American Elephants


Food Fetishes, Control Freaks, Food Faddists and Charlatans by The Elephant's Child
June 17, 2015, 6:53 am
Filed under: Junk Science, News, Politics, Regulation | Tags: , ,

The FDA is expected to issue a rule that will effectively ban the use of manmade trans-fat containing hydrogenated oils in all foods. There’s some controversy about the difference between the manmade variety — the trans-fats that occur naturally in beef and dairy products — and the trans fats in partially hydrogenated oils. The American Heart Association recommends eating no more than 2 grams per day.

In any case, the FDA claims the ban could save around 7,000 lives per year. The agency has required food manufacturers to list the trans fat content of packaged foods since 2006. That’s helped reduce the amount of trans fats in the average American’s diet from far above to well below the American Heart Association recommendations.

So if Americans are already eating less trans fats than health experts recommend, why the push to ban them?

The ban comes as a result of a lawsuit by centenarian Dr. Fred Kummerow, a professor emeritus at the U.of Illinois who has been researching trans-fats for more than 50 years. His lawsuit forced the FDA to act. The agency will revoke its GRAS status, without that anyone wanting to sell foods containing partially hydrogenated oils would have to petition the FDA to demonstrate their safety. This follows the pattern of the ban on raw milk. And then there was the government’s complete reversal of the limits on dietary cholesterol. The recommendations to cut out the salt are on the ropes, because humans seem geared for more salt that authorities think is good for them. And the FDA seems to have caffeine needlessly in their crosshairs. Coffee just got a clean bill of health from health authorities.

The line “could save 7,000 lives per year” sounds exactly like the EPA. They regularly claim that X,000 number of children will not die from asthma because of the new regulation they are issuing. Physicians do not know the cause of asthma, which is probably why the EPA picked it.

The federal food police seem to be a hobbyhorse of mine. I have previously written five other posts about the federal government’s efforts to tell us what to eat, which surprised me. Getting rid of the committee and their guidelines seems to be high on my list. If you enter “dietary guidelines” in the search box just over Bob Hope’s head in the sidebar, you will find them all, if you are interested.

Food is a problem. There is too much information, much of it completely wrong. There is no benefit whatsoever to Organic food, unless it salves your soul to believe that you are not consuming nasty chemical fertilizers, which is nonsense. With “organic” you get cow manure.

Genetically modified organisms have been occurring naturally in crops for centuries. Some Asian countries that depend heavily on rice need Golden Rice, a GMO variety that has added a gene for beta carotene which will save thousands of children from blindness and death. The nitwits who are terrified (needlessly) about GMO foods and want their foods labeled to prove they were not genetically modified are simply ignorant about what genes are. Yet their protests make third world countries fearful and they won’t permit the GMO foods that would save the children.

Then there’s the “Food Babe” who catapulted to her ten minutes of fame by accusing Subway of using a “harmful” chemical in yoga mats to make its bread fluffy. She gets attention by fear mongering about “harmful chemicals” with little understanding of the science involved, nor of the simple idea that the dose makes the poison. And, of course there are all the little ads on many websites that proclaim that “just this one food…”



Nanny Government Prepares to Strike Again! by The Elephant's Child
April 20, 2010, 8:39 pm
Filed under: Domestic Policy, Freedom, Health Care, Law | Tags: , ,

How do you sell government regulation to the ignorant masses?  First warn of a “crisis” and suggest that without immediate changes terrible consequences will follow.  Social pressure, advertising, warnings.  Then you declare those efforts insufficient, and propose government intervention to save you and “the children.”

Nanny Government The Food and Drug Administration is planning an all out effort to reduce the amount of salt consumed each day by Americans, claiming that less sodium in everything would prevent thousands of deaths from heart disease and high blood pressure. This would lead to legal limits on the amount of salt allowed in food products.

This is the FDA inserting itself into determining the recipes of prepared foods.  The FDA intends to work with the food industry and “health experts” to reduce sodium gradually over a period of years to adjust the American palate to a less salty diet, according to FDA sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the initiative had not been formally announced.

Officials have not determined salt limits.  The FDA would analyze the salt in spaghetti sauces, breads and thousands of products, and then set limits for salt, designed to gradually ratchet down sodium consumption. The changes would be calibrated so that consumers hardly notice.  This sounds harmless, and probably helpful, because “everyone knows that salt is bad.”

Except the best science for nearly half a century — including the government’s own findings on examinations reflecting 99 million Americans’; more than 17,000 studies published since 1966; and even a recent Cochrane systematic review of the clinical trial evidence — fails to support the hypotheses that salt reductions offer health benefits for the general public.  Cochrane’s reviewers specifically concluded that such interventions are inappropriate for population prevention programs. …

The latest vital statistics data from the CDC National Center for Health Statistics was just released and reported that age-related deaths from heart disease, cancer, diabetes, liver disease and hypertension — all of the causes some want us to believe are due to unhealthy lifestyles, rather than mostly aging — have continued to drop significantly for more than 50 years. The latest Health US report from the CDC found our life expectancy has reached another record high and age-adjusted mortality for the leading causes of death have been cut nearly in half since 1950, including heart disease.

There is no crisis of hypertension, no crisis of  high salt intake, not even an association between salt and heart disease or premature death.  Oddly enough the Japanese have one of the highest salt-intakes in the world, as well as the highest life expectancy.  Sodium is essential to human survival.  Given free access to salt, humans consume similar ranges of salt across a wide variety of diets, cultures, environments and heredities, according to Dr. Michael Alderman MD in the International Journal of Epidemiology.

Behind many food alarms and false panics, you will find the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the leader of the food police.  This crackpot organization has appointed itself to control what people eat, and how their food is to be regulated.  You really need to learn what they are up to.  It will give you a healthy dose of skepticism and common sense.




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