Independent Womens Forum
Published on August 26, 2014
112 — LEAN TOGETHER This tactic is used to advance big government generally, but in this chapter I’ll consider three recent policy initiatives advanced by alarmism: Regulations on the food industry, government anti-obesity measures, and reforms to the Federal School Lunch Program. The American public was fed a steady diet of exaggerations about how failing to pass these three measures would result in terrible consequences and would lead to a far less scally sound, less healthy American public. Of course, these are only three examples—only a small sampling of the near constant warnings of danger coming from those who seek more control over how Americans choose to live their lives. Women in particular are targeted for warnings about food and common products like shampoo, deodorant, plastic food containers, household cleaners, and products used by their children like toys, playground equipment, Halloween costumes, baby bottles and sippy-cups, crib mattresses and bed sheets and even baby soap and lotion. Even things as benign as garden hoses have been cast as silent killers by environmental activists eager to see more onerous regulations on the chemical industry. The message being sent to women is simple: You’re not safe, and only the state can protect you. For instance, the American Academy of Pediatrics 2010 list of “high risk” foods includes apples, chewing gum, peanut butter, marshmallows, nuts, popcorn, raw carrots, sausages, seeds, grapes and hot dogs. The AAP wants the government to require food manufacturers to place warning labels on food packages in order to reduce injuries due to choking. Yet, is it really possible to make every food child proof? Shouldn’t we instead advise parents to cut food into child-safe sizes? Perhaps parents should be reminded that a good way to prevent choking is to explain to a child the importance of eating slowly and thoroughly chewing. But according to the AAP, it’s government that should be doing more, more, more to protect kids. One AAP spokesman reasoned that since parents can’t watch children every second, the best way to protect kids is to design these risks out of existence. But is that really realistic? Can we ever really design a world free of risk? Of course not.