Artificial Sweet Milk, 32-Oz Drinks, Nannies and Federal Health Payments

Ideas and Issues

Little Rock  A friend told me that she had heard on the radio that they were trying to put artificial sweeteners in milk, serve it to children, and not reveal it on the front of the milk carton, but hide it in the fine print on the back where the so-called “nutritional” information is located.  The milk people think that they can regain ground they are currently losing to sweet and flavored soft drinks and the fact that more parents are learning that this is not the 1950’s and too much milk is not necessarily good for children or anyone else.  Not sure how good anyone really thinks chocolate and strawberry milk are for folks anyway, but you get the message, right?

Turns out, thanks to the good folks at Google, I doubled checked and my friend had heard this right.  In fact this matter is before the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) right now.  They are open for comments until May 21st, and I hope they get millions of them.  Add your voice to this, please!

Mayor Bloomberg of New York City stirred a mess, now held up in court, in trying to ban 32-ounce sodas from the city’s stores.  He’s not intimidated, and is also talking about hiding cigarettes way out of sight.  He may not have been subtle about much of this, but there can’t be much question that none of that stuff is good for children.  The conservatives claimed this was another good example of the “nanny” state, and it was actually embarrassing to see the NAACP and other civil rights groups, who have been heavy beneficiaries of the largesse of Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and the others, speak out against the ban, proving how implicitly transactional the relationships with these companies really are.  Adults who want it this stuff, will be able to get it, but the state – and the rest of us – have the right to regulate in loco parentis any attractive nuisance.  We don’t question why there needs to be fences around playgrounds or safe construction of children’s play gear in public spaces, because these are “attractive nuisances” if not properly handled and protected.

Furthermore the state is not acting in loco parentis as much as they are giving parents a hand, and frankly, looking after their own interests.  In the future the government is footing even more of the bill for health care for more and more citizens, finally, and why should the government believe it should subsidize cigarettes, 32-ounce soda, and other health threatening stuff, when they are responsible for the toxic cleanup, so to speak, when years later, they are paying the hospital bills for cancer, diabetes, and other diet and ingestion induced maladies?  As taxpayers, we don’t have to act as the agents for chips, sodas, and, sweetened milk, and “just say no” doesn’t work, so why not push this mess to the back with the rest of the smut?