April 23, 2005
United States Department of Agribusiness?
Posted by Christine Hurt

This morning, I decided to go look at MyPyramid.  I wanted to respond to the question of whether the government should be spending money building a new pyramid, so I thought I should check it out.  Yesterday, I heard Matt Lauer ask a guest whether the new pyramid was enough, and he implied that the government should be doing more to get information to the public on health and obesity.  I was not sure I agreed.  I would support the expenditure if I believed that the U.S. government was the only organization that could be trusted to give unbiased, true information on nutrition.

So, I typed in www.mypyramid.org.  The site looks official, and had me for almost five minutes.  When I imput my age/weight/activity level, I was taken to a page called "Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine."  That page had headlines that touted stories that children don't need milk and meat causes cancer.  Hmmm.  I couldn't imagine that the U.S. government would sponsor this site.  So, I went back to the main page and saw that the banner read "United States Department of Agribusiness."  The USDA logo was exactly like the official logo.  I clicked "About."  There, I finally clued in on the "Agribusiness" part of USDA when the mission statement talked of designing nutritional guidelines that promote the health and well-being of U.S. agribusinesses such as the dairy industry and the beef industry.  I guess others are skeptical of USDA nutritional guidelines!

So, the true site is www.mypyramid.gov.  It looks exactly like the fake ".org" site.  The plan it spit out for me seemed reasonable, although I noticed it gave few substitutes for milk, although there are plenty.

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