Food Politics

by Marion Nestle
Mar 4 2008

Calorie Labeling Fallout: Critic Resigns

New York City’s calorie labeling proposal, ever mired in controversy (and still in the courts), has just produced its first casualty. David Allison, president-elect of The Obesity Society, has just announced that he is resigning his presidency. Members of the society, distressed that he worked as a paid expert for the State Restaurant Association while testifying in opposition to the ciry health department’s calorie labeling plan. Apparently, this was going too far even for a society that accepts one or two million a year from drug companies. Conflicts of interest galore!

Addition: Here’s what the New York Times says about all this.

Mar 3 2008

NY State Council on Food Policy listens

This one got by me somehow but I’ve just gotten a notice that the Council is holding “listening sessions” in New York City on April 3 (this link is to a calendar of sessions for several state commissions; scroll down to the appropriate date to get the details). The Council is interested in hearing about “how to maximize participation in food and nutrition assistance programs, increase consumer awareness and knowledge about healthy eating, and improve access to safe and nutritious foods. Speakers get 3 minutes to discuss such matters. And here’s what the Council is about and who’s on it.

Mar 1 2008

USDA asks for help with its science homework

The USDA is gearing up to appoint a committee to re-do the next round of Dietary Guidelines for Americans in 2010. It looks like there will be a big push to make them “science-based” again (as if they weren’t always science-based). USDA is asking for help with the science and is recruiting volunteers to become “Nutrition Evidence Library Abstractors” who will read and write abstracts of scientific studies as the basis of the committee’s work.   Sound like fun?  Could be.

Mar 1 2008

Eating Liberally asks Marion: Wal-Mart

This week’s Eating Liberally’s Ask Marion question: Can Wal-Mart contribute to sustainability?  It’s a stretch, but I tried to address the question.

Feb 27 2008

Functional oreos!

Thanks to Dr. Freedhoff for passing along his Weighty Matters blog post about Voortman’s new Omega-3 Zeer-Oh cookies. He got them in Canada. Maybe we will get to have them here soon? OK, so sugar is the first ingredient. But they are “Zero grams trans fat!”

Feb 25 2008

Eating Liberally: Food Biotech

The Ask Marion question this week has to do with whether there is anything good about food biotechnology. This is a good week to ask since the industry’s genes have been leaking again, this time into corn that is not genetically modified. Apparently, according to Food Chemical News (and I do love the way these things are described) “Dow AgroSciences had earlier informed the agencies that it had detected extremely low levels of an unregistered plant-incorporated protectant (PIP), known as Event 32, in some Herculex RW and Herculex XTRA Rootworm Protection seed lines. Seed containing the PIP was inadvertently sold to farmers by Dow’s affiliate, Mycogen Seeds, and planted in 2006 and 2007.” Translation: The Mycogen Co. sold seeds containing an unapproved gene to be planted with conventional corn. Oops, and not the first time.

Feb 24 2008

Neighborhood influences on obesity

Obesity is more common in low-income areas. Why? It may seem intuitively obvious that lack of adequate income, transportation, cooking facilities, supermarkets, and opportunities for physical activity would make it difficult for people to eat healthfully and be active, but inituition is one thing and evidence is another. My NYU colleagues Jennifer Black and James Macinko now provide the evidence in a most useful review paper. Want to improve the “built environment”? This is a great starting place.

Feb 22 2008

More on the meat recall

If you are having trouble understanding what the huge meat recall is about, catch this well linked piece by Elissa Altman on the Huffington Post.

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