Soda Scolds Blunder Down Regulation Road

130328_FoodPoliceBadge picAs California considers a punitive soft drink tax and a ban-anything-food-scolds-don’t-like law, would-be dinner dictators feel high on the hog. So as they promised in a journal article from last year, regulators are now proposing even more methods to shove Americans into changing their eating and drinking choices.

British researchers now demand that the government put “cigarette-style” warning labels on soft drinks. But as Canada’s largest national newspaper, The Globe and Mail, noted when a similar hysterical proposal—which also applied to pizza, snacks, and fruit juices—saw the light of day in the Great White North, the comparison is incorrect and misleading.

For one thing, smoking actually causes smoking-related illnesses. On the other hand, over-consuming any product with calories or being a couch potato—as opposed to simply drinking soda—can lead to obesity. (Soft drinks provide only seven percent of our daily calories, according to government data.) That’s to say nothing of other small choices that reduce physical activity and also contribute to potential calorie imbalance. If the government is going to put vomit-inducing obesity warning pictures on sodas or pizzas, it should also logically put them on sofas, computers, televisions, chairs, and automobiles too, no?

Warning labels are a classic food activist fever dream straight from mid-2000s Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) propaganda. (CSPI itself has moved on to Prohibition.) It’s also a ploy used by animal liberation “nutrition” activists who want people to associate lean meats with unseemly things.

The precedential possibilities of this proposed government overreach are endless. But Americans are justly skeptical of government overlords in their pantries, since the remedies the Yale-and-Bagels elite have chosen for them violate personal freedoms (and won’t work to boot). As some of the commentariat are beginning to recognize, it might just be time for a new approach, not a bad idea rehashed from old copies of CSPI’s bulletins.

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