In New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has made a crusade of interfering in private business and personal choices over the years. He banned virtually all smoking outdoors in the city filled with the stink of urine and exhaust smog, and has made several assaults on how New Yorker's eat. When trans-fats were made illegal the initiative was not without controversy, but in the end Nanny Bloomberg had his way. Of course, no one is saying that trans-fats are good for you, or that restaurants should not be encouraged to use more healthy alternatives, but it seems rather overbearing of a city's mayor to intervene in such a way.
At the same time that the city was in a fiscal pinch and some researchers were recommending an 18% tax on pizza and soda, the Mayor reversed his earlier position on such a proposal and jumped on board saying that a soda tax "just makes sense." That initiative stalled, but now the Mayor has made a new assault on soda-pop, pushing to ban anything larger than a 16-ounce container. While espousing the virtues of a smaller cup, he conveniently ignores everything else. For one, it will drive up consumer costs of course, while not actually stopping the offender from drinking more, or having to get up and get another cup-full of soda three or four times during a movie while chowing down on a tub of greased and sodium-laced popcorn. But maybe that is the real goal here for the beverage company stockholder, to drive up consumer costs and company profits. This initiative suddenly becomes more reminiscent of his move to ban soda from NYC schools, while awarding an exclusive contract to Snapple to provide beverages which are actually higher in calories than soda. Diet soda, fortified with chemicals and cancer-causing aspartame would be exempt under this latest push by the Mayor, but so would fruit juices which have a comparable caloric count to regular soda. Also exempt, milk products, so that you could still opt for a thousand-calorie milkshake at McDonald's, or the gut-busting 1,790-calorie Gotta-Have-It-sized Lotta Caramel Latte from Cold Stone Creamery, instead of a 242-calorie 20-ounce Coke. Speaking in an interview, beverage-bully Bloomberg actually had the audacity to say "We're Simply Forcing You To Understand" as if the government or any Mayor should be forcing people to do anything in a free country. More and more government and officials act like they have the right to play Big Brother over our lives, to dictate what is best for us, when in fact they are actively doing things to make us fatter.
On the Federal level, we have seen agents go after Amish farmers as if they were cocaine kingpins for daring to sell raw organic milk to people, who see it as a much healthier option than factory processed milk.
A yearlong sting operation, including aliases, a 5 a.m. surprise inspection and surreptitious purchases from an Amish farm in Pennsylvania, culminated in the federal government announcing this week that it has gone to court to stop Rainbow Acres Farm from selling its contraband to willing customers in the Washington area.
The product in question: unpasteurized milk.
It’s a battle that’s been going on behind the scenes for years, with natural foods advocates arguing that raw milk, as it’s also known, is healthier than the pasteurized product, while the Food and Drug Administration says raw milk can carry harmful bacteria such as salmonella, E. coli and listeria.
But who are the FDA really protecting? The consumer, or the corporations? Considering that the vast majority of E.Coli outbreaks come from products and facilities which are heavily regulated by the FDA, it seems that the FDA are the real threat. Raw milk is actually safer from infection, and of course much healthier and nutritious in general. Nevertheless, there have been a number of cases like this where the Feds swarm over a farm in the dark hours of the morning, as if raw milk was enriched uranium. It doesn't end there either.
It seems there really is a war on to prevent you from eating natural and healthy foods. While milk products may be exempt from serving-size caps in New York City, out in Los Angeles and San Diego folks who legally purchase raw milk are now being harassed and threatened by Department of Health agents who demand that they turn over the offending product to them.
"I received a phone call yesterday morning from a wonderful young gal, a 36-year-old mom out of LA County. She's one of our UPS customers that we deliver overnight raw milk to her house. When the CDFA was in here the other day on our recall, they demanded to have all our delivery addresses for overnight UPS delivery. We screwed up and [inadvertently] gave it to them, they got it from one of our secretaries here. The LA County health department started calling her, six or seven times, demanding that she give up her raw milk from her own home to the health department.
She refused, then they showed up at her house and demanded that she give her raw milk to them. She was getting ready to call 911 for the Sheriff's department and have them removed from her front doorstep, and she was threatening to use her camera to take a picture of them and post it on Facebook for harassing her over her raw milk... The investigators left after she told them she was not going to give them the raw milk and to get the Hell off her property.
This is what's going on, it's like food Nazis, it's incredible what these people are doing, trying to collect food from people's houses, that have not made them ill!
Then the San Diego health department called me up and said oh we want a list of all your buyer's club members, and I said no... and they said we want all their addresses and their names, because we want to go to their homes. I said it ain't happening, we aren't going to give it to you."
Armed raids by the police at the behest of health officials are likely not far off. Especially if children are involved in any way. The government has a particular affinity for using the "it's for the children" excuse time and time again in order to dictate how we run our lives, even when they are totally clueless about what is actually best for a person. In this case, it didn't take a raid from Federal agents or an overbearing big-city mayor to impose their will. This time the authority was left in the hands of an anonymous cafeteria monitor to know better than you what is best for your children.
RAEFORD — A preschooler at West Hoke Elementary School ate three chicken nuggets for lunch Jan. 30 because the school told her the lunch her mother packed was not nutritious.
The girl’s turkey and cheese sandwich, banana, potato chips, and apple juice did not meet U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines, according to the interpretation of the person who was inspecting all lunch boxes in the More at Four classroom that day.
So even when they are wrong, is the government always right? It would seem so when we take a look at this next story. If you make a public spectacle of yourself, sharing information that contradicts the so called experts who are licensed by the government, you might very well wind up in jail.
CHARLOTTE — The North Carolina Board of Dietetics/Nutrition is threatening to send a blogger to jail for recounting publicly his battle against diabetes and encouraging others to follow his lifestyle.
Chapter 90, Article 25 of the North Carolina General Statutes makes it a misdemeanor to “practice dietetics or nutrition” without a license. According to the law, “practicing” nutrition includes “assessing the nutritional needs of individuals and groups” and “providing nutrition counseling.”
Steve Cooksey has learned that the definition, at least in the eyes of the state board, is expansive.
When he was hospitalized with diabetes in February 2009, he decided to avoid the fate of his grandmother, who eventually died of the disease. He embraced the low-carb, high-protein Paleo diet, also known as the “caveman” or “hunter-gatherer” diet. The diet, he said, made him drug- and insulin-free within 30 days. By May of that year, he had lost 45 pounds and decided to start a blog about his success.
But this past January the state diatetics and nutrition board decided Cooksey’s blog — Diabetes-Warrior.net — violated state law. The nutritional advice Cooksey provides on the site amounts to “practicing nutrition,” the board’s director says, and in North Carolina that’s something you need a license to do.
Unless Cooksey completely rewrites his 3-year-old blog, he could be sued by the licensing board. If he loses the lawsuit and refuses to take down the blog, he could face up to 120 days in jail.
Homeopathic or natural remedies are the bane of corporate medicine and the government which protects those interests. While they insist that this guy needs a license, they certainly aren't about to issue him one. If they did, then he would be bound not give the advice he is offering there in his blog, and instead would be obligated to spread the accepted doctrine. A convenient catch-22 that keeps power in the hands of those already in control, right or wrong.
So that is where we find ourselves. With alternatives outlawed, and our food choices made through fascist measures rather than instinct, personal choice, or independent thought.