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New York Times, PCRM Expose USDA's Marketing of High-Fat Dairy Products

A PCRM legal petition recently provided support to the New York Times exposé on Dairy Management, a government-created organization that partners with fast-food chains to market high-fat, cheese-laden foods.

overweight boy eating cheesey pizzaDairy Management, a creation of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is spending millions of dollars working with fast-food chains to develop and market items such as cheese-loaded pizzas and quesadillas that can contain as much or more than the maximum recommended amount of saturated fat.

“If you want to look at why people are fat today, it’s pretty hard to identify a contributor more significant than this meteoric rise in cheese consumption,” PCRM president Neal Barnard, M.D., told The New York Times.

Americans ate nine times more cheese in 2007 than they did in 1909, according to a review by Dr. Barnard that was recently published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Cheese and other dairy products contribute significant amounts of cholesterol and saturated fat to the diet and contribute to the nation’s obesity epidemic and related chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

Dairy Management was also behind the misleading claims made in the “Milk Your Diet. Lose Weight” and “3-A-Day. Burn More Fat, Lose Weight” promotions. As noted in The New York Times article, PCRM petitioned the Federal Trade Commission in 2005 to stop the two advertising campaigns overseen by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. PCRM charged that the dairy industry used false and misleading advertising to suggest that consuming milk and other dairy products causes weight loss. In response to PCRM’s petition, the USDA agreed to discontinue all advertising and other marketing activities involving weight-loss claims in 2007.

But Dairy Management isn’t the only vehicle the government uses to clog America’s arteries with unhealthy dairy products.

In 2012, the Farm Bill will be up for congressional review. This federal legislation provides billions of dollars in subsidies, much of which goes to huge agribusinesses producing feed crops, which are then fed to animals. By funding these crops, the government supports the production of dairy products. The government then purchases surplus foods like cheese and milk for distribution to food assistance programs. The government is not required to purchase nutritious foods.

To learn more about the dangers of dairy products, visit


PCRM Online, December 2010

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