Even if you don’t live in California, you have probably heard of Proposition 37, which if passed in November, would require labeling of foods containing genetically engineered ingredients. The state-wide initiative has been causing quite a stir, in part because of the companies that are opposing the measure. Read rest at New Hope …
Posts Tagged ‘Big Food’
Last week I wrote about why PepsiCo was the largest food maker to donate money to the “No on 37″ campaign, to oppose a California initiative that would require foods containing GMOs to be labeled. New campaign finance reports show just how much hiding the truth is worth. The largest contributions are from biotech giants Dupont Pioneer ($2M) and Bayer Cropscience ($1M). Other contributions include $500K each from Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Nestle, General Mills, and ConAgra. Read this press release from the Yes on 37 campaign for the complete run-down on this latest investment in secrecy from Big Food.
As Congress proposes cuts to hungry families, my new report raises questions about how much food makers, retailers, and big banks profit from food stamps.
With the debate over the 2012 Farm Bill currently underway in the Senate, most of the media’s attention has been focused on how direct payments—subsidies doled out regardless of actual farming—are being replaced with crop insurance, in a classic shell game that Big Ag’s powerful lobby is likely to pull off.
Meanwhile, the Senate may hurt the less powerful by cutting $4.5 billion from the largest piece of the farm bill pie: the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly called food stamps). Reducing this lifeline for 46 million struggling Americans (more than 1 in 7—nearly half of them children) has become a sideshow in the farm bill circus, even though SNAP spending grew to $78 billion in 2011, and is projected to go higher if the economy does not improve.
Institute of Medicine Gives Big Food Another Deadline – or else!
This week, the nation’s top public health experts gathered at a much-trumpeted obesity conference hosted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called Weight of the Nation. (A quick glance at the agenda reveals nothing that would even begin to challenge the food industry.)
When I ask people to name the largest food company in America, most don’t realize the answer is PepsiCo. You may just think soft drinks when you hear the name, but PepsiCo actually owns a dizzying array of food and beverage brands across five massive divisions: Pepsi-Cola, Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Tropicana, and Quaker Oats. As I recently told CNBC for their documentary, Pepsi’s Challenge, perhaps the leading maker of sugary drinks and salty snacks should bear some responsibility for America’s bad eating habits.
As Enrollment Increases, USDA Should Require Purchase Data from
Food Stamp Retailers to Better Evaluate Nutrition Intake
This week Congress begins hearings on the 2012 farm bill, the massive piece of legislation that gets updated about every five years and undergirds America’s entire food supply, but that few mortals can even understand. As nutrition professor Marion Nestle recently lamented, “no one has any idea what the farm bill is about. It’s too complicated for any mind to grasp.”
It doesn’t take much for the food industry to freak-out over potential government action, but this latest corporate outcry is especially galling and self-serving. After more than 20 years of “assessment” the Environmental Protection Agency is finally expected this month to release limits for safe exposure to dioxins, nasty industrial pollutants that cause cancer, among other health harms. You may have heard of dioxin as the military herbicide Agent Orange used in Vietnam, where it earned its distinction as “the most toxic compound synthesized by man.”
(The following is by Andy Bellatti, a Seattle-based dietitian, cross-posted from his Small Bites blog)
The current issue of the Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition includes a commentary co-authored by myself and public health attorney Michele Simon. The piece is a response to the recent – and ongoing – debate surrounding front of package labeling.
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