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Mixed signals: Why is the USDA promoting nutrition and pushing cheese?

This week on The Watch List: Why would an agency launch a campaign to get Americans to eat less saturated fat, and — at the same time — promote one of the single greatest sources of it?

Earlier this month, The New York Times reported that an organization called Dairy Management — which reports to the U.S. Department of Agriculture — gave Domino’s Pizza millions of dollars to develop and market a new line of extra-cheesy pizzas. Nutrition experts howled that the new pies were nearly the opposite of the low-fat food that the USDA usually promotes.

We wanted to know whether there are other examples of the USDA working at cross purposes with … the USDA. Sure enough, Need to Know correspondent Rick Karr found that the example cited by The Times isn’t the only case of the government sending mixed messages when it comes to the food we eat.

David A. Kessler, who appears in this segment, is the author of “The End of Overreating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite.”

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