>> Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Image by FranciscoDiez via FlickrUpdate: Please review the comments following this post for a change in my position on this political issue.
It seems that along with a few major cities around the nation, the entire state of California will begin banning trans fats beginning with 2010, with a grace period for some (bakeries) continuing up until 2011. While it's fantastic to see that people are finally starting actually do something about trans fats, is this the way it should be done?
In America one is supposed to have the right to live the way one wants to live, and if one makes good choices or bad, as long as no one else's rights, health, or property are injured, you're free to make those choices. One may take up the position that this kind of limitation is exactly the kind of law a Big Brother government would make, and that it is therefore wrong. Were this kind of law passed on the federal level, they'd be right. The federal government, FDA included, should not be making nation-wide laws on what we can and cannot eat. Washington would be well within its rights to place a ban on interstate sales of trans fat ingredients, of course, but all of this is beside the point.
The fact is that on a state level, this is exactly the kind of law that is justified and, I must add sadly, required. Yes, you're free to choose to eat what you'd like, but you're also not free to sell a poison off as a common, everyday food - sometimes even touting it as a "health" food. This is the true justification of a law like this, because for a corporation to sell ingredients with trans fats is a direct violation of the consumer's health.
What most will see in this law is, as I say, a sad fact that a majority of Americans are either unwilling or unable to choose healthy foods, and so the government is doing it for them. I do personally believe that most people are incapable of such choices, as I see people drinking pop or chowing down McDonald's every day, but I wish them both freedom and health, regardless of the fact that they may do nothing to protect either.
Do not focus on that latter, unfortunate truth, but instead stop letting the corporate entities bring widespread injury by allowing them to continue to pass off poison as the union of convenience and health.