It is a new year but let's not be fooled - The more things change, the more they will remain the same in regard to food and nutrition policies.
Activists have a heavy agenda, including but not limited to, restricting so-called junk food or non-nutritious food advertising to children, defining "natural," front panel display of certain nutritional ingredients, the display of caffeine content on energy drinks, the safety of acrylamides in food, implementation of the Food safety Modernization Act, final regulatory approval of GM foods, specifically the Atlantic Salmon and reform of the farm bill.
And yet, according to a year end report from the Food and Drug Administration, last year 7.3 million visitors clicked on Consumer Updates at fda.gov. The top 10 most popular topics in 2012 did not contain a single issue mentioned above.
Consumers wanted to know about:
1. Disposing of unused medicines.
2. Mercury in skin products sold illegally in U.S.
3. HCG diet products—a dangerous fad.
4. Dietary supplement Hydroxycut—can be hazardous to health.
5. Examining arsenic in rice
6. Tattoo inks linked to serious infection.
7. Is the common additive triclosan safe?
8. Thickening agent may be deadly for infants.
9. Expanded advice: Take statins with care.
10. Symptoms of Cushing’s disease in dogs, and how to treat it.
Congress is dysfunctional. Everything from gun laws to mental health to the basic infrastructure of the country seems broken.
The nutrition activists have there own priorities, fed by the need to show their members the need to raise money for Washington representation. The food industry does the same thing with just about every aisle of the supermarket with a lobby designed to block activist demands and advance a sympathetic regulatory environment.
It is s tempest in a teapot, far removed from the day to day concerns of hardworking consumers.