The Hemp Connection + references

Is your Internet health information credible? Be sure before you use it, retweet it, or repost it!

I've been researching agave nectar over the past few weeks. I'm learning is that even though it is not a miracle food, and cannot be eaten in endless quantities without consequences, it's a viable option for a sweetener.

In order to get to that conclusion, I had to swim through quite a few websites, tweets, and Facebook posts. Many of them sounded formidable. However, what I discovered in the proccess, was that a few posts and tweets that were getting the most circulation, could be traced back to a few sources.

One of those sources was a very official looking website. At first glance, it appears that this organization is accredited and connected to several credible organizations, including the American Diabetes Association, the American Dietetic Association, the US Department of Agriculture, and the US Food and Drug Administration. Their logos all appear on the home page.

However, when I decided to fact check, both ADA's responded to my inquiry by denying any official type of affiliation. I'm pasting excerpts from the USDA's response below.

The website apparently has patents on its name, the lead researcher's name, among others, so I will oblige them and not mention them here. Suffice it to say you'll find it pretty easily if you're researching agave nectar and/or glycemic index.

It's easy to find yourself swimming in all kinds of information from"experts" and organizations. But because it takes a little bit of time to fact check, many people don't bother.

What I ask all of you to do in your own Internet activity, is to resist the impulse to tweet or hit the send button unless you are confident that what you're reading can be supported with facts. All four of the organizations I contacted were more than expedient with their responses and willing to help me understand what was true and what was not. I encourage you to use them in your own fact checking ventures.


Here is what the FDA said:

For your information, the linked articles that are…attributed to USDA, while apparently legitimate, may not have been properly cited as to the original source, and in one case, gives the appearance of being a USDA publication in error. The articles …were originally published on the USDA/ARS’ Web site in 2005 and 2007.

The first article listed under the USDA logo, is not actually a “publication” …posted on the USDA site (nor is this a USDA publication, as it may appear), but rather a comment made during the formation of the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and submitted to USDA and the Department of Health and Human Services. You can view the original comment in the comment database here (which is accessible to the public):

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Is your Internet health information credible? Be sure before you use it, retweet it, or repost it! + references