January 12, 2010
Bloomberg's Anti-Salt Crusade May Go Nationwide
Posted by Dave Blount at January 12, 2010 11:08 AM
In the nanny state dystopia of New York City, shooting heroin is encouraged, with the taxpayer forced to pay for instructions on how to do it. But the authorities won't long permit eating salted food:
Participation in New York City's new anti-salt campaign, which aims to reduce the sodium content of restaurant and packaged food by an average of 25 percent in the next five years, is voluntary for now. But that is also how the city's trans fat ban got started; when restaurants declined to cooperate, they were forced. City officials are downplaying the possibility that recalcitrant volunteers will be conscripted. "There's not an easy regulatory fix," Associate Health Commissioner Geoffrey Cowley told The New York Times. "You would have to micromanage so many targets for so many different products." And when have government bureaucrats ever tried to micromanage business practices?
The answer: every chance they get.
Even if it does not become legally mandatory, the city's salt assault is astonishingly presumptuous. Because it requires the participation of restaurant chains and food manufacturers, it will, if successful, affect the diet of the entire country. Such a nationwide shift is not justified even by the standards of "public health" paternalism, since it could do more harm than good.
Cutting back on salt is recommended for 30% of those with high blood pressure — that is, 10% of the population. As for the rest of us, it may be harmful. After all, salt is an essential nutrient. But then, CO2 is essential to plant life, and that hasn't prevented our rulers from declaring it deadly and using it as a pretext to dictate every detail of our lives.
The presumption is particularly galling in the case of Bloomberg, who is notorious for scarfing the sort of foods he wants to forbid the rest of the country from eating. But then, we're just little people; we can't be trusted to make up our own minds what to eat.
On tips from Varla and Puffdaddy.