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    Saturday, December 09, 2006

    The Real Reason: Why so-called "food activists" are pushing trans-fat bans, as well as some history:

    Before other cities decide to regulate diets absent a safety issue, they might also consider that some of the same people now pushing for a trans fat ban once recommended the ingredient as a substitute for another health scare: saturated fats. Twenty years ago, Mr. Jacobson's CSPI launched a public relations blitz against fast food joints for using palm oil to cook fries. The group claimed victory when restaurants started using partially hydrogenated oil instead. In 1988, a CSPI newsletter declared that "the charges against trans fat just don't hold up. And by extension, hydrogenated oils seem relatively innocent." Today, Mr. Jacobson is claiming trans fats kill 30,000 people a year. We wonder if he feels guilty.

    The ultimate goal of these so-called consumer advocates is to persuade the FDA to turn on trans fats, a move that would serve the food industry up as the next entree on the plaintiff bar's menu. Don't be surprised if the new Democrat Congress helps them pursue this goal, just like Mayor Bloomberg, on the dubious assumption that people can't decide for themselves what and what not to eat.

    Make no mistake, it's all about suing restaurants and reaching into their pots of gold. We've seen this marriage of politicians and class-action lawyers before. Remember tobacco?

    Lawyers who played an important role in the negotiations included Florida attorney Hugh Rodham, President Clinton's brother-in-law; Mississippi attorney
    Richard Scruggs (Senate Majority Lead-er Trent Lott's brother-in-law), who represented most of the states; and South Carolina attorney Ronald Motley, who had a hand in both the state lawsuits and the class actions. Scruggs and Motley both got rich suing asbestos companies, and they stand to get even richer as a result of the tobacco deal. The attorneys agreed to handle these suits in exchange for a share of any damages: 10 percent to 25 percent in the state lawsuits and 30 percent or so in the private lawsuits. Their percentage of any nationwide settlement will be much lower, lest public outrage threaten the deal, but they are still likely to earn the biggest legal fees in history. Proposals have ranged from $2 billion to $18 billion.

    We're no longer living under the rule of law, but the rule of lawyers.

    posted by Sydney on 12/09/2006 02:57:00 PM 3 comments


    Your last sentence is correct. However, I don't think that food activists, although they are unwittingly serving the trial lawyers, are doing this to enrich lawyers. In general, I think the public health community wants power, and of course it is power to do good. You're a doctor, you know things the rest of us don't. The public health people know what is bad for us and what is good for us, even if we don't know it ourselves. The rise of the public health fascists is correlated with the decline of religious authority. The religious right is fighting a rearguard action. In the past it was the clergy who knew what was good for us and what was bad for us and they tried their best to use the state to advance their power, all in the name of the public good. The pedophilia scandals and coverups have destroyed the authority of the Catholic church. The new bosses are not addressed as "Reverend" but as "Doctor".

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