The Wall Street Journal reports that "a battle is brewing over the latest term for many packaged food products that manufacturers fear could infiltrate U.S. food policy and scare off consumers.
"Food-industry groups and makers of goods from ice cream to pasta sauce are stepping up lobbying, pushing back as the U.S. government probes the health effects of heavily processed food. It is a new front in a struggle that could reshape America’s approach to nutrition and threaten profits for companies behind foods throughout much of the supermarket."
The story says that foods such as "frozen pizza, potato chips and other mass-produced goods made with industrial ingredients and additives" are facing "rising scrutiny as concerns grow over their outsize role in American diets. They are under review ahead of the next dietary guidelines, the every-five-years advice from regulators on what Americans should eat. Federal researchers are studying the foods, and lawmakers are holding hearings highlighting possible health risks.
Big food companies and their allies are marshaling a defense, with some seeking to forestall recommendations in the coming dietary guidelines. Industry groups and companies such as Unilever and Barilla have touted the benefits of processing to regulators, arguing that it has made food safe, convenient, accessible and affordable."
The Journal writes that "beyond a potential hit to grocery-store sales, food companies worry that potential government recommendations or policies over ultra-processed foods could have a broad impact. The dietary guidelines shape U.S. food programs and influence state and local health efforts, affecting which goods are available in schools and more."
- KC's View:
I hope we're not at the point that a surfeit of lobbying dollars will be effective at diminishing reasonable and legitimate scientific findings - in this case, managing to force the government to soft-pedal science-based findings.
I hope it, but who am I kidding? Of course we're at that place.