Press Release

For Immediate ReleaseContact: Jim Campi
June 7, 2000(202) 467-5300


(Washington, D.C.) –John Frydenlund, Director of the Center for International Food and Agriculture Policy at Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW), ridiculed the idea of a national tax on soft drinks and snack foods.  The tax was proposed by Michael Jacobson and Kelly Brownell in the June issue of American Journal of Public Health.

“It is appalling that an otherwise respectable publication would allow itself to be used to promote such a costly expansion of the nanny state,” remarked Frydenlund.  “This radical proposal to tax each 12-ounce soft drink and every pound of candy, chips, and other snack foods or fats and oils would impose a new national tax of $1.8 billion on American consumers.”

“The authors claim that the new revenues will be used to promote healthier lifestyles.  In other words, the tax will be used to fund ‘food police’ to force Americans to conform to eating habits mandated in Washington, D.C.”, said Frydenlund.

Jacobson works for the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), which at one time or another has condemned virtually every food group – from pasta and meat to sodas and snacks – as being unhealthy.  Brownell is the same nutty Yale psychology professor that (since at least 1997) advocates federal subsidies for fruits and vegetables as a way of encouraging greater consumption of ‘good foods’ ¾ foods determined by the food police to be appropriate for a healthy diet.

“Perhaps, since diet and exercise are equally important in achieving a ‘healthy lifestyle, the nanny state needs even more comprehensive powers.  In addition to taxing people for eating foods Big Brother doesn’t approve of, it would make just as much sense to create an exercise police to monitor the frequency and intensity of every citizen’s exercise regimen.  At birth, electrodes could be implanted in everyone’s brains and if the exercise police determine that someone has slacked off, they would receive an electric shock.  I’m confident that CSPI, Jacobson and Brownell would all agree that this would be for the good of all society,” concluded Frydenlund.

CAGW is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, mismanagement and abuse in government.


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