Free Markets, Free People

Food police want to regulate foods "for the children"

At RightOnLine, Ann Macelhinny (author of “Not Evil Just Wrong) said that while many believe that the right wants to control what happens “in the bedroom”, it is the left which wants to control everything that goes on in every other room in the house to include the kitchen and garage (what car you should drive and what fuel it should use).

An example of her point comes to us today via this proposed “voluntary” regulation by the Federal Trade Commission, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“The Interagency working group recommends that the food industry, through voluntary self-regulatory efforts, make significant improvements in the nutritional quality of foods marketed to children and adolescents ages 2 to 17 years,” the proposal says.

“By the year 2016, all food products within the categories most heavily marketed directly to children should meet two basic nutrition principles.  Such foods should be formulated to … make a meaningful contribution to a healthful diet and minimize the content of nutrients that could have a negative impact on health and weight.”

The foods most heavily marketed directly to children and adolescents fall into 10 categories: “breakfast cereals, snack foods, candy, dairy products, baked goods, carbonated beverages, fruit juice and non-carbonated beverages, prepared foods and meals, frozen and chilled desserts, and restaurant foods.”

Again, this proposed regulation calls for voluntary compliance, but apparently there’s also a proposed penalty for those foods which aren’t reformulated:

If the food is not reformulated, no more ads or promotions on TV, radio, in print, on websites, as well as other digital advertising such as e-mail and text messaging, packaging, and point-of-purchase displays and other in-store marketing tools; product placement in movies, videos, video games, contests, sweepstakes, character licensing and toy branding; sponsorship of events including sport teams and individual athletes; and, philanthropic activity tied to branding opportunities.

That includes softball teams that are sponsored by food companies and school reading programs sponsored by restaurants.

That’s why the FCC is involved (in case you were wondering).  Additionally, as most of us know:

“When regulators strongly suggest a course of action, it’s treated as a rule, not a suggestion,” said Scott Faber, vice president of federal affairs for the Grocery Manufacturers Association.  “Industry tends to heed these suggestions from our regulators, and this administration has made it clear they are willing to regulate if we don’t implement their proposal.”

That’s just reality.  Of course, the underlying premise is that parents are inept and children rule the household and make all the buying decisions as well as eating what they want when they want too.  Thus government must step in.

Oh – and of course, any reformulation will cost money which will, of course, be passed on to the consumer, if the consumer buys the product at all (vs. going to a substitute or alternative).

Between the EPA, the Department of Interior, and now this bunch, the war on US businesses continues apace.

Choice – the lost concept of freedom.


Twitter: @McQandO


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20 Responses to Food police want to regulate foods "for the children"

  • We live in the age of “experts”: people who believe that, due to their education and “experience”, know best how we ought to live our lives.  And, perversely, we vote to allow them to do this.

    Lightbulbs and cars – well, we don’t want the polar bears to drown or NYC to wash away, so we vote to allow them to tell us what sort of lightbulbs we can use or what cars we can drive

    Food – we don’t want our kids to get fat while sitting on their a**es in front of the TV all day, so we vote to allow them to tell us what sort of food our kids can eat, and even what sort of advertisements the food companies can run

    Words – we don’t want people to be offended, so we vote to allow them to tell us what words we can use, what books we can read, what cards our kids can give each other in schools, etc.

    Etc., etc.

    The sad thing is that these “experts” usually aren’t.  Financial regulations are written by a pair of congressmen and their staffs, few or none of whom have actually worked in the financial industry.  Food regs are being driven by Michelle Obama, who has no credentials in this area at all.  AGW is being pushed by Algore, whose greatest educational feat was flunking out of divinity school.  Etc.

    We’ve been sold a bill of goods: that people smarter than us ought to be in charge of everything because we are individually too stupid or ignorant to be in charge of ourselves.

    Jebus… How did we manage to convince ourselves that we are so stupid???

  • Choice – the lost concept of freedom.
    And its corollary–responsibility.
    Under ObamaCare, this is just the beginning.
    It is not an example of Godwin’s Law to note that Nazis were BIG natural food freaks, and…uh…anti-smoking nazis.
    BIG GOVERNMENT goes this way.  And, as it controls MORE, it does those things that it should do LESS, like control crime.

  • You are correct docjim and most of those “experts” are educated beyond their intelligence.
    Beware of libs who do good for the “good” of the children, the environment, society, Mother Earth, the poor.
    For the most part bureaucrats are a blight that needs heavy doses of control and oversight.

  • Of course the first foods to go under these new “suggestions” will be all the treats that are used to motivate kids and celebrate their special occasions.  It’d be nice if we were allowed to switch over to an alternative, especially for treats brought to school, but most schools don’t allow treats that aren’t store-bought, for “health reasons” (as if we would deliberately give our own kids food poisoning!)  Nobody’s watching the treats we give to kids at church or at home though… yet.
    The vise is squeezing us parents when it comes to food choices, and the hardest hit are the ones with food allergies, for which storebought foods are expensive at best and unavailable at worst.

  • P.S. Don’t think for a minute that they’ll allow a sugary breakfast cereal to be marketed to adults only.  They’ll take a page from CPSIA and declare that any sugary breakfast cereal automatically appeals to children and is therefore a “children’s food”.  You could call it “Adult-O’s” and fill it with little marshmallow genitals, and they’ll still consider it a “children’s food.”

  • So, let’s see: liberals have no problem with the “choice” to abort a baby, but, a food isn’t quite good enough for their delicate sensibilities? Well, they cannot be allowed to advertise.

    • “Choice” ONLY applies to abortion.
      NOT to guns, what you drive, how you speak, where your child goes to school, the temperature of your home, what you eat, where you smoke, your health care, etc.

  • It’s food it’s good for the environment and it will help stop AGW.

  • This will fix everything because it’ll cost more people their jobs at food manufacturers and kids will never figure out they can just pour sugar onto plain cereal. Sheer genius!

  • Thankfully, the huge bag of generic frosted flakes I eat don’t actually advertise, so they should be fine.  🙂

  • Something lost in all of this is something that gets “overlooked” in the global warming debate: what exactly IS the “optimum”?  Just as the gorebots can’t tell us what the “optimum” global temperature should be, the food nazis can’t tell us exactly what people ought to eat.  Yes, we know through a lot of hard experience that there are diseases such as beri-beri, rickets, etc. that can be caused by nutrient deficiencies, but we also know that human beings can, do and have eaten a variety of diets with no ill effects.*

    Our problem is that our food isn’t nutritious; we Americans tend to be big people BECAUSE our diets are nutrient-rich.  Rather, the “problem” is that many of us are fat, and this is because our lifestyles are sedentary and (thanks be to capitalism) food is plentiful and cheap for us, a “problem” that many people throughout history would have been happy to have.

    These f*cking self-appointed experts would have us munching on lawn clippings in order to… um… Say… Just what the flock DO they want????


    (*) I often muse about my great grandfather, who routinely ate a poor Southerner’s breakfast of biscuits and gravy made from lard throughout his working life; he lived into his late 90’s.

    In a similar vein, I am reminded of White Castle hamburgers.  Thanks to Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, Americans used to regard ground beef – and it’s most delicious incarnation, the hamburger – as a questionable if not downright dangerous thing to eat.  White Castle combatted this view in part by the “white” (pure, sterile, healthy) decor of its restaurants, but also by a publicity stunt:

    In 1931, White Castle hired a renowned food scientist from a Big Ten university [Jesse McClendon of the University of Minnesota] to run tests to determine the nutritional value of White Castle Sliders. One (lucky) medical student [Bernard Flesche] lived on nothing but White Castle burgers and water for 13 weeks. Studies show conclusively that the student maintained good health.  [emphasis mine – dj505]

    Flesche apparently never voluntarily ate another hamburger again, however!

  • There will be no candy and Halloween will be outlawed.  

  • There must be a war coming.  The Department of War started to school lunch program so draftees would be of better quality for the war after the “Great War” (before they started to number them).

  • I agree, it should not be government`s responsibility to tell people what to eat. It is everyone`s personal choice. People don’t have to eat things they think were poisoned with chemicals or hormones. I think it would be better to concentrate on raising and monitoring the quality standards of organic food because those are usually more expensive so people deserve to know what their really consist of.

  • “By the year 2016, all food products within the categories most heavily marketed directly to children should meet two basic nutrition principles. Such foods should be formulated to … make a meaningful contribution to a healthful diet and minimize the content of nutrients that could have a negative impact on health and weight.”

    Healthful diet – just what is that. anyway? Every once in a while I am confronted with someone – like the FDA or a new doctor at the clinic – who says it should things like peas, lima beans, and other green veggies – to which I am allergic.

    Nothing that could have a negative on health and weight? Anything you can ingest could affect your health and/or weight, be it yogurt or arsenic.