Monday, June 18, 2018

Dear @ChronicleHerald, Publishing Industry Talking Points As "Commentary" Does A Disservice To Your Readers

More than one person shared this "Commentary" published last week by The Chronicle Herald entitled,
"Keep Canadian juice on the table for better health"
It was written by Pierre Turner and it asserted that 100% fruit juice is a source of essential nutrients and phytochemicals and that by extension juice is
"essential in helping to treat or reverse some of our leading causes of death, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes and hypertension."
The commentary goes on to talk about how juice helps combat food insecurity, that it's nutritionally equivalent to fruit, and that the food guide is going to explicitly encourage people to consume moderate amounts of ice-cream and bacon, but to avoid juice, and that these recommendations in turn will worsen Canada's rates of diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.

Now as ridiculous as the piece is, it's not particularly surprising given the author is vice-president Quality, Sustainability, Research and Development at Lassonde Industries. It even says so at the end of the piece.

Want to take just one guess as to what Lassonde Industries produces?

So did The Chronicle Herald, who reports in their Vision statement that they're proud of their integrity, get paid for this juice industry advertorial disguised as opinion, and was this just an example of their promise to,
"innovate to remain a relevant and competitive channel for advertisers to reach their consumers."?
Or was this just poor judgement?

Either way, publishing industry talking points as if they're thoughtful commentary does a disservice to readers, who instead should be taught to eat their fruit, not drink it, and also that the World Health Organization, Canada's Heart and Stroke Foundation, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and more all recommend explicitly limiting fruit juice's consumption. Yes, if people followed these recommendations it would be decidedly bad for the juice industry, but why that's a concern of The Chronicle Herald (unless they're being paid), is beyond me.

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