- - Wednesday, May 11, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The Food and Drug Administration should regulate itself out of existence (“FDA to re-evaluate term ‘healthy,’” Web, May 10). Or perhaps it should just become the “DA” rather than the “FDA.” The ensuing decrease in food-supply-caused chronic disease would probably obviate the need for Obamacare.

What stands out in this article is the association of fat, cholesterol and sodium with public health. The cholesterol claim has been demonstrably false for half a century, and the so-called ‘scientific advisory panel’ that recommends the food guidelines for the U.S. Department of Agriculture finally got around to stating that cholesterol was no longer a matter of interest. We had no idea what we were doing all of these years, but we let the FDA mislabel food to affect what everyone ate anyway.

Then there is saturated fat. The association between saturated fat and ill health has been deconstructed by many researchers. If you are really concerned about saturated fat, maybe you should eliminate salmon from your diet, as well as olive oil. Numerous saturated fatty acids are in the vast majority of what is called unprocessed food, not to mention what your body makes from the carbohydrate-based processed foods.

Then we have salt. One of the largest studies ever done on salt and mortality rates was performed and reported by a Canadian public health research institute in 2014 in the New England Journal of Medicine. It involved more than 100,000 participants in 17 countries. The results indicate that if you want to reduce the mortality rate, salt consumption should be between four grams and six grams per day. Too little salt was worse than too much.

More and more people are getting upset about this level of federal incompetence, and unless it can be dealt with, food-supply-caused chronic disease is going to continue its ascent. It is way past time to admit that federal regulation has pretty much destroyed the U.S. food supply, or at least anything that can be construed as “healthy.”

SAMUEL BURKEEN

Reston, Va.

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