You won’t believe this!
Did you know:
- In the last 50 years, over 1000 new chemicals and ingredients have been used in food products without the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) even knowing about them, let alone reviewing their safety
- Food packages can indicate that the food has “0g trans fat” when there really is trans fat in the food
- Food packages can say the product is “strawberry-flavored” and have no strawberries in the ingredients
- The food, beverage, and restaurant industries collectively spend roughly $16 billion a year to promote sales through advertising agencies, perhaps $2 billion of that targeted at children
- Cookies and cakes, pizza, and soft drinks are the top sources of calories in the diets of children 2 through 18
- Big Food lobbyists are out to deceive us (take, for example, the Corn Refiners Association’s latest failed attempt to re-label High Fructose Corn Syrup as “corn sugar”)
Where do you think our food industry is headed in 2013? If ballot measures are any indication of where the American public’s priorities are, they do show that we’re thinking more about where our food comes from and how it’s labeled.
Unfortunately, California’s Proposition 37 aka “California’s Right to Know” – a landmark initiative aimed to indicate on food labels if a product contains genetically modified ingredients – needed a little over 500,000 votes to pass. Those who opposed the measure – monoliths like Monsanto, DuPont, Dow AgriSciences, Kellogg’s, Kraft Foods, General Mills, Coca Cola, PepsiCo and more — spent close to $46 million in advertisements opposing it, while the campaign itself spent just $9 million. Connecticut and Vermont also had failed food-label-related propositions.
Prop-37-label advocates haven’t given up and are using their momentum to get the measure on the ballot for the 2013 election cycle in Washington state.
There is much at stake when it comes to our health and the current food environment.
In looking forward to 2013, we hope that much of the above will change. We specifically hope that the USDA will update its competitive foods in schools guidelines and that the FDA will finalize its food safety rules and define and enforce the use of “natural” on food labels.
What do you hope to see in 2013? Please leave us a comment below.
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