Filed Under: Snacks

Anti-Consumer “Food Fight” Intensifies

The blitzkrieg against obesity rages on, in what seems to be a coordinated and intensifying attack on consumers. “Put down that pizza! Toss out that cookie dough! And banish those burgers,” Fox News reports — warning of “an increasingly less hypothetical lawsuit that could change the way the U.S. eats.” Hungry lawyers are eyeing food, considering “legal action against everyone from fast-food chains to the nation’s leading snack food companies.”

Even John Banzhaf of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) is joining the assault, noting that “people are wondering if tactics used against the tobacco industry very successfully and other problems such as guns less successfully could be used against the problem of obesity.” (ASH paid Banzhaf $175,100 in 2000 for his promotion of “lawsuit kits” for anti-tobacco suits; no doubt he’s hoping to cash in on food-bashing as well.)

In Britain, activists are providing a preview of food-fight tactics sure to come to the U.S. Since the “economic impact of a poor diet is much greater than any other” public health threat, unidentified “public health experts” tell Marketplace, the strain on the public health system requires regulation. (It’s the same argument U.S. anti-smoking activists used regarding Medicare and Medicaid.) The U.K. “experts” even blame the “industrialized approach to food production” for obesity, claiming that “small-scale producers” would somehow produce less fattening food.

The anti-consumer message is spreading. This month, Time magazine published an article on youth obesity. Masquerading as an objective report, it included quotes from “Twinkie tax” pioneer Kelly Brownell, and a plug for the “excellent guidelines” provided by the Center for Science in the Public Interest. The article’s author: obesity warrior Shannon Brownlee, who has said the campaign against soft drinks in schools is the “wedge” issue meant to open up all sorts of foods and beverages to new government regulation and restriction, and has even promoted “the government doing battle with the food industry.”

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