Rebuttal to the Bezos Washington Post Rebuttal to the Bezos Washington Post


Beware of Who You Believe About Health Information

According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), labels on several Newman's Own products make misleading claims about the healthfulness of palm oil. CSPI said the cumulative effect of the various label claims about palm oil is to trick consumers into thinking it's a health food, when in fact it is high in saturated fats that promote heart disease. Newman's Own claims that palm oil "is not hydrogenated," "contains no trans-fatty acids," and "is lower in saturated fat than butter and has no cholesterol." While each of those statements is technically true, CSPI says each is designed to make consumers believe palm oil is positively healthful. CSPI has encouraged food manufacturers to reformulate products to reduce or eliminate partially hydrogenated oils, which are high in trans fat, but it has urged companies to switch not to palm oil or butter but to canola, soybean, corn or sunflower oils.

This urging and wrongful criticism of Paul Newman is a prime example of how some consumer health organizations like CSPI are absolutely clueless when it comes to nutritional basics. They are absolutely confused about the healthy role saturated fats play in the diet, and being critical of Paul Newman for including palm oil, which like coconut oil is an important and healthy fat, is just plain wrong.

The bottom line is that you have to be very careful in deciding what to believe, even when it comes from normally reputable organizations like CSPI. Ultimately you are responsible for making the decisions about your health, and this even extends to my site. I will be the first to admit that life is a journey and no one understands the complete truth. I am always in a process of revising my impressions based on the published literature and clinical experience to come closer to the truth so more people can achieve optimal wellness, and I encourage you to continue on your own journey as well.

CSPI August 4, 2004

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