The sugar, salt, beef, pork, egg (also here and here) poultry, fish, juice (also here and here) and dairy industries have been accused of downplaying the risks of their products. Some of this may because of the “funding effect,” which describes the skewing of results favorable to research funders. Agribusiness and the US Department of Agriculture have been accommodating to corporate influence, perhaps even to the extent of purposefully ignoring scientific evidence. Unlike countries that rely on health rather than agriculture professionals to create their dietary guidelines, the USDA has an inherent conflict of interest to promote agricultural products that may have unduly influenced the U.S. guidelines over the past 30 years. Legislation supporting nutrition education has come under attack from—of all quarters—the medical profession. The balance of evidence suggests that a plant based diet is healthiest, but this advice is often met with and overcome by the “tomato effect” and other resistance from medical groups.
Topic summary contributed by Jim.