Ay-yi-yi! First we had Congress designating pizza as a vegetable, and now this:
The American Dietetic Association–the self-described “world’s largest association of food and nutrition professionals” (and whose website, eatright.org, proclaims that it provides “Food and Nutrition Information You Can Trust”)–is apparently transforming itself into a shill for Big Food.
The top-paying sponsors, whom ADA called “partners,” were Coca-Cola, Aramark, the National Dairy Council, and Hershey (their “Center for Health and Nutrition” – really). “Premier sponsors” included PepsiCo, Mars, and General Mills.
Among the conference’s many panel discussion and didactic sessions were topics like “How Risky is Our Food? Clarifying the Controversies of Chemical Risks.” The speakers at many of the sessions had undisclosed food industry ties, despite ADA rules that require disclosure of conflicts of interest. (Those “risks,” as you might suspect, aren’t nearly as bad as those lying environmental radicals say they are…)
Fortunately, some Registered Dietitians are fighting back:
During the Q&A, several frustrated attendees challenged the presenters–the only time the audience heard any opposing viewpoint. Several who spoke up are members of the Hunger and Environmental Nutrition Dietary Practice Group, which represents a growing number of RDs who are challenging ADA’s corporate ties and making inroads, slowly but surely.
It’s pretty clear that some powerful/ruthless corporate forces are behind the push to feed dreck to our kids. The ADA needs to do the right thing and cut ties with those funders who don’t have the best interests of children at heart…especially the ones who are actively undermining children’s health.