I’m itching to say that face-to-face to anyone from the wheat industry–agribusiness, baking, retail distribution . . . anybody. Because it’s obvious; it’s written on the face . . . and belly, and brain, and knees, and hips. And I believe I will soon have the opportunity.
Taking such a controversial stand in my new book, Wheat Belly, i.e., that wheat products, whole or refined, have NO ROLE IN THE HUMAN DIET whatsoever, was bound to provoke criticism and counterattacks. The wheat world has already taken a blow to the chin with the growing popularity of the (misguided) gluten-free movement and they’re going to have to get into the business of media damage control.
Take a look at this press release from the Grain Foods Foundation:
RIDGWAY, COLO. — The Grain Foods Foundation has unveiled plans to counter media publicity attracted by “Wheat Belly.”
“Mullen, working with key members of the Grain Foods Foundation’s scientific advisory board, is addressing ‘Wheat Belly’ through proactive media outreach and its ongoing rapid response program,” said Ashley Reynolds, a Mullen account executive. “In particular, the public relations team will be contacting health and nutrition reporters at print and on-line media outlets, as well as editors at major women’s magazines to influence any diet-related stories that may be published in the coming months.”
. . . Ms. Reynolds, a registered dietitian, noted the author relies on anecdotal observations rather than scientific studies; wheat elimination “means missing out on a wealth of essential nutrients;” six servings of grain-based foods are recommended daily in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans; healthy weight loss depends on energy balance rather than elimination of specific foods; and elimination of wheat products makes sense only for those with medical diagnoses such as celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.
She said the group will lean on its scientific advisory board members to “discredit the book and ensure our messages are backed by sound science. “
Here’s some of their starting salvos on their Six Servings Blog.
This reminds me of the fight with Big Tobacco in the ’70s: “No, sir, we in the tobacco industry know of no research demonstrating that smoking is bad for health,” complete with shots of tobacco executives puffing away on cigarettes.
So brace yourself for a fight. These people are protecting a multi-billion dollar franchise, not to mention their livelihoods and incomes. It could get ugly.
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