No law is too draconian for Britain’s public health brigade

No law is too draconian for Britain’s public health brigade, by Christopher Snowden.

On Sunday, a new strategy was published with all of Cameron’s big government policies included and plenty more besides. Taken together, they represent the most draconian interference in the food supply by any government since rationing was abolished. …

“Junk food” is everywhere, didn’t you know?

Campaigners prefer to call this a “junk food ad ban”, a deliberately misleading pejorative that has been adopted by the BBC. There is no legal definition of junk food. The proposed ban will apply to food that is deemed to be high in fat, sugar or salt (HFSS) according to a puritanical system known as the Nutrient Profile Model. This is a vastly broader category than the term “junk food” implies.

It includes raisins, sultanas, jam, honey, cheese, mustard, most tinned fruit, most breakfast cereals (including high fibre varieties), Marmite, mayonnaise (light and regular), tomato soup, butter and olive oil, to name but a few. All of them can be consumed as part of a healthy diet and most of them have been eaten for generations, if not millennia, without any problem. …

Pure fruit juice will soon join soy sauce and yoghurt on the list of supposed “junk food”. …

As one wag on Twitter said yesterday, “I shall demonstrate to the Tory party just how easy it is to say “no”, next time they knock on my door and ask for my vote.”

The left campaigns to keep the government out of our bedrooms, but wants the government to micromanage our diets:

Those of us who opposed the sugar tax did not do so merely because it is an unwarranted, ineffective and regressive sin tax. We knew that it would open the door to the “public health” fanatics who have been itching to deploy the weapons they used to harass smokers on the general population. So it has proved.

The message of the sugar tax was that it is the government’s business what we eat and drink; that our diets and waistlines are no longer a private matter but are the responsibility of the state. Jamie Oliver was right, for once, when it said that it was “symbolic”. It opened Pandora’s Box.

It’s worth bearing in mind that government food advisors made some awful mistakes in the past. Remember the food pyramid, where we should eat lots of carbohydrates, avoid fat, and go easy on protein? Totally flew in the face of our evolutionary history, and just made everyone fat. It’s being quietly forgotten now.

hat-tip Matthew