Kathleen Sebelius’s recently let it slip that the Obama Administration plans to regulate the food industry (which I wrote about last week on NRO) the same way it regulated the tobacco industry.
Neil Munro over at the Daily Caller comments on her slip-of-the-tongue:
The regulations are justified, [Sebelius] said, because tobacco causes 443,000 premature deaths, and creates “$200 billion a year in health costs that we clearly could spend better elsewhere,” she said.
When asked if the government would extend tobacco-style regulations to food deemed fattening, Sebelius told the reporters that the federal guidelines are only voluntar
Sebelius deflected questions about whether food officials would mandate distressing pictures on food they consider unhealthy. Tobacco is unique, she said, because it is “the number one cause of preventable death.” But Sebelius did not rule out tobacco-style treatment for food. “It has a lot to do with underlying health costs and overall health of our nation … the work around obesity and healthier, more nutritious eating, more exercise, will continue to be I think an ongoing focus,” she said.
I’ve written previously about how politicians on both sides of the aisle have praised Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign and other misguided government efforts to help Americans eat healthy. Phrases like “what harm can it do” and “there’s nothing wrong with helping kids eat better” abound. But the truth is that regulation is the ultimate goal of the White House and the federal agencies that oversee the food industry.
Perhaps they’re inadvertently letting their real intention slip or perhaps these federal regulators are simply trying to ease Americans into this new regulatory reality. Either way, regulation will only mean one thing for the American consumer-higher prices at the grocery store.