Food Corruption News ArticlesExcerpts of key news articles on food corruption
Corporations have poured money into universities to fund research for decades, but now, the debate over bioengineered foods has escalated into a billion-dollar food industry war. Companies like Monsanto are squaring off against major organic firms like Stonyfield Farm. Both sides have aggressively recruited academic researchers. The biotech industry has published dozens of articles, under the names of prominent academics, that in some cases were drafted by industry consultants. Monsanto and its industry partners have also passed out an undisclosed amount in special grants to scientists ... to help with “biotechnology outreach” and to travel around the country to defend genetically modified foods. The moves by Monsanto, in an alliance with the Biotechnology Industry Organization and the Grocery Manufacturers Association, are detailed in thousands of pages of emails that were at first requested by the nonprofit group U.S. Right to Know, which receives funding from the organic foods industry. The emails show how academics have shifted from researchers to actors in lobbying and corporate public relations campaigns. An inner circle of [biotech] industry consultants, lobbyists and executives ... devised strategy on how to block state efforts to mandate G.M.O. labeling. The opponents of genetically modified foods have used their own creative tactics, although their spending on lobbying and public relations amounts to a tiny fraction of that of biosciences companies.
Note: Read an article which takes it even deeper and shows what the NYT left out. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about the corruption of science and the controversy surrounding GMOs.
Companies have added thousands of ingredients to foods with little to no government oversight. That's thanks to a loophole in a decades-old law that allows them to deem an additive to be "generally recognized as safe" - or GRAS - without the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's blessing, or even its knowledge. The loophole was originally intended to allow manufacturers of common ingredients like vinegar and table salt ... to bypass the FDA's lengthy safety-review process. But over time, companies have found that it's far more efficient to take advantage of the exemption to get their products on shelves quickly. Some of these products contain additives that the FDA has found to pose dangers, [and] companies regularly introduce new additives without ever informing the FDA. The Government Accountability Office ... published a report in 2010 that found that "FDA's oversight process does not help ensure the safety of all new GRAS determinations." And even when a company does go through the FDA review process, safety decisions have been criticized. For example ... lawsuits allege that mycoprotein, a type of fungus used in vegetarian products, has caused consumers to suffer a range of reactions, including nausea and anaphylactic shock. The complaints prompted the Center for Science in the Public Interest to urge the FDA in 2011 to revoke the ingredient's GRAS status. In the past five decades, the number of food additives has skyrocketed — from about 800 to more than 10,000.
Note: Common additives in processed foods have been linked with temper tantrums, poor concentration and hyperactivity, and allergic reactions in children. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health.
Vermont has raised the stakes in the debate over genetically modified foods by becoming the first state to pass a bill requiring that they be labeled as such in the grocery aisle, making the move despite the opposition of the powerful U.S. food industry. The Vermont bill says genetically modified foods "potentially pose risks to health, safety, agriculture, and the environment" and includes $1.5 million for implementation and defense against lawsuits expected from the food and biotech industries. It's unclear how GMO labeling might affect consumers' wallets or food companies' bottom line if shoppers reject labeled foods. The labels will say "produced with genetic engineering" for packaged raw foods, or "partially produced with genetic engineering" or "may be produced with genetic engineering" for processed food that contains products of genetic engineering. Meat and dairy would be exempt. A national New York Times poll in January 2013 found that 93 percent of respondents said foods containing GMOs should be labeled. Twenty-nine other states have proposed bills recently to require GMO labeling, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. More than 60 countries require such labeling, according to the Vermont Right to Know campaign. Some farmers in Vermont, known for its organic food operations, see the bill's passage as a David-vs.-Goliath victory. "This vote is a reflection of years of work from a strong grass-roots base of Vermonters who take their food and food sovereignty seriously and do not take kindly to corporate bullies," Will Allen, manager of Cedar Circle Farm in Thetford, said.
Note: For more on the good reasons to require GMO labels on foods, see the excellent summary of the risks from GMOs available here.
Older healthy women who consume two or more diet drinks per day are at higher risk for heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular problems, according to a new study. These women were ... 50 percent more likely to die from a disease associated with heart problems than women who rarely - or never - drank artificially flavored beverages. The study of 59,614 post-menopausal women ... is, thus far, the largest study conducted on heart health and diet beverage consumption. Over the last decade, an increased awareness of the dangers of refined sugar has led the popularity of diet beverages. Between 1999 and 2010, diet drink consumption increased from 17.8 percent to 21.2 percent for women and 13.9 percent to 19.0 percent for males, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Currently about 1 in 5 Americans drink some type of diet beverage each day. However, other research suggests one's intentions to avoid refined sugar from beverages may still result in many of the same health problems. Studies have found diet drinks can elevate one's risk for metabolic syndrome, which is associated with weight gain and an increased risk for diabetes. And other researchers believe artificial sweeteners may activate reward centers in the brain, which causes people to overeat.
Note: There has been a huge cover-up around the dangers of aspartame, the sugar substitute used in most diet drinks. Find loads of solid evidence about this on this webpage. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health.
Women who drink the most diet sodas may also be more likely to develop heart disease and even to die, according to a new study. Researchers found women who drank two or more diet drinks a day were 30 percent more likely to have a heart attack or other cardiovascular “event,” and 50 percent more likely to die, than women who rarely touch such drinks. The findings, being presented at a meeting of the American College of Cardiology, don’t suggest that the drinks themselves are killers. But women who toss back too many diet sodas may be trying to make up for unhealthy habits, experts say. “Our study suggests an association between higher diet drink consumption and mortality,” said Dr. Ankur Vyas, a cardiovascular disease expert at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinic, who led the study. Research has long shown that artificially sweetened drinks are not health drinks. While they may help people avoid more dangerous sugary sodas, studies show they don't help people lose weight. Vyas’s team studied nearly 60,000 middle-aged women taking part in a decade-long study of women’s health. They filled out a questionnaire on food and drinks as part of the study, including detailed questions on diet sodas and diet fruit drinks. After just under nine years, the researchers checked to see what happened to the women's’ health. They found that 8.5 percent of the women who drank two or more diet drinks a day had some sort of heart disease. The women who drank the most drinks were also more likely to smoke, to be overweight, to have diabetes and to have high blood pressure, Vyas noted.
Note: What this article fails to mention is that aspartame, used in most diet drinks, has been shown to be dangerous for health. Explore the mountain of evidence showing this. For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources.
The authors of a study calling for GM crops to be fast-tracked into Britain’s farms and kitchens all have links to the industry. The report was presented as the work of ‘independent’ scientists and was published on [March 13] by a government advisory body. It was used to support a bid to speed up the development of the controversial crops in the UK, but it has emerged that all five authors have a vested interest in promoting GM crops and food – and some are part-funded by the industry. Critics of GM [have] described the report as ‘biased and downright dangerous’, and accused the biotech giants and the Government of mounting a crude propaganda campaign to overturn public opposition. The academics behind the study were chosen by the Council for Science and Technology, the body that advises the Prime Minister on science policy issues. They include Professor Sir David Baulcombe, from Cambridge University, who works as a consultant for GM firm Syngenta, which gives his department research funding. Syngenta is behind a genetically modified maize or corn, called GA21, which could go into UK farms as early as next spring, making it Britain’s first commercially grown GM crop. Also on the list is Professor Jonathan Jones, of the Sainsbury Laboratory, which is at the centre of Britain’s GM research. It is part-funded by former Labour science minister, Lord Sainsbury, who is one of the country’s biggest supporters of the technology. Another co-author was Professor Jim Dunwell, of the University of Reading. He was a founder member of CropGen, which describes its mission as ‘to make the case for GM crops and foods’
Note: For more on government corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here. For an excellent summary of the risks and dangers from GMO foods, click here.
Celiac disease, and, more generally, gluten intolerance, is a growing problem worldwide, but especially in North America and Europe, where an estimated 5% of the population now suffers from it. Symptoms include nausea, diarrhea, skin rashes, macrocytic anemia and depression. It is ... associated with numerous nutritional deficiencies as well as reproductive issues and increased risk to thyroid disease, kidney failure and cancer. Here, we propose that glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide, Roundup, is the most important causal factor in this epidemic. Fish exposed to glyphosate develop digestive problems that are reminiscent of celiac disease. Celiac disease is associated with imbalances in gut bacteria that can be fully explained by the known effects of glyphosate on gut bacteria. Celiac disease patients have an increased risk to non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, which has also been implicated in glyphosate exposure. Reproductive issues associated with celiac disease, such as infertility, miscarriages, and birth defects, can also be explained by glyphosate. Glyphosate residues in wheat and other crops are likely increasing recently due to the growing practice of crop desiccation just prior to the harvest. We conclude with a plea to governments to reconsider policies regarding the safety of glyphosate residues in foods.
Note: As this is from a scientific journal, the language may not be easy to follow, yet the link between RoundUp, which contains glyphosate, and gluten intolerance is clear. This chart from the article shows how increasing incidence of thyroid cancer relates to increasing use of glyphosate on corn and soy crops in the US. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health.
The federal government paid $11.3 million in taxpayer-funded farm subsidies from 1995 to 2012 to 50 billionaires or businesses in which they have some form of ownership, according to a report released [on November 7] by the Environmental Working Group, a Washington-based research organization. The billionaires who received the subsidies or owned companies that did include the Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen; the investment titan Charles Schwab; and S. Truett Cathy, owner of Chick-fil-A. The billionaires who got the subsidies have a collective net worth of $316 billion, according to Forbes magazine. The Working Group said its findings were likely to underestimate the total farm subsidies that went to the billionaires on the Forbes 400 list because many of them also received crop insurance subsidies. The authors of the report said it is timely, given that lawmakers are debating a House proposal that would cut nearly $40 billion over 10 years from the food stamp program, which helps provide food for nearly 47 million people. A Senate provision would cut $4.5 billion over the same period. A report released [on November 6] by the Center for American Progress ... found that food stamps kept about five million people above the poverty line last year. The food stamp program was cut by about $5 billion on Nov. 1 when a provision in the 2009 stimulus bill that added funding for the program expired. “The irony is that farm subsidies are going to billionaires at the same time that there are proposals to kick three to five million people off of food stamps,” said Scott Faber, vice president for government affairs at the Environmental Working Group.
Note: For more on government corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Want to ensure that miracle drugs can no longer perform miracles? Then do what some physicians and industrial livestock farmers have done for years: Overprescribe antibiotics to people, and use them cavalierly in farm animals to promote growth or prevent infections before they even occur. Last month, federal officials quantified that danger: At least 23,000 people die from antibiotic-resistant bacteria each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which said that's a conservative figure. For more than four decades, scientists and government health agencies have warned about the danger this poses for development of drug-resistant bugs. Yet last week, the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future reported that little progress has been made on limiting the use of antibiotics on farms. The agriculture industry maintains that the connection is murky between antibiotic use in animals and drug resistance in people. On the other side of the debate is a long list of scientists, public health officials and veterinarians whose views carry more sense and less self-interest. In 2011 alone, 1.9 million pounds of penicillins and 12.3 million pounds of tetracyclines were sold for use in food animals. It's hard to believe that wouldn't have an effect. According to the CDC, humans can pick up drug-resistant bugs through contact with animals or by eating contaminated food. But neither Congress nor the FDA has acted to curtail the broad dangers. The well-financed agriculture industry has won most rounds. And regulators have dragged their feet.
Note: For more on important health issues, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Widely used pesticides have been found in new research to block a part of the brain that bees use for learning, rendering some of them unable to perform the essential task of associating scents with food. Bees exposed to two kinds of pesticide were slower to learn or completely forgot links between floral scents and nectar. These effects could make it harder for bees to forage among flowers for food, thereby threatening their survival and reducing the pollination of crops and wild plants. The findings add to existing research that neonicotinoid pesticides are contributing to the decline in bee populations. The new findings on the effect of pesticides on bee brains showed that within 20 minutes of exposure to neonicotinoids the neurons in the major learning centre of the brain stopped firing. Christopher Connolly at the University of Dundee, who led the peer-reviewed work published in the online journal Nature Communications, said it was the first to show the pesticides had a direct impact on pollinator brain physiology. A parallel peer-reviewed study on the behaviour of bees subjected to the same insecticides found the bees were slower to learn or completely forgot important associations between floral scent and food rewards. "Disruption in this important function has profound implications for honeybee colony survival, because bees that cannot learn will not be able to find food," said Dr Geraldine Wright, at Newcastle University, who led the work.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on GMOs, click here.
Whole Foods Market, the grocery chain, on [March 8] became the first retailer in the United States to require labeling [by 2018] of all genetically modified foods sold in its stores, a move that some experts said could radically alter the food industry. The announcement ricocheted around the food industry and excited proponents of labeling. “Fantastic,” said Mark Kastel, co-director of the Cornucopia Institute, an organic advocacy group that favors labeling. The Grocery Manufacturers Association, the trade group that represents major food companies and retailers, issued a statement opposing the move. The labeling requirements announced by Whole Foods will include its 339 stores in the United States and Canada. Since labeling is already required in the European Union, products in its seven stores in Britain are already marked if they contain genetically modified ingredients. The labels currently used show that a product has been verified as free of genetically engineered ingredients by the Non GMO Project, a nonprofit certification organization. Gary Hirshberg, chairman of Just Label It, a campaign for a federal requirement to label foods containing genetically modified ingredients, called the Whole Foods decision a “game changer.” He compared the potential impact of the Whole Foods announcement to Wal-Mart’s decision several years ago to stop selling milk from cows treated with growth hormone. Today, only a small number of milk cows are injected with the hormone.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on GMO labeling and the dangers posed by GMO foods, click here.
In November, voters will decide whether to make California the first state in the nation to require labels on most genetically modified food products. At least 18 states, including California, have tried to pass similar laws through their legislatures and failed. This time, however, the measure made it to the statewide ballot with 1 million citizen signatures; recent polls show Proposition 37 winning by a significant margin. Food activists across the country are watching the California battle closely, with opponents of genetic modification hoping to make the proposition a model for other states. Supporters of the law, including organic trade groups and environmentalists, say consumers have a right to know if the food they're eating contains genetically modified material - particularly when the long-term health effects are unclear. Seventy percent to 80 percent of processed foods sold in the U.S. are made with genetically engineered ingredients, including corn, soybeans, sugar beets and cotton oil. If the California measure passes, processed genetically engineered food products would include the words "Partially produced with genetic engineering" on the front or back label. For whole foods such as sweet corn or salmon, grocers would be required to have a sign on the shelf. Alcohol, most meat, eggs and dairy products would be exempt. Jeffrey Smith, the executive director of the Institute for Responsible Technology based in Iowa, said "Based on the evidence - damage to virtually every organ evaluated and immune and gastrointestinal problems - labels are needed."
Note: If you read this entire article, you will detect a clear bias against GMO labelling. It quotes a UCLA professor stating, "There is not one credible scientist working on this that would call it unsafe." Yet the article fails to mention the many scientists who have provided solid evidence that GMOs are unsafe. For a powerful essay showing the grave risks and dangers of GMOs, click here. For a New York Times article listing several scientists who raised serious questions about GMOs, click here. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on genetically modified foods, click here.
Pennsylvania Amish farmer Dan Allgyer has become a cause celebre for raw milk drinkers as the target of a Food and Drug Administration campaign - using sting operations and guns-drawn raids usually reserved for terrorists and drug lords - to eliminate unpasteurized milk. Such milk, also known as raw or fresh milk, is legal in California and considered essential to Europe's finest cheeses, creams and butters. Allgyer is the latest to feel the force of a yearslong Food and Drug Administration campaign against raw milk that has focused on tiny farms and consumer co-ops. Raw milk drinkers say cooking milk diminishes its flavor and nutrients. They said similar sterilization standards, if applied across the American diet, would ban sushi, medium-rare steaks, oysters on the shell and most raw fruits and vegetables. The Food Safety and Modernization Act approved by Congress last year and signed by President Obama in January has vastly enhanced the agency's powers. Starting July 3, the agency can confiscate any food at any farm that it deems unsafe or mislabeled. Throughout Europe, uncooked milk is the norm, dispensed in vending machines in Switzerland, Austria, France, Italy, Slovenia and the Netherlands. It is healthy, adherents say, because it contains fat that is not broken down by homogenization and is free of antibiotics and hormones, because cows are raised in small herds on pastures.
Like others in the so-called good-food movement, [Will] Allen, who is 60, asserts that our industrial food system is depleting soil, poisoning water, gobbling fossil fuels and stuffing us with bad calories. Like others, he advocates eating locally grown food. But to Allen, local doesn't mean a rolling pasture or even a suburban garden: it means 14 greenhouses crammed onto two acres in a working-class neighborhood on Milwaukee's northwest side, less than half a mile from the city's largest public-housing project. And this is why Allen is so fond of his worms. When you're producing a quarter of a million dollars' worth of food in such a small space, soil fertility is everything. Without microbe- and nutrient-rich worm castings (poop, that is), Allen's Growing Power farm couldn't provide healthful food to 10,000 urbanites — through his on-farm retail store, in schools and restaurants, at farmers' markets and in low-cost market baskets delivered to neighborhood pickup points. He couldn't employ scores of people, some from the nearby housing project; continually train farmers in intensive polyculture; or convert millions of pounds of food waste into a version of black gold. With seeds planted at quadruple density and nearly every inch of space maximized to generate exceptional bounty, Growing Power is an agricultural Mumbai, a supercity of upward-thrusting tendrils and duct-taped infrastructure.
Note: For another excellent article on this most amazing man and the urban farming movement, click here.
Last fall, at a business lunch with co-workers, Grace Booth enjoyed three chicken enchiladas. The food, she recalls, was very good — but then something went very wrong. "I thought, oh my God, what is happening to me? I felt like I was going to die." In the emergency room in nearby Oakland the diagnosis was severe allergic reaction and from here Grace Booth's story reached officials in Washington. At the time the national corn market was in an uproar. Starlink, a gene modified corn not approved for human food, had been found in taco shells and recalls were emptying the shelves of corn products. The fear was possible allergic reactions. At that moment, Booth says, she had no idea that the corn tortillas in her lunch were about to be recalled. In the wake of the recalls more than 50 Americans, including Booth, claimed they had reactions to Starlink corn. That forced the government to launch the first full-scale allergy investigation in the history of biotech food. It has taken months, but the Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration have collected food samples and blood from two dozen people whose cases were believed most serious. [Symptoms] "[v]aried from just abdominal pain and diarrhea [or] skin rashes to some patients ... having very severe life-threatening reactions," said Dr. Marc Rothenberg, the allergy chief at Cincinnati Children's Hospital. He is an adviser to the government in the Starlink investigation. Its slow going he says because investigators first had to find the Starlink protein and then invent a blood test.
Note: The date of this article is May 17, 2001, though on the webpage itself a different date is listed. With so many examples of allergic reactions and more to GM foods, why does the FDA continue to insist that these foods are safe? Could it be because many top leaders at the FDA once worked at Monsanto?
Early findings from the most comprehensive large study ever undertaken of the relationship between diet and the risk of developing disease are challenging much of American dietary dogma. The study, being conducted in China, paints a bold portrait of a plant-based eating plan that is more likely to promote health than disease. Among the first tantalizing findings are these: Obesity is related more to what people eat than how much. Adjusted for height, the Chinese consume 20 percent more calories than Americans do, but Americans are 25 percent fatter. The main dietary differences are fat and starch. The Chinese eat only a third the amount of fat Americans do, while eating twice the starch. The body readily stores fat but expends a larger proportion of the carbohydrates consumed as heat. Some of the differences may be attributable to exercise. Reducing dietary fat to less than 30 percent of calories, as is currently recommended for Americans, may not be enough to curb the risk of heart disease and cancer. To make a significant impact, the Chinese data imply, a maximum of 20 percent of calories from fat - and preferably only 10 to 15 percent - should be consumed. Eating a lot of protein, especially animal protein, is also linked to chronic disease. Americans consume a third more protein than the Chinese do, and 70 percent of American protein comes from animals, while only 7 percent of Chinese protein does. Those Chinese who eat the most protein, and especially the most animal protein, also have the highest rates of the ''diseases of affluence'' like heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
A new peer-reviewed study shows that eating a completely organic diet - even for just one week - can dramatically reduce the presence of pesticide levels in people, a finding that was characterized as "groundbreaking" by critics of an industrial food system that relies heavily on synthetic toxins and chemicals to grow crops and raise livestock. The study ... found that switching to an organic diet significantly reduced the levels of synthetic pesticides found in all participants. "This study shows that organic works," said study co-author Kendra Klein, PhD. The study tested the urine of four diverse American families ... after eating their typical diet of conventional food for six days and then after a controlled diet of all organic food for six days. The pesticide and pesticide metabolite levels detected in participants dropped by an average 60.5 percent after just six days of eating the all-organic diet. Specifically, the testing showed significant reductions in pesticides associated in the past with increased risk of autism, cancers, autoimmune disorders, infertility, hormone disruption, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's disease. "This important study shows how quickly we can rid our bodies of toxic pesticides by choosing organic," said [study co-author] Sharyle Patton. "Congratulations to the families who participated in the study and their willingness to tell their stories in support of creating a food system where organic is available to all."
Note: Watch an engaging video on this study at the link above. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
A widely used pesticide could be placing frog populations in danger by diminishing their ability to reproduce properly. Not only does exposure to the chemical linuron – a potato herbicide – reduce male frog fertility, it skews the sex ratios of growing tadpoles significantly towards females. The devastation pesticides have caused to insect populations has been well documented, with German scientists warning of an “ecological Armageddon” when they found numbers had plummeted by 75 per cent in the country’s nature reserves. Knock-on effects further up the food chain are thought to be behind the disappearance of many bird species from the European countryside. But pesticides can have toxic effects on other animals too, and there has been a distinct lack of research into their effects on amphibians. To improve this situation, ecotoxicologist Dr Cecilia Berg of the University of Uppsala and a team of ... researchers set out to investigate the effects of linuron in the West African clawed frog. They found that the tadpoles grew ovaries substantially more than they grew testicles, an effect the team attributed to the endocrine disrupting – or hormone disrupting – properties of linuron, which could hinder production of testosterone. The male frogs exposed to the chemicals as tadpoles were less fertile and had certain feminine characteristics. While linuron is not licensed for use in the UK ... it is widely used in other parts of the European Union (EU) and North America.
Note: Don't forget that humans drink the water contaminated by these chemicals, too. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health.
Atrazine, a weed killer widely used in the Midwestern United States and other agricultural areas of the world, can chemically "castrate" male frogs and turn some into females. New research suggests the herbicide may be a cause of amphibian declines around the globe, said biologists at the University of California-Berkeley. Researchers found that long-term exposure to low levels of atrazine - 2.5 parts per billion of water - emasculated three-quarters of laboratory frogs and turned one in 10 into females. Scientists believe the pesticide interferes with endocrine hormones, such as estrogen and testosterone. "The effects of atrazine in the long term have been shown to demasculinize or chemically castrate [frogs], combined with complete feminization of some animals," said lead researcher Tyrone B. Hayes, a biologist and herpetologist. Hayes found that 10 percent of the exposed genetic male frogs developed into functional females who copulated with unexposed males and produced viable eggs. The other 90 percent of the exposed male frogs expressed decreased libido, reduced sperm count and decreased fertility, among other findings. Tens of millions of pounds of atrazine are used each year in the United States. Syngenta estimates that 60 million pounds were used during 2008, most of it on corn. A 2006 study by the U.S. Geological Survey found atrazine in approximately 75 percent of stream water and about 40 percent of all groundwater samples from agricultural areas tested between 1992 and 2001.
Note: Don't forget that humans drink the water contaminated by these chemicals, too. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health.
American shoppers are reaching for healthier, more environmentally and animal-friendly meat products, with 39 percent saying “all-natural” is the most important claim when purchasing red meat. But there’s one problem: The U.S. Department of Agriculture says that when it comes to meat and poultry, the term “natural” means only that the product has no artificial ingredients and has been minimally processed. It doesn’t mean anything when it comes to antibiotics, hormones or preservatives. Companies such as Tyson Foods Inc., Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. and Hormel Foods Corp. have been snapping up smaller, outwardly progressive competitors. At the same time, however, some of the major meat companies have been offering their own products as “natural,” replete with labels featuring blue skies and green fields. On April 8, the Superior Court of the District of Columbia - a jurisdiction with stringent consumer protection laws - dismissed a lawsuit by the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) alleging Hormel was misleading consumers. The court held that as long as manufacturer labels are approved by the USDA, the advertising can use the “natural” claims. In statements disclosed in the filing, a company executive said the same pigs it uses to make its famous Spam brand meat product are also used in Natural Choice pork products. Those pigs are often given antibiotics and are rarely allowed outdoors. “It’s a massive attempt to manipulate and dupe the consumer,” said David Muraskin, a food project attorney.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing food system corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
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