Remembering Kevin Moore

Jimmy Moore’s July 2010 Testimony Before The USDA Regarding The 2010 Dietary Guidelines

It was nearly one year ago that I decided to make my way to Washington, DC as a citizen health activist to testify before the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) about the 2010 Dietary Guidelines that were being formulated by a group of respected scientists and governmental bureaucrats about the best diet for Americans ostensibly to consume for optimal weight and health. When the final version of those nutritional recommendations were released to the public at the end of January 2011, though, nothing much had really changed: it’s still pushing a whole grains-based high-carb, low-fat diet virtually devoid of cholesterol, salt and saturated fats while encouraging people to create a caloric balance, eating lots of fruits and vegetables, soy and vegetable oils, and increasing their physical activity. They’ve since gone one step further in an attempt to simplify the message with the recent release of the much-heralded Food Plate replace the old Food Pyramid (listen to what real low-carbers think about this). All in all, it’s just what we’d expect from a governmental group dedicated to the promotion and marketing of AGRICULTURE!

But despite the disappointing results from the 2010 Dietary Guidelines (and I have some BIG NEWS to share soon about some rather interesting comments made by one of the former members of the Scientific Advisory Board regarding these final recommendations during a recent speech), I think the large turnout of pro-low-carb, high-fat voices that testified before the USDA left quite an impression. They now know the gig is up and they cannot pretend to hide behind the notion that the Dietary Guidelines is based on ALL the latest science when they blatantly and I dare say deliberately ignore the studies showing saturated fat is not as harmful as we’ve been led to believe and that carbohydrate is a much bigger villain in obesity, diabetes, heart disease and more. The USDA minions may think “the evidence is just not there” regarding low-carb nutrition improving health, but we’ve seen the studies pouring in at breakneck speed over the past few years (including this one just released today published in the journal Cancer Research that found a low-carb diet may reduce the risk of cancer and slow tumor growth).

It was an honor standing alongside like-minded supporters such as low-carb researcher Dr. Jeff Volek from the University of Connecticut, Nutrition & Metabolism Society Founder and President Dr. Richard Feinman, doctorate nutrition student Adele Hite, Sally Fallon from The Weston A. Price Foundation, the co-author of The Silver Cloud Diet Linda Eckhardt, and many more at this very formal meeting that featured more lobbyists on behalf of special interests ranging from sugar to dairy to vegan diets (in fact, I was seated right next to the President of the pro-vegan activist group Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, Dr. Neal Barnard). You can read all about my experience testifying to the USDA last year which was something I won’t soon forget. I didn’t prepare any remarks and simply spoke passionately from my heart of hearts about the incredibly positive impact low-carb living has made in my life since 2004.

So why am I bringing it up nearly a year after it happened? Well, despite the promise by the USDA to provide a transcript of the oral testimonies at their web site shortly after the proceedings, I kept checking back month after month for the past year. August, September, October, November and December. Then they released the 2010 Dietary Guidelines and still no transcript in January, February, March, April and May. But in June 2011, they FINALLY decided to release the transcript of the proceedings to the public. Better late than never I suppose. You’ll slog through reading many of these comments since they were read from a script by these paid lobbyists with special interests in mind. But there are a few golden nuggets in there that’ll be worth your while to check out and enjoy, especially from the pro-low-carb people I shared above and a few others who testified.

Here’s what I actually said verbatim according to the court reporter at the USDA:

What’s funny is I was so emotionally caught up in what I was saying as I was testifying that I didn’t even remember exactly what I said. I know I didn’t even use up the full three minutes that were allotted to me, but I had my say and I was done. My intention was to show them a real person who has been negatively impacted by the information they are disseminating to the public and that they needed to consider other alternatives within the scope of making dietary recommendations for people to consider. Dr. Volek later told me that when I started speaking, every member of the USDA Committee who was present looked up from their papers and was staring at me as I testified. They heard me. They saw me. And I bet they won’t forget me and what I said anytime soon either.

Although the testimony I gave didn’t make an impact on the 2010 Dietary Guidelines, I have a distinct feeling we’re gonna see some pretty radical changes happen when the 2015 Dietary Guidelines start being debated in a couple of years with a new panel of experts that will include at least one low-carb researcher and/or practitioner on it. Call me eternally optimistic, but the growing swell of discontent with the current direction of nutrition in America combined with the continued rise in the rates of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and more make it virtually impossible for this bureaucratic shell game to continue on for much longer. They can’t ignore the science or the wave of testimonies that continue to be published online from people like me who have seen remarkable turnarounds in their weight and health by “not doing the things” they’ve been telling us to do for decades. We will not be ignored. And believe me, I will be back in 2015 to ask them “why” obesity, diabetes, and heart disease is still out of control despite their recommendations. This nutritional nonsense has got to stop sooner rather than later. Let the low-carb revolution continue!

  • I bet they didn’t like it when you said the experts on the panel weren’t the true experts! Needed to be said, though. Their track-record is less than inspiring! The country would be several million pounds lighter if the USDA had just kept quiet about diets. Your statement is heartfelt and on target. Thanks for sharing it, Jimmy. Keep on testifying. That’s what we all need to do — at home, online, on the job, wherever we can.

    • What’s funny, Jim, is I didn’t remember saying that. But I guess it was in my heart of hearts. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Scott

    Thanks for this post. I heard Donald Trump is low carbing maybe you can get a podcast with him.

    • Ha ha! The Donald probably has no interest at all in some lowly podcast…won’t stop me from asking though. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Way to go Jimmy. Thanks for standing up for all of us who couldn’t be there ourselves. I’m proud to have had you represent our interests in front of this important meeting, and hope that your passion and professionality was heard and will make a difference, even if you were just able to reach a couple of the ‘experts’ with your passionate words.

    • They needed to hear from real people…this event was a lobbyfest!

  • Go Jimmy!
    You think that the USA is behind. Well many countries are heavily influenced by what happens in the USA and so we are even further behind. You know your “why” and that’s why people follow you and respect you. So many “experts” are in terrible shape. Unlike some of the ‘powers to be’ you only seek the truth, and to your credit you have often given a fair hearing to those who have a different message, to let those of us with a brain, form our own informed view. What you say and do has an impact around the world. Stay the course. PS The world isn’t flat after all.

  • Katie

    Very nicely done Jimmy. Thank you so much for standing up and speaking for all the people who struggle to get their health back and have been given information that has harmed them in the long run. I am one of those people and I’m very proud of you.

    • Thanks Katie! You DESERVED a voice that day.

  • Mike Farinha

    Great job Jimmy!

    I read through most of the transcript… I was appalled at all the boiler plate responses!

    It truly is disgusting watching politics up close.

    I am curious about this BIG NEWS you’ve been hinting about with Walter Willett. I have his Eat Drink & Be Healthy book and everything I’ve seen come from him indicates that he is still anti-saturated fat, anti-red meat, and pro-whole grains.

  • caroln

    Awesome speech Jimmy… succinct and to the point… especially the part about “one shoe size does not fit all”

    cus I think that is the BIGGEST message they need to get and respond to.

    • That shoe size analogy just came to me while I was waiting to speak. And it’s true…we are not the same. The sooner they get that message, the better.

  • Lynne

    Way to go, Jimmy!!! You really gave them something to chew on (pardon the pun)…thank you, more than you know, for all you are doing to get – and keep – “the truth” out there.

    Just read your recent post, after coming back from lunch. Was listening to a friend (recently diagnosed as pre-diabetic) talk about the diabetes nutrition class at the local hospital. He’s obviously super sensitive to carbs – and was talking about how a banana made him feel today after he had it for a morning snack (energized, then dropped him on his hind quarters an hour later).

    Took my new book “The Art & Science of Low Carbohydrate Living” by Drs. Finney and Volek in the lunch room to share some things with him from that… (GREAT chapter you wrote, by the way!). Hoping some thing from the book might resonate for my friend, ’cause God knows if he keeps eating the diet that the diabetes nutrition education folks are feeding him (so to speak), he sure enough will end up on the meds.

    It is heartbreaking that folks don’t know what they don’t know about this insidious disease (diabetes)… and the way the medical establishment and mainstream nutritionists treat it (they don’t know what they don’t know either…or they do and won’t admit it).

    That’s why you and your work, – along with work of other courageous, enlightened physicians, researchers, healthcare providers, and lay people – is so incredibly important.. Keeping “truth” in people’s faces, with the people who are in formal roles to impact public health policy and with education of our physicians, nurses, and other healthcare providers is the only way things are going to change. (BRAVO!!! On your testimony before “the Committee”!!!!)

    In my very humble opinion, endocrinologists and dieticians and food industry/public messages telling my friend (a 54 yr old man, clinical nurse, who is scared to death at this point about his pre-diabetes diagnosis) to have a banana for a morning snack and eat a low fat diet (at what? 300 g carbs a day???) …doing that is nothing short of criminal.

    This may sound overly dramatic…but again…in my very humble opinion…our government and those in the “establishment” (medical and otherwise) who have been telling those of us who are carb intolerant/insulin resistant/metabolically resistant to follow a diet based on the USDA Food Pyramid (now “The Plate”) have been doing nothing short of committing crimes against humanity and our collective health for too long. Thank you, for not letting them turn away from the truth.

    I woke up out of dead sleep last night with this thought on my mind…genocide is defined as “the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group”, While the “low fat diet”/”fat is bad” mantra was not intended to be “deliberately destructive”, it has – in essence – systematically contributed to the sickening, destruction, and death of a very real group of people for over 40 years.

    To continue to teach, preach, and promote a “low fat/one size fits all ” diet for all of us is nothing short of (and this was my thought in middle of the night) “nutritional/dietary genocide”. Please feel free to use that thought/take those words with you when you speak before the committee again. Maybe they’ll sit up and pay attention to that concept, too. (Actually, that’s what I wish I’d said when we were taping for upcoming Low Carb Conversations podcast when we were talking about the Consumer Reports “take” on low carb diets..lol :-). Didn’t say it then, so I wanted to put it out there now.

    Please just know this, My Friend…you’ve been placed in a very special place of potential and there are so many who are out here who are thankful for you and your work (some you may never hear from, but rest assured, folks are grateful all the same). The gifts and talents that you have, your energy, commitment, courage of conviction, time, money, and efforts you put out there to support and share the “truth” are nothing short of heroic . You gave and give all us of out here who have ever struggled with weight and related issues a “voice”…your work continues to ensure that we are not ignored…that the “truth” will not be pushed aside for another 40 years.

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart (and many others, I’m sure). Thank you more than you know. Best and brightest blessings always!

    “A Low Carb Friend in Durham” ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Lynne, thank you for your graciousness and respect for the work I’m doing. Together we WILL make a difference.

  • Lynne

    Amen and amen again to that!! Thank you again, Jimmy!

  • caroln

    Lynne (and Jimmy)… I was shocked last year when my 80-yo diabetic mother was in an acute care hospital (1 mo.) and a nursing home “rehab facility” for 5 mos afterwards…

    All they served her were carbs, carbs and more carbs. I insisted to the dieticians that I wanted starchy carbs eliminated from her diet… as well as fried foods)… and they looked at me as if I was from mars.

    I was astounded that these medical professionals were not aware of the hi-glycemic carb exacerbation of diabetes. After fighting for a better diet at three different facilities, I had to give up… unless I was going to deliver all of her meals.

    She developed severe IBS and it is eventually what took her down… her gastroenterologist (and his nurses whom I spoke with numerous times) never mentioned how horrible fried foods are for IBS… even while they were treating her. And of course that was a mainstay in the nursing home.

    How can this happen in America with the best medicine in the world…? and I ask that sarcastically.

    • These are the questions that deserve an honest answer.

  • Lynne

    Hi caroln…I’m with you. Very similar situation with my own mom…73 yrs old, Type 2 diabetic in and out of hospital, multiple surgeries, rehab centers, and finally…nursing home. She passed away April a year ago…in the hospital.

    Just makes me weep to think thatpoor dietary habits destroyed her health, but to know there was no hope for improvement in the medical facilities she was in and out of over last few years.

    Here’s what I’ve come to really understand (because I see it and work in medical environment on a daily basis) medical professionals and nutritionists/dieticians – for most part – are not taught about therapeutic use of low carb/optimal protein/ketogenic diets in school. So we have to be our own advocates when it comes to our diets and diets of our loved ones. Because when we advocate for ourselves or loved ones on this important matter, we are smacking up hard against a 40+ yr old solid brick wall of “low fat is best” beliefs and protocols. (No wonder we feel “beaten up and bruised” coming out of situations like that).

    Doctors and nurses are taught about treatment of diabetes with low fat diet and meds. Pharmaceutical industry is vested in keeping us sick and pushin meds. Endocrinologists specialize in treatment of diabetes with meds. And the poor nutritionist/dieticians on the end of that chain are taught to listen to the docs and manage diabetes being treated with meds by devising and feeding people high carb/low fat diets to keep them from bottoming out from the dang meds. It is an insidious cycle of ignorance…that we and our loved ones have paid for with our health and with our lives.

    So, yes…the gap in education, true knowledge about and treatment of diabetes using a low carb/moderate protein diet is abominable. Patient safety is a very hot topic in the medical world today…it seems to me that this certainly falls under that, if nothing else.

    It would seem that the very professions that are pledged to doing no harm and healing are the very ones working to implement enlightened care are the ones who lack information on “good science” the most. And that scares the holy heck out of me.

    It is beyond frightening that the lack of real understanding on this critical topic is making people sick, keeping people sick, and in the process, ultimately, causing needless deaths. Literally. So, yes…we are coming from whole other universe, as far as the medical community and healthcare providers at large are concerned.

    And it breaks my heart to think that your mom and my mom, and countless other loved ones, might still be with us, had their dietary needs been understood and honored along their continuum of care.

    Thank you , for bringing this up, caroln…and thank you again, Jimmy, for your tenacity and not letting “the people who need to know most” shut the door on the truth.

  • Mike

    Great article Jimmy. I praise you for your courage and willingness to get the message out. I certainly hope it resonated with the panel.

    Tell you the truth, the USDA ought to be abolished all together. They are not serving the public well. I bet, constitutionally, their role is also questionable. It shouldn’t be this hard to spread the message of truth, especially when it is so well documented in the literature. Government should not stand in the way of science — mandating their bureaucratic belief systems.

  • Again, a great job Jimmy. It is going to be very hard for the USDA to admit that they have been wrong all along. Our health is more important then selling food! It will continue to be an uphill battle. I hope that you continue to testify.
    Dr Jeff Gerber, Denver’s Diet Doctor

    • I will indeed…and you should join me in 2015! ๐Ÿ™‚