Just a few days before they started moving the goalposts on drinks in school vending machines, the food cops decided they needed to police an even bigger target: the government. Late last month the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) sent a letter to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt (click here for a glamour shot) admonishing him to “institute effective measures to combat rising obesity rates and other problems related to diet and health.”
Here are our favorite “effective measures” from CSPI’s letter: Revoking the Food and Drug Administration’s “generally recognized as safe” label for salt. Yes, salt. CSPI calls the old-school food additive “The Forgotten Killer,” but as we’ve pointed out before, their assault tastes funny.
Banning the use of trans fats. Remember, these are the same guys who used to say that “the charges against trans fat just don’t stand up.” CSPI nutritionist Bonnie Liebman once delivered the following verdict on the fat’s danger: “Trans, schmans.”
Limiting marketing of various CSPI-despised foods to children. In January we exposed how the science doesn’t support CSPI’s preposterous lawsuit claiming that parents are utterly powerless before the terrible might of advertising. The facts haven’t changed in the last four months.
Banning from schools snack foods that don’t meet CSPI’s nutritional standards. There’s a lot of science out there pointing out that snacks don’t play any special role in diet or body weight, but hey, why let science stop you?
CSPI did leave out one recommendation, however. The letter didn’t say a word about physical activity, even though the weight of scientific evidence identifies the decline in physical activity as a major (if not the primary) influence on obesity levels.