I know that I make political jokes on this blog but there’s something in this election that scares me, and that is Donald Trump. I’m not discussing his deplorable behavior or past statement of actions towards women. I am not even discussing the religious fervor that his supporters that have towards his hate speak. No, the thing that worries me the most is his stance on governmental regulation. He’s a business man first and foremost. He has made a lot of money understanding regulatory rules and looking for interesting ways to make a profit within them. This means that he doesn’t have a great love for any regulation that is going to hinder business people from making money. If you look at his economic plan that came out about a month ago, you can see this. He uses inflammatory language towards almost every regulatory agency that the US has.
What most of you might not know is that there was an edit within that document. It was up for just about an hour, but people caught screen shots of it. The line item called the FDA the “Food Police” and too aim at the inspections of food facilities and “farm and food production hygiene.” So as a human being that eats food, I take offense to leniency in our food hygiene regulation (especially with the rise of e-coli and listeria breakouts in the past few years.) As a Celiac, this thought makes she shiver with horror.
If you would like to read more about it here’s a set of articles that I found that all corroborate this:
Trump’s FDA plan should raise concerns for Americans who eat food
We’ve discussed before some of the Gluten Free Renaissance that we’re having right now is because of the FDA and their regulation. Rules like the Gluten Free regulation would be under the chopping block. It requires extra testing and inspections of facilities, and considering that (in some instances) gluten free food starts at the farm, the regulation of hygiene benefits the gluten free community too. Anything that rescinds these regulations (which are only a few years old) is something that should scare you.
Yes, Trump took it out of his economic policy, but anyone who has been paying attention to this election knows that what is in Turmp’s head usually doesn’t leave. It just lays dormant until he things someone isn’t really paying attention, then he tries to slip it past those not really paying attention. Honestly, just the thought of Trump being in charge of our regulatory measures was enough scare me away from voting for him, this small glimpse in his plans for the FDA, I’m really seriously glad that people have been scared away from him for a plethora of other reasons. The fact that he isn’t really paying attention to the science behind those regulations, well that scares me the most.
But, as we showed in this post not a lot of people pay attention to the science behind their food. The fact that someone could write a book with pseudoscience like Wheat Belly, make millions of dollars, and influence so many people that eating gluten free is better for them just shows how gullible people are. I might be going really far out on a limb here, and I might offend a few people, but I feel like it needs to be said. THIS IS EVIDENT IN THE ORGANIC FOOD AND NON-GMO MOVEMENTS THE MOST!
I am going to admit, I eat organic food. I find it easier to read the labels of organic food companies. If regular food labels were as easy to read, I would probably never pick up organic food. There is no evidence that growing food organically is any better or worse for you. You can point towards articles and circumstantial evidence, but the stories just don’t match the studies. They don’t. In fact, organic food is less efficient (meaning that it’s actually hurting farmers to grow food organically.) So, why do people feel like organic food is better for them? Well according to Web MD, it is believed that organic food have more nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants. There is also the belief that carry less harmful pesticides. There have also been studies that state organic food might have more natural toxins in them, which are the plants own pesticides. So the fewer harmful pesticides might be a wash with more natural toxins in the plants. But there doesn’t appear to be any definitive studies stating that organic food is better. In fact the Organic Trade Association has stated that the FDA’s original studies when they started regulating organic foods were not accurate because there wasn’t a good control in them. The OTA has also spent more than $100,000 in 2016 to lobby for Organic Food Regulations, and according to Wikipedia that have spent upwards to $300,000 to lobby. I can’t find exact numbers on how much the OTA makes in a year, but I suspect any organization that can spend that much to lobby makes a lot more than that.
The OTA is also getting into the non-GMO lobbying business. Non-GMO is literally he most anti-science because it is against the manipulation of the genetics of seeds. Usually GMO is just increasing the yield of the crops, it make then grow in hostile environments, you know like areas where there’s not a lot of water. When we were kids, this was called ending world hunger. Now it’s called GMO, which is a new buzzy bad word associated with big pharma trying to turn our tomatoes into mutants. I’m still not sure how creating food that will feed the hungry in Africa is bad. Or create food that is resistant to certain infections or rots (which means it works better under organic conditions.) Of course, the Non-GMO Project (literally the top one that comes up when you google Non-GMO) has made about $400,000 between 2014 and 2015.
Both the Organic and the Non-GMO lobbies make and spend thousands of dollars on non-scientific labeling regulations being added to labels. There is a much simpler and easier solution to all of these groups, and for it we shall look at France and Italy. France and Italy, places know for the quality of their food, has strict rules and regulation on what can be put in their food, and even stricter food labeling guidelines. Heck, even Canada has better food labeling guidelines than America. Canada! That’s like your kid sister getting into Harvard when you only got into East State. If, instead, we tried to get plain speak put back in our food labeling, we could probably get a lot further that trying to push agendas of pseudo-scientific theories about that is healthier. It would also give people like food babe a lot less to discuss on her blog. Of course, there would be a lot less for me to write about on my blog too. I think I would be super happy with that. Because with truth in labeling, we can all make better decisions about what we eat.