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EYE OPENERS - read online version

Trust 'YOUR' Government?

Now health and the government we choose:
A tiny bit of the reality.

As you know all animals, in our brave new world, are 'politically-correct' equal!  Also, to be fair, some are more equal than others.  Should some 'higher' animal accidentally get off course, it is now told something like: review your words, to brighten your day this Health Sciences Institute report:

Quote:  Remember in the very first Star Wars when Obi Wan Kenobi used his Jedi mind trick? He waved his hand and told a storm trooper, "These are not the droids you're looking for." To which the trooper replied, "These are not the droids we're looking for."

And of course, the droids in question were exactly the droids they were looking for.  I think someone at Kellogg Cereal Company might be a Jedi master.

Kellogg recently avoided a lawsuit by agreeing to adjust the nutritional standards of its cereals as well as its policies for advertising to kids. In an Associated Press article, Kellogg CEO, David Mackay, offered this take on the change: "We feel the Kellogg Nutrient Criteria set a new standard for responsibility in the industry."  (The article didn't mention if he actually waved his hand when he said this.)

Another quote in the article comes from Michael F. Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest (one of the parties that brought the lawsuit): "By committing to these nutrition standards and marketing reforms, Kellogg has vaulted over the rest of the food industry." --  Vaulted over the rest of the food industry? He didn't add, "These are not the droids we're looking for," but he might as well have.

The new zero. To avoid a lawsuit, Kellogg executives came up with a simple plan: They'll reformulate their products according to this new set of nutritional guidelines for each individual serving of each product:

* Maximum of 200 calories   * Zero trans fatty acids           * Maximum of 2 grams of saturated fats * Maximum of 230 mg of sodium     * Maximum of 12 grams of sugar. – Now...stand aside and make way for a festival of caveats.

Eggo frozen waffles will be exempt from the sodium requirement. Why? Who knows? Maybe the powerful executives in Kellogg's Eggo Division just won't budge on the sodium issue. Any sugar that comes from fruit, vegetables, or dairy will not be factored into the sugar calculation.

Zero trans fatty acids? Riiiight. Except when the FDA is doing the math. As I've noted in previous e-Alerts, the FDA allows food manufacturers to claim zero trans fats if a product contains less than  0.5 grams of trans fats per serving.  Zero point four - it's the new zero!

And here's my favorite caveat: If Kellogg nutritionists are unable to reformulate a product to meet these new guidelines, then the company won't market the unchanged product to kids who are under the age of 12.  And there's a caveat to this caveat: If more than half of any Web, TV, radio, or print audience is made up of kids over the age of 12, then it's okay to market to that audience, even if a substantial percentage of audience is under 12.

Wow. That's some impressive vaulting all right.

For some real humor, lets take a quick look at two of the "nutrition" guidelines Kellogg has laid down, along with one glaring omission.  We'll start with 12 grams of sugar. That's about three teaspoons of sugar. And Kellogg wants us to believe that's a "healthy" portion for kids under the age of 12. Currently, a single 3/4-cup serving of Kellogg's Frosted Flakes contains almost 12 grams. And if you've ever seen a kid pour his own cereal, you know that 3/4 of a cup is a serving size invented by an adult who doesn't have a clue.

The 2-gram limit for saturated fats is mostly irrelevant for cereals, which already contain very small amounts. But of course, in mainstream thinking, saturated fat is the boogieman. And when you're talking Kellogg, you're talking seriously mainstream processed foods.

And carbs? Hellooo? The new guidelines completely ignore refined carbohydrates - arguably the most harmful nutrition factor when it comes to promoting childhood obesity.

And does Kellogg deliver refined carbs? DO they!
Care to guess the carb content in a single strawberry Pop-Tart? Thirty-seven grams. And that comes packed with 16 grams of sugar. And that's a Pop-Tart with no frosting!

So here's how it's going to go... Kellogg will shrink serving sizes to postage stamp sized portions to qualify for the per-serving nutrition requirements (would you like a quarter of a Pop-Tart?), or they'll just throw in the towel with products that don't conform to the new guidelines and market them to kids who are 12 and older - along with all those kids under the age of 12 who watch TV with their older siblings.

Even Obi Wan's mind trick couldn't wave away the absurdity of this "new standard of responsibility."  E.Q.

A good reminder: today's culture works on mind tricks and few ever see the reality behind the childish level behaviour displayed by those we elect and to whom they, in turn give positions of power!  What kind of bedazzlement causes millions of normally intelligent people to live with eyes tightly closed to absurdity?

Why are we content to let criminals run and ruin our lives?  Is it just, because we are too lazy to govern ourselves or too stupefied?  But it doesn't stop there!  The 'best'?? of the ego driven – those happy to lie and cheat pick their stooges FOR US TO VOTE FOR!  And we do!  How dumb can we get?

Are the ego driven really the kind of people we want running hospitals; education; information and making our laws?  Choosing our administrators; putting poisons into our water; allowing it in our foods! ????? 
Is stupidity compulsory?  We can organize choice of our more intelligent, more competent members – our more honest people?  Think about it! 

Well sorry about that detour, I know people are concerned.  But right now everyone is leaving it to everyone else.  Well guess what: you readers are all there are right now!  So, O.K.  Breakfast is over and the trick with the serving size really makes me feel – well, fed-up.

How many of us know the size of a measuring cup anyway?  No its not that square based breakfast cup you have full of morning coffee or that big cup of soup at morning break on the building site.  No, it's nearer that dainty little thing you got when you went to grandmas for lunch, so long ago.

How often do you see a serving on a breakfast packet given a measure? Is it a serving for a child, a teenager or an Olympic weightlifter?  It seems clear to me that most large food processors just use imagery to impress the customer!  IMAGE is our desire: what we buy and what we get.

Well while on food how about a little more HSI mind food without fancy packing?
Quote: "On T.V., Art Linkletter would put simple questions to a panel of kids who would respond with hilarious howlers?  I think of that sometimes when I read the amazing comments that come out of the mouths of various officials. It's almost as if they're sitting in a row .. answering Art's questions as best they can.

Today we'll look at three  .. regarding the safety of our food supply. You can judge for yourself whether they're hilarious, frightening, or both.

While listening to a recent report on NPR's Morning Edition, I heard two surprising statistics. And when put side by side, they're pretty sobering.
1) Over the past three years, agricultural imports from China to the U.S. have doubled. But you won't be able to tell if many of these imports end up on your dinner plate because a huge percentage of the imports are ingredients that manufacturers use to process foods, such as garlic powder, sausage casings, and apple juice for sweetening.

2) The FDA employs about 650 food inspectors who are responsible for nearly 420 ports of entry. ...  Those 650 are also responsible for 60,000 domestic food producers. And to make matters worse, the FDA's ever dwindling budget devoted to food inspection will soon result in the closure of nearly half of the agency's food-testing labs.

Scary. More food comes into the country but less gets inspected. So every time we go to the grocery store, we can ask ourselves: Are ya feeling lucky? Well...are ya?

Now for those promised official comments...
#1: In an NPR interview, William Hubbard, former deputy commissioner of the FDA, was asked about the problems linked to eating fish from China that contain residues of antibiotics. He noted that such fish can contribute to antibiotic resistance in humans, and added, "When a foreign processor is using them to make their fish stay alive, that's clearly a violation of U.S. law."

Oh sure - we wouldn't want Chinese food to contribute to human antibiotic resistance. That's something we can easily take care of right here at home where much of the domestic beef, chicken, and turkey meat we buy in our grocery stores comes from animals ... given antibiotics.

#2: This also comes from Mr. Hubbard's NPR interview. He explains: recent contamination of wheat gluten was missed because the FDA's resources are stretched so thin that ... inspectors were only able to examine about one percent of shipments in U.S. ports last year. Then to cap it off he adds: "When you have what some consider a weak FDA, then that actually gives foreign exporters incentives to send us their bad stuff."

Given all that, you'll never believe his response when asked:  should U.S. consumers be concerned:  "I think the food supply is safe. I think we can continue to consume our food with confidence."
System failure. Does not compute.

Food is not our only import problem. Late last month all toothpaste shipments from China were blocked from entering the U.S. after a toxic chemical was detected in Chinese toothpaste sold in other countries. A few days later, the FDA announced that brands of this contaminated toothpaste had been discovered in Miami, Los Angeles, and Puerto Rico.

Official #3: A Wall St. Journal article about the toothpaste scare offered a curious statement from Burt Flickinger III, a consultant to consumer-product manufacturers. After noting that most major U.S. toothpaste brands are made here, he said, "Manufacturing toothpaste has always been sensitive because it's something that you put into your mouth. You can't take the risk of people being affected."

Riiiiight. And all those food products imported from China: they're all put - where?"  End Quote.  Emphasis added.

Well readers, that's just a small fraction of our foods problems and
our world we crated by default!
Did we really outlaw slavery or did we just
move it overseas, with our jobs, our honour and our health,
all just so as to live in wasteful luxury?