Tag: salt-content

You There! Drop that Salt Shaker!

Washington Examiner, Gene Healey, “The coming low-sodium dystopia

In a 1997 Cato study criticizing trial lawyers’ efforts to hold tobacco companies liable for the choices of individual smokers, my colleague Bob Levy closed by deploying the much-derided “slippery slope” argument.

“What’s next?” he asked-raising the specter of an American nanny state devoted to protecting us from soft drinks, red meat, and fast foods. More than a decade later, Levy’s nightmare looks pretty plausible.

Gene, a vice president at Cato, mentions the great science fiction movies “Bladerunner” and “Fahrenheit 451″ in his previews of dystopia.

How could he have missed “Demolition Man?

UPDATE (11:15 a.m.): L.A. Times,  ”Happy Meal toys could be banned in Santa Clara County“:

Convinced that Happy Meals and other food promotions aimed at children could make kids fat as well as happy, county officials in Silicon Valley are poised to outlaw the little toys that often come with high-calorie offerings.

It will have to be in the sequel: “Toy Story V: The Purge”

(Hat tip: Rob at SayAnythingBlog, which has a nice new look.)

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When the FDA Gets Its Way

From the restaurant scene in the ’90s flick about a peaceful, soporific, yet corrupt Los Angeles in the year 2034, “Demolition Man“:

LAPD Sergeant John Spartan (Sylvester Stallone): “You got the salt over there, Bob?”

Officer Lenina Huxley (Sandra Bullock): “Salt is not good for you, hence it is illegal.”

Soundfile.

Walter Olson at Overlawyered has reaction to recent reports about the Food and Drug Administration’s plans to regulate salt content in food, including a well-justified knock on the FDA’s non-denial denial. From “Salt Reactions“:

The report in the Washington Post that the Food and Drug Administration intends to work toward mandatory limits on salt in processed food provoked some negative public reaction, and now the agency has issued a public statement not exactly denying the story, but complaining that it “leaves a mistaken impression that the FDA has begun the process of regulating the amount of sodium in foods. The FDA is not currently working on regulations nor has it made a decision to regulate sodium content in foods at this time.” Emphasis added to point out the cagey phrasings: there is no denial that the agency’s leadership intends to do all these things in the future, exactly as the Post reported.

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Because New York City is So Large, That’s Why

From The Daily Caller’s morning e-mail roundup:

Salt more dangerous than heroin, according to health officials — NYC health officials will release “draft guidelines” today “suggesting the maximum amount of salt that should be in a wide variety of manufactured and packaged foods,” the AP reports. This announcement follows closely on the heals of a free guide to shooting heroin, which the health department released last week. While the salt guidelines recommend a “20 percent drop in [sodium in] peanut butter” and “a 40 percent decline in canned vegetables,” Take Charge Take Care, a how-to guide for junkies, recommends that heroin users “take care of their veins” and “prepare drugs carefully.”

There’s merit in lowering sodium content, and The Wall Street Journal today reports, “Food Makers Quietly Cut Back on Salt.” But how is it that city leaders think they should be leading the charge on this? Even voluntary plans like NYC’s impose costs, create uncertainty and encourage litigation. Given Mayor Bloomberg’s regulatory predilections, who knows how long it will be before mandatory restrictions enter the debate.

Still, we’re anxious to give that no-salt corned beef brisket a try. Kosher dill on the side, please.

As for The Daily Caller, it’s the new online venture formally launched today by Tucker Carlson. Think Breitbart.com or Huffington Post, with original reporting and commentary.

Washington Post’s media reporter, Howard Kurtz, had a good piece on the enterprise this morning, “Tucker’s Excellent Adventure.” Wyoming financier Foster Friess is backing The Daily Caller with $3 million in funding, and Carlson is counting on ad revenues. Good luck!

UPDATE (5:15 p.m.): From Walter Olson’s Overlawyered.com, “NYC’s ‘astonishingly presumptious” salt plan“: “Because it requires the participation of restaurant chains and food manufacturers, it will, if successful, affect the diet of the entire country,” notes Jacob Sullum. Ira Stoll offers a reminder “that, as the government assumes a larger share of health care costs, it is increasingly able to use that as a justification to intrude into personal decisions or private enterprises, whether it’s a matter of smoking policy, trans-fats, or salt.”

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