Wednesday, November 5, 2008

ADA, Dietitians, Corporate Sponsorship & HFCS

December 14, 2007: assistant editor at In These Times, Jacob Wheeler wrote an article called Corporate Potluck: Dietitians and their company sponsors make strange buffet fellows which highlighted the corporate industry partners attending the American Dietetic Association's 2007 Food and Nutrition Conference(FNCE).

March 1, 2008: American Dietetic Association Welcomes The Coca-Cola Company as an ADA Partner. The press release says:

The program provides Partners a national platform via ADA events and programs with prominent access to key influencers, thought leaders and decision makers in the food and nutrition marketplace.

About the time the dietitians were becoming critical of their own association, criticism was coming from the very influential and proficient author and renowned food policy advocate Marion Nestle. She quotes on her blog:

Respected ADA colleagues: as long as your organization partners with makers of food and beverage products, its opinions about diet and health will never be believed independent (translation: based on science not politics) and neither will yours.

Furthermore, an interview with Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!, the author of The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History or Four Meals and more recently In Defense of Food, An Eaters Manifesto, Micheal Pollan had this to say:

Well, nutrition science is very compromised by industry. Organizations like the American Dietetic Association take sponsorship from companies who are eager to find -- you know, be able to make health claims.

Soon the Corn Refiners Association launched a PR campaign that took Dietitians along with them with a full page ad in the Washington Post: "Registered Dietitians agree that HFCS is the same as table sugar and can be enjoyed in moderation."

This year at the American Dietetic Association Food and Nutrition Conference in Chicago, The Corn Refiners Association had an exhibit that included information about "the many ways corn based ingredients are contributing to great-tasting food and beverage choices and to innovations that enhance nutrition and help reduce calories and fat."

I guess the question is, who is suppose to be teaching who about nutrition?

I can attest, not all Registered Dietitians believe that everything can be enjoyed in moderation. There is more impact from consuming HFCS than the human nutrition implications.

1 comment:

Sliwa said...

That said, the HFCS Refiners pen, the green click pen with the yellow cob top (a great use of petroleum, I know) is one of my favorite pieces of promotional crap I picked up at the Obesity Society conference. Second only to a LAP-BAND squeeze ball.