Food Corruption Media ArticlesExcerpts of Key Food Corruption Media Articles in Major Media
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It was 1956. Papers had run a photograph of President Dwight D. Eisenhower sweetening his coffee with saccharin, with the news that his doctor had advised him to avoid sugar if he wanted to remain thin. The [sugar] industry responded with a national advertising campaign. The ads explained that there was no such thing as a “fattening food”: “All foods supply calories and there is no difference between the calories that come from sugar or steak or grapefruit or ice cream.” More than 60 years later, the sugar industry is still making the same argument, or at least paying researchers to do it for them. The stakes have changed, however, with a near tripling of the prevalence of obesity in the intervening decades and ... an almost unimaginable 655 percent increase in the percentage of Americans with diabetes diagnoses. When it comes to weight gain, the sugar industry and purveyors of sugary beverages still insist, a calorie is a calorie, regardless of its source. The assumption ignores decades of medical science, including much of what has become textbook endocrinology (the science of hormones and hormone-related diseases) and biochemistry. Different carbohydrates, like glucose and fructose, are metabolized differently, leading to different hormonal and physiological responses. Fat accumulation and metabolism [are] influenced profoundly by these hormones. In light of this research, arguing today that your body fat responds to everything you eat the exact same way is almost inconceivably naďve.
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Every year, more restaurants and food companies announce that they will sell only meat produced with minimal or no use of antibiotics. And every year, despite those pledges, more antibiotics are administered to the nation's swine, cattle and poultry. According to the latest figures, released this week by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, antibiotic sales for use on farm animals increased by 1 percent in 2015, compared to the previous year. The increase was slightly greater – 2 percent — for antibiotics used as human medicine. The FDA and other public health agencies have been pushing farmers to rely less on these drugs. Heavy use of antibiotics both in human medicine and in agriculture has led to the emergence of drug-resistant bacteria, complicating the task of treating many infections. But the FDA finds a glimmer of good news in the latest figures, pointing out that the rate of increase has slowed. In the previous year, antibiotic use had increased by 4 percent, and a total of 22 percent from 2009 to 2014.
Paraquat, one of many pesticides that can’t be used in Europe but is sold in the United States and elsewhere, has been linked to Parkinson’s disease in a growing body of research. The [paraquat factory in Huddersfield, England] recently celebrated its centennial. Paraquat [is] one of the world’s most enduring weed killers - but not one that can be purchased in ... Britain or across the Channel in the rest of the European Union. So it will be sent to the United States, or another part of the globe that still allows paraquat to be sprayed on weeds. Now regulators in the United States are grappling with a wave of research linking paraquat to ... Parkinson’s disease. In a recent ... regulatory filing, the Environmental Protection Agency said, “There is a large body of epidemiology data on paraquat dichloride use and Parkinson’s disease.” The agency is weighing whether to continue allowing the chemical to be sprayed on American cropland, although a decision is not expected until 2018. In the meantime, many of the nations that ban paraquat and other chemicals whose use is contentious still allow them to be manufactured as long as they are exported to faraway fields. Even the government of China, a nation not known for environmental regulation, said in 2012 that it would phase out paraquat “to safeguard people’s lives.” As Europe and China move away from paraquat, its use is rebounding in the United States. That is particularly true for soybean fields, where the number of pounds used is up more than fourfold over the past decade.
Note: Paraquat is manufactured by Syngenta, a Swiss company known for manipulating international trade deals. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and in the corporate world.
Antibiotic resistance is a problem both for people and for livestock. But how can we be sure that the two are connected and that resistance is exacerbated by on-farm antibiotic use? In 1975 the Animal Health Institute asked this very question and recruited Tufts University biologist Stuart Levy to find out. Levy and his colleagues fed low doses of the antibiotic tetracycline to a group of 150 chickens. Within a week, almost all the E. coli bacteria in their intestines were tetracycline-resistant. Three months in ... the chickens were also resistant to four other types of antibiotics. After four months, the ... chickens on the farm that had not been fed tetracycline also harbored resistance to the drug. In 1977, soon after Levy's study was published, the FDA announced that it was considering banning several antibiotics from animal feed over safety concerns. In the 39 years since, the industry has fought hard against these plans by arguing there was no definitive proof of harm. These arguments ultimately caused the FDA to [pursue] voluntary guidances instead. Several members of the U.S. Congress, including New York State Representative and microbiologist Louise Slaughter, have introduced bills to more tightly regulate antibiotic use on farms. Slaughter has pushed for her Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act for more than a decade. It has been supported by 454 organizations, including the American Medical Association. But ... the bill never reaches a vote.
The Nunatsiavut government in Labrador has released a study from a Harvard mercury researcher on the effects of the newly constructed Muskrat Falls dam. The study showed that water flooding the reservoir behind the dam would contain methylmercury levels “to the point that they exceed regulatory thresholds for exposure,” building up over time in fish and other game consumed by the native population. Muskrat Falls will affect three peoples - the Innu, the Nunatsiavut and the NunatuKavut - who will have to alter their diets, and as such their cultures. Methylmercury ... can lead to intellectual impairments and immune system problems. Some of the hydroelectric dams have already disrupted the hunting and fishing traditions of the Cree living nearby. Muskrat Falls echoes what the Canadian historian James Daschuk has called “the politics of starvation.” In his 2013 study, “Clearing the Plains,” Mr. Daschuk argued that famine was a conscious settlement strategy to “create ecological conditions in which disease exploded.” Nutritional questions have always been cultural questions for the indigenous peoples of Canada. Hunting and fishing are more than a traditional way of life. The land is the connection to the larger world and to history. High methylmercury levels would render the land untrustworthy. If you cannot trust the land, what can you trust?
Note: A recent BBC article described Canada's treatment of First Nation peoples as "cultural genocide" after an official inquiry found thousands of indigenous children had died and been buried in unmarked graves after being forcibly relocated to residential schools. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health.
Mike Miles hadn’t had a stable job in years. This wasn’t due to a poor work ethic. Because Miles had a criminal record, he was always cut loose when it came time to let staff go. “It was like walking on eggshells. You just never knew when you’d be gone,” he recounted. After his release from prison in 2007, Miles struggled to find stability. It wasn’t until October 2015 ... that a cousin told Miles about Lancaster Food Company, a local business that ... focuses on hiring formerly incarcerated people. Miles submitted an application. He got an interview. And, soon after that, he began a new job, encompassing everything from food production to maintenance, not to mention a livable wage of $15 an hour. He says it’s the best job he’s ever had. Miles’ scenario is rare in Lancaster, where the poverty rate holds steady at 30 percent. This figure riled Charlie Crystle, Lancaster’s co-founder and CEO. He believes that food production is a key way to “meet people where they are,” referring to former offenders who may lack a high school or college degree. Lancaster produces products like bread and maple syrup, all of it USDA certified organic. Crystle says he wants to inspire other companies and entrepreneurs to rethink their current practices and ignite conversations around minimum wage and employment opportunities for everyone, including ex-offenders. Not one employee has quit. According to Mike Miles, having a steady job has given him new courage.
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Residues of many types of insecticides, fungicides and weed killing chemicals have been found in roughly 85 percent of thousands of foods tested. Data released ... by the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows varying levels of pesticide residues in everything from mushrooms to potatoes and grapes to green beans. One sample of strawberries contained residues of 20 pesticides. Notably, the agency said only 15 percent of the 10,187 samples tested were free from any detectable pesticide residues. That’s a marked difference from 2014, when the USDA found that over 41 percent of samples were “clean” or showed no detectable pesticide residues. Prior years also showed roughly 40-50 percent of samples as free of detectable residues. Absent from the USDA data was any information on glyphosate residues, even though glyphosate has long been the most widely used herbicide in the world. The Food and Drug Administration also annually samples foods for residues of pesticides. The most recent public residue report issued by the FDA shows that violation rates for pesticide residues have been climbing in recent years.
On its website, Kellogg touted a distinguished-sounding "Breakfast Council" of "independent experts" who helped guide its nutritional efforts. Nowhere did it say this: The maker of Froot Loops and Frosted Flakes paid the experts and fed them talking points. The company paid the experts an average of $13,000 a year, prohibited them from offering media services for products "competitive or negative to cereal" and required them to engage in "nutrition influencer outreach" on social media or with colleagues, and report back on their efforts. For Kellogg, the breakfast council - in existence between 2011 and this year - deftly blurred the lines between cereal promotion and impartial nutrition guidance. The company used the council to teach a continuing education class for dietitians, publish an academic paper on breakfast, and try to influence the government's dietary guidelines. One of the breakfast council's most notable achievements was publishing a paper defining a "quality breakfast" in a nutrition journal. Kellogg touted the paper in its newsletter as being written by "our independent nutrition experts." Dietitians could earn continuing education credits from the publisher for taking a quiz about the paper. Kellogg didn't describe its own role in overseeing editing and providing feedback, such as asking for the removal of a line saying a recommendation that added sugar be limited to 25 percent of calories might be "too high."
Government testing for residues of an herbicide that has been linked to cancer has been put on hold, slowing the Food and Drug Administration’s first-ever endeavor to get a handle on just how much of the controversial chemical is making its way into U.S. foods. The FDA ... launched what it calls a “special assignment” earlier this year to analyze certain foods for residues of the weed killer called glyphosate after the agency was criticized by the U.S. Government Accountability Office for failing to include glyphosate in annual testing programs that look for many less-used pesticides. Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in the world, and is the key ingredient in Monsanto Co.’s branded Roundup herbicide line. Several private groups ... have been finding glyphosate residues in varying levels in a range of foods. Earlier this year, one of the agency’s senior chemists also analyzed glyphosate residues in honey and oatmeal and [found that some] samples contained residue levels well over the limit allowed in the European Union. The agency ... put the glyphosate residue testing part of the work plan on hold amid confusion, disagreement and difficulties with establishing a standard methodology to use across the agency’s multiple U.S. laboratories, according to FDA sources. With the testing on hold, it is not clear when the agency might have final results on the glyphosate residue analysis.
Note: Laboratory tests have shown alarming levels of glyphosate in many common foods. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and health.
The Washington, D.C.-based Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) has been slapped with a $6 million civil penalty, which will be trebled due to its "intentional violations of state law" for laundering money in a 2013 Washington state initiative campaign. If the ... $18 million in total damages holds up on appeal, it may be the highest fine for campaign finance violations in the history of the United States. The grocery lobby group poured more than $11 million into the "No on 522" committee, which fought and narrowly defeated an initiative to require labeling of genetically modified foods and seeds sold to consumers in the state. What prompted the massive award? The GMA established what it called a "defense of brands account." It collected money to defeat the Washington initiative while shielding the identities of major food manufacturers (e.g. Pepsico, Coca-Cola, General Mills, General Foods) who were putting up millions of dollars in support. The GMA, its members and other sources had spent $43 million in 2012 to defeat California's Proposition 37, which would have required all packaged food products to identify genetically modified organisms. "While successfully defeating Prop. 37, certain individual member companies of GMA and some GMA staff received negative responses from the public because of their opposition to Prop. 37," Judge Hirsch wrote in her ruling. Hence, an elaborate scheme was hatched - and approved by the GMA's board - to conceal individual donors.
Note: Read a more in-depth, revealing article on this on mercola.com. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and the GMO controversy.
Testing for residues of an herbicide developed by Monsanto Co. that has been linked to cancer has turned up high levels in honey from the key farm state of Iowa, adding to concerns about contamination. The Food and Drug Administration began glyphosate residue testing in a small number of foods earlier this year after the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen. Research by FDA chemist Narong Chamkasem and John Vargo, a chemist at the University of Iowa, shows that residues of glyphosate - the chief ingredient in Monsanto’s branded Roundup herbicide - have been detected [in honey] at ... more than 10 times the limit of 50 ppb allowed in the European Union. “According to recent reports, there has been a dramatic increase in the usage of these herbicides, which are of risk to both human health and the environment,” Chamkasem and Vargo stated in their laboratory bulletin. Because there is no legal tolerance level for glyphosate in honey in the United States, any amount could technically be considered a violation, according to statements made in FDA internal emails, obtained through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. The Environmental Protection Agency may soon move to set a tolerance, however. The agency has set tolerance levels for glyphosate residues in many foods the EPA expects might contain residues of the weed killer.
Genetic modification in the United States and Canada has not accelerated increases in crop yields or led to an overall reduction in the use of chemical pesticides. The promise of genetic modification was twofold: By making crops immune to the effects of weedkillers and inherently resistant to many pests, they would grow so robustly that they would become indispensable to feeding the world’s growing population, while also requiring fewer applications of sprayed pesticides. Twenty years ago, Europe largely rejected genetic modification at the same time the United States and Canada were embracing it. Comparing results on the two continents ... shows how the technology has fallen short of the promise. The United States and Canada have gained no discernible advantage in yields - food per acre - when measured against Western Europe. Also, a recent National Academy of Sciences report found that “there was little evidence” that the introduction of genetically modified crops in the United States had led to yield gains beyond those seen in conventional crops. At the same time, herbicide use has increased in the United States. And the United States has fallen behind Europe’s biggest producer, France, in reducing the overall use of pesticides, which includes both herbicides and insecticides. Pesticides are toxic by design ... and have been linked to developmental delays and cancer. The same companies make and sell both the genetically modified plants and the poisons.
Note: Explore over 40 scientific studies that have demonstrated the health dangers of GM foods. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and the GMO controversy.
Bee colonies have been dying off in high numbers, with suspicion falling on agricultural pesticides like herbicides and fungicides, as main factors behind the declines. Now, a new study out of the University of Maryland is the first to look at how a “cocktail” of all of various pesticides could be impacting bee colonies over time. “Our results fly in the face of one of the basic tenets of toxicology: that the dose makes the poison,” study senior author Dennis van Engelsdorp, an assistant professor of entomology at the University of Maryland, said. “We found that the number of different compounds was highly predictive of colony death, which suggests that the addition of more compounds somehow overwhelms the bees’ ability to detoxify themselves.” The study looked at 91 honey bee colonies that were owned by three migratory commercial beekeepers over one farming season. The research team examined 93 pesticide compounds that were found in the colonies throughout the season. These compounds were found building up in the bees’ wax in processed pollen, [as well as] in the bodies of nurse bees. The researchers ... measured three key things: the total number of pesticides, the total number of pesticides that were above a minimum level of toxicity, and each colony’s “hazard quotient,” which factors in the hazard posed by the total toxicity of all pesticides present in the colony. What did the researchers find? Unfortunately, all three measures corresponded with a higher probability of colony death or the loss of the queen bee.
Note: This study was published in Nature Scientific Reports, and found that some compounds regarded as "bee-safe" could be a major contributors to honey bee colony losses. Prior to this, neonicotinoid pesticides were found to be connected to colony collapse disorder. Bayer, a major manufacturer of this pesticide, attempted to cover up the connection between its products and the massive die off of bees.
A research report commissioned by Health Canada finds consumers have "strong feelings" about being able to identify genetically modified products when they're shopping, and 78 per cent are calling for clear labelling on packages. "There was a prevailing belief among participants that there should be greater transparency to consumers and, once raised, many questioned why government in particular should be resistant to providing consumers with more information that would help them make more informed decisions," read the findings from The Strategic Counsel. Given the choice, 62 per cent would buy a non-GM food over a GM product out of fears of health hazards or impacts on the environment. According to Health Canada's website, all GM foods are "rigorously assessed" for safety. But labelling is now voluntary. Negative views revealed in the research highlight a "difficult challenge" for Health Canada ahead. Anti-GM advocates have successfully filled the "information void," the report reads. In May, Health Canada provoked controversy when it approved the first genetically modified food animal for sale after "rigorous" scientific reviews. A high number of participants opposed GM food in any form, the report said. Only 26 per cent of respondents indicated they would be comfortable eating foods that have been genetically modified, and just 22 per cent support the development and sale of GM foods in Canada.
In the face of a changing climate and the challenges that come with it, companies the world over have been attempting to pull solutions out of thin air - literally. There are firms turning air into fuel and others transforming it into stone. Some are even extracting clean drinking water from it. Israel’s Water-Gen has built devices that create and store drinking water by harvesting condensation from the air. It was among a group of Israeli firms that presented their technological innovations at the United Nations General Assembly last week. “Put simply, [our technology] leverages the same process as a dehumidifier, but instead captures and cleans the moisture,” said Arye Kohavi, Water-Gen’s CEO. “This ‘plug-and-drink’ technology is fully independent of existing water infrastructure. All we require is an electrical outlet and the humidity found in the air.” Water-Gen isn’t the only company to market such a technology, but it says its machines ... are far more energy-efficient than any other water production device. “Our technology takes one-fifth of the amount of energy used by other methods,” Kohavi said. Water-Gen estimates the water its machines generates would cost less than 10 cents per gallon. The smallest device can yield up to 5 gallons daily, while the largest can produce more than 800 gallons a day. “We think it’s possible to bring drinking water to all countries,” Maxim Pasik, Water-Gen’s chairman, [said] in an interview. “What’s important for us is to bring water to the people. This is a basic human right.”
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Unpublished field trials by pesticide manufacturers show their products cause serious harm to honeybees at high levels, leading to calls from senior scientists for the companies to end the secrecy which cloaks much of their research. The research, conducted by Syngenta and Bayer on their neonicotinoid insecticides, were submitted to the US Environmental Protection Agency and obtained by Greenpeace after a freedom of information request. Neonicotinoids are the world’s most widely used insecticides and there is clear scientific evidence that they harm bees at the levels found in fields. Neonicotinoids were banned from use on flowering crops in the EU in 2013, despite UK opposition. The newly revealed studies show Syngenta’s thiamethoxam and Bayer’s clothianidin seriously harmed colonies at high doses, but did not find significant effects below concentrations of 50 parts per billion (ppb) and 40ppb respectively. Such levels can sometimes be found in fields. However, scientists said all such research should be made public. “It is hard to see why the companies don’t make these kinds of studies available,” said Prof Dave Goulson, at the University of Sussex. “It does seem a little shady to do ... the very studies the companies say are the most important ones - and then not tell people what they find.” Syngenta had told Greenpeace in August that “none of the studies Syngenta has undertaken or commissioned for use by regulatory agencies have shown damages to the health of bee colonies”. Goulson said: “That clearly contradicts their own study.”
Note: CNN News reported in 2010 that Bayer covered up the link between its products and massive bee die-offs. Read more about how these pesticides sicken bees and harm food crops. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing food system corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
For the second year in a row, Natural Resources Defense Council and several other organizations rated the 25 largest American fast-food and fast-casual restaurants on their policies toward antibiotics use. While the majority got failing grades in the “Chain Reaction” report, many chain restaurants have made progress, especially when sourcing antibiotic-free chicken - though Chipotle, Panera and now Subway also have strong policies on beef and pork. “We were really encouraged to see that twice as many restaurant chains had adopted new policies,” said Kari Hamerschlag ... one of the report’s authors. An estimated 70 percent of medically important antibiotics are used in livestock production, often given routinely to healthy animals to prevent illness or stimulate growth rather than to cure disease. Between 2009 and 2014, livestock and poultry farms increased their use of these antimicrobial drugs by 23 percent, according to the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA discourages producers from using antibiotics routinely in feed to promote growth, but does not prohibit the practice. McDonald’s grade improved from a C last year to a C-plus because it announced it had fully switched over to antibiotic-free chicken in its U.S. stores. Subway, based in Milford, Conn., which leapt from an "F" grade last year to a "B" grade this year, was listed as the only chain to adopt policies that apply to all types of meat sold. The report said now roughly 67 percent of its chicken is now raised without antibiotics, with turkey to follow.
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In the 1960s, the sugar industry funded research that downplayed the risks of sugar and highlighted the hazards of fat, according to a newly published article in JAMA Internal Medicine. The article draws on internal documents to show that an industry group called the Sugar Research Foundation wanted to "refute" concerns about sugar's possible role in heart disease. The SRF then sponsored research by Harvard scientists that did just that. The result was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1967, with no disclosure of the sugar industry funding. There's no evidence that the SRF directly edited the manuscript published by the Harvard scientists in 1967, but there is "circumstantial" evidence that the interests of the sugar lobby shaped the conclusions of the review, the researchers say. The documents in question are five decades old, but the larger issue is of the moment, as Marion Nestle notes in a commentary in the same issue of JAMA Internal Medicine: "Is it really true that food companies deliberately set out to manipulate research in their favor? Yes, it is, and the practice continues. In 2015, the New York Times obtained emails revealing Coca-Cola's cozy relationships with sponsored researchers who were conducting studies aimed at minimizing the effects of sugary drinks on obesity. More recently, the Associated Press obtained emails showing how a candy trade association funded and influenced studies to show that children who eat sweets have healthier body weights than those who do not."
Note: Read more on the sugar industry's manipulation of science. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption from reliable major media sources.
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. The internal sugar industry documents ... published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine, suggest that five decades of research into the role of nutrition and heart disease, including many of today’s dietary recommendations, may have been largely shaped by the sugar industry. A trade group called the Sugar Research Foundation ... paid three Harvard scientists the equivalent of about $50,000 in today’s dollars to publish a 1967 review of research on sugar, fat and heart disease. The studies used in the review were handpicked by the sugar group, and the article, which was published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, minimized the link between sugar and heart health and cast aspersions on the role of saturated fat. The food industry has continued to influence nutrition science. For many decades, health officials encouraged Americans to reduce their fat intake, which led many people to consume low-fat, high-sugar foods that some experts now blame for fueling the obesity crisis. Today, the saturated fat warnings remain a cornerstone of the government’s dietary guidelines, though in recent years the American Heart Association, the World Health Organization and other health authorities have also begun to warn that too much added sugar may increase cardiovascular disease risk.
UCSF researchers believe they have uncovered a decades-old effort by the sugar industry to exonerate sugar as a dietary culprit for heart disease and shift the blame onto fat and cholesterol. In a paper published in Monday’s JAMA Internal Medicine, the researchers reveal a scheme in which the sugar industry’s main trade group paid two Harvard scientists to conduct a literature review in the mid-1960s that challenged emerging evidence linking sugar consumption to risk factors for cardiovascular disease. The Harvard scientists concluded there was “no doubt” that reducing dietary cholesterol and substituting polyunsaturated fat for saturated fat would prevent heart disease. Such recommendations helped persuade Americans to replace their butter with margarine and eat fat-free cookies and other sugar-laden treats. “We have been indoctrinated in this belief that if we don’t eat a low-fat diet, we’ll die of the No. 1 killer disease,” said co-author Laura Schmidt, professor of health policy at UCSF School of Medicine. “Now we’ve learned the sugar industry paid off Harvard to tell us that.” They showed that the Sugar Research Foundation, which is now known as the Sugar Association, paid Fredrick Stare and fellow faculty member D. Mark Hegsted the equivalent of about $50,000 in 2016 dollars to write a heavily critical review of studies that linked sucrose to heart disease. Their reviews were published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine in 1967.
Note: For more on how the sugar industry conspired against public health, see this Time magazine article. For even more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Health Information Center.
Important Note: Explore our full index to key excerpts of revealing major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.