Annals of Health Law
HOW TO REGULATE TOXIC FOODS
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association “works to advance the economic,
political and social interests of the U.S. cattle business and to be an
advocate for the cattle industry’s policy positions and economic interests.” 88
The sugar industry89 also has a long history of looking out for its own
interests. 90 Historically, humans ate very little sugar because it was very
expensive to extract from the sugar cane plant. 91 As a result, sugar was
considered a luxury item and was often kept in a special covered dish and
used sparingly. 92 The commercial production of sugar in the Caribbean was
initiated by Europeans who “virtually exterminated” the indigenous
population and then imported slave labor from Africa to work the sugar
plantations. 93 With modern machinery, sugar production became relatively
inexpensive and the price of sugar plummeted. 94 Moreover, when high
fructose corn syrup was introduced in the 1970s, it was sweeter and cheaper
than sugar from sugar cane or sugar beets, and the cost of sweetening food
was further reduced, especially given our agricultural corn subsidies. 95
Sweetening food shifted from a very expensive proposition to a relatively
The Sugar Association, a key sugar lobbying organization, maintains that
the single largest source of saturated fat and have been linked to prostate cancer. Id.
Moreover, milk is more difficult to digest than, for example, cheese or other dairy products.
Id. Yet the “federal government not only supports the milk industry by spending more
money on dairy than any other item in the school lunch program, but by contributing free
propaganda as well as subsidies amounting to well over $4 billion in the last 10 years.” Id.
The scientific evidence suggests that when it comes to preventing diseases like osteoporosis,
other countries with less dairy consumption have much lower incidences of the disease. In
fact, we can get the calcium we need from vegetables like broccoli and kale. See Health
Concerns about Dairy Products, PHYSICIANS COMM. FOR RESPONSIBLE MED.,
http://www.pcrm.org/health/diets/vegdiets/health-concerns-about-dairy-products (last visited
Dec. 15, 2012) (“Many Americans, including some vegetarians, still consume substantial
amounts of dairy products—and government policies still promote them—despite scientific
evidence that questions their health benefits and indicates their potential health risks.”).