Our repeated efforts to speak out against a recent New Jersey initiative to tax our favorite foods have started a trend. Over the weekend, The Morning Journal editorialized against the “ill-conceived” food cop campaign “to charge a sin tax on ‘unhealthy’ burgers, fries and drive-through delicacies.” A blogger for The Star-Ledger concurred:
Since Trenton is willing to punish us for our “sins” of burger and fries (in addition to ice cream and beer), maybe they should look at their own greed (excessive, extreme desire for something, often more than one’s proper share) and instead don a hair shirt by cutting 10% of the bloated state bureaucracy in penance for their sin.
The Garden State’s debate is only one example of the recent attacks on Americans’ freedoms in the name of public health.
Last week, the nutrition radicals at California Center for Public Health Advocacy (CCPHA) dismissed health measures that focus on personal responsibility or exercise, effectively claiming that Americans simply can’t be trusted with the complex task of feeding themselves.
The Los Angeles Health Department is continuing to wage a year-long campaign against consumers’ access to pork-wrapped hot dogs from street vendors under the banner that “bacon is a potentially hazardous food."
On Friday, a Florida county Health Department director earned the designation of “food cop” through his disquieting history of throwing away shared treats in the employee lounge, plastering the office with signs that warn “Donuts=Thunder Thighs,” and punishing workers who bring donuts to work.
While these kinds of regulations seem outrageous to most of us, they’re becoming increasingly common at the city, state, and even federal level. With policies like fast-food zoning and menu-labeling mandates, bureaucrats are pushing for more and more control over everything we eat. Think about recent lawsuits against parents of obese children, “sin” taxes on tasty foods, and Girl Scout cookie boycotts.
The head food nag at CCPHA even suggested that the Environmental Protection Agency should define some restaurants as “environmental toxins.” But the real toxic element American should fear is the unhealthy activist-driven public obsession with “junk” food, which redirects energies away from programs that encourage exercise — and toward ineffective government control of our food choices.