Top 7 Nutrition Myths: Number 5

Myth: Government and Nutrition Organizations Provide Healthy Advice

Myth 7: A Plant-Based Diet is Healthiest
Myth 6: Counting Calories
Myth 5: Government and Nutrition Organizations Provide Healthy Advice
Myth 4: Eating carbohydrates, especially complex carbs, is vital for health
Myth 3: Grains are Good for You
Myth 2: Exercise is Integral to Health
Myth 1: Saturated Fat Causes Heart Disease

This post is unfortunately a bit critical in nature, so please bear with it!

Before Monsanto could release its highly-controversial artificial bovine growth hormone, rBST, to the market, the FDA required that Monsanto run studies on it to evaluate its safety. The person at Monsanto responsible for putting together these studies was one Margaret Miller. Directly after submitting these reports, Miller left Monsanto and was hired by the FDA, where she eventually became chief of the division that would later approve the drug. Source. This source reports on other, worse conflicts of interest involving the FDA as well.

This is a quite common practice and it has given rise to the term “revolving door” to describe the circle of employment of people between government and corporations. This page shows a partial list of government officials who also work for Monsanto. Other companies stand as an example too.

Here’s something else that’s interesting: the USDA states one of its goals as “expanding markets for agricultural products“; the agency is also responsible for recommending Americans what to eat via the Food Pyramid (now MyPlate). This is in and of itself a conflict of interest, especially considering that it would make more sense for an agency under the US Department of Health to make these sorts of recommendations. What’s more, there are ties between big business and the USDA as well, which gives big business at least some leeway in expanding markets for agricultural products and then telling Americans to eat those (their) products. Diane Sanfilippo states wisely, “if you look at the LARGEST section of the Pyramid, which now that they’ve turned the slices sideways is a bit tougher to discern, it’s asking us to get the most servings per day of a food group that’s not only largely subsidized in this country, but one that requires THE MOST PROCESSING TO MAKE IT EDIBLE.” Read the rest of her article here.

There is a website devoted to this topic, smartly titled Healthy Eating Politics. One of the more interesting sections of the site details where organizations, like the American Heart Association, receive their funding.

Despite all this, I firmly believe our government and these organizations are filled with people with good hearts. It appears, though, that a few corrupt individuals control the majority of the power. And sadly, one of the most powerful good guys, Ron Paul, has retired from office, and gave one last, eye-opening and powerful speech.

“If authoritarianism leads to poverty and war and less freedom for all individuals and is controlled by rich special interests, the people should be begging for liberty.”

People have been following the (confusing) advice of the government and health organizations for years, and the state of public health is atrocious. Who can you trust? I will answer that in a later post. Just remember that nutritional “authorities” do not necessarily have our best interests at heart.