Free Markets, Free People
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.