— Liberty, Freedom, the US Government, and Trans-Fats…

So here we are in 2015.  The US Government, through the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has unilaterally decided that they will give (allow) manufacturers three years to remove trans-fats from America’s food.  They’ve unilaterally made the Final Determination!

…And some people (those who support big government, or trusts big government’s intentions) are cheering the decision.  The FDA says that trans-fats are dangerous, that they are poison, and that they are making Americans fat.  They claim that this ban 2013-updated_scientific-method-steps_v6could — reduce heart attacks, and they proclaim that, — trans-fats are NOT generally safe.  And all of that MAY be 100% true.  And although, there is little science that proves (using the scientific method) that it is true, I and millions of others accept the premise and CHOOSE to believe there is validity to the idea that trans-fats are not in any way healthy.  ‘And yet, I still CHOOSE to eat trans-fats!  Not because I have a death wish, but because I’m free and I want to.

So is it “freedom” and “liberty,” to make the individual choice to eat trans-fats?  Yes!  Do free people own their own bodies?  ‘Or do free people need government to tell them, and direct them, in what they should, and can eat?  Is government responsible for our bellies?  Or are we silly little sheep? Obviously, minimizing choice by government, diminishes “freedom” and “liberty.”

Yes, people cheer because they do not like the idea of trans-fats, BUT… they are failing to see the bigger picture.  That bigger picture is that the government is banning (through regulation) an item; and that item they are banning; is not the government’s responsibility.  Now this law is not enacted by Congress, but by unelected officials that merely work for government at the FDA.  They are NOT representatives of the American people; they are mere employees of the American people.  In Jan of 2006, Congress required that trans-fats be labeled on food products.  Fine, they can do that! But that governmental act failed to kill off the trans-fats as many hoped; so the next logical step they would take would be government coercion… And since they can’t force/coerce individuals to stop eating trans-fats, they decide they have to go after the producers (whom they cleverly label “manufacturers”), but is it really a governments job to ban fats in foods, even if they had the best of intentions?  Respectfully, I’m not even sure the Nazi’s, the Communist Chinese, or the Communists under the Soviet Union would’ve taken this action; and those dangerous governments readily killed/kill people who disagreed with them!

If the US Government claims this power, can’t they simply ban candies, soda, Twinkies, Snickers, transfat 3milkshakes, French fries, food at any State Fair, or most southern comfort foods?  ‘Because banning these items could also reduce heart attacks, and they are also NOT generally “safe.”  It kind of makes you wonder about Alcohol?!  Despite the catastrophic rise and fall of Prohibition in America, can’t the unelected FDA just come up with a set of regulations to remove alcohol from America?  How many studies show that Alcohol is bad for humans in excess as well?  Why did government go to Congress for Alcohol prohibition, and not go to Congress for trans-fat prohibition?  The government is showing its ever-growing inclination to seize power over the choices of Americans, and to find a way to do so, WITHOUT input from the people or their Representatives… ‘and that should terrify us all.

The truth is, that trans-fats, were and are, on their way out anyway.  Americans have started to pay attention, and producers have started to respond to the marketstransfatprotest and remove these trans-fats from their products; Shouldn’t it be up to the free-market to destroy trans-fats?  I even accept that government and media would continue to team up and badmouth trans-fats with studies and science like they did with cigarettes.  An example of the free-market solving this kind of issue, would be McDonald’s “pink slime” debacle.  This single odd ingredient damaged their corporate reputation, and led to the loss of untold millions of dollars in revenue.  McDonald’s was forced to remove it, not by government coercion, but — by the market place.  Now, WHY is the US Government involving itself in trans-fats again?

In the end, many of us recognize trans-fats to be unhealthy, and liable to make us fat, but a government, specifically an Executive Branch, who seizes the unilateral power to BAN trans-fats, is far more dangerous than the trans-fats themselves.

Kali Pinckney

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