By Sherry Bunting, Farmshine, May 19, 2023
WASHINGTON D.C. — The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) launched a new “rumor control” webpage on May 16, described as the hub to stop what the FDA calls “false, inaccurate, or misleading health information” that is “negatively impacting the public’s health.”
How does FDA define misinformation? “It’s information, spread intentionally and unintentionally, that is false, inaccurate, or misleading according to the best available evidence at the time,” the announcement explains.
Who decides what is the best available evidence at the time? An info-graphic recommends checking sources and cross-referencing the information with reliable sources.
What is a reliable source? FDA describes it in one section as “the federal government and its partners” and describes it in another section as “a non-profit fact-checking source or government resource.”
A video narrator at FDA rumor-control explains the next step is to read beyond the headlines on the internet for context and to “understand the purpose of the post.”
Scrolling to the bottom of the landing page are instructions to report misinformation.
“We face the challenge of an overabundance of information related to our public health. Some of this information may be false and potentially harmful,” the FDA rumor control webpage states. “If you see content online that you believe to be false or misleading, you can report it to the applicable platform.”
These words are followed by icons to click for administrators at Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and WhatsApp.
FDA has posted to this hub its ‘fact documents’ on several hot topics such as vaccines, dietary supplements, and sunscreen, stating that more topics will be added in the future.
Will nutrition become one of them, now that the Administration has placed a priority on FDA’s role as purveyors of the Dietary Guidelines as gospel?
Case in point, just three weeks prior to launching the rumor-control hub, the FDA announced it is “prioritizing nutrition initiatives to ensure people in the U.S. have greater access to healthier foods and nutrition information to identify healthier choices more easily… to improve eating patterns and, as a result, improve everyone’s health and wellness.”
These FDA initiatives came out of the “whole of government approach” pledged by President Biden and Ag Secretary Vilsack in the White House Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition and Health.
“People need to know what they should be eating, and the FDA is already using its authority around healthy labeling, so you know what to eat,” said the President during the White House Conference where the Biden-Harris National Strategy was unveiled in September 2022.
The FDA proposed rule on ‘healthy labeling’ came out on the same day. Comments ended months ago but the final rule has not yet been published in the Federal Register.
The FDA nutrition initiatives are being pursued “to help accelerate efforts to empower consumers with information and create a healthier food supply.”
According to the FDA news release, the federal government currently believes obesity and chronic diet-related diseases are on the rise because American eating patterns are not aligning with the federal Dietary Guidelines. The press release states that most people consume too much saturated fat, sodium and added sugar, and the FDA nutrition initiatives aim to correct this.
FDA’s nutrition priorities in progress, include:
1) Developing an updated definition and a voluntary symbol for the ‘healthy’ nutrient content claim, front-of-package labeling, dietary guidance statements and e-commerce labeling, and
2) Supporting innovation by changing standards of identity such as labeling requirements for plant-based foods.
In addition to issuing its controversial plant-based milk labeling rule earlier this year, which would allow the pattern of fake milk proliferation to simply continue, the FDA in the first four months of 2023 sent letters of ‘no objection’ to three companies in their respective requests for GRAS (generally regarded as safe) status for cellular lab-created meat.
Several ferrmentation-vat dairy protein analog makers — including Perfect Day with its genetically-altered yeast excrement posing as dairy protein — received their ‘no objection’ to GRAS letters from FDA in 2020.
As reported in Farmshine over the past several years, the FDA has been on its “multi-year nutrition innovation strategy” since 2018. However, the pace has accelerated since September 12, 2022, when Executive Order 14081 was signed by President Biden just 10 days before the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health.
Entitled Advancing Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing Innovation for a Sustainable, Safe and Secure American Bioeconomy, the Presidential EO 14081 states: “For biotechnology and biomanufacturing to help us achieve our societal goals, the United States needs to invest in… and develop genetic engineering technologies and techniques to be able to write circuitry for cells and predictably program biology in the same way in which we write software and program computers; unlock the power of biological data, including through computing tools and artificial intelligence; and advance the science of scale‑up production while reducing the obstacles for commercialization so that innovative technologies and products can reach markets faster.”
(AUTHOR’S NOTE: All roads lead back to the umbrella of the Dietary Guidelines. The current DGA Committee began meeting recently in the process of formulating the 2025-30 DGAs. Entrenched in four decades of low-fat dogma, the USDA and HHS, along with the 2010, 2015 and 2020 DGA Committees, repeatedly left out of the discussion dozens of scientific papers, even research by the National Institutes of Health, that showed the neutral to beneficial impact of saturated fats on human health and the positive role of nutrient dense foods that are high in protein and essential nutrients but also contain saturated fat such as whole milk, full-fat dairy, and unprocessed red meat. Given the fact that childhood obesity and chronic diet-related disease incidence are rising rapidly, an objective fact-checker could easily determine that the Dietary Guidelines, themselves, are health misinformation. Clearly, children are the sector of the population whose eating patterns closely align with the Dietary Guidelines since 2010. They don’t have a choice. Most children today eat two meals a day, five days a week, three quarters of the year at school where the Dietary Guidelines rule with an iron hand. Let’s not forget the 2020 DGA Committee admitted that all of the DGA eating patterns came up short in essential nutrients found in animal foods, but when a committee member warned of this on final public reading, the saturated fat subcommittee chair mentioned taking vitamin pills and noted ‘new designer foods are coming.’)