You’ve probably heard about the latest government spending scandal in here in the nation’s capitol. A federal agency known as the Government Services Administration (GSA) spent more than $823,000 on a party – they called it a “retreat” – in Las Vegas. Taxpayer dollars went to pay for a lavish junket for government employees.
They rented tuxedos – with your money.
They spent $30,000 on a cocktail reception and dinner – with your money.
They hired a clown and a mind reader – with your money.
As appalling as this story may be, the amount of money GSA spent (or wasted depending on your point of view) is only a fraction of how much taxpayer money the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is spending to advertise all around the country against American-owned beverage companies.
It is estimated that the CDC will spend $40 million to air a new television ad campaign in markets from Hawaii to Maine, with a misleading message that consuming soda can lead to obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
The CDC conveniently ignores important – and recent - data regarding the facts about soda.
First, data from the CDC, calories from added sugars from soda are down 39 percent since 2000. So if soda consumption is down but obesity rates have increased, there’s no connection between soda and obesity.
Second, the CDC ad claims that eating too much sugar causes diabetes. Yet, the American Diabetes Association calls that claim a MYTH on its website.
Third, there is absolutely no evidence showing that soda consumption causes heart disease.
GSA may have acted foolishly when spending nearly a million dollars of your money on a junket to Vegas. But the CDC is acting in bad faith by spending 40 times as much of your money on an ad campaign that fails to be based in facts and sound science. And that is a far greater scandal.