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Votes

Letter: Ideological, Not Dietary

To the Editor:

A letter in last week's Gazette from dietitian Hope Warshaw supported Delegate Surovell's recent call for Governor McDonnell's resignation. Ms. Warshaw claimed that her position was solely based upon her opposition to the use of a dietary supplement promoted by the person involved in gift-giving to Governor and Mrs. McDonnell that forms the basis for Delegate Surovell's resignation request. Ms. Warshaw insinuated that the proprietor of the dietary supplement promotes its use in place of a well-balanced diet: "But the road to reversal or, better yet, prevention [of chronic diseases] is healthy eating, not an unproven, costly dietary supplement." Ms. Warshaw concluded her letter by expressing her support for first lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" nutritional campaign, stating: "You can guess which first lady's nutrition efforts I, as a dietitian, support." Coincidentally, recently, the Los Angeles Times criticized Mrs. Obama and her "Let's Move" campaign because she silently acquiesced when lobbyists for the food industry killed her plan to establish voluntary marketing guidelines for food products. The First Lady who has often stated that her favorite food is french fries, went silent when her influence was needed the most. http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-michelle-food-20130712,0,3918464.story.

I researched the company and found that it does not promote the supplement as a replacement for a well-balanced diet as alleged by Ms. Warshaw, but rather as a supplement to such a diet, and the supplement is promoted for its anti-inflammatory supporting properties. The effectiveness of the supplement is actually well-documented: http://www.starscientific.com/research-and-development-publications . The publications accessible at this link appear to be quite scholarly. This got me to thinking: why would a trained dietitian make such misleading allegations about the dietary supplement company?

I don't profess to be conversant concerning the science of nutrition, but I am fully capable of reading a Federal Election Commission individual contributor report. Since 2008, Ms. Warshaw has made political contributions totaling $1,250, all to Obama-related political committees. During the same time period, her husband Don Kraus has contributed $9,900, all to Democratic and liberal committees and candidates. Since 2000, Mr. Kraus's political contributions total a whopping $22,740, all to Democratic and liberal committees and candidates. It seems safe to assume that Ms. Warshaw's position critical of the dietary supplement company and favoring Democrat Mrs. Obama's campaign over the supporters of the Republican Governor McDonnell has an ideological component to it. It certainly has no basis in documented nutritional facts. Incidentally, the combined political contributions of Mr. Kraus and his wife even exceed those reported as made by Delegate Surovell ($23,235), a politician, although the delegate's report shows no contributions prior to 2004.

Concerning the subject of nutrition, I would be unlikely to take the advice of a politician or their spouse (Governor McDonnell or Michelle Obama) concerning my diet. There are ample justifications to support or oppose Governor McDonnell concerning the issue of the gifts he and his wife received (and recently returned). The dietary supplement in question provides no such justification.

H. Jay Spiegel

Mount Vernon