The Coming Food Police

By:  Thomas R. Eddlem
05/31/2012
       
The Coming Food Police

 Again calling on the specter of controlling high healthcare costs, the food police are coming, and in some states so are the exercise police. But that may only be the beginning.

 

The Massachusetts legislature and its Department of Public Health recently set off a national furor over a proposed statewide ban on bake sales at school events under the guise of fighting obesity.

The national exposure forced Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick to lift the proposed ban from the regulations. “Nobody’s interested in banning bake sales,” Patrick told the Boston Herald May 10, backtracking. “We are interested in student nutrition and good choices.” The state house had just overwhelmingly voted to amend the healthcare law they had passed a year earlier.

Massachusetts public health bureaucrats were clearly unhappy that the politicians chickened out. “The School Nutrition standards have always been about reducing childhood obesity in Massachusetts and protecting our kids from the serious long-term health impacts that obesity can cause,” DPH Commissioner John Auerbach wrote in a defensive statement. “At the direction of Governor Patrick, the department will seek to remove these provisions. We hope to return the focus to how we can work together to make our schools healthy environments in which our children can thrive.” In other words, we'll try again when the public outcry subsides.

Just as Romneycare in Massachusetts was the precursor to ObamaCare nationally, so the proposed statewide ban on bake sales and control of the population's food is a precursor of what will happen nationally. Massachusetts isn't alone. Bloomberg Businessweek reported May 3, “Schools in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, and Texas have regulations aimed at limiting bake sales to nutritious food.” And nobody stopped food control in those states.

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