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Last post Author Topic: Your tax dollars at work: Now FDA proposes to ban a brand of cookie?  (Read 6016 times)

40hz

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Seem that having only limited success in addressing real health issues such as critical drug shortages, the FDA is now moving to ban a brand of cookie (made using a recipe virtually unchanged since 1830) because of the presence of artificial trans fats in  the product.

Apparently a 184-year plus untold millions of units field test isn't sufficient for the FDA when  it's looking for a soft target to claim a meaningless victory over.

Amazing. You can't make this stuff up! And remember folks: This is for YOUR protection.

Article here.

tomos

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Re: Your tax dollars at work: Now FDA proposes to ban a brand of cookie?
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2013, 10:20:21 AM »
I'm confused by the *artifical* label - are "artificial trans fats" & "trans fats" the same thing? [edit] they appear to be the same [/edit]

In europe you see relatively few products with trans fats in comparision to a few years back (usually labelled "partially hydrogenated oils" these days **). I personally dislike the taste of trans fats - if you taste a margarine with a high percentage of trans fats and one that has none, you'd probably agree with me. (Only eat butter myself.) I can often even taste if they are used in baked products. But it's because of the bad press healthwise, that it is now used much less here. I dont think it's regulated in the EU in general, but I'm not sure.

Do you know: is it used a lot in the States?

** I'm not 100% sure there - wikipedia says:
Quote
Hydrogenated oil is not a synonym for trans fat: complete hydrogenation removes all unsaturated, both cis and trans, fats.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trans_fat
Tom

x16wda

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Re: Your tax dollars at work: Now FDA proposes to ban a brand of cookie?
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2013, 10:33:07 AM »
I think it's all evil and should be done away with.  And don't water down the regulations with something flimsy like the warning labels they put on tobacco products.  I'm tired of reading all the news stories about people getting horribly sick from exposure to second-hand cookies.
vi vi vi - editor of the beast

rgdot

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Re: Your tax dollars at work: Now FDA proposes to ban a brand of cookie?
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2013, 10:36:59 AM »
I understand why someone would not want laws like that, by government or anybody. I am not saying I am for it, no one can accuse me of being a commie when it comes to regulating chocolate/sweets. I am personally bank rolling PepsiCo for decades now  :P

But when an article claims.

Quote
the FDA claims a ban may prevent between 3,000 and 7,000 deaths from heart disease each year. But evidence for this proposition is equivocal at best.

I move along. Anybody (me, you, even the FDA itself) who wants to put a doubt on that is being silly. I am not a MD but believe that's not in doubt, might be 'only' 1000 or 1 million but not it's not in doubt.

40hz

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Re: Your tax dollars at work: Now FDA proposes to ban a brand of cookie?
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2013, 12:46:31 PM »
Why the United States government is so gung-ho on saving and extending the span of human life - while simultaneously allowing those that do live longer to wallow in the pain and misery brought on by inadequate medical care, social isolation, hunger and poverty once they do reach old age - will always be a mystery to me.

I guess it's because one's absolute age (in years) is easier to reduce to a statistic than the quality of one's life is. That's the sort of number that plays more easily into political posturing and media sound bytes. So I guess that's why the FDA prefers to focus more on "saving" lives rather than improving the quality of those it (theoretically) might save...


rgdot

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Re: Your tax dollars at work: Now FDA proposes to ban a brand of cookie?
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2013, 02:24:31 PM »
All I know is that an oil that is naturally solid or semi solid at room or body temperature - and nonsoluble - can be more dangerous and has more clogging capacity. That is more common sense than science. Fat from butter worse than vegetable oil, shortening worse than corn oil, etc.

Role of government in quality of life...some people wish to make it an individual's own responsibility, no problem there as long as you are not substituting the gov with corporations and framing it as an individual choice

Stoic Joker

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Re: Your tax dollars at work: Now FDA proposes to ban a brand of cookie?
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2013, 03:07:01 PM »
Cookies don't kill people. People that smuggle illegal cookies across borders because some jackass outlawed them kill people.

If the government really wanted to put an end to organized crime, they'd stop outlawing dumb shit that people actually happen to like. But instead they continue to cause the problem...just so they can pretend to be fixing it.

tomos

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Re: Your tax dollars at work: Now FDA proposes to ban a brand of cookie?
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2013, 03:14:15 PM »
Fat from butter worse than vegetable oil

very much debatable there. Depends on a lot of stuff (oil - which oil?). Butter used be very much maligned, but not so much in recent years.

Fats in general were very much maligned for years. Again, scientific opinion has changed over the years. Now certain fats are considered very good for you. Then there are other theories e.g about combinations of certain foods being good or bad for you: meat + fat; sugar + almost anything (!); etc. etc. I guess the FDA cant regulate those (if proven).
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As to the FDA, I do have a fairly strong opinion of them, but dont particularly want to air it here on dc.
Tom

4wd

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Re: Your tax dollars at work: Now FDA proposes to ban a brand of cookie?
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2013, 05:32:58 PM »
The ABC's Catalyst program just recently aired a two part series called Heart of the Matter which was based on the subject of the decades long war against cholesterol.

You can download it from: Catalyst Video Downloads (not geo-locked)

SeraphimLabs

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Re: Your tax dollars at work: Now FDA proposes to ban a brand of cookie?
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2013, 06:52:03 PM »
Cookies don't kill people. People that smuggle illegal cookies across borders because some jackass outlawed them kill people.

If the government really wanted to put an end to organized crime, they'd stop outlawing dumb shit that people actually happen to like. But instead they continue to cause the problem...just so they can pretend to be fixing it.

I have a batch of cookies in the oven right now.

Are they going to come arrest me for posession of contraband because I've made cookies according to Grandma's favorite recipe that has not been approved by the FDA and may contain traces of soap and whatever other contaminants are on the dishes I used to mix it?

Oh by the way, they might as well ban the use of a household oven too. Because people use those far more often for baking up unhealthy desserts than preparing healthy meals like garlic bread and pizza- which is a vegetable according to the FDA and therefore healthy.

IainB

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Re: Your tax dollars at work: Now FDA proposes to ban a brand of cookie?
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2013, 01:17:01 AM »
I think it's all evil and should be done away with.  And don't water down the regulations with something flimsy like the warning labels they put on tobacco products.  I'm tired of reading all the news stories about people getting horribly sick from exposure to second-hand cookies.
+1 for that.   ;)

The ABC's Catalyst program just recently aired a two part series called Heart of the Matter which was based on the subject of the decades long war against cholesterol.
You can download it from: Catalyst Video Downloads (not geo-locked)
Thanks for the link!   :Thmbsup:

Are they going to come arrest me for posession of contraband because I've made cookies according to Grandma's favorite recipe that has not been approved by the FDA and may contain traces of soap and whatever other contaminants are on the dishes I used to mix it?
Why not put it to the test? You will probably find that they can do all that - and a whole lot more - for you. That's what the "Total" in "Totalitarian" means.

app103

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Re: Your tax dollars at work: Now FDA proposes to ban a brand of cookie?
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2013, 02:14:24 AM »
Hmmm...

We don't need an alternative to the transfat loaded margarine and vegetable shortening that the baking industry seems to be so in love with. They are the alternatives. The cheaper, lower quality alternatives.

Any baking company or bakery that tells you their business is being threatened by this ban is kind of trying to pull the wool over your eyes when they say the alternatives won't give you the same taste and texture.

The truth is that they don't want to use more expensive, higher quality ingredients that will make their products taste even better. They are looking only for cheap alternatives, which just won't cut it.

Seriously...which would you rather have?

A butter cookie made with real butter? Or a butter cookie made with artificially flavored partially hydrogenated vegetable fats that can kill you?

Do you honestly think the cheaper artificial crap is going to make a better tasting butter cookie than real butter?

Are we really supposed to be fools that think there was no such thing as cookies, pie crust, donuts, or anything else that is currently being made with margarine or vegetable shortening before those things were invented? Or that the cookies of the past tasted like crap because the cheaper alternatives didn't exist yet?

What they want you to hear is that those cookies you love will be ruined, that it will be impossible to make the same taste and texture with the alternatives. They left out the important part. It will be impossible to make the same cookies you love that taste exactly the same (or better), with the same profit margin. That to make a good tasting cookie without the transfats will require them to use costlier ingredients like real butter or leaf lard.

That's what the bakers used before margarine and shortening existed. And they only stopped because the margarine and vegetable shortening was a cheap alternative, not because it resulted in better baked goods. These things increased their profit margin. They don't want to go back to using those costlier, higher quality ingredients. They would rather kill you for an extra buck.

Most of our grandmothers and great-grandmothers made better fried chicken, better cookies and pie crusts, and they did it because they used the real thing and not the cheap transfat loaded, hydrogenated alternatives.

And if you still want to rally around the "suffering" businesses, will you do the same for Coke & Pepsi if the FDA tells them they have to stop killing you with HFCs and go back to using the higher priced, better tasting, real cane sugar?

app103

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Re: Your tax dollars at work: Now FDA proposes to ban a brand of cookie?
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2013, 02:32:18 AM »
Seem that having only limited success in addressing real health issues such as critical drug shortages, the FDA is now moving to ban a brand of cookie (made using a recipe virtually unchanged since 1830) because of the presence of artificial trans fats in  the product.

Apparently a 184-year plus untold millions of units field test isn't sufficient for the FDA when  it's looking for a soft target to claim a meaningless victory over.

Their "virtually unchanged for 184 years product" shouldn't be affected at all by this ban, since it can't possibly contain margarine, which was invented 144 years ago (1869), or vegetable shortening, which was invented 102 years ago (1911). Or was that the small changes that were made and they don't want to go back to the original recipe, which called for either butter or lard? (who are they trying to fool here?)

40hz

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Re: Your tax dollars at work: Now FDA proposes to ban a brand of cookie?
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2013, 03:20:45 AM »
@app  - I don't think anybody is trying to fool anybody here. The two ingredients in question (fudge and margarine) contain cottenseed and partially hydrogenated soybean oils which are listed as the trans-fat sources Neither of these ingredients are anything new to a US diet. Both have been around for (at least) a century if you prefer it be said that way instead.

What usually happens in situations like this is the ingredient itself is what got changed rather than the product. And usually without the knowledge of the business making said product.

It's also the news report (not the cookie maker) that brought up how old the recipe was ("since 1830") - and me who calculated the 184 year figure. Can't speak for the reporter, but I wasn't trying to snow anybody by doing so.
 8)
« Last Edit: November 25, 2013, 03:31:11 AM by 40hz »

CWuestefeld

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Re: Your tax dollars at work: Now FDA proposes to ban a brand of cookie?
« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2013, 01:22:30 PM »
The irony here is that the overuse of trans fats is largely caused by prior FDA actions. Back in the '70s when I was a kid, we were told that it was butter that's evil. Everybody should lower their cholesterol by switching to margarine instead.

I'm not trying to make the argument that the FDA is stupid. There are doubtless a pile of really smart scientists there. The point I'd like to make is that it's folly to believe that we can really understand anything as complex as all of the interactions within the human body and with its environment, in order to come up with a single list of simple rules that will affect everyone. When we act as if we can do this, the result is inevitably that mistakes are made, such that unforeseeable effect lead to unintended consequences, such that, however well-intentioned, the effort ends rather worse than we were initially promised.

I'm reminded of the old children's song about "I know an old woman who swallowed a fly". Every time we try to force a correction like this, we cause other problems down the road, so that we must continually keep swallowing spiders and birds and cats, just to maintain equilibrium.

Stoic Joker

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Re: Your tax dollars at work: Now FDA proposes to ban a brand of cookie?
« Reply #15 on: November 25, 2013, 01:55:35 PM »
I'm reminded of the old children's song about "I know an old woman who swallowed a fly". Every time we try to force a correction like this, we cause other problems down the road, so that we must continually keep swallowing spiders and birds and cats, just to maintain equilibrium.

Which is precisely what they're trying to do with the endless chain of ever more increasingly insane legislation. The need to just stick to keeping actual poisons out of the food, and making sure it gets to the stores without being rancid....and leave the rest along.

Comfort foods aren't supposed to be good for you...that's why you're not supposed to eat 9 boxes of them a day. Moderation ... It really is that bloody simple.

40hz

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Re: Your tax dollars at work: Now FDA proposes to ban a brand of cookie?
« Reply #16 on: November 25, 2013, 02:29:43 PM »
I'm not trying to make the argument that the FDA is stupid.

You don't need to. They make that argument pretty convincingly for themselves at times.

There are doubtless a pile of really smart scientists there.

There are. Unfortunately, the FDA is a creature of Congress and subject to all the political manipulations and misrepresentations most government agencies are guilty of subject to from time to time. Because in addition to it's dedicated scientific personnel, the FDA also has its "business" management and core bureaucracy. And any time science collides with the politically endorsed reality du jour or cause célèbre, the hard science usually loses out.

Politics and science make strange bedfellows. 8)
 

app103

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Re: Your tax dollars at work: Now FDA proposes to ban a brand of cookie?
« Reply #17 on: November 25, 2013, 03:16:40 PM »
The irony here is that the overuse of trans fats is largely caused by prior FDA actions. Back in the '70s when I was a kid, we were told that it was butter that's evil. Everybody should lower their cholesterol by switching to margarine instead.

I don't recall the FDA ever saying that everybody should switch to margarine. I also don't recall them ever saying that margarine would reduce anybody's cholesterol levels.

I do remember someone (might not have been the FDA though) saying we should reduce consumption of all fats, especially any that are not liquid at room temperature.

Quote
Comfort foods aren't supposed to be good for you...that's why you're not supposed to eat 9 boxes of them a day. Moderation ... It really is that bloody simple.

I don't recall the typical child's lunch of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich being considered a comfort food. But the vegetable shortening and its transfats are in the peanut butter. And it's in and on the pancakes, french toast, scrambled eggs, "buttered" rolls, toast, bagels, etc. if you are cooking them with margarine or spreading margarine on them.

And the lower your income, the more of it you consume, as you are less likely to be able to afford real butter, or afford the ingredients to make things like macaroni & cheese from scratch (yes, it has been in the little blue box of macaroni & cheese for decades), contributing to the higher rates of heart disease among the poor. The less money you have, the more likely you are to be consuming a diet way too high in transfats, sodium, and HFCs, and it's not because you are consuming comfort foods...it's because everything cheap comes from a can, jar, or box overloaded with this crap. (What do people donate to the food drives for the poor? Have you read the ingredient labels of all that cheap non-perishable stuff?)

Why should everyone in my family die of heart disease, high blood pressure, or diabetes.... so you can have your occasional comfort foods?

rgdot

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Re: Your tax dollars at work: Now FDA proposes to ban a brand of cookie?
« Reply #18 on: November 25, 2013, 03:49:49 PM »
The attitude that because I know this and that is bad (or not) means that not only everyone should know too but they should have the means and opportunity to make better choices is all too prevalent.
Goes back to the heart of my argument that people like to blame the institutions of government that provide a service without acknowledging why they exist. All the while pretending corrupt president X and congressman Y = services are bad, not needed, etc.

40hz

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Re: Your tax dollars at work: Now FDA proposes to ban a brand of cookie?
« Reply #19 on: November 25, 2013, 04:59:03 PM »
It's still impossible to legislate individual responsibility in any meaningful way. :huh:

You'd think we'd have figured that much out by now. :-\

rgdot

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Re: Your tax dollars at work: Now FDA proposes to ban a brand of cookie?
« Reply #20 on: November 25, 2013, 05:08:44 PM »
What is the responsibility here?
If I know processed meat is bad for me, researched and told by government panel or even not, but can't afford to buy non-processed/organic everybody should remain silent about it until the end of time? Will the company producing the processed version do me the favor without a push?

40hz

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Re: Your tax dollars at work: Now FDA proposes to ban a brand of cookie?
« Reply #21 on: November 25, 2013, 07:48:36 PM »
^That's not what I'm saying.  :)

app103

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Re: Your tax dollars at work: Now FDA proposes to ban a brand of cookie?
« Reply #22 on: November 25, 2013, 07:53:23 PM »
What is the responsibility here?
If I know processed meat is bad for me, researched and told by government panel or even not, but can't afford to buy non-processed/organic everybody should remain silent about it until the end of time? Will the company producing the processed version do me the favor without a push?

Exactly! Food shopping in a modern supermarket is like trying to navigate a mine field. And it's an all day event, where you need to be well educated and read every label. And even things that should be good for you, like fresh fruits and vegetables aren't safe...loaded with unknown pesticides and preservatives, and no labels to tell you about it. And if you are educated and know what to avoid, you'll need a lot more money than you thought to avoid taking home a grocery bag full of mines.

Have you even heard of a chemical called Daminozide (aka Alar), that was once approved for use on apples, cherries, peaches, pears, Concord grapes, tomato transplants and peanut vines? It causes cancer.


How much of that stuff did you eat between 1963 and 1989? How much did you feed to your kids? How much more would you have eaten since then, if it wasn't banned?

Quote
In 1985, concern developed in the U.S. public over the use of Alar on apples, over fears that the residues of the chemical detected in apple juice and applesauce might harm people. The outcry led some manufacturers and supermarket chains to announce they would not accept Alar-treated apples.

The Natural Resources Defense Council had for years urged the EPA to ban daminozide and in a 1989 report, largely using the government's own figures, they reported that on the basis of a two-year peer reviewed study children were at "intolerable risk" from a wide variety of potentially lethal chemicals, including daminozide, that they ingest in legally permissible quantity. By their estimate "the average pre-schooler's exposure was estimated to result in a cancer risk 240 times greater than the cancer risk considered acceptable by E.P.A. following a full lifetime of exposure."[4]

In February, 1989 there was a broadcast by CBS's 60 Minutes highlighting a report by the Natural Resources Defense Council highlighting problems with Alar (daminozide).

This followed years of background work. According to Environmental Working Group:

    Prior to 1989, five separate, peer-reviewed studies of Alar and its chemical breakdown product, unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine (UDMH), had found a correlation between exposure to the chemicals and cancerous tumors in lab animals. In 1984 and again in 1987, the EPA classified Alar as a probable human carcinogen. In 1986, the American Academy of Pediatrics urged the EPA to ban it. Well before the 60 Minutes broadcast, public concern had already led six national grocery chains and nine major food processors to stop accepting apples treated with Alar. Washington State growers had pledged to voluntarily stop using it (although tests later revealed that many did not). Maine and Massachusetts had banned it outright.[5]

In 1989, following the CBS broadcast, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) decided to ban Alar on the grounds that "long-term exposure" posed "unacceptable risks to public health." However before the EPA's preliminary decision to ban all food uses of Alar went into effect, Uniroyal, the sole manufacturer of Alar, agreed in June 1989 to halt voluntarily all domestic sales of Alar for food uses.[6]


And the manufacturer of the chemical and all the growers using it cried about it when the ban was proposed, just like the bakers are crying now about the idea of removing the artificial transfats from the products they produce.

Quote
Apple growers in Washington filed a libel suit against CBS, NRDC and Fenton Communications, claiming the scare cost them $100 million.

Boo hoo! Cry me a river! Just get the poisons out of my food while you are doing it. Because I don't deserve to be poisoned for profit. Nobody does.


rgdot

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Re: Your tax dollars at work: Now FDA proposes to ban a brand of cookie?
« Reply #23 on: November 25, 2013, 10:13:45 PM »
^That's not what I'm saying.  :)

You don't want it to be legislated or regulated by a gov? I don't want billion pages of legislation on the books either but alternatives like self-education are never enough because the means don't exist in enough cases.

J-Mac

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Re: Your tax dollars at work: Now FDA proposes to ban a brand of cookie?
« Reply #24 on: November 29, 2013, 09:52:19 AM »
Sounding more and more like a candidate for the Basement.    :)