Q&A: Marion Nestle

Marion Nestle, author of <i>What to Eat</i> and professor at New York University’s Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health, on the destruction of the FDA.

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Mother Jones: Of all the things the Bush administration leaves behind, what will be the easiest, and hardest, things to fix?

Marion Nestle: In my area, three issues leap to mind: the systematic destruction of the FDA, leaving our food-safety system in peril; the expanding income gap between rich and poor that has so increased food insecurity; and the failure to address environmental causes of childhood obesity. The first two will be the hardest to fix. The FDA needs not only money, but talented and politically independent personnel. The rising income gap requires a major restructuring of tax and welfare policies and renegotiation of the social contract between rich and poor. The obesity problem requires limits on food marketing to children; school lunches tied to instruction about nutrition, health, and food production; and development of supervised play areas and community resources such as bicycle paths. All of those ought to be relatively easy, given political will.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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