Edward Archer writes for the Federalist about the impact of dubious science on federal government nutrition and obesity standards.

Over the past decade, my colleagues and I have published analyses in top medical and scientific journals showing that no human could survive on the diets the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services (HHS) used to create the dietary guidelines for Americans. To be precise, we demonstrated that the methods used by researchers at public health agencies produced data that were physiologically implausible and inadmissible as scientific evidence. We further showed that these pseudo-scientific methods and meaningless data generated a fictional diet-centric discourse on obesity and chronic disease, with significant consequences for public health policy.

Yet despite our rigorous analyses plus scathing critiques from scientists around the world, federal public health agencies repeatedly refused to address contrary evidence and re-examine their demonstrably invalid methods. As a result the USDA, HHS, National Cancer Institute (NCI), and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continue to use meaningless dietary data to tell Americans what to eat and drink while promoting futile “diet-centric” public health policies such as menu-labeling mandates and banning large sodas.

Nevertheless, federal agencies impeding scientific progress is merely the tip of the iceberg. Recent events show that the U.S. research establishment is incompetent and corrupt, existing largely to transfer wealth from hard-working Americans to elite academics.