Originally published March 18 2014
Obama administration set to roll out massive new food regulations
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) What "Nanny" Mayor Michael Bloomberg tried to do to New York City, the Obama administration is now trying to do to the entire nation: manage our food and eating habits. And while some may find a few of the mandates useful and wise, just remember that the very same government that is selling these measures as prudent has previously implemented scores of other regulations which deny scores of Americans true food freedom.
As reported by Politico:
While Congress idles on food policy - even the farm bill was a struggle - the Food and Drug Administration is looking to ban trans fat and mandate calorie labels at chain restaurants and vending machines and is poised to revamp Nutrition Facts labels for the first time in 20 years. These changes will affect just about every consumer in the country - and they are just the beginning.
If a little government is good, a lot of government must be great - right?
When did Michelle Obama become a nutrition expert?
According to the report, the administration is also working to help implement a 2011 law, the Food Safety Modernization Act, which is being sold by its advocates as the biggest update to food safety since Franklin Delano Roosevelt was in office. The law "aims to ensure the U.S. food supply is safe by shifting the focus from responding to contamination to preventing it," says the FDA's website.
The White House is overseeing the introduction of the first nutrition standards for all food sold in public schools, writing "voluntary" sodium limits and many more "food-related priorities," Politico reported.
Oh - and included in this massive regulatory wave is First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move!" campaign, which like the NFL's "Play 60" campaign, is designed to reduce childhood obesity (I get where the NFL has credibility when it comes to fitness, but I'm still not clear where Michelle Obama, who is a lawyer, gets hers).
"This administration has paid more attention to food and nutrition issues than any other in my 20 years in Washington," gushed Margo Wootan, director of nutrition policy at Center for Science in the Public Interest. "In terms of visibility and moving the issues forward, it's great to have that level of attention."
Ah, but of course, there is a downside to all of this "attention," as policy experts and analysts remind us. From Politico:
Though FDA is a sub-Cabinet level agency, the White House has micromanaged practically every move, well before rules are submitted to the White House Office of Management and Budget [OMB] for review.
The East Wing, for example, doesn't appear involved in regulatory issues, but sources say White House chef and senior policy adviser Sam Kass, executive director of Let's Move, has been key in moving policies forward.
While the White House tightly controls messaging and timing, agency officials describe a sometimes messy policymaking process behind the scenes. Entrenched bureaucrats at times won't do what they're told and the several-layer review process for mammoth new regulations can be "excruciating," sources say.
Nevertheless, the rules are a-comin'.
A-banning we will go
"We are now one step closer to fully implementing the comprehensive regulatory framework for prevention that will strengthen the FDA's inspection and compliance tools, modernize oversight of the nation's food safety system, and prevent foodborne illnesses before they happen," said Michael R. Taylor, the FDA's deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine, according to UPI.
The next round of changes will be aimed at the ubiquitous black-and-white Nutrition Facts labels; they haven't been updated since 1994 and are said to contain outdated information. But what is not included in the coming changes - at least, not yet - is required labeling for GMO foods.
Politico reported that proposals to overhaul nutrition labeling were sent to the OMB in December. Now, according to sources that the site did not name, there is enough momentum behind the new regulations that a number of them could be announced as early as next month.
One of the more controversial mandates has been the recent proposal to ban trans fat, something that the food industry, naturally, is opposing. But not just because the industry wants to infect the population with trans fats; it is because of the government's "nanny" tendencies to want to ban foods rather than allow people the freedom to choose what they want to eat for themselves.
Or screw into their light sockets.
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