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10/20/2011

Food Fight: Industry versus the IOM

If we are what we eat, shouldn’t we know what we are, in fact, eating? This simple idea may be much harder to support than one would guess thanks to lobbying on the part of the food industry, says Arthur Caplan in his MSNBC column today.

As Caplan explains, an IOM report released today recommended the simplification of food labels so that consumers can with a passing glance know the nutritional value (or lack thereof) in the food we eat.

The food industry, of course, has employed an ETHICAL argument, claiming that these labeling activities on the part of government will limit our liberty (to eat unlimited amounts of fat, sugar, and salt without even knowing about it). These new labels, the “Energy Star equivalent for foods and beverages”, are meddling with the free market and our freedom of choice. Furthermore the food industry claims such efforts are unnecessary due to voluntary food industry sponsored initiatives like “Facts Up Front“, which still require consumers to know how large a cup of rice is or how many servings of chips they’ve consumed after they’ve scarfed down the entire bag.

Does the argument stick? Read the rest of Art’s comments to find out by clicking here.

Summer Johnson McGee, PhD

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