“He has erected a multitude of new offices by a self-assured power and sent hither swarms of new officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.”—Declaration of Independence
In the current regulatory environment, one may be certain that “recommendations” aren’t mere suggestions. The latest example that calls for a healthy read between the lines is this week’s big unveiling of the Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) “Dietary Guidelines for Americans.”
Though presented as an objective analysis of the state of American health accompanied by “what’s good for you” solutions, it’s really a preview of how our bureaucratic betters intend to justify the coming invasion of our kitchens and our dinner plates. Most frightening are the salt-reduction proposals in the report’s conclusion:
“Concentrated efforts are needed to lower total sodium intakes by all Americans… Given the current U.S. marketplace and the resulting excessively high-sodium intake, it will be challenging to achieve the lower level. In addition, time is required to adjust taste perception in the general population. Thus, the reduction from 2,300 mg to 1,500 mg per day should occur gradually over time.”
To put this in context, two bowls of soup is about 1,500 mg of sodium and the 1,500 mg target proposed by the government is a completely arbitrary number based on the junkiest of junk science. In fact, current science refutes the target completely. That’s why the grassroots coalition My Food My Choice has started a petition to send a message to big government: Leave health decisions to doctors and patients and food decisions to individuals.
I don’t know about you, but when I read that the government intends to commence “concentrated efforts” to influence the “U.S. marketplace” and “adjust taste perception” “gradually over time,” my totalitarian-o-meter pins in the red zone. I think we’ve heard enough of this current administration’s rhetoric to know that “efforts” are really mandates, “should” is really “shall.” “You get to keep your policy” means “you don’t get to keep your policy.”
Let’s not fool ourselves. Let’s connect some dots. Individual coverage mandates under Obamacare, enforced by “swarms of new officers” are on the horizon. How long before the federal government grants itself the power to conduct “diet audits” to examine shopping lists and restaurant visits? Might an eyes-wide-open rationing system include withholding healthcare from, or otherwise penalizing, non-compliant Americans?
Think this is all far-fetched? In some areas of England, government bureaucrats knock on doors unannounced during dinner time to counsel Brits on their eating habits. “By hitting people at home, rather than in supermarkets, we can get inside their lives. It’s only by knocking on doors you can find out what they are having for their tea and offer some healthy suggestions,” said a government bureaucrat in an interview.
A few years ago, the European Commission tried to force stores to turn over customer loyalty card information to the European government enabling them to put personal consumption and buying habits into a giant database.
And our federal government is taking a plan that mirrors the “voluntary” National Sodium Reduction Initiative, which New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg launched in January. At the time we believed Bloomberg was pursuing a sweeping sodium reduction campaign that made NYC residents test subjects in a bureaucratic agenda not based on sound science, but on political science and alarmism. But Hizzoner’s edict was heeded—companies rolled over and complied with the bully tactics.
The federal government is taking NYC’s plan—utilizing your tax dollars to have agencies impose it on you—whether you like it or not. What is next, an official appointment of an all powerful “Food Czar?
I’m not saying that government officials should be banned from expressing their opinions about what they perceive as “good” for the rest of us. The First Lady can continue pretending to tend the White House garden. I won’t even call Obama out for grabbing a smoke behind the garden after chowing down on $100-a-hunk wagyu beef (courtesy of you and me).
But if we’re to remain “a people who mean to be free,” we cannot allow the government to post federal agents between our kitchens and our dinner tables. If you are interesting in turning up the heat so the state stays out of out kitchens, join the My Food, My Choice movement—for freedom-loving people everywhere.