Wednesday, August 24, 2011

As parents across the country prepare to send their children back to school, the all-important question, “What should I put in the lunchbox?” looms. And the federal government just might have something to say about that.

The slippery slope of“voluntary” guidelines - The Hill

For example, you might not want to pack PB&J. Although it's a perennial favorite of kids and parents, an overzealous cadre of federal regulators has just issued proposed “guidelines” for youth nutrition that put peanut butter on a lengthy list of foods deemed unacceptable to market to children and, therefore, possibly unacceptable to be served in schools.

This Interagency Working Group on Food Marketed to Children (IWG), comprised of the US Department of Agriculture, the Federal Trade Commission, the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control, was charged by Congress with the task of studying the issue of childhood obesity and the marketing of foods to children and adolescents. It proposed “voluntary” guidelines now being considered that will undermine parental authority, place a so-called “voluntary” marketing ban on the marketing of numerous healthy foods like cereals and yogurts to children, and inflict economic harm on American consumers, American agriculture and the food industry, among many other sectors of the American economy.

These new guidelines are supposedly “voluntary,” but don’t be fooled. The federal government under both Democratic and Republican Administrations has long been engaged in an egregious and unconstitutional regulatory power grab. The strategy simply is to saddle disfavored industries with regulations disguised as “voluntary,” and therefore not be subject to the normal rulemaking process and judicial review.