As a hallmark of its presidency, the White House advocated and got passed the Affordable Care Act, which friend and foe alike call Obamacare.
Why would mandatory health insurance also include a provision for food labeling? Maybe it's for the kids. But mandatory labeling is in there and President Obama's FDA says first-year compliance will cost businesses $537 million - luckily, the president has exempted businesses from implementing Obamacare for now, and is just forcing citizens without insurance to buy it, so perhaps restaurants can afford this additional tax, though maybe not - the Office of Management and Budget says this rule is the third-largest paperwork and information-collection burden of any rule implementing new statutory requirements.
Daren Bakst at the Heritage Foundation makes the argument that the burden is more than financial - we already abdicate a great deal of thought and decision-making to politicians and the government claiming people make poor food choices due to lack of information - that pesky gremlin deficit thinking that infects social authoritarians of all kinds - will then cause them to up the cultural ante when it turns out that some people make stupid choices if they have choices at all.
Bakst really tackles the societal issue comprehensively so people can read there after I note the key factoid that should be relevant, even to social authoritarians who think the burden of information should be paid by business owners: after this mandatory labeling went into effect in New York City, consumption of calories went up. That is why they are now going after Big Gulps. They will continue to ban foods until people only eat the foods that central government planners want people to eat. That is not the direction evidence-based or freedom-loving people should cheer about.
Let's Be More Like France?
We're not alone in efforts to micromanage food and labels. France, which already has to mandate how much French music is played on the radio because no one wants to listen to it, is now legislating French food too. But rather than mandate how much French food people must eat, or ban microwave ovens, France is going to require restaurants that make fait maison (homemade) food to list it as such.
Yes, politicians are economically penalizing the foods they like - take that, America.
But it's not all that quaint, it is the first effort by traditionalists (cultural conservatives) to redefine what can call itself a 'restaurant'. They did the same thing to bread bakers in the past and now a "boulangerie" cannot legally be used unless bread dough is made fresh from scratch each morning — nothing can be stored in a freezer.
Do French people care about fait maison? Not in the least, like in most developed countries fast food outsells traditional restaurants but the otherwise liberal French have gotten downright ultra-conservative about their cuisine heritage and will preserve it by any means necessary.
What's the French word for irony? Oh right, irony. Never mind then, I am off to get a Le Royale Cheese. It just sounds healthier that way.
Credit and link: CurbsideClassic.com