Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Nanny Statism is Fascism a smile

The Food and Drug Administration is planning an unprecedented effort to gradually reduce the salt consumed each day by Americans, saying that less sodium in everything from soup to nuts would prevent thousands of deaths from hypertension and heart disease. The initiative, to be launched this year, would eventually lead to the first legal limits on the amount of salt allowed in food products.

The government intends to work with the food industry and health experts to reduce sodium gradually over a period of years to adjust the American palate to a less salty diet, according to FDA sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the initiative had not been formally announced.

If the FDA had declared a total ban on salt rather than this gradual restriction, what would  the result be?  Mass protests, businesses refusing to comply, and all but the most radical people screaming fascism at the government right?

So how is this any different?

I don't remember all the details to the story about how to catch a wild pig, but it basically goes something like this:  You start out by putting some food out in the same spot every day so that the pigs gradually get used to eating there.  Then one day you put up just one side of a fence.  Eventually the pigs get used to that.  Then you put up the second, and they get used that to that one too.  Then the third.  And once the pigs are used to eating their food surrounded by three fences you put up the last one and suddenly the pigs are domesticated.

Now think about what you would've said to someone two or three years ago if they proposed letting the government tell each and every restaurant and food producer how much salt they can and cannot put in their food.  Two years ago I would of found the idea so foreign that I would of dismissed it and thought the person asking me it a little crazy for even bringing it up.  This is America after all.  If someone wants to sell me salt and butter on a stick then by all means let them.  I'm the moron for buying it, and he's a genius for getting people to buy it.

Well today it's a reality.  Now I'm not asking for people to get outraged and stay outraged over salt, but I want people to recognize the fence for a fence and not just some new addition to the landscape that means nothing.  Too many people will say "Well salt is bad for you anyways, so what's the big deal?" and simply let it slide.  But once you use that logic you'll be forced to use it again and again until you find yourself domesticated and in a pin.  Maybe tomorrow it's a push to ban trans-fats or make feeding your children certain foods child abuse.  Actually that one has already started:

School lunches have been called many things, but a group of retired military officers is giving them a new label: national security threat
That's not a reference to the mystery meat served up in the cafeteria line either. The retired officers are saying that school lunches have helped make the nation's young people so fat that fewer of them can meet the military's physical fitness standards, and recruitment is in jeopardy.

Please.  And if they have their way what happens?  Kids are still fat and more drastic action is necessary.  Government intervention.

Security is rarely a good excuse for sacrificing liberties.  Yeah, maybe we could live longer, healthier lives if we gave the government the right to regulate what we eat, but do you really want that?  The cost would be a large degree of freedom, and giving the government more power.  Think of the government as a slave that is more powerful than us, but securely chained.  Do you really want to release those chains just because he'll promise to behave?

Do your best to never let the argument boil down to "Well it's not so bad, so who cares if they do it?".  It should boil down to "If its not a big deal, why are they doing it?"

Oh and about that salt being so awful for you:

High-salt diets may not increase the risk of death, contrary to long-held medical beliefs, according to investigators from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University.

They reached their conclusion after examining dietary intake among a nationally representative sample of adults in the U.S. The Einstein researchers actually observed a significantly increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease (CVD) associated with lower sodium diets.

Whoops.  Well lets just ignore that.

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