NY has recently taken it upon itself to consider a ban on restaurants' use of trans fatty acids in its cooking processes because of the health risks associated with eating foods cooking in these oils. The logic behind this proposed ban is that trans fatty acids are unhealthy in any amount, and that restaurants can substitute the ingredient with other things.
Is this the right thing to do, though? What's next? Should there be a ban on cigarettes in general because there is no amount of smoking that is good for you? Don't all these bans infringe on people's right to choose what they want to do? I understand that obesity is a huge problem in this country, as is heart disease, and these issues are being primarily promulgated by Americans' poor eating habits; but are we to ban everything that might be potentially hazardous to your health because people can't make an intelligent decision about what is good for them? Drinking alcohol in excess is also not good for you - should we go back to the times of Prohibition and ban alcohol?
I don't condone restaurants doing things that are unhealthy for its patrons, of course; but I think that a ban on trans fatty acids goes beyond protecting consumers. I think it opens the door for having the government make too many choices for us, and it creates a slippery slope that just might culminate in Americans losing rights in the most simple of situations.
Friday, September 29, 2006
Posted by LawNut at 7:31 AM