NEWS FROM THE LIBERTARIAN PARTY
2600 Virginia Avenue, NW, Suite 100
Washington DC 20037
World Wide Web: http://www.LP.org
For release: May 30, 2000
For additional information:
George Getz, Press Secretary
Phone: (202) 333-0008 Ext. 222
Nutrition Summit this week is the
beginning of a 'War on Fatty Foods'
WASHINGTON, DC -- A National Nutrition Summit being held in
Washington, DC this week could mark the beginning of an effort by the
federal government to tax, regulate, or ban fatty foods like Twinkies,
cheeseburgers, and ice cream, the Libertarian Party predicted today.
"It's official: The War on Fat has begun -- and the first
victim of this war could be our right to choose the foods we want to
eat," said Steve Dasbach, the party's national director. "If we don't
stop them, politicians and bureaucrats will try to do to fatty foods
what they've already done to cigarettes."
On Tuesday and Wednesday, May 30-31, the U.S. Department of
Agriculture and the Department of Health & Human Services will sponsor
a Nutrition Summit that will bring together about 1,800 anti-fat
activists from around the country.
The goal of the gathering: To consider strategies to force
people to change their diets to combat what some bureaucrats say is an
"epidemic of obesity" in America.
Among the specific sessions scheduled for the summit are:
A discussion of how restaurants should "modify the food
environment for obesity prevention."
A review of the influence of advertising on diet -- and a
discussion of the "changes needed to create positive influences on diet
A look at the personal "behavior changes" needed to achieve a
Such sessions are clear evidence that federal busybodies plan
to launch a massive intervention into the food choices of adult
Americans, said Dasbach.
"When bureaucrats talk about modifying the food environment at
restaurants, they really mean mandatory warning labels on menus," he
said. "When they talk about making sure advertisements have a positive
influence, they really mean imposing federally mandated marketing
restrictions. And when they talk about behavior changes, they really
mean higher taxes on popular foods.
"The agenda of this summit is clear: Uncle Sam plans to turn
into Uncle FatBuster, and the government plans to launch a war on the
foods you love."
Federal bureaucrats have been remarkably outspoken about their
desire to force Americans into "better" eating habits, noted Dasbach.
Some examples, collected by the Guest Choice Network:
"People don't have the knowledge or willpower to select the
right kind of food," said Dr. Rajen Anand, Director of the USDA's
Center for Nutrition Policy and Prevention.
"We're not doing the same kinds of things with obesity that
we have done with smoking and alcohol as far as the government is
concerned. It's got to be like smoking, a constant drumbeat," said
Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop.
"We need a strategy to deal with obesity. We need to
intervene, break people's eating patterns," said Eileen Kennedy, USDA
Undersecretary for Research, Education, and Economics.
The bottom line is that federal bureaucrats don't think you can
be trusted to decide what to eat, said Dasbach.
"Consuming fatty foods may not be the smartest thing a person
can do, but adult Americans have the fundamental right to choose what
they want to eat -- without getting permission from a federal
bureaucrat," he said. "That's why Americans need to stand up and tell
the government: Don't tax my Twinkies. Don't ban my Ben & Jerry's ice
cream. And don't regulate my refrigerator."