When it comes to FDA and expiration dates and safety that it should be left up to the STATE? So if TX doesn't require any drug trials before marketing prescription drugs, then that's on them? How about the Federal "War on Drugs"? (Admittedly it doesn't work the way intended.) What in the constitution allows them to pass federal laws regarding cocaine, Ritalin, or Sudafed?
Should I just have to trust Nestle that they will put infant health above profits? Or my local dairy to put expiration dates on milk? Or my grocery store to pull the expired milk off the shelf? Or Ford to put safety ahead of profits? Because we all know how well that one worked out. Spoiled food can make people sick, or worse, kill people. We've witnessed big corporations putting profits ahead of people for decades. It takes legislation and lawsuits to get companies to change their practices.
There are some things that take government involvement for citizens to get. If McDonald's thinks their profits are going to suffer because they tell people there are 800 calories in a Big Mac, why would they volunteer this information?
The thing with the nutritional information being provided is that there ARE healthy choices when you go out. Subway offers so many options with fewer than 300 calories. My 3" egg and cheese on flatbread comes in at under 200 calories! Applebees offers a WW section of their menu.
Not everything in the outside perimeter of the grocery store is good for you. That's where they keep the bacon, the butter, and Pillsbury canned cinnamon rolls. Not everything else is bad. That's where they keep the water, nuts, rice cakes, and fiber supplements. Salads are in the produce section, yet adding certain dressings kills the healthy/calorie count. How do I know this? From reading the federally required information on the label. I can pick out a tasty dressing with about 10 calories per serving at my grocery store. When I go out to eat, I have choices of dressings, but without that nutritional information, I may not realize that fat-free at Red Lobster might not be the same as the fat free I use.
There are some burger places that butter their buns. If I based the content of the restaurant burger by what I make at home, I may be underestimating the content by 800 calories. Again, how do I know how many calories are in a 1/4 pound turkey burger, whole grain bun, mustard, and pickles? The label. But the burger at Islands might be 1/3 pound turkey burger on a buttered bun twice the size. I bake my fries so I have no idea how many calories are in fries fried in oil. Not to mention at home I know what a serving size is; at a restaurant I can't tell how many servings they have piled on.
There is an Ore-Ida potatoes commercial out now where kids are asking adults in the frozen food section how many calories they think are in a serving. It's around 140. However, a serving is 14 fries. Without that label, I wouldn't know that.
Unless a company is doing business solely in one state, their products cross state lines. Kellogg's is based in MI, yet I can buy Cornflakes in CA. How is this not a federal issue since it crosses state lines?
Yeah, at the end of the day I just really don't trust that companies are going to put the good of the consumer ahead of profits and offer up the info on their own. I know you are arguing for a sort of "free market" solution where consumers buy more products that are labeled and the problem fixes itself, but I think we had that system previously and it didn't really seem to work. Up until recently there weren't requirements about nutrition info so company's didn't offer them (at least, not in the stores where they were readily available), and consumers didn't really expect them. Plus, I think this is still a free market solution - again, the goverment isn't regulating what the companies can sell or what consumers can buy; they are putting the same requirements on all businesses (that have over 20 locations) which puts all of the chains on equal footing. From here, it will probably be up to the chains to compete to see who can come up with the best tasting stuff with "healthier" stats because that is what consumers are going to be buying. It's still a free market where consumers are the ultimate decision makers, but now they have slightly more info about how they make their decisions.
I think Bonita makes an excellent point about what happened in the past when we didn't have regulations about businesses.
There is a HUGE difference between food safety and requiring a calorie content for a Big Mac. The government has gone way overboard with regulations.
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I just can't figure out how this is a bad thing. Consumers want the information, companies don't/won't provide it on their own, so watchdog groups like Center for Science in the Public Interest lobby for laws to get passed.
Yes, I agree. I think allowing consumers to make informed decisions *is* a food safety issue.
And again, knowing what is healthy at the grocery store is much different than knowing what is healthy at a fast food place. Take your carrot salad example. I make a salad at home with shredded carrots & zucchini, fresh basil, lemon juice, and a splash of olive oil. The carrot salad at the grocery store deli has shredded carrots, raisins, walnuts, and a mayo-based dressing, i.e. not a particularly healthy choice. But I have no idea which kind of "carrot salad" I'll be getting when I walk into a new place. The calorie counts can help me make a better decision.
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I've been in a lot of grocery stores and most of them are meat vegetables and dairy around the perimeter. There is nothing healthy at a fast food place. Deciding whether it's healthier than another option is on you and if you think the Constitution allowed for the Federal government to make these kinds of decisions, then good for you. I disagree very very very strongly.
I gotta say, I feel that not only does the govt have a right to intervene, they have an obligation to. To me this is like the warnings on cigarette packs - the amount of nicotine, tar, CO etc. in a smoke and what health problems smoking contributes to. Everyone's okay with that, presumably, but when it comes to fat-laden, high carb, high sugar, zero nutritional value foods everyone thinks the govt has stepped over their boundaries to force fast food restaurants to list their menu item caloric content. That I just don't get.