ARTICLE: THE RETURN OF BIOLOGICAL RACE? REGULATING INNOVATIONS IN RACE AND GENETICS THROUGH ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCY RACE IMPACT ASSESSMENTS Skip over navigation
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Copyright (c) 2012 Gould School of Law
Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal

ARTICLE: THE RETURN OF BIOLOGICAL RACE? REGULATING INNOVATIONS IN RACE AND GENETICS THROUGH ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCY RACE IMPACT ASSESSMENTS

Fall, 2012

Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal

22 S. Cal. Interdis. L.J. 1

Author

Osagie K. Obasogie*

Excerpt



I. INTRODUCTION
 
In April 2011, I published an article in Slate 1 that commented on the new Dietary Guidelines released by the Department of Agriculture and Department of Health and Human Services. 2 These guidelines made several recommendations with the admirable purpose of encouraging Americans to take bold steps to improve their health, such as eating smaller portions and consuming more fruits and vegetables. 3 Yet one of the guidelines' "Key Recommendations" stood out: "Reduce daily sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) and further reduce intake to 1,500 mg among persons who are 51 and older and those of any age who are African American or have hypertension, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease." 4

There are certainly prudent medical reasons why older individuals and those with preexisting conditions should consume less salt. 5 But, should this apply to all Black people? In the Slate article, I examined the scant support for treating race as a biological risk factor and the overwhelming evidence suggesting that social determinants of health 6 - poverty, stress linked to discrimination, and lack of access to healthy food in urban environments, among other factors - may better explain Blacks' higher rates of hypertension and other sodium-related chronic diseases. 7 Although I expected this perspective to generate pushback in the online comments section, the Slate article elicited something unusual and unexpected: interest from a White supremacist website. 8 White-Pride.org reposted the article in its entirety, alongside articles titled Blacks Made Up Majority of All Serial ...
 
 
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