Jules Troy: "I don't see the government declaring a "war on sugar" You mean white, refined sugar and then, also corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup. The sucrose in an apple is not the problem. You know that, of course, but my point is only that there is no consistency to the development of government actions or inactions. Politics is pragmatism. You know that the sugar craze started about the time of Fanny Farmer's first cookbook. A hundred years later and ADM is super market to the world. As soon as I moved here to Austin in September, I joined the closest food cooperative and this is the home of Whole Foods. Still, I put a lot of stuff back on the shelf after reading the label. Don't give me that "organic cane sugar" nonsense... Food does not need to be sweetened to be palatable.
Sugar is responsible for more premature deaths than all the recreational drugs and alcohol combined."
But, as with much, you know, it is not all evil governments and corporations. We evolved with a craving for sugar. We are apes, after all. Gorillas can manufacture Vitamin C and still eat enough fruit to get 3 grams of it a day. So, it is to be expected that candy would be dandy. It was not a problem, even 1000 years ago when "khand" was imported from Persia. Now, it is easier to come by... The real problem is a lack of self-restraint. That is not a political problem.
Steve Wolfer:"The government has no right telling us what we can or cannot put into our bodies. Period.
... One step away from that is the constitutional argument - to demand where in the constitution is the government given the power to regulate what we take into our body?
This comes back to the child surrounded by coyotes. I maintain that the police have a moral and legal responsibilty to act ahead of the tragedy to prevent it. This is why we have the "Terry Stop." A polceman saw a known felon hanging out in front of a jewelry store, stopped him, frisked him, and found a gun. The felon claimed that his constitutional rights were violated. The Supreme Court disagreed. The police can, do, and should prevent the violation of rights as well as the loss of life and the loss of property.
So, too with the FDA. Objectivist political theory asserts that the government is to protect against fraud as well as force. Selling poison as medicine is fraud. And I assert that based on the premise of protection against force and fraud, that the government can have a role in inspecting foods and drugs. We have specific evidence of the positive benefits of this. I refer to the Massingill case where ethylene glycol (radiator fluid) was put in cough medicine. (If a murderer is to give up his life, how did this corporation continue in business?) Following the stronger FDA regulations, in the 1950s, there was thalidomide. Those tragedies were more numerous in Europe and less so in the USA because here a single FDA regulator refused to cave in to pressure from the corporations and her bosses. She insisted on clinical data that was never provided because the tests were never carried out.
Limited constitutional government can seem to be a hypothetical construct, even a Kantian categorical imperative, if we are to insist that a government that cannot act until after a right has been violated by an agent with volition, i.e., that this is morally absolute regardless of whether anyone or no one actually benefits (which is Kant's deontological rule). Logically considered to its conclusion, this would mean that no one could act to prevent the loss of life or property of another person. (You can act to protect yourself, of course.)
I'm just saying that if the purpose of government is protect against the violation of rights caused by force and fraud, then prevention is better than attempting a metaphysically impossible alteration of the past, what we call "remediation." Remediation is better than nothing, perhaps, but prevention is better still.
A volitional being has a right to take its own life. But if when a person attempts that with a public display, then clearly, they are not rational; and they have no more rights than a child. Thus, the police can and should act to prevent their demise. So, if a person is clearly cognizant of the dangers of sugar and wants to put a teaspoon of it in their coffee, that is their right. But the marketing of refined white sugar as "food" is wrong and should be stopped.
Incidentally, some people took (take?) arsenic as an aphrodisiac. You can build a tolerance to it, but once you do, you become addicted in the sense that if you quit, you will die. I would expect that a fully capable adult might have this right, but, again, how would you react to Arsenic in the Vitamins Aisle of a supermarket, just, you know, a Big Pink A in a Red Heart: Arsenic.
(Edited by Michael E. Marotta on 10/18, 9:33am)