Before I get into the meat of this post, I should let y’all know that Parke at US Food Policy has done most of the legwork here, and I highly recommend reading his posts to
get a full background.
The below is what happens when lobbyists get access to high level government legislators.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the American Dietetic Association (ADA) have taken it upon themselves to shill for the dairy industry, lauding programs that “…the role of calcium-rich dairy products in successful weight loss as a central theme and focal point…” (Adobe Acrobat Required).
This would be a wonderful pat on the back…if it weren’t for the pesky fact that More Milk Means More Weight Gain according to an article written in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.
So how could the government gotten it so wrong? Might it have something to do with the $200 million that the National Dairy Council has spent in promoting the idea that milk can help people lose weight.
For the record, this would be the same National Dairy Council that had funded Michael Zemel, PhD, a professor of nutrition and medicine at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. It was Dr. Zemel’s report that oddly stated that drinking milk can help you lose weight. Also peculiar? Zemel’s Patent on the claim that dairy consumption improves weight loss. This patent also apparently marketed by another industry organization allied with the ADA program(that promotes milk for dieting), the International Dairy Food Association.
Here are some more interesting bits…If you do a WHOIS on the National Dairy Council’s website, you’ll see that it’s owned by Dairy Management, Inc. Dairy Management’s main office is located at 10255 W. Higgins Rd. in Rosemont, IL, suite 900 if I recall correctly.
Also located at the same address? Dean Foods, right there in Suite 500. That’s right. The same Dean Foods who happen to have a vested interest in Dairy Products. Now that is a coincidence, isn’t it?
More coincidence…On June 1st,The Hill made the following notation.
Dean Foods has hired Michael Torrey Associates to lobby on food, agriculture and dairy policy, according to politicalmoneyline.com.
The punchline? Torrey is a former deputy chief of staff at the USDA.
My, my…that is series of odd, yet convenient coincidences, isn’t it? I mean, it almost sounds as if Dean Foods has an inside track to all of these shananagins. This is Deans Food who’s a member of the International Dairy Food Association and would profit from any money made from Dr. Zemel’s patent (via the IDFA’s claim to the patent), shares the same building as the National Dairy Council (although in different suites), who happened to fund Dr. Zemel’s research, and has spent $200 million dollars on the “Weight loss” investment. Then we have the USDA giving credence to diets that promote weight loss through dairy products. This is the same USDA who once had a deputy director by the name of Micheal Torrey…who now lobbies for Dean Foods.
A coincidence, right?