Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) diet scold Michael Jacobson and “sue the bastards” legal shark John Banzhaf are a match made in heaven. Jacobson goes to work every day looking for a new recipe for turning lemonade into lemons, and Banzhaf makes his living suing the lemonade stand.
Earlier this week, CSPI released a hit-piece on ice cream whose killjoy conclusions were drawn almost entirely from nutrition information provided by food companies. Improbably, CSPI argued that these same dessert marketers aren’t providing enough nutrition information to the public.
As a follow-up to this bombastic media stunt, Jacobson and Banzhaf teamed up yesterday to formally warn six U.S. ice cream retailers that lawsuits may result from their refusal to immediately “list the calorie (and, ideally, saturated fat) content of each item” on menus and menu boards.
After stunning ice cream executives with the (shocking!) news that their products are rich in calories and saturated fat, Banzhaf and Jacobson shift from the obvious to the ridiculous:
“[A] significant percentage of children likely would be interested in the calorie contents of your offerings and, given readable, accessible information, might choose treats with fewer calories. Therefore, the moral — and perhaps even legal — obligation to provide complete and accurate nutrition information about your products is all the greater.
“Your failure to disclose such obviously material information as unusually large calorie and saturated-fat loads may violate state consumer protection laws and/or your common-law duty to disclose material facts and may invite law suits from concerned consumers, legal action organizations, or even state officials. That is especially true when the consumers are children since they are both far less likely to be aware of the health hazards associated with eating fattening foods and more susceptible to their effects.”
You read that right. Children apparently know next to nothing about “the health hazards associated with eating fattening foods,” but are nonetheless demanding to be reminded how many calories are in a scoop of Chunky Monkey.
Sound like any kids you know? We didn’t think so.