The diet scolds at the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) will not rest until every food morsel in America is taxed, labeled, regulated, and given the food-cop seal of approval. This week in a Houston Chronicle op-ed, CSPI executive director Michael Jacobson writes of a need to “counter the influences of automation,” as well as “the wealth that enables people to eat as much as they want of anything produced on Earth.” To defeat this tragedy of all tragedies, Jacobson reiterates his ravenous desire for food taxes, marketing bans, and warning labels — all designed to force Americans through a maze of bureaucratic red tape en route to what used to be a pleasant meal. And as always, buying into Jacobson’s warped vision of dining in America requires that we agree to “go beyond” personal responsibility.
According to Jacobson, fighting obesity is tantamount to fighting the Taliban. Making light of our government’s decision to dedicate its resources to “wars and tax breaks,” Jacobson suggests picking “billions of dollars a year” from Americans’ pockets through taxes on sugar and meat, in order to subsidize his war to “protect waistlines.” Jacobson is actually suggesting that people pay government to be told what to eat.
Jacobson also bemoans the U.S. House’s passage of the “Personal Responsibility in Food Consumption Act,” which aims to protect restaurants from frivolous obesity lawsuits. Rather than simply allow eateries to provide consumers with the choices they want, CSPI’s self-described “food police” declare that fighting obesity is “going to take a whole lot of lawsuits.” Jacobson even teamed up with sue-happy trial lawyer John Banzhaf to threaten ice cream retailers with lawsuits for failing to warn us that ice cream contains fat and sugar.
Educating Americans about the importance of a balanced diet and exercise isn’t enough for Jacobson. He won’t rest until every last potato chip, every yummy dessert, and every other fun food is placed beyond our reach.