Friday, February 22, 2013
WHO IS THE SPOKESPERSON FOR THE NATION'S PUBLIC HEALTH?
Mark Bittman in THE NEW YORK TIMES Feb. 20, 2013 OUR M.I.A. SURGEON GENERAL
Six years ago, three former surgeons general — Richard Carmona (who served under the second President Bush), David Satcher (who spanned the Clinton-Bush years), and Koop (who was appointed by Ronald Reagan) — appeared before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and declared, in Carmona’s words, that the scientific information that they wanted to bring to the American people was being vetted and censored for political reasons, and that he was “often instructed on what to say and not to say.”
“We felt,” Carmona told me last week, “that science was being politicized. And if the surgeon general is not empowered to state the nonpartisan case based on the best science, then who will?”
Good question. Because it’s the surgeon general’s job — or should be — to evaluate science and present a considered, impartial recommendation. (Carmona thinks a “State of the Nation’s Health” should be a required annual report, like the State of the Union.) Lacking that, there is no official and identifiable spokesperson for the nation’s public health, and the obfuscation and confusion sown by Big Food, along with its outright lies and lobbying might, has created a situation in which no one in power will speak the truth: that our diet is making us sick, causing millions of premature deaths each year and driving health care costs through the roof.
Read the full article here - http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/author/mark-bittman/