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Wednesday
Feb162011

The Food Police Just Won't Quit

I sometimes wonder whether they want to ban sodas — one ingredient at a time.  

If it isn’t your favorite no-calorie sweetener, like Splenda, Nutrasweet, or Acesulfame K, it is the full-calorie high fructose corn syrup.

But today, it was something different.  Now, the top cop at the Department of self-appointed Food Police, Dr. Michael Jacobson is after the color that makes your cola look like your cola. 

In a conference call with reporters, Dr. Jacobson announced that his group, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, filed a petition with the Food and Drug Administration to ban two caramel colorings commonly used in colas.

You can read all the colorful details in the WebMD article, Group Wants Ban on 2 Types of Caramel Coloring in Sodas, which quotes me:

Jeff Stier, a senior fellow at the Washington-D.C. based National Center for Public Policy Research, follows health and science issues. “You cannot make firm conclusions about human health based on animal studies,” he says.

Stier says this is part of a campaign against soda and has nothing to do with carcinogens and cancer. “Limiting sugary soda is a good idea,” he says. “Diet sodas are a great substitute for people watching their weight.”

But my favorite part of the article came from Dr. Jacobson’s own quote. He told WebMD that the chemicals in the colorings “are not potent carcinogens, but it is totally inappropriate to accept any risk from artificial coloring that has no nutritional or preservative value.”

So it comes down to that. The Food Police, who garner all too much media attention, and worse, have much political influence, believe the following: unless a food ingredient has nutritional or preservative value, you really have no right to consume it — since of course, any ingredient, at too high a level, may cause cancer in lab animals.
  

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