Berman and Co. President Rick Berman provides us with a survival guide to enduring the scare tactics employed by the food police-who feed Americans a steady stream of horror stories about how the food they’re eating is going to kill them.
Rule 1: The dose makes the poison.
CSPI’s latest antic involves clamoring for the feds to ban the caramel coloring, which is widely used in soft drinks. How “risky” is this additive? The studies of caramel coloring were done on rats – not people – pumped full of it. One toxicology professor calculated that a person would have to drink 1,000 sodas a day to be comparable to the dose that gave the lab rats cancer. (You’d sooner die of hyponatremia – drinking too much water – before getting cancer.)
Similarly, CSPI’s long-standing campaign against saccharin as a supposed carcinogen took another blow in December as the Environmental Protection Agency declared the sugar substitute is “no longer considered a potential hazard to human health.”
The bottom line is that just about anything can be bad in large enough quantities. People can die from too much vitamin C.
Rule 2: One or two studies does not a scientific consensus make.
It’s difficult to draw “one size fits all” nutritional rules because our bodies are all different. Take salt, which CSPI’s executive director recently called “the deadliest ingredient in the food supply.” CSPI wants federal limits on salt in food.
The editor of the American Journal of Hypertension recently reviewed nine studies of salt intake and strokes and heart attacks. Almost half found no association between salt and health. Despite the usual generalization that “salt leads to hypertension,” some people actually see their blood pressure rise in response to less salt.
The bottom line is that there’s a lot that we don’t know about nutrition and how our bodies respond.
Continue reading Rule 3 and 4 here.