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Knowingly and Secretly Deciding to Put the Buying Public at Risk

The processed food industries now use tactics similar to those used by cigarette companies to undermine public health interventions.

In 1954 the tobacco industry paid to publish the ‘Frank Statement to Cigarette Smokers’ in hundreds of U.S. newspapers. It stated that the public’s health was the industry’s concern above all others and promised a variety of good-faith changes….The ‘Frank Statement’ was a charade, the first step in a concerted, half-century-long campaign to mislead Americans about the catastrophic effects of smoking and to avoid public policy that might damage sales.” As a result, millions of lives were lost during decades of lies and deceptive actions. In the hope that food industry’s history will be written differently, researchers spotlighted important lessons that can be learned from the tobacco experience.

 As I discuss in my video, Big Food Using the Tobacco Industry Playbook, the “processed food industries use tactics similar to those used by tobacco companies to undermine public health interventions. They do this by distorting research findings, co-opting policy makers and health professionals, and lobbying politicians and public officials.” In his book about his fight with the tobacco industry, former FDA commissioner David Kessler recounted similar strong-arm tactics used by the meat industry to try to squash nutrition regulations.

The Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision allowing corporations to spend unlimited amounts on political ads during election campaigns could make things even worse by working against candidates who support public health positions.

 “Another similarity between tobacco and food companies is the introduction and heavy marketing of ‘safer’ or ‘healthier’ products. When cigarette sales dropped…[due] to health concerns, the industry introduced ‘safer’ [filtered] cigarettes that gave health-conscious smokers an alternative to quitting,” and sales shot back up. Ironically, the filters originally had asbestos in them.

Cigarette ads have proudly proclaimed that the brands they were promoting had “less nicotine, “less tar,” and even “reduced carcinogens”! And, how could anything be bad for you if it is “100% organic,” as another ad promoted?

Today, leaner pork or eggs with less cholesterol may be the food industry’s low-tar cigarettes. Indeed, food industry ads and the messages they tout can be head-scratchers. “A KFC ad campaign depicted an African American family in which the father was told by the mother that ‘KFC has 0 grams of trans fat now.’ The father, in the presence of children, shouts, ‘Yeah baby! Whoooo!!’ and then begins eating the fried chicken” by the bucketful.

What about cereal companies touting all of the whole grains in their Cocoa Puffs Brownie Crunch? Fruit Loops “now provides fiber” was the message emblazoned on its packaging.

A U.S. District Judge overseeing a tobacco industry case put it well: “‘All too often in the choice between the physical health of consumers and the financial well-being of business, concealment is chosen over disclosure, sales over safety, and money over morality. Who are these persons who knowingly and secretly decide to put the buying public at risk solely for the purpose of making profits, and who believe that illness and death of consumers is an apparent cost of their own prosperity?’ Above all, the experience of tobacco shows how powerful profits can be as a motivator, even at the cost of millions of lives and unspeakable suffering.”


I know some people don’t like my “political” videos and wish I’d stick to the science, but it’s impossible to understand the disconnect between the balance of evidence and dietary recommendations without understanding the impact of commercial influence. See, for example, these videos:

In health,

Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live, year-in-review presentations:

Discuss

Michael Greger M.D., FACLM

Michael Greger, M.D. FACLM, is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous "meat defamation" trial.


81 responses to “Knowingly and Secretly Deciding to Put the Buying Public at Risk

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  1. This line of blogs and videos does a great job of putting government food recommendations, fad diets, and the social and political pressures surrounding nutrition research into their proper contexts. Don’t stop Dr. Greger.

    1. You think? I don’t. I see it as preaching to the choir. If change is to made, it has to grow beyond it’s organic beginnings, the flog, the small minority of followers. I’m willing to bet we now have as many, if not more, buying books/reading and following the latest Paleo fad. In fact, Taube’s “Why we get fat” is only slightly ahead of “How not to die.”

      1. Many people who come to this blog are new to the information on plant-based nutrition … as well as to the important insight on the corporate and political forces at work to mislead them.

        So while many of us are in the choir, I suspect others are just considering joining. These also make good pieces for us to share with others and introduce them to nutritionfacts.org.

    2. DON’T WORRY ABOUT SOME ONE NOT LIKING YOUR ‘POLITICAL’ VIEWS. FRANKLY, THESE ARE JUST FACTS. EDUCATIONS IS ESSENTIAL–NOT ONLY ON THE ‘SCIENCE’ OF FOOD, BUT HOW CONSUMERS CAN BE DUPED BECAUSE OF PROFIT MOTIVE.
      IMAGINE YOUR MOM THINKING, ‘I AM GOING TO COOK DINER FOR MY FAMILY SO I CAN MAKE MONEY OFF OF THEM’ VS. ‘I AM GOING TO COOK DINER THAT IS TASTY AND HEALTHY SO OUR FAMILY CAN BE TOGETHER LIVING LONG AND HAPPY LIVES”.
      CONSUMERS NEED TO STEP BACK AND THINK A BIT ABOUT THEMSELVES AND WHAT IS REALLY IN THEIR OWN BEST INTEREST. IN THAT, THE SPEAKERS OF TRUTH, LIKE DR. G AND OTHERS ARE PERFORMING A HUGELY VALUABLE SERVICE TO SOCIETY.

  2. Great article Dr. Greger. However with the government having the power to decide which foods are healthier and enact regulations to affect that, all you can do is to bring knowledge to people. Expecting people to be honest is to overlook the powerful incentive to survive and provide for their employees. The other step would be to amend constitution and abolition of regulatory agencies. That’s just how the economics work.

    1. If regulatory agencies were abolished, things would get worse. This would allow food manufacturers to say anything!

      Bringing knowledge to people is powerful. And I include “political” knowledge as well. It is a bit of a nasty ploy to give “politics” a dirty name. Politics is what democracy is made of. Saying that discussing politics is bad is like saying democracy is bad or knowledge is bad. It is another way of keeping people ignorant, and I am grateful to Dr. Greger for his immense efforts to help people have the information they need to make wise decisions!

  3. I am always grateful for your research and acknowledgment of the realities of our country’s commercial behavior. I want clean, safe, healthy food for everyone, and am so glad for our “watchdog” citizens!! Like your website states facts are what we need, not lies by commercial interests.

  4. Don’t stop Dr. Greger. Most of our chronic lifestyle diseases are a direct result of nutritional choices and those choices are being manipulated by the food industry, big pharma etc. It’s not political, it’s life or death. It is exactly science; the science of truth. Your voice is desperately needed. Please, please continue.

  5. For what it’s worth, I feel your “political” perspectives are highly relevant, informative and central to the overall narrative around the need for tectonic changes in prevailing nutritional norms.

  6. The best scenario is to have government stop subsidizing the meat, dairy, and egg industries. Those products would cost so much that most people would be forced to be vegetarian from economic necessity.

    1. Mostly the government subsidizes corn, and soy. Why everything has corn oil, soybean oil, high fructose corn syrup in it. No processed foods are good.

      1. My understanding is that the US Government does subsidise sweetcorn and soy consumption but only because these are the main crops grown as livestock feed:

        “Corn is the primary U.S. feed grain, accounting for more than 90 percent of total feed grain production and use. Around 80 million acres of land are planted to corn, with the majority of the crop grown in the Heartland region. Most of the crop is used as the main energy ingredient in livestock feed.”
        http://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/crops/corn/background.aspx

        “Livestock feeds account for 98 percent of U.S. soybean meal consumption,”
        http://www.ers.usda.gov/media/862896/ocs200601_lowres.pdf

        PCRM has a page on this topic
        http://www.pcrm.org/health/reports/agriculture-and-health-policies-unhealthful-foods

  7. I am still upset years after reading “How Not to Die.” By giving “unprocessed animal foods” a yellow light in your book, you essentially gave your approval to eating animal products, ala Paleo. I know, because my brother is an “everything in moderation” kind of guy. I gave him a copy of your book before I realized this blunder. Now you have opened the door to “not too much.” I doubt that he will ever stop now, with your written support. In fact, I have stopped talking to him about it because you have cut my legs out from under me.

      1. Even the “everything in moderation’ is a food industry slogan. It is part of the problem.

        Many nutritional doctors allow a few slivers of animal meat on top of a big pile of veg, That is not moderation, but conscious frugality.

        Not everyone can sustain a 100% PBWF diet before they get better health and adjust taste buds.

        Evidence is totally against over consumption of protein and that has been covered by NutritionFacts over the years, I am sure. Mercola covers the dangers of over consumption of protein as do others. That is a powerful and reasonable angle you can take without alienating your brother. Love is more important than food!

        Science is equally against over consumption of carbohydrate, which I have found, as a practitioner, and other practitioners also talk about this, can put vegetarians and vegans out of balance and into illness. .

        What makes the difference to everyone is eating LOTS of veg and some fruit. 11 serves a day for adults is basic. So use the new “healthy,wholefood pyramid” with veg at the foundation to your adivantage!

        I love NutritionfFacts for giving us excitement to eat veg and fruit! May it do so for your bro!

        At least your brother is now eating more healthy overall, I hope. Your own silent example of glowing good health and energy will speak more to him a thousand time louder than anything you say. to try to change him.

    1. Yellow light is not green light. I forget what Dr. G said in his book, but the there’s no solid evidence that they are harmful when kept below something like 10% of calories. (Dr. Fuhrman and T. Colin Campbell have, if I recall right, made similar remarks.) Does that fit with your brother’s view on moderation? Paleo, as I understand it, generally push much higher ratios of animal foods. Blue zone populations typically eat some animal products. I think the best arguments for going vegan are that animal products are not necessary for robust health and eliminating them goes a long way toward reducing one’s “cruelty footprint”.

    2. That;s OK as long as he understands what “not too much” means.

      In the traditional Okinawan diet (famed for producing many centenarians), meat/fish/dairy/egg provided fewer than 4% of total calories.
      http://www.okicent.org/docs/anyas_cr_diet_2007_1114_434s.pdf

      And in Naples after WW2, where Ancel Keys and his wife Margaret Haney went to first learn about the Mediterranean diet, local workers had none of the heart disease that afflicted their US counterparts.

      “It was true. No heart attacks for the people of that region (Keys, 1999: 43-44, 1995: 1322S; Moro, 2014: 25 ………… They started observing what workers ate, and the first evidence was that they eat meat once a week, on Sunday evening. It was the meat of a traditional sauce for pasta, called ragout,”
      https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877042816304608

      These are what “not too much” really means. As for Dr Greger’s views on everything in moderation, refer to his video/blog on this

      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/everything-in-moderation-even-heart-disease/
      https://nutritionfacts.org/2018/01/30/moderation-kills/

  8. Please don’t stop with these types of videos and articles. They’re important and you can raise these issues because you’re not beholden to any corporate sponsors. Thanks.

    1. I disagree. I think Dr. Greger’s videos, like this one, do involve a political position (one with which I happen to agree). We currently live in a time when the dominant US political position is libertarian extremism, which would no doubt view the behavior of the food industry as perfectly acceptable, the responsibility falling on the consumer to make informed decisions about their own health. On the other hand Dr. Greger’s position is at least implicitly arguing for some regulation of the most extreme and deceptive practices of the food industry. Again, I completely agree with his position, but I disagree that it is completely apolitical.

      1. I don’t think the US position is libertarian at all. The state has no power to enact any regulation nor make regulatory bodies with regards to any food products according to libertarianism. There wouldn’t be any need to lobby then because the state would not have the power to do that. The dominant political position in US is socialism where the state decides what is good for you and enacts regulations to do that. It is then perfectly understandable why the meat or egg or any industry would spend millions of dollars to have regulations in their favor. As for as advertising goes, there is freedom of speech to protect that. Also it’s the same freedom of speech that makes this website possible.

        1. “The dominant political position in US is socialism where the state decides what is good for you and enacts regulations to do that”- No that is simply not true. Socialism is economic democracy, which is what the ruling masters in the U.S. are deadly afraid of and will destroy as many lives as necessary to prevent such a socioeconomic system. The U.S. is fundamentally an oligarchy with the agenda of hegemony over the planet, as should be clear if one has been paying attention to U.S. foreign policy history.

      2. I disagree. I think the science put’s it into what looks like a political position. It’s just science and someone puts in a box because it needs to fit into a box somewhere. Pick the closest one. Meat=bad, subsidies for feed grains must be bad. Must be a socially liberal political position. It just can’t be scientific fact divorced from political affiliation.

      3. The current political setup is not libertarian at all. That would imply no (or little) government intervention in the markets.

        Instead, we have a top-down system of controls from the FDA prohibitions, CDC schedules, USDA recommendations, tariff controls on imported food, taxes on “sin” items, medical licensing cartels, and a whole list of other interventions that distort food and health markets and create these terrible outcomes. Let’s not tarnish the idea of freedom and responsibility by calling the current system “libertarian extremism” – that is really not accurate at all.

      4. A true libertarian position would require the government from subsidizing the animal and processed food industries. Further, it would require the government to prosecute those industries false advertising. Instead, what we have is a government that is in an unholy alliance with the food and medical industries to perpetuate their bad behaviors for the benefit of a few at the expense of many. It’s almost exactly as Ayn Rand describes the alliance in “Atlas Shrugged”. Dr Greger is the “John Galt” of “Atlas Shrugged” with Bernard, Campbell, Fuhrman and a few others as his allies.

  9. Thank you for your observations on the power of marketing to persuade unaware consumers. My daughter and I recently noticed how much sugar is now present in the many brands of yogurt. Another good reason to stay clear of dairy products.

  10. I tried to read it on my cell phone but it is a pain in the neck. Interested though.

    I woke up this morning thinking about Roundup being a cause of Breast Cancer.

    And maybe contributing to my friends sons autism.

    How many industries are knowingly and secretly putting people at risk.

    The scents in products, etc.

    I might be able to change my families mortality giving them the information, but many of them won’t listen unless an authority figure says it.

  11. I discovered Dr. Greger’s videos through YouTube’s “Recommended” feed. Why did YouTube recommend Dr. Greger’s videos? Because I was watching other videos on foods politics… Keep up the good work! Your videos open my eyes and helped me make positive changes in diet and lifestyle.

  12. Political? Strongly denouncing a cheeseburger gulping Diet Coke politician for efforts to weaken agencies meant to protect public health—not THAT might be considered by some to be political and some (but definitely not I) might be concerned about NutirtionFacts.org becoming political. But simply stating Citizens United “could make things worse” for candidates supporting public health politicians.” Is hardly political. It’s common sense. Continue to speak the truth as you do so well, Dr. Greger!

  13. The government, something that exists by agreement, cares more about economic health. That is the priority. Healthcare, junk foods, taxes, businesses, are avenues of economic growth. Its job is measured in growth. If it cares about health is because it can potentially bring down economic growth. There is no money in orchards but their is money in killing other animals and selling their bodies. So the social bad health starts in a blind economic hunt. That is part of the price.

    1. Actually, one purpose of the US government is to promote the general Welfare, as it states in the Preamble to the Constitution: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” I believe that the health and well being of US citizens and residents fall under the “general Welfare,” since welfare is defined as “the health, happiness, and fortunes of a person or group.”

  14. Dr. G, This is a great article, and is not the political rhetoric that people dislike. This is the truth of the political system in America, and the reason the food industry is getting more tainted by the day.

    What people don’t like is food Nazi’s demonizing anyone who is not a strict vegan and chastise them for thinking or eating a bit different.
    The real science is what’s going to change the landscape. If people stop eating refined junk, and meat 3 times a day, that would do a lot to curb the huge problems we have. As people feel better and see the recovery, they will move as far as they need to on their own free will, with out being criticized.

    Overall you do a really great job of bringing the science and background information needed to the front for people to make an informed decision. So thanks

    1. I agree with you David.

      People like the science.

      People don’t like moral judgments on their “sins” and I use that, because I am a Christian and people don’t like it when the church does it either.

      Putting people down for drinking milk doesn’t work.

      Showing them a study about milk dangers and clearing up the confusion about soy milk accomplishes so much more than anything else.

      If I felt “looked down on” I probably wouldn’t be listening here.

      I feel “informed” and that I can enjoy.

    2. you are forgetting that when it comes to flesh, milk or eggs there is a victim involved. is it less harmful torturing and killing 2 puppies or kittens a month rather than torturing and killing 5 puppies or kittens a month? perhaps- but that in no way suggests that it is moral or ethical to torture and kill puppies or kittens in the first place.

      “Here’s the key to veganism, commitment. It’s not a diet where you sometimes cheat or eventually go back to eating a “little” meat, dairy and eggs. Every time you cheat, an animal suffers or is killed. That’s the reality of what we are talking about. If you wish to be or remain vegan, you have to make a commitment to the animals. It’s ultimately not about you or your health or your pleasure.”

  15. Dr, G,
    Continue everything you’re doing to promote good health and nutrition.

    Don’t listen to those who say you are being political. Where do these people think some of the worst offenders of health and nutrition come from?

    Gov has not exactly had the reputation of watching out for The People’s health! It’s all about Lobbying and those lobbyist (ex.big tobacco) who donate to the campaigns so, our Congress Members will vote for in their favor. How many people died from smoking before the truth was faced about tobacco? One of those people was my sister at only 33.

    Thanks for all you do.

  16. You are not being political, but rather concerned with truthful science for the creation of reasonable policy for the governance of our community.

  17. I think the only solution is to divorce the USDA health guidelines from the USDA. Start an independent body that makes decisions on what to eat based on “real science”. Not slanted science. That might mean more government funding more basic research without food industry input to be get good, solid data. If it is put out there unbiased I think over time better decisions would be made by the general public. But it has to be out there for people to see. Websites like this are good but it has to be put out there on an unbiased government website to carry the most weight.

  18. Thank you for sharing this. It’s important to know the ethical background of our purchases as well as the health implications. All of this sounds analogous to the baby formula milk industry.

  19. Those who are upset with your political comments simply are deprived off any intelligence since food and politics are simply ONE thing in our degenerating society where Big Food and Pharma are controlling our government

  20. Thank you for all your information. It is very informative and helpful. People should also watch the ingredients on the cereal boxes as some include trisodium phosphate. I used this years ago to wash walls. It can still be purchased in hardware stores for that purpose.

  21. I honestly don’t find you political.

    I more see you as exposing things, which are politically motivated.

    There is a difference in my mind between exposing the agenda of the milk or egg or meat industries or of the people peddling Roundup or supplements or meds versus having your own political agenda.

    I can point to you pointing out the danger of certain meds, but if there is a “big pharma” good product, which actually helps, you point that out, too.

    The same for supplements. You expose all the worthless stuff and then point to take Vitamin D and B12 and Vegan Omega 3.

    If you were politically motivated, you would be “fire your doctor” versus “go when you have symptoms” and you would be “never take meds” versus “Tamoxifen improved Cancer outcomes” etc.

    I watch you with a topic like avocado and my guess is, if you have a political agenda there, it will be that you want to eat it, but you talked about DNA fragmentation and pointed out how many biased studies they had and you moved it to yellow and back to green and I still want to see how the whole damages DNA thing plays out, but helps with prostate cancer is a good enough thing that I am not so much worried, but have a more of a blue light category in my mind.

    I don’t see exposing biases and statistical manipulation as a political process at all.

    1. I think about supplements, because I want the type from the Prostate Cancer study. I would hand them out to my friends and family when they are sick, but didn’t know that I couldn’t get the same value at the supplement store.

      I knew there were supplement companies not putting anything in, but I didn’t have concepts of extracts versus ground up products. I thought that if I could get high enough doses of the pills that it would be closer to the studies.

      I want someone like you talking when people are being hoodwinked.

      I also want someone to start a “grind your own supplements” movement, if that would help.

      I hear the frustration of the person above whose relatives backed up to moderation, but I would be so thrilled if my relatives did that, because it would be directionally so much better than going Keto.

      I feel like presenting the dispassionately motivated real science and statistics of the real health harms and benefits and then giving people free choice within limits of what is reasonable is what our society is about.

      It is okay to be passionate and try to restrict things if the science proves genuine harm.

      It is okay to be passionate and try to promote things and even profit upon things if the science proves genuine benefit.

      It is the people who are profiting on harm and profiting on fools gold and calling it gold that I want someone standing up to and I understand that standing up to powerful people is often a thankless job.

    1. Vladislav, that is nice that you are sharing the Russian culture.

      Gardens are popular where I am in America, too.

      Many of my friends have them. My friend put up a greenhouse last year to extend her growing season, because of our winters.

      My grandmother had a garden when I was a kid, but that was a lot of work and time and we would suddenly have hundreds of tomatoes or zucchini or radishes all at once.

      My town has a field where people who don’t have land can plant things.

      Currently, I am not sure of the soil in the places like the town garden. I don’t know if the people ever sprayed the weeds or not.

      I find that all of the grocery stores sell organic produce now and so do many of the local farms in the Summer.

      As I have been walking around my grocery store, I feel like buying from them sends a message to keep getting new organic things and it is happening.

      Whole Foods has them, but so does stores like Stop and Shop and Big Y and Shop Rite, which are some of the names of stores around me.

      I go to each grocery store every week and reward them for selling organic on purpose.

      Stop & Shop has Nature’s Promise organic pre-cut veggies and I can walk through the whole store and find that brand and I buy it, because I want them to keep expanding.

  22. I agree 100%!! It’s been bad for years and it’s only gotten worse. Profits are more important than the health of the people. And the FDA, who is supposed to be protecting us against this type of thing happening, will approve anyone that pays them off. The only thing that will save lives now is to become educated consumers. Read the ingredients on products and do your research before you consume anything from anywhere… The pharmaceutical industry is just as bad and guilty. They are equal to big tobacco in my book!

  23. There’s nothing wrong with disagreeing with the food companies’ published views on nutrition and to publish your disagreements. But to accuse them of knowingly deceiving the public by advertising what they claim are the benefits is a bit presumptuous unless you think that they secretly agree with your views on nutrition, which they almost certainly don’t.

    I’m sure that there are several people who subscribe to your podcasts, I among them, who don’t agree with everything you say. So why assume that the food companies do but are knowingly deceiving their customers? What are you calling for, a ban on every food or advertisement for it that is not whole food plant-based?

    As for cigarettes, anyone who is not aware of their health hazards has been living in a cave, far from civilization. Those who continue to smoke are not doing so because they’ve been secretly manipulated by the cigarette manufacturers. Ditto for those who eat burgers at fast-food restaurants. They choose to do so because they’ve decided that the benefits are worth the risk. Of course, we could outlaw cigarettes and fast food entirely. Prohibition worked for alcohol and drugs, didn’t it? So why not? ;-)

    1. William Dwyer, Food companies DO know that their products are NOT nutritious or healthy. In his book “Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us,” Michael Moss reported that food company executives know better than to feed the products their companies produce to their own families.

      Also, I worked in the biotech industry as a research scientist, at one point working on “designer food oils” (via plant breeding and GMOs) and recall attending one lecture about an artificial fat — it sounded awful. At the end of his talk, the presenter asked who among the audience would feed their families this product — and not one person raised their hand. (We were research scientists, we knew better.) So the presenter proceeded to excoriate the audience for not “supporting our industry.” Fascinating, frustrating, and true.

      One more little example: For some reason, a lot of folks use agave syrup, thinking it’s better than HFCS. What?? HFCS is about 55% fructose (table sugar is about 50% fructose), and agave syrup is about 75%-90% or more fructose. So where did folks get this idea? Marketing.

      So yes, it’s been well documented beyond these few examples that food companies do indeed knowingly deceive their customers.

    2. William Dwyer, Here’s another example; it’s been all over the news: “How the Sugar Industry Shifted Blame to Fat”
      https://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/13/well/eat/how-the-sugar-industry-shifted-blame-to-fat.html:

      “The sugar industry paid scientists in the 1960s to play down the link between sugar and heart disease and promote saturated fat as the culprit instead, newly released historical documents show…

      “They were able to derail the discussion about sugar for decades,” said Stanton Glantz, a professor of medicine at U.C.S.F. and an author of the JAMA Internal Medicine paper….”

    3. William

      I suspect that even the FDA disagrees with you on this matter. Just as an example, see this from 2010

      “In an unusually broad crackdown, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has notified 17 food companies, including major brands such as Gerber and Nestle, that they have violated federal laws by making false or misleading claims on their product packaging.”
      http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/03/AR2010030303119.html

      Of course, from an industry point of view, they might simply believe that their job is to make profits by providing what the consumer wants and it is up to the consumers to seek out healthy foods – if that is really what consumers want.

  24. What our neighbor eats affects us all–in the form of higher health care for the sick among us, in the form of taxes that help pay for subsidies, and in the form of people who cannot function as best as they might if they ate well and were well.

    I’d like to see this community fight fire with fire–maybe put out an alternative food pyramid when the government puts out theirs and rebuttals to ridiculous claims like “Butter is back” and the like.

  25. It really is a big wheel. The advertising to eat certain foods, the resultant health issues, the health costs, pharmaceutical costs and the consumers are loosing. Throughout history when people have realised they’re getting the short straw the push back began. Trouble is most people don’t know what good nutrition is, looks like or how to achieve life changes. I’ve shared so many of your videos, your channel is kickstarting that change. Thanks. Keep up the good work.

  26. I was asked to bring a pasta dish to a work potluck and on the box is said ‘high in nutrition’. Following a whole foods, plant based diet I was intrigued. Turned the box around and the ingredients say: semolina, water and then a list of added vitamins. Not quite my idea of ‘high nutrition’!

  27. I really appreciate Greger’s commentary on government criminal behavior. The government is abdicating its responsibility to protect the safety of its citizens by cooperating and promoting food policy that is known to be dangerous. It’s abundantly clear that the subsidies and USDA policy promoting animal food production and processed food is resulting in the deaths of more Americans that tobacco. Only the government could avoid prosecution for promoting the death of millions. Publicizing these insane policies and making more voters aware is the only way the government will ever change.

  28. I wish that the corporations did not fund junk science on nutrition as they did the tobacco industry back in the day, but they do.. I wish the government did not work as one with the food industry..but we know they do. I wish the USDA did reflect science of nutrition and not corporate interest but they do..

    I applaud Dr Greger for all he does

    .But really though I agree, I also know their side does not go down ever without a fight.
    Be prepared for their onslaught. The more popular Dr Greger gets the more they will come a gunning.
    This new medium presents many opportunities for their furtherance.This new flavor in America does as well.
    .
    Johnson and Johnson really did knowingly kill people by the thousand by willingly advertiseing and selling talc after their scientists proved it knew it, cancer.causing.
    A baby food manufacturer before that really did sell sugar water as apple juice to earn a profit. These we both known now by court testimony released subsequent to litigation.

    This is who you are up against. We know only the slightest part of them. That revealed speaks of dark ugly things.

    These are not some uninformed peoples just trying to make a living. IN any earlier age they would be called for what they are, like the tobacco marketers before them…evil.
    Prepare yourself to fight evil accordingly. And always keep in mind that when in the battle.

    A nice doc just doing good they will not bother with him..yes they will.
    Do you not know.what a very bigger thing that Johnson and Johnson has not been approached in any manner by criminal conduct which resulted in death says???

    This is the climate we live in where none call for such penalty.

    You can and will deny progressive politics from here to eternity, clinging to your last dying breath, your feeling things are right jusl and true and in only this area or that area is corruption and bad bad result.
    I wish it were that way but it is not.

    All is corrupted here from foreign policy to nutrition to denial of climate to health care, to this extend and that, it is just you see only your little bit your part and think it not a systemic thing…it is. I wish it were not but it is.
    Never putting this thing of corruption together as one always we are dissipated and weak in our responses. Diluted and then one against another.

    Take great care Dr Greger, they know of you and they are not bound by the laws you follow. I wish this were not true.

    1. I wish also my type thinking of things was not true…referencing here a vegan site that reported a source article in the Wash Post, of various peoples/sites to be under the Russian government influence…..a bridge to far they, the source for the Wash post article, have since removed Dr Greger from the list.

      But once so named such a person in a police type state will have each and every communication email whatever surveilled. All needed really in such a place is a accuser. And then any stingle thing found a romantic interest of any sort outside marriage any secret,(we all have some) is used to control…

      .https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=happy+healthy+vegan+dr+greger+russian&view=detail&mid=612752F5C405053F2549612752F5C405053F2549&FORM=VIRE

      And is the Wash post not connected to our intelligence service, joined at the hip so to speak, I can provide link…but absent that link, of a contractual relatiionshp,. how did exactly Dr Gregers nutritional facts get on a list of Russian cooberators……how could that happen?

      We see agricultural industry influence on our food pyramid and this and that in government.. Do we think it absent from other governmental influence?
      I wish it were.

      Dr Greger is of course no Jilian Assange but he is a minor threat to those who make money in these things and have not a bit of problem when they need to do things outside a legal framework.
      So it is here where corporation run the governments agencies.

  29. Your political (ideological) positions are a logical & GOOD extension of all of your work.
    Thank you for everything you do, Dr. Greger.

  30. It’s exactly the same way they sell cars on TV! The ad makes it all about which car has more legroom/headroom/smoother ride, etc. etc… Then with lots of fanfare it turns out (natch) that THEIR car does… then they somehow spin this into the conclusion that their car is the better choice — while totally ignoring all the other things that’re just as important! They’re so slick with this smoke-and-mirrors strategy that you barely notice all the stuff they’re carefully NOT saying.

    In this world, MONEY MONEY MONEY comes before anything else. You will be screwed, victimized, used and abused, all for the sake of a dollar, if somebody can figure out how. And it’s only going to get worse over time.

  31. Dr. Greger you are my guru! I started to eat plant based only a few months ago and I’m learning with you. So many things to understand… Thank you so much for not being afraid ❤️

  32. “I know some people don’t like my “political” videos and wish I’d stick to the science, but it’s impossible to understand the disconnect between the balance of evidence and dietary recommendations without understanding the impact of commercial influence.”

    No, by all means continue these videos! They’re every bit as important as the core nutritional issues.

    1. Yes bob go old school is the way and lets remember we can”t serve 2 masters at a time, Food business is serving money investors not us.

  33. Well, Philip Morris bought General Foods in 1985 and Kraft in 1988, as well as Miller Brewing Company in 1970, then re-branded themselves as Altria Group, Inc. in 2003. Of course processed foods are marketed the same way cigarettes are! It’s being done by the same people!

  34. Dr. Greger, I VERY MUCH appreciate your views on the underlying politics of the food industry. Please don’t stop! People need to hear this. Big business and their well paid politicians needs to be held accountable.

      1. Yes, thank you for saying how much Dr. Gregor’s work is appreciated! I love his site and have followed him and other vegan doctors for years. He is funny and dedicated to the truth about our health. His book, How Not To Die, is great!!! And he generously gives all his knowledge on his site freely!Thank you for reminding me to specifically thank him.
        Sent from my Sprint Samsung Galaxy S8+.

  35. The world is a very competitive place. It really is a dog eat dog world. Strife and competition takes place at the lowest levels of community such as neighborhoods and all the way up to nations fighting each other over oil, and other resources. You see this also in the corporate world where workers will compete with each other to get a raise, to get closer to the boss, to get a transfer, or to get recognition. Food companies are just doing what individuals do in order to collect more energy chips known as dollars. The name of the game is survival. It is survival of the individual in the class room at college to get a good grade, also, it is survival of giant food companies to continue to survive and prosper just like a great white shark swimming in the sea. So, when it comes to nutrition for the physical body and mind, one can generalize that he who is eating Greger’s daily dozen is going to compete much better against those in the corporate office who are eating fries and big macs everyday. To start with you are going to appear slimmer and not fat. You are going to have very, very few sick days, maybe none at all. You are going to have more energy. And, the best part is that your brain power is going to be better because of all of those berries, and especially Indian gooseberries you are consuming. In conclusion, in this dog eat dog world, it is he who has the knowledge of proper nutrition and consumes proper nutrition that is going to have an edge over all of the millions of people addicted to their pizza, fries, big macs, ice cream, and soft drinks. And, a final note. Human nature is never going to change.

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