Sunday, March 06, 2005

Weblogging about salt

It's enough to make me feel like the kid who wore the wrong brand of tennis shoes. Few webloggers this week shared my reasonably sympathetic view of CSPI's renewed lawsuit about salt.

Here's the Anti-idiotarian Rotweiller: "You'll Have to Drag the Shaker From My Cold, Dead Hands. LC Ricky sends us this story about a bunch of moronic busybodies demanding that the Gummint march into our kitchens and start regulating what we can eat as well." The Rotweiller also seems to be under the mistaken impression that CSPI is funded by tax dollars.

Overlawyered gets the story more nearly correct, recognizing that the issue is whether FDA is correct to classify salt as "Generally Recognized as Safe." Overlawyered describes CSPI as "a prominent busybody group" and exaggerates the remedy sought by CSPI: "[the suit demands] that food preparers be made to obtain permission from federal regulators before adding salt to food."

A Stitch in Haste recognizes that CSPI is not really advocating banning of salt, but rather is concerned especially about salt in fast food restaurant food, where the levels of salt are frequently extremely high and are less clearly an expression of consumer choice. Still, the weblogger says, "But do not try to regulate us. We are adults and do not want you, or the FDA, telling us what to eat."

Brian J. Noggle doesn't like the lawsuit either. "What's next? Moving Morton's over the counter, limiting me to three cartons at a purchase, and putting my name in the database of users?"

Logical Meme says, "If CSPI makes any headway on this, it will be another drift toward an Orwellian state-citizen relationship." The weblogger has interesting favorable comments with regard to government education efforts to inform people about the dangers of salt, but adds, "But the state has no right to make it illegal." Of course, neither CSPI nor anybody else has asked for such a thing.

I encourage anybody who made it back here by way of trackback to take a second look at CSPI's actual lawsuit. Consider the advocacy group's patience in waiting 20 years for FDA to deliver on promises the agency made about a review of an additive that its own experts recognized as not generally recognized as safe. Consider the mild and reasonable remedy requested by CSPI, and consider the severity of the public health issue at stake here. Is there no middle ground in between the Orwellian state and the do-nothing option of relegating another generation to the same rates of death from blood pressure and stroke?

[Update 3/7/05: Corrected Noggle link].

1 comment:

KipEsquire said...

You inadvertently linked twice to me (I am not Brian J. Noggle).