Trial lawyers and food cops spreading unwarranted hysteria over the nation’s so-called “obesity epidemic” have lost yet another leg to stand on. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has determined that its March 2004 bombshell study implying that obesity kills 400,000 Americans each year had serious limitations. Although the original study was released with great fanfare, the results of a CDC internal investigation into its now-discredited claims have been largely buried. In light of the CDC’s apparent unwillingness to publicly acknowledge its study’s substantial problems, the Center for Consumer Freedom is calling on the CDC to issue an official retraction.

In a letter sent today to CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding, who co-authored the controversial study, we wrote:

Using this erroneous study as support, you have personally terrified the public about obesity, at one point comparing it to the Black Death. Now it turns out that the CDC’s research was flawed. You owe the American people an explanation and a much more public mea culpa.

Having given its imprimatur to what it surely knew was a huge exaggeration, the CDC must come clean. That may upset the policymakers, trial lawyers, and pharmaceutical companies banking on misplaced hysteria about obesity. But it will help restore faith in what stood until recently as one of the nation’s most respected government institutions.

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