I’m not going to suggest you run for President. We’ve got important fish to fry in 2018. I’m not going to suggest you run for Congress either. But I am going to ask you for some help.
This year is a Farm Bill year. This huge piece of legislation is up for renewal every 5 years and impacts everything we eat. Most folks are completely unaware of it. In our corrupt system, corporate lobbyists have way too big a say in writing this bill every time.
Oprah, millions have followed your journey on food and health for so many years on your TV shows. Including the time in 1998 when the beef industry took you on for your disparaging remarks. You won that case!
Oprah what if you took on one piece of the farm bill that impacts everyone’s health. Big Sugar. They are a rogue group with a shady history. Every year $2 billion dollars of our taxes go towards sugar subsidies. Yet kale, broccoli and other veggies are considered “specialty crops”, they get zero subsidy dollars. What if you used your wealth and influence to get the word out and lead a campaign to demand a halt to sugar subsidies? It would be a great way for your feet wet in government affairs.
As the New York Times reports:
Today, the sugar industry remains politically powerful, with consequences for both public health and the environment. The Miami Herald reported this summer, for example, that the industry contributed $57 million to Florida elections in the last 22 years; meanwhile, state officials have resisted efforts to make sugar companies pay for their damage to the Everglades.
If we are to ever truly have a democracy, we need to stop lobbyists from writing our laws. Big Sugar isn’t the only one out there sweet talking our elected representatives, but they are certainly low hanging fruit. With each passing day, more and more folks are understanding that sugar is not their friend. It’s not just tooth decay from all those sugary drinks and sweets. Heart disease, diabetes, memory issues, cancer and much more are also impacted by this crystalline white substance.
Why is our government complicit with this addictive, toxic ingredient?
The FDA gives sugar a GRAS rating- Generally Regarded as Safe. Why not team up with a fellow sugar fighter pediatric endocrinologist, Dr. Robert Lustig and create a campaign to get the truth out about this ingredient? People would listen to you, you’re Oprah!
“The only method for dealing with this is a public health intervention,” Lustig said in an interview. “Everyone talks about personal responsibility, and that won’t work here, as it won’t for any addictive substance. These are things that have to be done at a governmental level, and government has to get off its ass.”
Presidents and First Ladies, have been powerless fight the food lobbies from the White House. We all watched how “Let’s Move” was unable to take on the food industry to create much needed change. The best of intentions turned into sweet little baby steps, with an emphasis on movement once the GMA (Grocery Manufacturers Association) got their tentacles on it. Same with Bill Clinton’s Alliance for a Healthier Generation deal with the American Beverage Association that sadly just swapped out sodas in schools for sweetened sports drinks and silly vitamin water beverages. Just ask any dentist how that one is working out, decay rates in our kids continue to climb.
Don’t run for president, Oprah. Help us fix the farm bill. This is the year to do it.