By Jeff Stier, Senior Fellow, Consumer Choice Center
Letter to the Editor – Re “They Took On the Food Giants — and Won” (Personal Health, Jan.1):
While the Center for Science i
C.S.P.I. wasn’t mired in controversy because, as Brody sympathetically implies, it “takes on a multi-billion dollar industry.” Rather, its problems stemmed from campaigns fueled by a pro-regulation bias, rather than measured policy-making. Sure, industry often fought the group, but their critics included scientists and policy experts with legitimate positions, which included concerns about rushed scientific conclusions and unintended consequence of over-regulation.
Interestingly, Brody quickly glosses over C.S.P.I.’s role in pushing food manufacturers to replace saturated fats with trans fats in the 1980s, a move that illustrated the risk of over-hyped scare campaigns based on a rushed assessment of emerging science. The group changed its tune on trans-fats but hasn’t learned the broader lesson.
Perhaps that’s because Jacobson never saw past his politics. He told Brody, “We advocate a public health approach and government intervention, while the conservative approach is personal responsibility and no government involvement.”
Dr. Jacobson’s successors should ban this straw-man argument and acknowledge that critics like myself seek science-based and appropriate regulation. Because paternalists don’t have a monopoly on public health, the public i
Consumer Choice Center