Is food anarchy the answer?

L.A. Times columnist calls for government to retreat from its attacks on our food choices.

I received an interesting email yesterday morning from Julie Gunlock, director of the Women for Food Freedom Project at the Independent Women’s Forum. She was promoting an opinion piece she had written for the Los Angeles Times. Although she asked for nothing, I suppose she was looking for a secondary outlet for her message.

The article was titled, “Keep the State off My Plate.” The writer is yet another activist weighing in on government involvement into what—and how much—Americans eat and drink.

Gunlock makes a few good points, but her overall message is one that I imagine wouldn’t sit well with most Americans if they really think about it. She’s basically advocating a kind of food anarchy.

“Americans must ask themselves: Do we really want government bureaucrats in charge of how much soda we can drink and what amount of salt can go into a can of soup?” Gunlock concludes in her article. “Is this really fitting for a country of free citizens with a limited government?”

I think the answer is, yes and no. I’ve argued previously that attempted government controls are often poorly conceived and ill-fated, such as New York Mayor Bloomberg’s ban on the sale of fountain sodas of more than 16 ounces.

But government does provide some protections for Americans, not only from themselves but from unscrupulous practices on the part of Big Business. Does Gunlock actually want food manufacturers to have the unchecked ability to put whatever they want into the food we eat? Laying aside questions about government excesses or questionable practices, without government agencies such as FDA and USDA who would have the power to protect the health and safety of citizens from unregulated food manufacturers?

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