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Land of the Free, …Banner of fast-food toys

April 29, 2010
by

No toy for you, Junior.

Not if you live in unincorporated Santa Clara County, where the Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to ban restaurants from giving away toys with children’s meals that exceed set levels of calories, fat, salt and sugar.

The ordinance, which the board passed by a 3-2 vote, is believed to be the first of its kind in the nation. The target is the fast-food industry and what critics call its practice of marketing unhealthful food to children and fueling an epidemic of obesity among the young.

“This ordinance breaks the link between unhealthy food and prizes,” said the law’s author, Supervisor Ken Yeager. “Obviously, toys in and of themselves do not make children obese. But it is unfair to parents and children to use toys to capture the tastes of children when they are young and get them hooked on eating high-sugar, high-fat foods early in life.”

$1,000 fine for violations

Representatives for the California Restaurant Association, whose members include chains that opposed the ordinance, have 90 days to offer an alternative to the legislation. Violations under the version the board approved Tuesday would be punishable by fines of as much as $1,000 for each meal sold with a toy.

Yeager said he hopes the law will inspire cities and counties across the country to follow suit like “ripples that create a wave.”

The law bans toy giveaways in children’s meals that contain more than 485 calories, derive more than 35 percent of their calories from fat or 10 percent from added sweeteners, or have more than 600 mg of sodium. The totals are based on children’s health standards set by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Of the 151 restaurants in unincorporated Santa Clara County that are covered by the law, a dozen are part of fast-food chains that offer children’s meals.

The county was among the first in the nation two years ago to require restaurants to display nutritional values on menus, legislation that has since been adopted by other jurisdictions, said Miguel Marquez, acting county counsel.

Marquez said his office has been contacted by officials from Orange County, Chicago and New York City about Yeager’s toys ordinance. In San Francisco on Tuesday, Supervisor Eric Mar asked the city attorney to draft legislation similar to Santa Clara County’s law.

“Just as with menu labeling, this is clearly within our authority,” Marquez said. “We’re on firm legal ground here.”

Marquez said enforcement will be the job of county public health inspectors.

via sfgate.com

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

-C. S. Lewis

Hot tip for Californians: It’s not the marketing and fast food industries -> It’s CRAPPY LAZY PARENTS acting by their own free choice to shovel garbage into their children’s gaping maws!

And for God’s sake Mr. Marquez, stop trying to force your vision and will upon other people.

The Desire to Rule Over Others

This must be said: There are too many “great” men in the world — legislators, organizers, do-gooders, leaders of the people, fathers of nations, and so on, and so on. Too many persons place themselves above mankind; they make a career of organizing it, patronizing it, and ruling it.

Now someone will say: “You yourself are doing this very thing.” True. But it must be admitted that I act in an entirely different sense; if I have joined the ranks of the reformers, it is solely for the purpose of persuading them to leave people alone. I do not look upon people as Vancauson looked upon his automaton. Rather, just as the physiologist accepts the human body as it is, so do I accept people as they are. I desire only to study and admire.

My attitude toward all other persons is well illustrated by this story from a celebrated traveler: He arrived one day in the midst of a tribe of savages, where a child had just been born. A crowd of soothsayers, magicians, and quacks — armed with rings, hooks, and cords — surrounded it. One said: “This child will never smell the perfume of a peace-pipe unless I stretch his nostrils.” Another said: “He will never be able to hear unless I draw his ear-lobes down to his shoulders.” A third said: “He will never see the sunshine unless I slant his eyes.” Another said: “He will never stand upright unless I bend his legs.” A fifth said: “He will never learn to think unless I flatten his skull.”

“Stop,” cried the traveler. “What God does is well done. Do not claim to know more than He. God has given organs to this frail creature; let them develop and grow strong by exercise, use, experience, and liberty.”

Let Us Now Try Liberty

God has given to men all that is necessary for them to accomplish their destinies. He has provided a social form as well as a human form. And these social organs of persons are so constituted that they will develop themselves harmoniously in the clean air of liberty. Away, then, with quacks and organizers! A way with their rings, chains, hooks, and pincers! Away with their artificial systems! Away with the whims of governmental administrators, their socialized projects, their centralization, their tariffs, their government schools, their state religions, their free credit, their bank monopolies, their regulations, their restrictions, their equalization by taxation, and their pious moralizations!

And now that the legislators and do-gooders have so futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun: May they reject all systems, and try liberty; for liberty is an acknowledgment of faith in God and His works.

The Law, Frederick Bastiat

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One Comment leave one →
  1. October 28, 2010 7:36 am

    due to the busy schedules from work, most people would just prefer to eat on fastfoods _

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