History of Food Fraud

MP900432821The Battlefront for Better Nutrition
Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research, July 15, 1950

Yes, there is a battle going on between those who are trying to promote better nutrition, and the food manufacturers who insist on making products “worse so that they can be sold for less,” thereby eliminating the competition of more honest and self-respecting producers who would prefer to apply in business the Golden Rule.

These commercial interests have the United States Government on their side, ever since they ousted Dr. Harvey W. Wiley from his job as head of the Food & Drug Administration in 1912. The present head of the Food & Drug Division of Nutrition, Dr. Elmer M. Nelson in a special Constitutional Court in Washington last October testified that: “It is wholly unscientific to state that a well fed body is more able to resist disease than a less well-fed body. My overall opinion is that there hasn’t been enough experimentation to prove dietary deficiencies make one more susceptible to disease.” (Washington Post, October 26, 1949.)

This is nothing new for Dr. Nelson. Ten years ago he, with his group of experts, testified in a similar court, that neither degenerative disease, infectious disease, nor functional disease could result from any nutritional deficiency.

For all these years, he has battled for the maker of devitalized foods, tried to stem the tide of public opinion against the use of white flour, refined sugar, pasteurized milk and imitation butter by vigorous prosecution of any maker of any dietary supplement designed to abate the consequences of using such devitalized food, basing his arguments on the thesis that there were no such things as deficiency diseases.

Truly, as Dr. Wiley sadly remarked in his book The History of a Crime Against the Pure Food Law (1930) the makers of unfit foods have taken possession of Food & Drug enforcement, and have reversed the effect of the law, protecting the criminals that adulterate foods, instead of protecting the public health.

Truth Suppressed

Books that have told the story are being suppressed by the use of the copyright law. This includes Dr. Wiley’s book, and the three wonderful books by Alfred McCann (The Science ofEating, The Science of Keeping Young, and StarvingAmerica). Since the death of their authors, there have been changes in the copyright ownership and complete suppression has followed.

In 1949, for the first time in history, Dr. Nelson’s efforts failed to impress the Federal judges sitting in the case. The defendant in this case obtained a permanent injunction against the Food & Drug Administration from any further interference into his business.

This may well be the turning point in the battle against food adulteration. In the past, defendants have been found guilty of violation of the “law”, and fined the limit for daring to assume in their advertising that nutritional deficiency could cause any kind of disease whatever. (For without “functional” changes, there is no evidence of any disease).

Even the Federal Trade Commission has been called in to help protect adulterators. It has issued orders stopping health food exponents and lecturers from intimating that aluminum compounds in foods may be harmful, apparently to protect the makers of aluminum containing baking powders, and makers of aluminum cooking utensils. You may not know that it is impossible to legally get a court review of the arbitrary and despotic orders of the Federal Trade Commission. It has the same complete and absolute power that any totalitarian despot ever had. In the baking powder dispute, the testimony of the defendant who was opposed to alum in foods, and his expert pathologists was so damning to aluminum that it has been apparently suppressed, participants who had copies of the proceedings were warned not to publish them under penalty of jail sentences. This is docket 540, the Averill Report on Aluminum as a Cause of Cancer.

The Federal Trade Commission has also issued orders to makers of natural foods prohibiting them from claiming that natural food factors are superior to synthetic imitations. The penalty for violation of such orders is a ten thousand dollar fine for each and every violation. So you will not be hearing much in the way of sales arguments from makers of better food products where they compete with synthetic substitutes.



  1. Have you noticed any changes? One by one we educate and live and support REAL food consumption. Taking our dollars with us will bring change.

  2. I think that we can definitely encourage very enthusiastically what Sharlene does when you walk in her office and see the clever sign stating that REAL Food does not come from a can or a box. I am going to find one for myself! People are waking up to this fact a little more every day. The steadily rising levels of many different and even new diseases are definitely proving Mr. Nelson to be extremely wrong.

  3. The sign in my office was made by my husband – a gift for my office. Thank you Dawn!

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