Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Beware The Salt Vampire Nanny!

Beware The Salt Vampire Nanny!

Fans of the original Star Trek may remember the salt vampire.  Now we have to worry about the salt nanny.  From the April 20, 2010 Washington Post:
The Food and Drug Administration is planning an unprecedented effort to gradually reduce the salt consumed each day by Americans, saying that less sodium in everything from soup to nuts would prevent thousands of deaths from hypertension and heart disease. The initiative, to be launched this year, would eventually lead to the first legal limits on the amount of salt allowed in food products.

The government intends to work with the food industry and health experts to reduce sodium gradually over a period of years to adjust the American palate to a less salty diet, according to FDA sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the initiative had not been formally announced.

Officials have not determined the salt limits. In a complicated undertaking, the FDA would analyze the salt in spaghetti sauces, breads and thousands of other products that make up the $600 billion food and beverage market, sources said. Working with food manufacturers, the government would set limits for salt in these categories, designed to gradually ratchet down sodium consumption. The changes would be calibrated so that consumers barely notice the modification.
 First problem: It isn't clear that salt is quite the health problem that FDA and the leftist nannys pushing this issue think, as this column in the February 9, 2009 New York Times by Professor Michael Alderman explains

Second problem: I expect that large numbers of people will start adding salt to their now undertasty food.  What, exactly, have we accomplished?  My wife and I tend to cook with very little salt, but that doesn't mean that I don't eat salt.  It means that I add it to food to taste.

Third problem: Where, exactly, does the Constitution grant authority to regulate salt in food?  This regulation of interstate commerce idea is getting far beyond silly when they start to do this.

Fourth problem: the nannyism that this represents is because, I confess, a real problem.  Large numbers of kids (and some adults) eat way too much salty junk food.  But when I was young, most of us had these weird things that many younger people have never heard of: parents.  You know: the troublemakers who limited our consumption of junk food, and soft drinks, and at least tried to get us to eat reasonably balanced meals.  But since a fundamental part of the philosophy of the Democratic Party is every child should come from a divorced home, and both parents should be working full-time, the government has to play nanny, as a substitute for caring parents who are actually at home, providing supervision and guidance.

The way things are going, in another 20 years, if the liberals have their way, cigarettes and salt will be prescription items, and marijuana will be distributed to all children in elementary schools because so many of the K-6 set have glaucoma and chemotherapy symptoms.

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