S. public health policy in this area may be progressing down a path that history suggests to be counterproductive. Specifically, the FDA’s proposed rule revising the Nutrition Facts Label with regard to an added sugars declaration … lacks both the scientific rigor based on careful consideration or evidence-based reviews and a thorough appraisal of unintended consequences that will surely arise.”

Trusting big government’s ideal diet has always been a dubious proposition. The 2015 Dietary Guidelines, for example, implore citizens to eat a diet with climate change in mind. Ideally, the government would like you to lay off the red meat to lessen everyone’s environmental impact. And it wasn’t too long ago that the government scared everyone away from eggs, a source of inexpensive protein. This nutrition label change is merely par for the course.

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