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Environment

An Empty Food Fight

July 28, 2014 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 92, ISSUE 30

The article “Food Fights” appears to give some credit to Food Babe’s advocacy for a safer food supply (C&EN, May 5, page 18). She deserves none.

It doesn’t take more than a quick perusal of her blog to realize that Babe’s knowledge of chemistry or food science is approximately nil. She doesn’t have the vaguest idea what genetic engineering is all about yet does not hesitate to condemn all foods that have any connection to this technology. She repeatedly voices the absurd argument that a chemical used in a nonfood application is unsafe for consumption in a food.

Of course, if there is an issue with azodicarbonamide in baked goods, which is most unlikely, it is not because this chemical is also used to make yoga mats. But it is precisely such poppycock that gets her on “The Dr. Oz Show” as an expert.

Yes, advocacy for improved nutrition is needed. We consume far too much sugar, too few fruits and vegetables, and trans fats still lurk in some processed foods. Nutritional guidance, however, should be coming from respected authorities who base their information on the peer-reviewed literature instead of blindly parroting the unsubstantiated drivel of pseudoexperts.

Joe Schwarcz
Montreal

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