The organization of professionals dedicated to nutrition has been thoroughly corrupted by the food industry. Many of the experts, doctors, and scientists that are supposed to tell us what food is and is not healthy to eat are really on the food industry’s payroll.
That’s the conclusion of lawyer, activist, and writer Michelle Simon, who recently completed an expose of the food industry and its relationship with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She found the professional organization had been taking money from such manufacturers of unhealthy foods as Coca-Cola, Nestle, Kraft Foods, PepsiCo (which also owns Frito-Lay), agribusiness giant ConAgra, McDonald’s, and cereal manufacturer General Mills.
McDonald’s and Coca-Cola are Educating Nutritionists
When Simon went to the Academy’s convention, she was shocked to find a McDonald’s booth where the fast food company was showing off “healthy” products. If that wasn’t outrageous enough, there was an “educational session” where representatives of Coca-Cola were “educating” dieticians and nutritionists on the benefits of the artificial sweetener aspartame.
The same “experts” from Coca-Cola were telling nutritionists that moderate use of sugar is okay for kids, something that flies in the face of the most recent medical research. Well-known physicians such as Dr. Robert Lustig and CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta have even been willing to call sugar poison on nationwide television.
The food companies were actually blatant enough to put up their corporate banners at the event. Simon was moved to write an expose on the event after seeing video of the corporate sponsorship at the Academy’s events on YouTube.
Big Food Moves to Control Nutritional Counselling
The relationship between Big Food and the Academy is troubling because dieticians and nutritionists are the professionals that set the nutrition standards and menus for many organizations, including hospitals and schools. If you’ve ever wondered why the food in your local public school cafeteria is straight out of the 1950s, part of the reason is right here. The menu is being created by nutritionists who work for Big Food.
What’s worse is that Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (the organization formerly known as the American Dietetic Association, or ADA) seems to be actively working to stop anybody but its members from giving nutritional advice. Some observers, including nutrition-expert and physician Dr. Joseph Mercola, believe this is an attempt to restrict free speech or at least restrict opinions about nutrition that run counter to the party line.
Mercola noted that the ADA had its subsidiary in North Carolina threaten nutrition blogger Steve Cooksey, who promotes the paleo diet, with arrest last year. In North Carolina, the Board of Dietetics/Nutrition, which is actually a subsidiary of the ADA, has the legal authority to license nutritionists. The Board tried to claim that Cooksey was violating the law by giving nutrition advice without a license.
Both Mercola and Forbes journalist Mark Ellsberg think the ADA has a plan to make it illegal for anybody but ADA-licensed dieticians to dispense nutritional advice. This could give the organization with the cozy relationship with Big Food the right to take legal action against anybody promoting alternative nutrition counseling. That could include homeopaths, chiropractors, personal trainers, naturopathic doctors, practitioners of traditional Chinese or Indian medicine, and persons that follow Bible-based nutritional plans. Even some chefs and cookbook authors could feel the heat under this regime.
The organization will try to do this by patenting and copyrighting terms like dietician, nutrition educator, nutrition counselor, nutrition professional, and nutritionist, then suing or threatening to sue anybody that uses them. The idea is to make it impossible to get nutritional advice from anybody but members of the ADA.
They want to be sure that only those on big food’s payroll will be dispensing nutritional advice. Anybody who has a different opinion will have to keep his or her mouth shut or face a lawsuit or worse, such as a naturopathic doctor who thinks it’s a bad idea for an organization of nutritionists to take money from soda pop companies and fast food operators.
Nutritionists’ Association Wants to Stop Nurses from Giving Nutritional Advice
What’s worse is that Ellsberg and Mercola based their conclusions on internal documents from the ADA that were leaked to them. The organization that supposedly represents America’s nutritionists was and may still be actively working to suppress arguments about nutrition that is counter to the party line.
The documents that Ellsberg uncovered include a list of professionals that the ADA would like to stop from dispensing “nutritional advice.” The professionals the ADA doesn’t want talking about nutrition include nurses, pharmacists, personal trainers, chiropractors, naturopaths, and homeopaths. Nurses, naturopaths, homeopaths, chiropractors, and pharmacists are trained medical professionals, yet the ADA doesn’t want them to talk about nutrition.
Ellsberg pointed out that the state legislature in New Jersey recently amended the law to stop chiropractors from recommending nutritional supplements and conducting nutritional counseling. He believes that ADA’s lobbying was behind this effort.
One has to wonder if these efforts are prompted by recent grassroots attempts to take food regulation away from bureaucrats, such as Amendment 37 in California, which would have required food labels to list genetically modified ingredients. The food industry and its puppets are afraid that they might soon be held accountable for their actions. They want to demonize and destroy anybody who criticizes them as a crank.
Ellsberg even believes that the recent change in the name of the organization from American Dietetic Association to Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is part of this strategy. The idea is to create a professional organization that will serve as an authority on nutrition. That way, any information or advice about nutrition that comes from somewhere else can be discredited before official experts are attacking it.
The Academy also wants to try and discredit those within the medical profession, such as Dr. Mercola and Dr. Lustig, who are criticizing its recommendations. It hasn’t come after doctors yet, but that is the next logical step.
Media Ignores Blatant Corruption at Nutritionists’ Group and USDA
The mainstream media has completely ignored the scandal at the ADA, even though it could affect the health of almost every American. Just imagine how print and television journalists would behave if it was discovered that cigarette companies were bankrolling the American Lung Association. They would crucify the organization, yet they deliberately and systematically ignore this scandal.
The reason for the ignorance is obvious. Organized journalism doesn’t want to lose the vast amount of advertising revenues that it receives from food manufacturers and agribusiness. Nor is it the only nutritional issue deliberately kept out of the national media – notice how the national media ignored the campaign for Proposition 37 in California.
Nor has the media reported on the blatant conflicts of interest at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Health experts have long complained that the USDA’s nutritional advice, such as the MyPlate food guide, promotes guidelines designed to maximize the food industry’s profits. For example, the USDA and the Academy promote the use of canola oil, an artificial product that some health experts believe is toxic, instead of beneficial natural oils like olive oil or coconut oil. Canola oil is manufactured by U.S. and Canadian agribusinesses, but olive oil and coconut oil are not.
Ignore Official Nutritional Advice
The bottom line here is to start ignoring the official nutritional advice coming out of Washington. Instead, start paying attention to what actual doctors who actually know something about the human body and its functions are saying about nutrition.
Instead, the people telling us to eat healthy natural food are right. It is time for average Americans to take control of what we eat and stop letting corporations and bureaucrats control our diet. It is also time to let this nation’s journalists know we would like to them to put our health ahead of their paychecks.