Thursday, 25 April 2013

State Control Of What You Eat - The First Foray

Things have been awfully busy in Puddlecoteville, so it's taken me a while to get round to highlighting this.

Yes, it's those lunatics in California again (emphases mine).
“This bill, known as the Public Health Epidemic Protection Act of 2013, would require the department, for every product intended for consumer consumption for which it has credible evidence that the product significantly contributes to a significant public epidemic, to conduct a risk assessment evaluation to determine whether the product contributes significantly to a significant public health epidemic, as defined, and whether the adverse public health risk would have a fiscal impact on the state of $50,000,000 or more. The bill would authorize the department to charge the manufacturer of the product for the reasonable costs of producing the risk assessment and would create the Public Health Fund, to be used by the department, upon appropriation by the Legislature, to fund the program. If the department determines that the criteria are met, the bill would require the manufacturer to create, for approval of the department, a public health impact report (PHIR) containing specified information, including a list of adverse public health impacts and a mitigation plan for those impacts. The bill would authorize the department to enforce the PHIR and would authorize the department to restrict or suspend sales of the product in the state if the PHIR is insufficient or if the manufacturer is not complying with the terms of the PHIR.”
I think you may have worked out what they are driving at here.
That means the initial targets in California would include food items thought to promote heart disease, stroke, obesity and diabetes.
Yep, lefty food snobbery at its most pernicious.

The implications of this proposed law are massive (cost for each of these risk assessments is rumoured to be in the region of $50,000 per product). Thousands upon thousands of jobs lost; businesses rendered insolvent overnight; and those who survive charging higher prices through increased cost of regulation plus the wholesale extinction of their competitors.

Of course, the businesses to survive would be big concerns with multiple outlets who would be able to withstand such a regulatory assault on their industry. Small operations would go to the wall almost instantaneously. Why are lefties so utterly moronic that they help big business while vehemently asserting in election literature that they ... err, hate massaging of big business?

In a far less damaging way, Puddlecote Inc. has witnessed this phenomenon before with dozens of our competitors being shorn from the sector due to ridiculous bureaucracy and over-regulation which can only ever punish the end consumer and taxpayer.

This, however, is different gear. This is the state appropriation of the fast food industry, no less. If you sell food unapproved by government, you will be financially crippled. If you sell mung beans and alfalfa soup, you have the freedom of the city.

Fundamentally, this is the Californian government undermining personal choice by forcing private businesses to only serve what the state approves. And with enormous sums directed from private companies to bureaucratic state departments, it's near as dammit the nationalisation of restaurant food supply.

And no, it's not a spoof. Here's the text of the bill, they're deadly serious. I can imagine some self-advancing UK-based food cranks getting a hard-on imagining the power this would bestow on them if/when the idea crosses the Atlantic..


Dominic Allkins said...

"The bill would authorize the department to charge the manufacturer of the product for the reasonable costs of producing the risk assessment"

Ayn Rand had a very good word for this - looting.

The big industries will play ball for now, because they can afford to. But in the end they'll also end up going bust.

The best thing they can do is to 'go on strike'. Close down all their outlets in California (thus increasing unemployment - sadly for the people concerned) and source their raw materials/inputs from other states/countries.

The residents from the land of moonbeams won't learn unless something like this happens.

Steve Brown said...

" .. if/when the idea crosses the Atlantic."
DP, I'm quite sure that the various bansturbators so prevalent in our deeply corrupted country are already drooling at the prospect of introducing similar 'laws' here. Their thoughts will not be confined solely to foodstuffs, either.

We'll all be in Mao suits soon.

john miller said...

Is it mere coincidence that this state is $880 million in debt?

Sam Duncan said...

“whether the adverse public health risk would have a fiscal impact on the state of $50,000,000 or more.”

That's really up to the state, isn't it? Unless we're talking about a genuine epidemic which might (literally) decimate the population or, I don't know, cause a zombie siege of downtown LA, whether or not the state spends $50m is entirely up to it. I see no reason why fat people, or even people dying of heart attacks, should, by necessity, cost a government anything at all beyond perhaps the occasional civil servant dropping off the twig.

This is why “free” state healthcare is so pernicious. Once the government has a financial interest in your wellbeing, you can kiss liberty goodbye.