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Published On: Tue, Jun 7th, 2016

USDA spent $10 million to rescue Michelle Obama’s ‘food deserts,’ five years later and no science

Back in 2011, the Obama administration doubled the money the USDA will provide to promote farmer’s markets in rural and urban areas across America. $10 million was poured into the latest Michelle Obama “healthy initiative” to create urban “food deserts.”

The First Lady advanced the concept of food deserts, which are defined as areas with limited access to affordable and nutritious food, particularly those composed of predominantly lower-income neighborhoods and communities…

The Farmers’ Market Promotion Program (FMPP) funds projects that “contribute to the economic and physical health of communities around the country,” the USDA says. The goal is to “increase domestic consumption of agricultural commodities” by improving and expanding farmers markets, or creating new ones.

 photo/ TaxRebate.org.uk

photo/ TaxRebate.org.uk

First, it was the creation of a new “plate” graphic that instructed Americans about what they should be eating. Fast forward to 2016 and Michelle’s “Let’s Go” is still not rooted in science.

The changes to the nutrition facts label, which first lady Michelle Obama recently announced at the Let’s Move-aligned Partnership for a Healthier America, requires food manufacturers to list added sugars, which scientists say lacks “scientific rigor.”

The label will also cost companies at least $640 million to update, and a net social cost of $1.4 billion.

“I am thrilled that the FDA has finalized a new and improved Nutrition Facts label that will be on food products nationwide,” Obama said in a statement. “This is going to make a real difference in providing families across the country the information they need to make healthy choices.”

In her remarks, Obama called the added sugar change to the label the “most important of all.”

A letter critical of the new label signed by a dozen scientists, including Roger Clemens, a member of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, and Eric A. Decker, the head of the Department of Food Science at the University of Massachusetts, was submitted to the Office of Management and Budget.

The scientists said the new label is “misleading,” and note that it was based on the 2015 Dietary Guidelines, whose committee did not include a single expert on sugars.

photo donkeyhotey

photo donkeyhotey

 

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