The latest faction of food police to step forward and offer to save consumers from themselves is the Strategic Alliance for Health Food and Activity Environments (SAHFAE). This group – claiming a name straight out of the cold war era – advocates a shift "away from personal responsibility and individual choice to one that examines corporate and government practices."
Playing the foil to our message of consumer choice, SAHFAE could easily be called the Soviets and we, the Allied Forces. Their most recent report "Where’s the Fruit?" exemplifies these (less than subtle) differences. The nutritional witch-hunt attempts to "out" products which include no fruit even though their packaging features images and names of fruit.
Unfortunately, the study selectively applies this logic only to fruit references. In excluding other foods from their investigation, SAHFAE fails to warn America that Pop Rocks, chicken fingers and buffalo wings do not actually contain rocks, fingers or buffalo.
The group wants the Food and Drug Administration to intervene on behalf of consumers who may expect the health benefits of real fruit when they purchase products like berry cereal and orange soda. Larry Cohen, executive director of the institute, justified this proposal to the Los Angeles Times by saying, "I would have thought, and other people would have thought, that Life Savers contained some fruit."
Hard candies are not the first target of this modern day Warsaw pact. In 2003 the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) filed lawsuits against Smucker’s for allegedly misleading the public by promoting their spreads as "100% fruit." Though the labels of these foods clearly list ingredients for all to see, the food bullies continue to try and muscle in.
If these researchers are truly that confused by colorful illustrations, then we’d like to suggest fabric softener as a subject for their next report: "Where’s the Bear?"