CCF In The News: New Year’s Edition

The Center for Consumer Freedom likes to ring in the New Year with a bang. Food scares, shady health advice, and obesity mania tend to bury common sense. We dig it out by dropping commentary in newspapers like confetti. In the Washington Times today, you’ll find our op-ed about a groundbreaking Food and Drug Administration draft report that challenges the conventional wisdom of food regulators and anti-seafood activists. The agency is finally embracing mounting scientific evidence that the health benefits we get from eating fish far outweigh any potential (and still hyypothetical) risks. What do we think?

It’s about time … It’s an unusual thing when our government admits an error in judgment, especially one with dire health consequences. Whether or not we like decisions handed down from the feds, we’re usually stuck with them. As politically unpopular as it may be for the FDA to correct its faulty advice, doing so will certainly help our nation’s most vulnerable children. That should be reason enough to swing the pendulum back in the direction of common sense.

Fishy fish stories aren’t the only things we’re debunking. In the Oklahoman, we argue that the endless stream of annual holiday dietary health tips completely misses the boat.

Statistics indicate that the nutritional content of our diets ("calories in”) is virtually the same as it was in the 1950s and ’60s. Our lifestyles, on the other hand, have changed dramatically. We’re neglecting the "calories out” part of the equation …
Unfortunately, if the most recent health-activist talking points are any indication, we can expect that this fascination with "bad” foods will continue to shape our public health policies in 2009.

And New York Governor David Paterson is off to an early start. As we note in the Buffalo News, his proposal to tax soda to curb obesity is illogical since research shows no association between soda and obesity. But worse, it’s also shameful.

More than any of the others, the 18 percent tax on non-diet soda and certain fruit juices stands out as a blatant and deliberate attempt to engineer our behavior to a politician’s desired end …
Paternalistic proponents of these measures can live with that. Their arrogance permits them to argue for the criminalization of things they avoid. But for the rest of us, Gov. Paterson’s reckless plan is a stern reminder to actively protect our freedoms from activists who think it’s ‘sinful’ to eat, drink, and be merry.

On that note, here’s a toast to constant vigilance.

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