Monday, July 18, 2005

A math problem for you

What is the next element in the following set: {July 1 2002, July 1 2003, July 1 2004, ...}? You're right! So, it makes me wonder, where is the 2005 annual report that USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service must submit to Congress each year, describing the activities of the advertising and promotion campaigns for milk, cheese, butter, and so forth? While the beef, pork, and dairy industries were delighted by the recent Supreme Court decision upholding their constitutionality, this annual report may be more difficult to write this year than in past years. Now that everybody acknowledges these advertising campaigns are the federal government's own work, it may be difficult to explain in a report to Congress exactly what the campaigns do. The challenge is to make the dairy industry happy with the program's aggressive marketing and yet avoid emphasizing the tension between the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the advertisements promoting increased consumption of high-calorie and high-saturated-fat foods (with fad weight-loss claims).

Update (7/19/2005): edited a run-on sentence.

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