You will never see a show on The Food Channel that explores what really is in your food. The corporations that sponsor the channel’s show will bail in an instant. In fact, I doubt that any media outlet reliant on advertising dollars would investigate on a regular basis the contents of what you put in your mouth.

They don’t want you to know. How much “Reality” is it when they may not be Real about what’s really in the food you see on the screen?

And, as we’ve seen, the supplement industry is under intense scrutiny as well.

Absence of Findings

An investigation by the New York State Attorney General found that herbal supplements sold by Target, Wal-Mart, GNC, and Walgreens did not contain the ingredients the labels claimed. More astounding is that some products labeled as gluten-free were found to have wheat in them.

That’s poisonous for someone who is Gluten-Intolerant.

Thank Utah Senator Orrin Hatch for taking money from the supplement industry and halting a 2012 amendment that would have forced supplement makers to register products with the FDA. As such, supplements are still unregulated.

Store brands as well as popular manufacturer brands were purchased from the retailers. The investigation utilized DNA bar coding to identify the presence or lack thereof of ingredients. Four out of five items were found to have ingredients other than what was labeled.

Harvard’s Pieter Cohen has been quoted extensively in the media expressing doubt in the findings. In part, his opinions are due to the fact that the manufacturing process can render DNA markers undetectable.

However that doesn’t explain the presence of unlabeled ingredients, ingredients that could potentially injure or kill a person who has food allergies. While the DNA bar coding analysis can allow for false-negatives, no one is stepping forward to explain why it detected unlabeled ingredients such as wheat.

Note that the FDA recently tightened their restrictions on the use of “Gluten-Free” on labels. But this does not include supplements because it has no oversight. Contamination can be anywhere in the manufacturing process, and the companies are not obliged to insure the sanctity of their products.


In the Dark

Believe it or not, the DARK—or Denying a Right to Know—Act is an actual bill being considered by Congress. Supported by biotech and food corporations, labeling would be voluntary.

Democrats Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) have sponsored an opposing bill, the Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act. It mandates the FDA to require GMO labeling.

Currently there is no further action regarding the regulation of supplements. The FDA outlines its difference in regulation as far as dietary supplements.


Food for Thought

So what does that mean for those cooking shows? Are they entertainment, advertainment, or even propaganda?

Mouth-watering video of handsome chefs creating delectable eats strikes at a subliminal level. There’s no denying that they’re selling, and their hitting where it counts–the stomach.

And if there’s skepticism about what type of shows and content they want you to see, doesn’t that make you consider the type of stuff they don’t want you to see?


–Ken Choy





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