Food Police–Taxes and Regulation

» Posted by on Apr 21, 2010 in Healthcare Reform, Life, Politics | 0 comments

Salt, sugar, trans-fats, have all been in the news lately as Michelle O leaves her backyard vegetable garden and takes to the mean streets on her crusade against body fat.  In her wake, there’s a deluge of  federal, state, and local law initiatives rising up against obesity.  What I refer to as the “food police” others call progress.  OK, we are probably the fattest developed nation in the world.  We have access to a wide variety of colas, cakes, breads, cookies, candy bars, chips, carbs and sugars limited only by our grocery budget. But never fear, our great protector and omnipotent caretaker, the all knowing, all seeing, government will swoop in and save us all from plaque buildup, strokes, and a wide assortment of heart ailments.

How will this angel of mercy extend a healing touch?  First, they’ll use stimulus funds (aka our tax dollars) to label menus and advertisements with the danger of calories, and perils of sodium, sugar, and fats.  Recently Massachusetts was awarded over $12 million in stimulus funds to do just that.  Secondly, the government vilifies and demonizes the food industry from Kraft to Crispy-Creme, to big Macs, Frito-Lay to Outback threatening to levy taxes on the cost of their ads unless they place warnings on unhealthy foods.   You’ve seen the warning disclosures currently required by the FDA on TV for pharmaceutical ads that run for 3 minutes listing every risk, every side effect known to mankind, that could ever possibly show up by taking this medication.  Picture it now, a  30 second TV ad for Hellman’s Mayonnaise would run 5 minutes in length; 30 seconds about the great taste and 4 minutes and 30 seconds warning you of diabetes, coronary artery disease, allergic reaction to eggs, rash, hives, diarrhea, glaucoma, nose bleeds, hyper-pigmentation and an erection lasting more than 24 hours. Please see your doctor, NOW!

There’s even an assault by food critics on the portion size that restaurants serve.

Is there anything our government won’t do to make our lives more comfy and safe?

To my knowledge there’s not a shred of evidence that demonstrates our government sponsored patchwork of weight loss, nutrition initiatives, and taxes on food products does anything to directly improve our health.  But we can all feel better knowing that someone in central planning is watching after us.

People’s exercise of free choice lies at the core of this issue.  Is there anyone with an IQ above 100 that does not understand over-indulgence of any product or activity (food, sugar, caffeine, salt, calories, lack of or over exercise) is unhealthy?  That message is out there.  People have knowledge and then make decisions.  The government in this case wants to make those decisions for you. Is it just me, or does it seem a little scary that the government wants to mandate the amount of salt and sugar I can use to season my food?

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