Late last night, consumer choice advocates witnessed a big win on the West Coast; Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed the California bill that would turn menu boards into nutritional laundry lists. In a letter to the Senate, Schwarzenegger called the legislation “impractical,” explaining that it would have unfairly saddled some of the state’s restaurants with estimated costs of up to $30,000 per site “while imposing no burdens or costs on others.” With so many restaurants offering multiple outlets for nutrition information (like brochures, tray liners, 1-800 numbers, and websites), the governor noted that most already meet the demands of their customers without government-ordered warning labels slapped across their menus:
Inflexible mandates applied sporadically are not an effective way to continue our progress in educating Californians about healthy living. Restaurants throughout California have demonstrated that they are committed to working with me to promote this goal.
Not everyone called the veto a victory. In a press release today from the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), the food cops condemned the Kindergarten Cop, claiming his decision is “single handedly keeping Californians in the dark.” But that hasn’t always been their stance. Though CSPI rabble-rouser Margo Wootan recently told the press that “healthy” dining was practically impossible without in-your-face calorie counts, in 2004 she professed a very different opinion to The Charlotte Observer about the common sense of weight loss:
If you cut out French fries, doughnuts and cookies, you’re bound to lose weight. There’s no magic to this.