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2000 ‘Tarnished Halo’ Awards

The only thing we have left to say about 2000 is that it was a good year for the nannies – those activists, organizations and bureaucrats who work tirelessly to restrict our food, beverage and lifestyle choices. While most nannies worked hard, a few stood out for their outstanding initiative, creativity and determination to protect us from ourselves. To honor the best of the meddlesome busybodies, we present the 2000 “Nanny of the Year” Awards!

Nanny Of The Year
The Center for Science in the Public Interest and its founder Michael Jacobson – The nannies at CSPI will do and say almost anything to get the government to slap a “Twinkie tax” on the foods they don’t want us to eat. And their campaign is working: CSPI actually presented their fat-tax proposal at the USDA National Nutrition Summit last spring.

But it was the lengths to which CSPI shamelessly stretched the truth in pursuit of the “Twinkie tax” that set the group apart from the pack and earned them the coveted “Nanny of the Year” award. Consider just one example: In an effort to incite a public panic over the so-called “obesity epidemic,” CSPI took out a newspaper ad in The Washington Post claiming that high-calorie foods “kill more people than tobacco.” In it, CSPI declared that obesity is responsible for “more than $71 billion a year in added health-care and related costs.”

According to the USDA, which CSPI cited as the source of the “$71 billion” claim, obesity is a “factor” in the “incidence of…diabetes, hypertension and stroke, osteoporosis, heart disease and some types of cancer.” And it is these ailments – and not obesity – which “cost society an estimated $71 billion.”

It’s not the first time CSPI has fudged the numbers to make a point. In its 1998 report complaining about the amount of soda children drink, CSPI claimed teenage boys drank more than three cans of soda a day and teenage girls drank more than two cans a day. Turns out the correct amount is only half that, according to a correction CSPI ran…one week after the media picked up their story.

Self-Serving Activism
The 2000 Nanny Award for “The most egregious example of activism undertaken for financial gain” goes to: Prince Charles – Earlier this year, Charles said the growing of genetically improved food could have “disastrous consequences.’’ Luckily for Charles, his comments helped cause enough fear in the public to create a market for his own line of organic food products. In fact, Charles now owns the UK’s leading independent organic-food brand, thanks in large part to his high-profile crusade against biotechnology.

Anti-Meat Terrorist of the Year Award
Animal Liberation Front (ALF) – It’s becoming difficult for the “peaceful” animal rights movement to keep their reputation as peaceful. In 2000, ALF led animal rights activists in firebombing a meat plant, blowing up meat trucks, and leaving cyanide at a McDonald’s in Minneapolis.

Too Many Cooks Award
One of the strangest aspects of 2000’s war on choice was the media coverage of Chefs Collaborative (a group of celebrity chef activists). Chefs Collaborative spent the year promoting its eat-only-in-season, locally-grown, mainly-organic-products anti-choice platform, sometimes with comical results. The Nanny Award for the “Best reason why Chefs Collaborative should stick to cooking and stop pushing anti-choice policy before they marginalize their credibility all together” goes to: Peter Hoffman – The chair of Chefs Collaborative argued at a press conference that there was no need for genetically improved “Golden Rice,” which TIME magazine said would save millions of lives and prevent hundreds of thousands of cases of blindness in children each year. He also attacked “The Green Revolution” of the 1960s, which allowed for the feeding of millions of starving people, saying: “‘The Green Revolution’ was a dismal failure. We don’t need it now, we didn’t need it then.”

Most Outrageous Quote of the Year Award
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) – PETA’s European campaign coordinator Toni Vernelli said, “Serving a burger to your family today, knowing what we know, constitutes child abuse. You might as well give them weed killer.”

For the Children?
To get people to accept nonsensical nanny anti-choice edicts, you need to indoctrinate them while they’re young. The Nanny Award for “The most outrageous school policy” goes to: Greenwood High School (Greenwood, Indiana) – Greenwood high school teacher and swim coach Lori Gallagher was fired for drinking a beer…one beer…with dinner in front of high school students at an after-swim-meet event.

“Spoilsport of the Year” Award
United Poultry Concerns (UPC) – UPC must be the only group on earth who would want to deprive children of partaking in the annual White House Easter Egg Roll. UPC is led by Karen Davis (who, The Washington Post said, divorced her husband because “he needed more in his life than the cause, and, being older and arthritic, was no longer able to help much with the chickens anyway”). UPC tried to ruin the cherished event by showing up and scaring children with stories of the suffering of egg-laying hens.

Public Disservice Award
They make the laws and regulations we have to live by. Sometimes that power goes to their head. The Nanny Award for “A government bureaucrat or agency that overstepped its authority to trample a personal choice” in 2000 goes to: Alfred Muller – Friendship Heights, MD Mayor Alfred Muller decided that it was up to him to get people to stop smoking by eliminating any public puffing, even outdoors, in his tiny hamlet of 5,000 residents. Muller said he had an obligation to do what he could to achieve “a smoke-free society,” whether you like it or not.

Honorable Mention
Dr. Rajen S. Anand – Anand said, “[P]eople don’t have the knowledge or willpower to select the right kind of food.” Pretty heady statement from the director of the USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, which publishes the national “food pyramid.”

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