Page images

Further, it appears that Dr. Risok initially urged the rovlev of the guidelines by the FDB because we la ARS recognise the Board us the ultimato source of national nutrition guider Bloes, wit (THB) represents the one toru of scientific opinion La the area of autrition which carries authority and credibility.' . Apparently, Dr. Risak nevar pavored in his opinion that the review could bast be done by the TNB, In his January 16, 1978 nemo to Administrator Bdoniaster, be says, *Intonation obtained from another source would not carry the authority and credibility of Loformation coming from TIB, the country's leading authority on dietary standards." Your packet of material does not contain any information as to way the views of Dr. Risak, a respected authority in his ova right, vant unbroded. What are those masons?

I would also point out that in his testimony before the Domestic Marketing, Consumer Relations, and Wutrition Subcommitte. on June 18, 1980, Jamas Purnor, Chairman of the consumar Liaison Panel of the PNB, included a copy of a letter dated February 10, 1978, from Karan W. Seaton, Secretary of the Panol, to Dr. Nad D. Bayley, Statt Assistant to the Secretary, in which the panel's suggestions concerning mechanism for consumer lavolvement in an THB study of the Dietary Goals were set forth. Mr. Turner also referenced a letter of June 11, 1980, to Dr. Philip Handler in which 1. Turner indicated that la rabruary 1978 when Dsda vas considering avarding the contract to the rub. to review the Dietary Goals, the consumer Liaison Panol wrote to USDA officials noting that several FNB members had repeatedly expressed hostiilty toward the goals and urged that the contract be cancelled unless five criteria vero mat to ussure objectivity to the PNB', sotsoas. I nference these two lottars because they appear to indicate ther, an additional materials which should have been lacluded pursuant to my request.

I respectfully request that you make a further check of USDA records to determine if additional matarial, niglat be found.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

Thank you for your letter of August 20, 1980. As a result of
your letter, we have researched our files and have located the
correspondence between Ms. Karen Seaton and Dr. Ned Bayley to
which you referred. We will continue to look for any additional
correspondence related to this matter as we review the events of
late 1977 and early 1978, and if any are uncovered, we will,
of course, immediately send them to you.

[blocks in formation]

611 Boston Avenue
Takoma Park, Maryland 20012
February 10, 1978

Dr. Ned D. Bayley
Staff Assistant
Office of the Secretary
Administration Building, Room 307A
United States Department of Agriculture
Washington, D.C. 20250

Dear Dr. Bayley:

As per our phone conversation today, the Consumer Liaison Panel is pleased to send its suggestions concerning mechanisms for consumer involvement in a Food and Nutrition Board study of the Dictary Goals. These might be incorporated into a contract between the Board and U.S.D.A. to guarantee public participation in such a study. Our suggestions are based on the assumption that a steering committee and study panels will be organized; we have not had the opportunity to see the proposal. Here are examples of what we think a contract should include:

1. A provision for a broad representation of disciplines on study

panels such as food economics, epidemiology, public health
nutrition, and nutrition anthropology;


For every individual on the food and Nutrition Board who has taken a public position against the Goals, they should be balanced by the addition of another individual who has taken a position in favor of the Goals;


It should be assured that a consumer representative will be on the steering committee and each of the study panels;

4. There should be a provision for a minority report; and


At least one third of the members for the steering committee
and study panels should be selected from a list approved by the
Consumer Liaison Panel.

of the Consumer Liaison Panel can be of further assistance, please let me know:


Kaun to Seaton

Karen W. Scaton
Consumer Liaison Panel

February 24, 1978

Ms. Karan N. Soaton
Consumer Liaison Panel
611 Boston Avonuo
Takoma Park, Maryland 20012

Doar Ms. Seaton:

ii I appreciated receiving the statemont regarding the suggostions for consumer involvomont in a study on Dictary Goals. Aftor careful consideration wo have decided to colay any further action on a possible contract with tho National Acauery of Sciences until we have been ablo to dovolop satisfactory mechanisms for colisupers to be involved in any deliborations the Department hay undertake regarding the Dietary Goals as well as other nutrition policies. Ne certainly appreciate your interest and initiative in bringing these suggestions to us.



Staff Assistant

SEC:NDBayley: vhw



Fat, Cholesterol and Free Scientific Inquiry

[ocr errors]

To the Editor:

The vehement and emotional reac.
lion of the edliorial stall of The New
York Times to the publication "To
ward Healthful Diets," which was
released last week by the Food and
Nutrition Board of the National Re-
search Council/National Academy of
Sciences, verges on the hysterical.

The board had the temerity to con-
clude thal, because the scientific evt.
dence was inadequate, It could not pro
pose a general recommendation con-
cering consumption of cholesterol for
the U.S. population as a whole. Both
the American Medical Association and
the Canadian Health Protection
Branch reached this conclusion three
years ago. The board also concluded
that it was inappropriate to make a
general recommendation concerning
lat consumption for the publicat
large. It suggested Instead that recom.
'mendations with regard to fat con.
sumption should be made specifically
for dillerent age and population

A June 3 editorial condemned the
board for not endorsing the view that a
recommendation to reduce consump
tion of cholesteml and fat is an appro
priate public policy action for lowering
the incidence of chronic degenerative
diseases. Has the board been sub-
jected to this coercive attack because

it has had the elfrontery lo disagree
wille Ilze established opinions of the
editors? Are we to assume that The
Times does not condone dillerences of
scientific opinion?

Discovery of new scientific knowl.
edge depends upon the freedom of
scientists to pvaluare as critically as
possible the assumptions and conclu.
sions of their colleagues. This is the es.
sence of the scientific method. Ellorts
have been made in the past to curtail
this freedom when scienuific findings
have not conformed with widely ac.
cepied beliels or established policies.
Progress in genetics was severely re.
larded in the U.S.S.R. when scientific
findings were expected to support
political philosophy and research
funds were distributed in such a way
as to accomplish this objective.

It is a devastating commentary on
the attitude toward freedom of scien.
tific inquiry in this country when an
assessment of nutrition information is
condemned by a major newspaper be.
cause it does not conform with recom.
mendations made by other groups. Im-
pugning by innuendo the integrity of
some Food and Nutrition Board mem.
bers is an equally devastating com.
mentary on attitudes toward freedom
of inquiry and freedom of expression./

It is a responsibility of scientists to evaluate as critically as possible infor.

mation that may be used as the basis
for establishing public policy, regard
less of the coercion that may be ex.
erted to inhibit such efforts. It is a ta
'sponsibility of the communications
media to provide the public with as ob
jective and unbiased an analysis of the
news as is possible.

In moments when I reflect on the
emotional and vituperative reaction to
the board's report, I recall that after
the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands
in World War II the Dutch Medical As
sociation was asked to add only a few
words to the oath required of physi-
cians: Their obligation to "restore the
individual to health" was to become an
obligation to "restore the individual to
health and the ability to work." They
recognized the implications of this te
quest and that acceptance of it would
destroy their integrity. They refused
and were persecuted.

I hope that future Food and Nutri.
tion Boards will resist efforts to coerce
them into conformity and will stand
firm against attacks on their integrity
by powerful representatives of the
press. (Prof.) ALFRED E. HARPER

Departments of Biochemistry

and Nutritional Sciences
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Madison, Wis., June 5, 1980
The writer is chairman of the food
and Nutrition Board.

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »