“We could envision taxes on butter, potato chips, whole milk, cheeses, [and] meat.”
That’s Michael Jacobson of the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), calling for “sin taxes” on foods to pay for a government-sponsored “mass media public health campaign” — that is, taxing foods you like to pay for ads that tell you not to eat foods you like.
CSPI is currently leading an effort to eliminate certain food options altogether from the Smithsonian museums in Washington, effectively trying to tell hundreds of thousands of families what they can (and more often cannot) eat while on vacation. CSPI decries the fact that nationally popular restaurants are permitted to provide food service at the Smithsonian.
Typically patronizing, CSPI does not believe customers can judge for themselves. Saying “visitors will have to hunt hard” for salads, yogurt, and other foods because menus contain so many diverse options, the letters demand that “information on menu boards and elsewhere should actively encourage patrons to choose the more healthful meal options” — by whose reckoning, CSPI doesn’t say.