• What Americans eat is making us sick on a staggering scale, but judging by federal investment in nutrition research, Washington doesn’t seem to care.

    Diet-related illnesses like obesity, Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure are on the rise while heart disease remains the leading cause of death. Treating these intertwined epidemics is a top driver of ballooning U.S. health care costs.

    But even in an increasingly health-conscious America, the federal government has devoted only a tiny fraction of its research dollars to nutrition, a level that has not kept pace with the worsening crisis of diet-related diseases.

    Studying the relationship between diet and health is such an afterthought that Washington doesn’t even bother tracking the total amount spent each year.

    A POLITICO review of federal budget documents reveals that at the National Institutes of Health and the Agriculture Department — the two agencies that fund the majority of government-backed nutrition science — the share of research dollars devoted to nutrition has stayed largely flat for at least three decades, and pales in comparison to many other areas of research....

    Nutrition science has become such a low priority at NIH that the agency earlier this year proposed closing the only facility on its campus for highly controlled nutrition studies — a plan that is on hold after pushback from outside groups.

    “In so many areas [of health], things get better over time,” said Jerold Mande, a professor at Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, who worked at USDA and the Food and Drug Administration during Democratic administrations. “But nutrition has gotten so much worse.”

    Dozens of interviews with current and former NIH and USDA officials and nutrition researchers indicated that a leadership failure across multiple administrations, Republican and Democratic, has led to no national strategy for nutrition research and little coordination among federal agencies.

    #FoodCrisis #Health #FDA #USDA #nutrition #obesity #diabetes #lobbying #revolvingdoor
    What Americans eat is making us sick on a staggering scale, but judging by federal investment in nutrition research, Washington doesn’t seem to care. Diet-related illnesses like obesity, Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure are on the rise while heart disease remains the leading cause of death. Treating these intertwined epidemics is a top driver of ballooning U.S. health care costs. But even in an increasingly health-conscious America, the federal government has devoted only a tiny fraction of its research dollars to nutrition, a level that has not kept pace with the worsening crisis of diet-related diseases. Studying the relationship between diet and health is such an afterthought that Washington doesn’t even bother tracking the total amount spent each year. A POLITICO review of federal budget documents reveals that at the National Institutes of Health and the Agriculture Department — the two agencies that fund the majority of government-backed nutrition science — the share of research dollars devoted to nutrition has stayed largely flat for at least three decades, and pales in comparison to many other areas of research.... Nutrition science has become such a low priority at NIH that the agency earlier this year proposed closing the only facility on its campus for highly controlled nutrition studies — a plan that is on hold after pushback from outside groups. “In so many areas [of health], things get better over time,” said Jerold Mande, a professor at Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, who worked at USDA and the Food and Drug Administration during Democratic administrations. “But nutrition has gotten so much worse.” Dozens of interviews with current and former NIH and USDA officials and nutrition researchers indicated that a leadership failure across multiple administrations, Republican and Democratic, has led to no national strategy for nutrition research and little coordination among federal agencies. #FoodCrisis #Health #FDA #USDA #nutrition #obesity #diabetes #lobbying #revolvingdoor
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  • When auctioning offshore drilling rights to oil and gas companies, the Interior Department is supposed to reject bids that are lower than its own estimates of what the drilling rights are worth.

    Instead, when bids come in lower than Interior’s valuations, Interior often lowers its valuations and then accepts the bids on the basis of the altered valuations, a new study by a federal watchdog found.

    The Interior Department “could be forgoing hundreds of millions of dollars” in auction revenue “by accepting bids that are too low,” the study found.

    The report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), an investigative arm of Congress, paints a picture of the Interior Department bending over backwards to award drilling rights to energy companies.

    The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) spotlighted some of that conduct...

    #POGO #GAO #InteriorDepartment #NaturalResources #Lobbying #RevolvingDoor #CampaignFinance #PoliticalBribery #FossilFuel #Oil
    When auctioning offshore drilling rights to oil and gas companies, the Interior Department is supposed to reject bids that are lower than its own estimates of what the drilling rights are worth. Instead, when bids come in lower than Interior’s valuations, Interior often lowers its valuations and then accepts the bids on the basis of the altered valuations, a new study by a federal watchdog found. The Interior Department “could be forgoing hundreds of millions of dollars” in auction revenue “by accepting bids that are too low,” the study found. The report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), an investigative arm of Congress, paints a picture of the Interior Department bending over backwards to award drilling rights to energy companies. The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) spotlighted some of that conduct... #POGO #GAO #InteriorDepartment #NaturalResources #Lobbying #RevolvingDoor #CampaignFinance #PoliticalBribery #FossilFuel #Oil
    Report: Interior Gives Oil Companies Discounts on Drilling Rights
    The Interior Department has been awarding offshore drilling rights to oil and gas companies for less money than it initially estimates they are worth, a GAO study found.
    WWW.POGO.ORG
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  • We must close the revolving door. We’ve got to close the legal loopholes that give special interests so much influence and take away the people’s voice…

    #RevolvingDoor #Lobbying #PoliticalBribery

    #Tulsi2020 #TulsiGabbard
    We must close the revolving door. We’ve got to close the legal loopholes that give special interests so much influence and take away the people’s voice… #RevolvingDoor #Lobbying #PoliticalBribery #Tulsi2020 #TulsiGabbard
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  • The rule included provisions that FOIA advocates fear could give political appointees more control of responses to open records requests and new authority to withhold information—problems that could have been raised and corrected in a public comment process.

    The contradictory statements in the EPA’s response have implications for environmental groups’ suit against the EPA, likely strengthening their claim that the agency’s rulemaking process violated the law.

    #EPA #FOIA #Pollution #FossilFuel #Lobbying #RevolvingDoor

    The rule included provisions that FOIA advocates fear could give political appointees more control of responses to open records requests and new authority to withhold information—problems that could have been raised and corrected in a public comment process. The contradictory statements in the EPA’s response have implications for environmental groups’ suit against the EPA, likely strengthening their claim that the agency’s rulemaking process violated the law. #EPA #FOIA #Pollution #FossilFuel #Lobbying #RevolvingDoor
    EPA Contradicts Its Own Statements on FOIA Rule
    The EPA has tried to rush a Freedom of Information rule into place with no opportunity for public notice and comment, but its latest letter to Congress undercuts its previous arguments and proves the rule should receive public review.
    WWW.POGO.ORG
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  • Accounting Fraud isn't just a shocking Military Spending crisis, it is now endemic throughout the entire economy! Auditing fraud is rampant at the Big Four accounting firms (Deloitte, KPMG, Ernst & Young, and PricewaterhouseCoopers), which inspect the books of 99 percent of all large companies in America.... The consequences of this chaos could encourage systemic corporate fraud and a collapse of confidence in the stock market. Simply put, PCAOB is the board you didn’t know you needed to know about.

    BROUGHT INTO EXISTENCE by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in 2002, PCAOB was created as a quasi-public, quasi-private agency, monitoring what at the time seemed like a broken auditing industry. All publicly traded companies must submit financial records for independent review, and in the Enron era, those audits failed to catch (and in a few cases abetted) massive accounting fraud. “PCAOB was supposed to address two things: the underlying fraud in the system, and that the market no longer trusted the books of these companies,” says Graham Steele, who worked on PCAOB legislation in the Senate Banking Committee and now directs the Corporations and Society Initiative at Stanford Graduate School of Business.

    The Big Four accounting firms also all consult for the same corporations, giving them incentives to keep companies happy while performing allegedly independent examinations. PCAOB was supposed to keep them honest through specialized scrutiny and enforcement. It’s self-funded through corporate fees.

    #Fraud #PeakCorruption #EconomicReform #StockMarket #PCAOB #SEC #Deloitte #KPMG #ErnstYoung #PricewaterhouseCoopers #News #RevolvingDoor #Lobbying
    Accounting Fraud isn't just a shocking Military Spending crisis, it is now endemic throughout the entire economy! Auditing fraud is rampant at the Big Four accounting firms (Deloitte, KPMG, Ernst & Young, and PricewaterhouseCoopers), which inspect the books of 99 percent of all large companies in America.... The consequences of this chaos could encourage systemic corporate fraud and a collapse of confidence in the stock market. Simply put, PCAOB is the board you didn’t know you needed to know about. BROUGHT INTO EXISTENCE by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in 2002, PCAOB was created as a quasi-public, quasi-private agency, monitoring what at the time seemed like a broken auditing industry. All publicly traded companies must submit financial records for independent review, and in the Enron era, those audits failed to catch (and in a few cases abetted) massive accounting fraud. “PCAOB was supposed to address two things: the underlying fraud in the system, and that the market no longer trusted the books of these companies,” says Graham Steele, who worked on PCAOB legislation in the Senate Banking Committee and now directs the Corporations and Society Initiative at Stanford Graduate School of Business. The Big Four accounting firms also all consult for the same corporations, giving them incentives to keep companies happy while performing allegedly independent examinations. PCAOB was supposed to keep them honest through specialized scrutiny and enforcement. It’s self-funded through corporate fees. #Fraud #PeakCorruption #EconomicReform #StockMarket #PCAOB #SEC #Deloitte #KPMG #ErnstYoung #PricewaterhouseCoopers #News #RevolvingDoor #Lobbying
    When the Watchers’ Watchers Look the Other Way
    The board charged with overseeing the firms that audit corporations has become a cushy landing place for Republican politicos averse to enforcing its rules.
    PROSPECT.ORG
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  • the organization that runs our nation’s largest wholesale electricity market may keep secret how it spends millions of Americans’ utility-bill dollars on lobbying and political contributions.

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, ostensibly independent, slapped down a complaint by a watchdog group known as Public Citizen. The watchdog wanted PJM Interconnection to disclose spending.

    “We will not require PJM to itemize and disclose all political-related spending and deny the complaint on this issue,” commissioners wrote.

    PJM gave at least $456,500 to the Democratic Governors Association and the Republican Governors Association from October 2007 to August 2017, according to Public Citizen’s complaint.

    Such donations, said Public Citizen, are “the wild, wild West of campaign finance” because they aren’t limited by state or federal rules and can be used to funnel large amounts of money to candidates for office.

    #Energy #RevolvingDoor #FossilFuel #News #CampaignFinance #Lobbying

    the organization that runs our nation’s largest wholesale electricity market may keep secret how it spends millions of Americans’ utility-bill dollars on lobbying and political contributions. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, ostensibly independent, slapped down a complaint by a watchdog group known as Public Citizen. The watchdog wanted PJM Interconnection to disclose spending. “We will not require PJM to itemize and disclose all political-related spending and deny the complaint on this issue,” commissioners wrote. PJM gave at least $456,500 to the Democratic Governors Association and the Republican Governors Association from October 2007 to August 2017, according to Public Citizen’s complaint. Such donations, said Public Citizen, are “the wild, wild West of campaign finance” because they aren’t limited by state or federal rules and can be used to funnel large amounts of money to candidates for office. #Energy #RevolvingDoor #FossilFuel #News #CampaignFinance #Lobbying
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