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FROM THIS EPISODE

A lot of unlikely food products include more sugar than occurs naturally -- including deli meats, bread and trail mix. Now the FDA wants labels to specify how much sugar is added — and that has the food industry up in arms. Why doesn't it want consumers to know?

Also, outrage over the arrest of a black University of Virginia student. On today's Talking Point, should America make it illegal not to vote?

Photo: mroach

Producers:
Sasa Woodruff
Christine Detz
Jenny Hamel

Outrage over the Arrest of a Black University of Virginia Student 6 MIN, 18 SEC

The President of the University of Virginia joined a crowd of students last night protesting the arrest and injury of black student Martese Johnson by white officers of the state's Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. Johnson himself addressed the crowd. "I beg of you guys, regardless of your personal opinions and how you feel about subjects, please respect everyone here, we're all part of one community." Governor Terry McAuliffe has called for an investigation. Hawes Spencer reports for WVTF, public radio in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The Bitter Battle over Added Sugar in Your Food 33 MIN, 34 SEC

Obesity is a major health problem in the United States, and sugar is one of the causes. Even foods that already contain natural sugar have more sugar added as they're prepared for the market. Food labels already tell you the total amount of sugar. Now the FDA wants to break that down, so you know how much has been added. That's led to a lobbying frenzy, with 287,889 public comments.

If Campbell Soup, Coca-Cola, Kellogg cereals, the Dairy Industry and two state governors are against you, you must be doing something right. That's what the food-and-nutrition police say about industry opposition to the FDA proposal. One health-advocacy group analyzed 80,000 food products, found 58% contained more sugar than they have naturally and insists that consumers ought to know. We hear about the lobbying frenzy over an idea first introduced by Michelle Obama.

Guests:
Evan Halper, Los Angeles Times (@evanhalper)
Renee Sharp, Environmental Working Group (@ewg)
Baylen Linnekin, Keep Food Legal (@keepfoodlegal)
Robert Lustig, UC San Francisco (@RobertLustigMD)

More:
Halper on the sugar industry's battle over proposal on added-sugar labels
Environmental Working Group on sugar in children's cereals
Linnekin on the FDA's menu-labeling mistake

Fat Chance

Robert H. Lustig

Obama Makes a Case for Compulsory Voting 9 MIN, 48 SEC

Australia, Brazil and Singapore are among the 14 countries that have compulsory voting laws.  Despite declining turnouts in US elections, the idea has seldom been mentioned here by prominent politicians — until yesterday.  At a town hall event in Cleveland yesterday, when asked how he would offset the increasing influence of money in American elections, President Obama responded, "It would be transformative if everybody voted, that would counteract money more than anything." That comment has started a conversation about mandatory voting.

Photo: Peter Dutton

Guests:
Dylan Matthews, Vox (@dylanmatt)
Simon Jackman, Stanford University (@simonjackman)

More:
Highton-Wolfinger study
Matthews on mandatory voting in Australia
Jackman on Australian politics

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