Sunday, December 10, 2006

A national food registry is forthcoming

Via Karen De Coster, turns out at least one advocacy group partly responsible for the New York ban on trans fats was also instrumental in bringing about the popularity of trans fats in the first place.

From the Wall Street Journal:

At the mayor's urging this week, New York's Board of Health voted to ban restaurant use of artificial trans fats, those liquid oils made solid through hydrogenation and found in all manner of fried, baked and processed foods. Many of these products aren't particularly healthy, but then neither are many products people enjoy that contain sugar and caffeine, substances that New York hasn't outlawed. At least not yet.

"We're just trying to make food safer," said Mayor Bloomberg, who nixed smoking in bars a few years back. The city's concern for the health of residents is understandable, but trans fats are not E. coli (or even secondhand smoke), and the federal Food and Drug Administration still considers these chemically modified food ingredients perfectly safe for consumption. Could it be that Mayor Mike has been taken in by activist Gotham health czars and national Naderite "watchdog" outfits like Michael Jacobson's Center for Science in the Public Interest, among others pushing a larger agenda?

[..] Before other cities decide to regulate diets absent a safety issue, they might also consider that some of the same people now pushing for a trans fat ban once recommended the ingredient as a substitute for another health scare: saturated fats. Twenty years ago, Mr. Jacobson's CSPI launched a public relations blitz against fast food joints for using palm oil to cook fries. The group claimed victory when restaurants started using partially hydrogenated oil instead. In 1988, a CSPI newsletter declared that "the charges against trans fat just don't hold up. And by extension, hydrogenated oils seem relatively innocent." Today, Mr. Jacobson is claiming trans fats kill 30,000 people a year. We wonder if he feels guilty.
Not bloody likely because he would be out of a job if people were left to regulate their own lives.

In my home province of Ontario, trans fats are still allowed, but raw milk is not tolerated, and compulsory pasteurization has been in effect since 1938. Ministers elected at the cardboard ballot booth continue to claim they know what is best for The Collective, though their claim to fame is an arts degree combined with the ability to manipulate the facts to gain votes.
Agriculture Minister Leona Dombrowsky said the current law is designed to protect people, and shouldn't be changed just because some people don't like it.

"There are people who drive cars who say that they would prefer to drive a car without a seatbelt, that they wouldn't be as restricted," Dombrowsky said.

"But we know it's in the better interest of the public, particularly our youngest, that we have laws in the province that require someone driving a car to wear a seatbelt. The same with raw milk."
So long as "we" can fine you for failure to take every "reasonable precaution" against death, you snooze, you lose, becomes something akin to a disability though life is bad for the eco-system.

This important public service announcement also appears at Dust My Broom.