The Federal Government spends about 10 million dollars a year to educate people about healthy eating; candy corporations spend twice as much as that launching a new candy bar (see also here). Fish oil has been marketed as reducing inflammation. However, this may not be true. Fish oil has been found to contain PCBs and DDT, which can be detrimental to health, despite chemical company ads to the contrary. Eggs have been marketed as being health promoting; egg consumption, however, has been linked to strokes, heart failure, and diabetes. Arsenic is marketed to poison the parasites that factory farmed chickens have; the public health consequences of arsenic in the diet include cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and neurocognitive deficits in children. The meat industry has advertised that slimming phytoestrogens have been found in animal products, but at quantities up to a thousand times lower than in plant foods (beef/chicken: 4, veggie burger: 4,000; dairy milk: 6, soymilk: 6,000). The meat industry advertises that meat consumption is not linked to cancer based on a 4 page report conducted by 2 scientists done over one summer overseen by a for-profit firm (that has in the past offered results that downplay the risks of pesticides) and paid for by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. A new strategy for marketing meat to children resulted in the Chiparoo, which is meant to be a cross between beef jerky and a potato chip and is made out of either chicken or rabbits. The tolerable daily upper limit intake of trans fats is zero; the USDA, even though 20% of daily trans-fat intake comes from animal products, does not advocate a vegan diet. Benzene (a carcinogen) has been found in 60% of soda tested; the soda industry seems to have been aware of this fact for 18 years but chose not to reveal it. Artificial colors may be harmful to a child’s nervous system, but Dow Chemical and Coca-Cola managed to convince the medical establishment otherwise for 43 years. Acrylamide in french fries has been linked to cancer; the industry is looking into ways to mitigate risk. The corn corporations say there is no mercury in corn syrup; test results seem to show that there is contamination. Cocoa has been found to raise good cholesterol; a drug produced by Pfizer did the same, although it was pulled from the shelf because of the serious risk of death it posed.
Topic summary contributed by Jim.