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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/12709/a-housewife-my-housewife-on-fda-and-salt/

A housewife (my housewife) on FDA and salt…

May 13, 2010 by

Stock up on your favorite junk food now, folks, because it looks like the federal government is going to be messing with our food supply a whole lot more if regulators at the FDA have their way.  Plans are underway to mandate restrictions on salt. The government – that fine institution that exists ostensibly to protect our rights and property in this land of the free – is planning soon to dictate how much salt will be legally permissible in prepared foods at grocery stores and restaurants.

Our big brothers are alarmed at how much salt we Americans are consuming ‘on average’ with the alleged consequences of high blood pressure leading to coronary artery disease. It is unfortunate but this notion that most citizens are too stupid or too ignorant to be allowed to make their own decisions about what they should put in their mouths or shopping carts is deep-seated.

My husband worked on Capitol Hill for five years until the atmospheres of blatant self-serving and patronizing elitism finally got too much for him. At one point, he’d have taken almost any kind of work just to get outside the “Beltway” and back among regular people.

As for folks being uninformed about their food choices, I say rubbish!  Our middle daughter is a physician specializing in family medicine in southern Indiana. I know for a fact that she has counseled patients with risk factors for heart problems to limit their salt intake. Her patients are informed about the proper diet for optimal health and she provides information for them on websites. Other physicians and healthcare professionals do the same. The information is out there.

To my daughter’s chagrin, more than a few of her patients ignore her advice and her warnings, and many often suffer the consequences in the form of high blood pressure, diabetes, and coronary heart disease. But she strongly believes, as do I, that the people who come to her with their health concerns have every right to make their own choices about what they will or will not put in their stomachs. If we cannot control our own bodies, what do we have the right to control?

Once again, it’s the federal government seeking to protect us from ourselves, as if the average American is unable to take responsibility for what he or she does.

Don’t be fooled. Once the FDA starts down the slippery slope of regulating ordinary foodstuffs based on their perceptions of health – as has already have done in several cities with trans fats – there is no longer a logical stopping point for intervention. Limiting intake of sugar could be next. Actually, in my personal opinion, too much sugar may be as dangerous to our health as too much salt. Research last fall at the University of California at Davis found that our bodies tend to naturally regulate salt intake, whereas consuming too much sugar causes dental cavities, insulin resistance, obesity, diabetes and, yes, coronary artery disease.  Will the FDA decide to outlaw Twinkies?

My point is, it is no one else’s responsibility to prevent you from eating doughnuts or drinking beer or putting away two bags of potato chips in front of your favorite TV program after working hard all day at your job. Likely you know what the best choices would be but the fact remains that you have the choice. The federal regulators want to take those choices away. They believe that we are a bunch of numbskulls blindly bent on destroying ourselves. We know we shouldn’t pig out too often on certain foods the same way we know we ought to exercise and we shouldn’t smoke cigarettes. But we don’t need anyone strong-arming us to make healthy choices. We retain those basic rights.

My two favorite junk foods are buttered popcorn with a liberal sprinkling of salt and Blizzards (cookie dough) from Dairy Queen. There is no way I’m going to stand by quietly and let some regulator tell me I can’t savor those pleasures once in awhile. I own my body.

By Janny Wilcke, reprinted from the Henry County Local, Eminence, Kentucky

{ 33 comments }

Lemmywinks May 13, 2010 at 5:58 pm

This regulation seems useless without the elimination of salt shakers.

Shay May 14, 2010 at 1:04 am

Reclassification of salt as a schedule I controlled substance doesn’t occur until 2012.

Mark October 14, 2010 at 10:30 am

I have type 2 diabetes and high blood sugar. It is habit too reach for the salt shaker. I agree out of sight out of mind.

HL May 13, 2010 at 6:00 pm

I suspect the real reason for this sudden attention to salt is that BigChem has come up with some incredible substitute. Salt is highly effective and basically side effect free. I am sure there’s some expensive preservative/flavor enhancer patented and ready to go. I am reminded of the great haste to get rid of freon once it benefitted Dow to do so. So, they’ll load up on fake salt and in about 60 years when the true nature of the stuff is discovered they’ll blame it “capitalism.”

Kristian Joensen May 13, 2010 at 6:01 pm
Walt D. May 13, 2010 at 6:16 pm

Medical question? Is the problem with salt the salt per se, or is it due to not drinking enough water. If you drink enough water, won’t the kidneys just excrete the excess salt?

Lemmywinks May 13, 2010 at 6:40 pm

Yes, although there is likely a limit where you are going to absorb too much salt, no matter how much water you drink. Exercise and sweating help to eliminate large amounts of salt as well.

The point is though….that optimum salt intake is going to be different for everyone, and regulating it is pointless. Fast food has allot of salt because people think it tastes good, not because it’s forced. I just made a black bean soup, made from 100% fresh vegetables and dried beans…..which I covered in delicious salt.

I like the theory that there’s probably already an industry alternative. It’s fine if people want to buy food made with some strange chemical concoction that tastes vaguely like salt, but they shouldn’t be getting the government’s help.

Minarchael May 13, 2010 at 7:46 pm

Why don’t the protesters march to the sea, so they can collect their own salt, without limits? It worked wonders for Gandhi!

Rich Wilcke May 13, 2010 at 8:39 pm

One reason, in my opinion, for why the FDA has suddenly floated the idea of requiring lower salt is that a few companies who are already going in that direction would like their competitors, who are not going in that direction, to be at a disadvantage. Take, for example, Pepsico, which has always been a very politically savvy firm. Do you think that company would like the FDA to clamp down on firms that sell “unhealthy” products? This quote is from an article about their shareholder meeting a month or two ago:

“PepsiCo laid out its priorities for growth, including healthier products…Chief Executive Indra Nooyi detailed her vision at the start of a two-day investor meeting at New York’s Yankee Stadium, where the maker of Pepsi-Cola, Frito-Lay snacks and Gatorade also affirmed its growth forecasts. At the meeting, Pepsi unveiled new Gatorade drinks, including some made with a low-calorie natural sweetener and a new salt product that can reduce sodium in potato chips without changing their taste… Pepsi also unveiled targets to cut levels of salt, sugar and saturated fats in (all) its top-selling products.”

Eric M. Staib May 13, 2010 at 10:16 pm

Very good points.

vc May 14, 2010 at 6:56 am

Why would these “few companies” be at a disadvantage?

Perchance people don’t want to buy their “healthy” products?

If people wanted this then these “few companies” would be at an advantage. It is only because people don’t want these “priorities” foisted on them that the coercive nature of government comes into play.

Thanks for inadvertantly explaning the true nature and actual purpose of business-government relationships.

vc May 14, 2010 at 7:05 am

Upon re-reading your post, perhaps it wasn’t inadvertant :)

vc May 14, 2010 at 7:12 am

Sorry for my misinterpretation of your remarks Rick. I guess the BIG BLUE BOX around your post was too subtle for me LOL.

Kakugo May 14, 2010 at 2:45 am

Well, it’s already here.
The City of Milan struck an agreement with the local bakers’ guild to limit the amount of salt in each loaf.
Given the fact that until fifty years ago here in Lombardy salt-related diseases were still rampant (due to the fact that we mostly used cheap iodine-poor salt rock instead of high quality marine salt) and that there are still people suffering from long term damages this brought this sounds a little ironic to me.

newson May 14, 2010 at 4:06 am

“sali e tabacchi” coming to america.

dewind May 14, 2010 at 5:05 am

As we all know, the FDA and the government has done a bang up job with our food economy. The corn subsidies, arbitrary regulations, expensive licensing requirements for misleading labels, and being entirely own and operated by corporate lobbyists.

Now industry/government gets to dictate our food intake.

Christopher May 14, 2010 at 7:12 am

I’m a firm believer in personal choice however I also do not want to pay for their health care when their choices put them in the hospital. Kinda like laws requiring motorcyclists to wear helmets. I’m all for it, IF, the rider waives all rights to medical care if he wrecks.

Kristian Joensen May 14, 2010 at 10:15 am

“however I also do not want to pay for their health care when their choices put them in the hospital.”

Your “when” there is unwarranted. But nevermind that, why should you ever pay for anyone else’s healthcare without your consent to that?

Shay May 15, 2010 at 7:13 am

The solution to being forced to pay for others’ health care isn’t to prohibit others from doing anything potentially harmful, it’s to stop being forced to pay for others’ health care.

Vanmind May 14, 2010 at 9:58 am

Salt: for thousands of years, one of the despot’s preferred weapons of oppression.

Kitty Antonik Wakfer May 14, 2010 at 7:32 pm

When the government is paying (with tax money of course) part or all the costs of most individuals’ medical care, it is not surprising that one or more government agencies will create and enforce laws that dictate behavior (possibly) having a negative affect on the health of an individual – the use of trans-fats, salt, motorcycle helmets, etc. The UK has increasingly been on this route for many years in an effort to stem the ever increasing rise in the cost of NHS. The US is still new at this “behavior modification” but much more is inevitable if Obamacare remains the law of the land and actually goes into effect.

BTW Ontario Canada does not tax food, but if salt is added to an item also available plain – as to nuts, for example – the very same size (non snack, which is taxed) package is then taxed. Though I have not seen acknowledgement of this as health behavior related, it is likely to be so since that province like the others has government universal health care. The list of taxable foods are all what one would consider snack or dessert-like serving size quantities – http://www.rev.gov.on.ca/en/guides/rst/500.html

billwald May 14, 2010 at 8:42 pm

The Wife and I have high blood pressure. After we ordered lunch and started to eat in a national chain we discovered a chart of calories and salt for the menu. We were eating 2 days calories and a week’s sodium allowance.

Anthony May 14, 2010 at 10:46 pm

And did you stop eating the food on your own or did you need someone from the government to hold your hand and walk you out of the restaurant?

tungsten watches July 24, 2010 at 2:21 am

Daily necessities of life is in the life, to our everyday togeth dealing with them I suspect the real reason for this sudden attention to salt is that BigChem has come up with some incredible substitute. Salt is highly effective and basically side effect free.

sara specialist health care July 26, 2010 at 12:44 pm

This topic is very important because it represents a risk to people’s health, disease, blood pressure the silent killer your position is very important Thank you
And should be of concern to all our health and our children’s health

The Food Pyramid July 28, 2010 at 3:57 pm

There must be guidelines of the sodium intake. People should try to follow them I think. Maybe using a food pyramid as guideline for your healthy lvining lifestyle could be helpful.

Robert Blakely July 31, 2010 at 12:17 pm

I think this is a well written post, but I have to say that all that salt isn’t good for you. Especially with High Blood Pressure being a problem. Its because we don’t eat right, and drink too many sodas that this is happening.

The only thing I know of that helps and will also get rid of High Blood pressure is a product I found called Extreme X2o.

You can trace every sickness to a mineral deficiency, and now a days we definitely don’t get enough natural minerals in our daily diet.

We are having 100% success rate with type 2 diabetics in clinical studies in a controlled environment, and I am extremely happy to help others control their diabetes with a simple product that you add to you water which you should be drinking more of anyway.

I wish you success in controlling your diabetes and your health in general. Feel free to contact me for a solution to your problem.

Have a wonderful week!

The Blakester
Robert Blakely
Skype: The-Blakester

Healthy Living August 6, 2010 at 8:04 am

We can live the way we want to live. No matter how the Government implement laws to curb cholesterol, trans-fat, salt and sugar in our food, the disease will still exist. No doubt it will help to a certain extend but I think the most important part is the education.

Healthy living should be incorporated into our education system. Children should be taught on how to live well with proper diet. Proper dieting education is a must in our society. There is no deny about it.

Baten August 6, 2010 at 8:30 am

The whole salt issue is complete bullshit. The only way salt influences blood presure is if you have renal insuficiency of some sort. This is true for about 5% of people with high blood pressure. For the rest, there is no problem with salt, you can eat as much as you want. Cutting salt will do nothing to your BP. People with renal deficiency know very well not to touch salt, they dont need the FDA to regulate their food. And blood pressure is indeed a problem of nutrition – as demonstrated by the fact that it can be cured with nutrition alone, no drugs (see Mediteranean Diet). The main reason HT develops is due to too much sugar, cereals, bread, carbohidrates, HFCS etc. Stop eating these, and you solve the HT in weeks.

Rick August 31, 2010 at 3:24 am

The trouble is if they succeed in this, the result will be to reduce the amount of drugs being sold to those who use too much so they will be ordered by their big pharma masters to reverse it. I wonder if that would mean a recomended larger alloance than now?

ftiens October 1, 2010 at 6:26 am

Diabetes (diabetes mellitus) is classed as a metabolism disorder. Metabolism refers to the way our bodies use digested food for energy and growth. Most of what we eat is broken down into glucose. Glucose is a form of sugar in the blood – it is the principal source of fuel for our bodies.
Should you require any more diabetes please visit his diabetes tips apparatus

Anne November 19, 2010 at 10:59 am

I have little to no faith in the FDA. I don’t even think they really care about our well being anymore. I guess I’m still upset that they hate raw milk so much :P

Anyway it’s just wrong to take away peoples free will.

Royal Takeaway Clayton January 9, 2011 at 3:13 pm

Royal Takeaway Clayton

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