ONEGREENPLANET – We often hear a lot about the scary ways the soft drink and fast food industries have infiltrated our food system and influenced the government, but now, it’s time to take a good hard look at the ways in which the dairy industry has done essentially the same thing.
A new report shared via Eat Drink Politics, titled Whitewashed: How Industry and Government Promote Dairy Junk Foods, illuminates how “the dairy industry, propped up by government, has convinced us of the health benefits of milk and other dairy products.” Additionally, the report focuses on “the shifting patterns of consumption away from plain milk toward dairy products laden with sugar, fat, and salt. ”
The report also shows the ways in which the government has been working hand-in-hand with the dairy industry: “It’s bad enough for the dairy industry to promote junk food in the name of health, but making matters worse, Uncle Sam is propping up the effort. The federal government mandates the collection of industry fees for ‘checkoff programs’ to promote milk and dairy. Far from being just a privately-funded program, U.S. Department of Agriculture employees attend checkoff meetings, monitor activities, and are responsible for evaluation of the programs. The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the legality of the checkoff programs as ‘government speech’, finding: ‘the message … is controlled by the Federal Government.’”
You can read the full report for free. Make sure to read this information and share the shocking findings. As the report’s lead author, Michele Simon, writes: “At a time when our nation is suffering from an epidemic of diet-related health problems, we cannot allow the decades of whitewashing by the dairy industry to continue. The assumption that eating dairy is essential to the diet has obstructed our ability to criticize federal government support for unhealthy forms of dairy.”
Author: Erin Trauth is a graduate student in Technical Communication and Rhetoric. Her dissertation research explores consumer interpretations of “health food” labeling as it used both for informational and marketing purposes. When she is not hitting the books, Erin can be found cooking and eating her weight in vegan fare and writing about vegan news, food, home décor, DIY projects, fashion, beauty, and saving the world on her web site, VeganGood.