As the FDA considers labels for food containing trans fat (including labels for restaurants making a health claim or providing nutritional information on menu items), The Center for Science in the Public Interest is calling upon diners to forgo all restaurant fried foods (especially whole fried onions and Buffalo wings), salads with meat and cheese, and even mayonnaise, until trans fat labels are put in place.
Anti-aspartame activists have taken their campaign against the sweetner across the pond to the UK with some success. The British government has in the past agreed with the FDA's assessment that aspartame is perfectly safe, but, having been influenced by the scare tactics of activists, some British officials are calling for further investigation. One Member of Parliament demanded, "Aspartame should be withdrawn immediately pending further investigation."
The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) is renewing its wearisome push for more food labels. CSPI wants new or more bothersome labels on nearly everything, including beef, natural foods, fruit drinks, foods containing genetically engineered ingredients, foods containing caffeine, and foods with added sugars.
Columnist Judith Blake reviews the century in food, from the early 1900's enjoyment of food (introduction of the wildly successful chocolate Hershey bar and the popularization of ice cream) to the 1990's fear of food (demonstrated by the growing vegetarian and organic movements).
The Wall Street Journal profiles attorney Michael Hausfeld, focusing on his current lawsuit against Monsanto (instigated by professional nanny Jeremy Rifkin). In the suit, Hausfeld, known for his anti-industry litigation, accuses Monsanto of attempting to "monopolize" genetically modified crops. Rifkin praises Hausfeld for, as the Journal puts it, helping evolve "mass litigation into a full-fledged adjunct to lawmaking and regulating." ("Why Americans look to the courts to cure the nation's social ills," WSJ, 1/4/00, No link available.)
In response to calls from the White House, FDA, and Congress for warning labels on raw eggs, the Los Angeles Times speaks to various scientific experts who firmly disagree with critics that malign the safety of eggs. One former FDA chief counsel calls the mathematical model that produces food poisoning statistics "the closest thing I can think of in this modern age to a Ouija board. …The statistics are all over the place because none of them are any good. They are all wild guesses."
The nannies at the Center for the Advancement of Health want to influence what people eat by any means available, including federal government action. "Motivating people to change [their diets] will require more aggressive strategies and wider dissemination of effective interventions. …As they promote fruits, vegetables and grains, [federal]policy makerss must rise above this country's meat and dairy interests and reach consensus with scientists and agencies," said the Center's Karen Glanz.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution takes potshots at fast-food breakfast providers today. The Journal gets its information on the "evils" of breakfast fast food from the king of killjoys, the Center for Science in the Public Interest.