Thomas Frieden, President Obama’s pick to head the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is a lightning rod for controversy. In the days since his nomination was announced, major media outlets have reported on the big-time concerns that many consumers have about giving more power to this infamous food cop.
New York magazine ran the news of Frieden’s nomination under the headline “Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden to Take Fun-Hating National.” The New York Daily News, The Wall Street Journal, the Fox television affiliate in DC, and the Associated Press newswire all turned to us to explain why Frieden’s promotion to the public-health major leagues spells bad news for personal responsibility and consumer choice.
As we told reporters:
“It is unfortunate that President Obama chose to put the nation’s health in the hands of an overzealous activist who doesn’t give any consideration to the importance of personal responsibility or privacy. Frieden doesn’t simply blur the line between what is the government’s responsibility in regulating health and what is the individual’s responsibility; he barely recognizes its existence.”
Frieden’s for-your-own-good methods are varied and far-ranging. If taxing certain foods doesn’t get people to eat less, there’s always the option of banning them outright.
Hang on to your salty snacks and soda pop: With Frieden taking the helm at the CDC, they may just be put on the endangered species list.