I found the following nugget in the comments on a piece on saturated fat on www.docsopinion.com. The commenter is David Brown.
The original piece is worth reading. It gives a good perspective on the fact that there is no evidence that saturated fats are harmful. This comment, however, sheds much needed light on how the whole business of nutritional science and policy-making has been thoroughly corrupted by vested interests in the agri-food sector. A cautionary tale, indeed:
“Quote from paragraph 7: “On the other hand, the vast majority of trans fats in our food are manufactured by adding hydrogen bonds to unsaturated fats.”
Technically, it would be more accurate to say that “the vast majority of trans fats are formed during partial hydrogenation of unsaturated fatty acid chains.”
Quotes from paragraphs 6 and 15: “Why such a huge effort has been put in promoting the risk of saturated fat,s and their possible effects on blood cholesterol is hard to understand, not least because the scientific basis behind it is indeed fairly weak…In light of the available scientific evidence it is hard to understand how we have managed to create those misconceptions.”
This article explains how the anti-saturated fat campaign got started:http://www.coconutresearchcenter.org/article10147.htm
This article documents the rise of the low-fat ideology:http://jhmas.oxfordjournals.org/content/63/2/139.full
Corporations have always done what was necessary to protect supply chains. The International Food Information Council Foundation (IFICF) is the latest, most powerful iteration of a string of food and beverage supply chain protection schemes. It amounts to a corporation funded educational machine that shapes the content of dietetics instruction throughout academia. Here is what the IFICF says about itself:
“Incorporated as a public education foundation in 1991 and based in Washington, DC, the International Food Information Council Foundation is independent and not-for-profit. We do not lobby or further any political, partisan, or corporate interest. We bring together, work with, and provide information to consumers, health and nutrition officials, educators, government officials, and food, beverage, and agriculture industry professionals. We have established partnerships with a wide range of credible professional organizations, government agencies, and academic institutions to advance the public understanding of key issues. For example, we have a long-standing relationship with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion as part of the Dietary Guidelines Alliance, a public-private partnership focused on the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the MyPlate Food Guidance System. Recognizing the global nature of food safety, nutrition and health issues, the Foundation extends its mission internationally. We share education materials with an independent network of Food Information Organizations and partners from around the world. We also serve as a news media resource. We provide science-based information to the media and refer journalists to our 350 independent, credentialed experts on a variety of nutrition, food, and safety topics…We believe in the importance of educating health and nutrition professionals. We regularly host Continuing Professional Education (CPE) programs which are offered in person and via Web cast, and have developed a series of Commission on Dietetic Registration, the credentialing agency for the American Dietetic Association, CPE-approved learning modules on a variety of subjects.”
How do dietitians view this arrangement? Read Justin Stoneman’s article: America: A Big, Fat, Stupid Nation. Quote:
“People in America like to think that they eat with freedom. Ultimately, however, they can only pick what is presented to them, and what they can afford. Then, the decision is based on what they believe to be healthy, tasty and safe. With that in mind, can you imagine how great it would be for the industries mentioned above, if dietary advice given could be contained and restricted to just one organization that they could pour money into? That scenario is not just some North Koreanesque wet dream. It is USA 2010. The ADA (American Dietetic Association) has complete monopoly on dietary advice. To keep the bubble airtight, the full might of the law has even been implemented. Kim Jong-il would be proud of the attention to detail. Staggeringly, in 46 out of 50 States, the message the authorities want you to have is protected. The law determines who is able to provide you with nutritional advice. The Commission on Dietetic Registration is the credentializing agency for the ADA. A practicing dietician not registered with the ADA or CDR is liable to face prosecution in over 90% of the country. With that in mind, who precisely is ‘sponsoring’ the ADA and the nutritional advice you receive? My friends, it is a beautiful army. Partners (recent and current — and their latest annual revenue figures): Coca Cola (revenue $31.4 billion), GlaxoSmithKline (revenue $42.5 billion), Hershey’s (revenue $5.3 billion), Unilever (revenue $55.8 billion), Aramark (revenue: $12.3 billion). There are even some ‘premier sponsors’: Mars (revenue: $30 billion), PepsiCo (revenue $44.3 billion), Truvia sweetener (revenue of parent company Cargill: $116.6 billion), Kellogg’s ($12.7 billion). ADA ‘sponsors’ have combined revenues of over $400 billion.
Why are these gargantuan companies — whose only intention is to make money, not make you healthy — allowed to fund the ADA? The ADA themselves can perhaps assist us. On their own website (in the section where they are trying to seduce corporate America), they offer a helping hand: Why Become an ADA Sponsor? As ADA past president Martin Yadrick stated in a 2008 US News & World Report article: “We think it’s important for us to be at the same table with food companies because of the positive influence that we can have on them.” But, Martin, darling, they are paying you to be at their table. You are publicly telling America that you are somehow the one wearing the trousers in the relationship? My headline must be correct — even the ADA seem to think that America is stupid.”
“In the end, it’s not that hard to understand how the anti-saturated fat ideology originated, became common knowledge, and remains entrenched dogma. It’s simply good business for the edible oils industry. Or at least it was for the better part of a century.”