The FDA Is Not Your Watchdog

June 25, 2013
Many people assume that there are governing bodies regulating the items that can be sold as ?food.? This is an unsafe assumption, and we must educate ourselves about what we are putting in our bodies.

Recently, a Warren Wellness community member sent me an article called ?8 Foods We Eat in the U.S. That Are Banned in Other Countries.? This is a great, short, to-the-point article with spot-on information. I highly recommend taking 5 minutes to read it.

This article outlines?you guessed it?8 foods/additives/chemicals/blech that are freely added to our ?food? supply in the U.S. that are recognized as so dangerous to human health that other countries have completely banned them. Hmmmm. Makes you wonder what is going on in the U.S. regulatory bodies that are supposed to be protecting us from known dangers in our food supply, eh? I mean, let?s think about this. In the U.S., BHT can be freely added to any old thing in any old amount and then we eat 6 different things in a day that contain that BHT. Meanwhile, in most European countries, it?s BANNED. Like, not allowed to be put in anything, in any amount.

Do you see the disconnect here?!? I seriously doubt that humans in the U.S. are somehow impervious to damage from toxic chemicals that humans in say, Finland, are detrimentally affected by. I know that?s a bit snarky, but makes the absurdity very apparent. The article lists artificial food dyes, Olestra/Olean, brominated vegetable oil, potassium bromate, azodicarbonamide, BHA & BHT, rBGH & rBST, and Arsenic (okay, that is just SCARY) as ?okay in the U.S. but banned elsewhere.? Regarding the ?azodicarbonamide.? Folks, if you see a long, scary-looking name like that on the ingredient list of a ?food? that you are about to buy..BE AFRAID. Put the ?food? back on the shelf and just walk away.

Now, interestingly, trans fats are not included in this article. Trans fats are illegal in most of the European countries and several other countries. In the U.S. it is totally fine to include it in edible items. True, it is required to be listed on the ?Nutrition Facts? label?BUT?if there is less than 0.5% of trans fats PER SERVING, then the food manufacturer (does it strike anyone else that ?food? and ?manufacture? seem like an oxymoron?) can list it as ?Trans fats = 0.? So, they can just pick some ridiculously small serving size that no one would ever eat to make sure their ?Nutrition Label? can list trans fats at zero.

I was giving a lecture, on location in a market, called ?Demystifying Food Labels? in conjunction with Babson College a few weeks back. One of the labels we looked at listed the serving size as ?1/2 of a muffin.? Seriously? Who the heck eats half a muffin? We also saw that Nabisco lists the Fig Newtons serving size as TWO! I have never seen a human being eat only 2 Fig Newtons?ever. And, yes, indeed, there is partially hydrogenated soybean oil in there?which means TRANS FATS. And, yes, indeed, the label says zero trans fats. Smoke & mirrors, my friends, smoke & mirrors?

?Well, gee, all these other countries are banning this stuff (trans fats) that causes heart disease, Alzheimer?s, liver disease, infertility, cancer, diabetes, etc, and just generally creates cell membranes that don?t function well. Hmmm. Maybe we should at least require it to be listed. Oh wait. The very powerful, deep-pocketed, politically-connected food manufacturers don?t like that because trans fats are cheap and easy and prolong shelf life. Okay, let?s do this 0.5% loophole thing. There! We?ve ?informed? the public and pleased the food manufacturers. Next issue??


In my work with people, helping them Create Vibrant Health: BodyMindSpirit?, I have found that the vast majority of people assume that if something is for sale as a food, then someone in a position of power has done their due diligence to be sure that said food is safe. ?We pay copious tax dollars to pay the salaries of people in those positions to do their job and protect us?right?? Unfortunately, although the salary part IS true, the protecting part?not so much.

This is why one of my tenants as a Vibrant Living Advocate is ?education is empowerment.? We must stop relying on others to keep our food supply safe because they?re not doing it. We must keep educating ourselves, protecting our heath and the health of our loved ones, and working to change a broken system. FDA?wake up!!

The food you eat builds your body, every day, for better or for worse. Make choices for health!

With love & clarity,


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