Sunday, August 01, 2004


Health has become just another excuse to tell other people what to do

The nastiness behind the food cops: "Trial lawyer ringleader John 'Sue the Bastards' Banzhaf was there. So were Kelly 'Big Brother' Brownell and top food cop Michael Jacobson. As usual, Marion Nestle -- infamous for saying America has too much food -- was also among the nutritional nags who played starring roles in a Los Angeles Times feature on obesity warriors yesterday... But most notable was the inclusion of Neal Barnard, described simply as 'an advocate of low-fat eating.' The Times reveals next to nothing about Barnard and his Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), so we thought it might be useful to offer a PCRM primer. What follows are seven things you should take into account when you hear about this so-called doctors organization."

Professor Michael Holick, author of The UV Advantage, tells Brendan O'Neill how he was turned into a pariah for suggesting that a little bit of sunlight can be good for you.

Obesity thugs: "Although obesity has not yet been criminalised in the USA, it is possible to have your three-year old child taken from you for the offence of 'allowing' her to become fat. That is the stark lesson of the Anamarie Regino saga, which continues to play out in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The story of what was done to a child and her parents by an assortment of doctors, social workers, and government bureaucrats is a chilling tale of what can happen when people of modest means and social status find themselves, through no fault of their own, facing the full brunt of the prejudice that fuels the war on fat."

Home cooking banned: "Members of the Women's Institute have been banned from making cakes for elderly hospital patients because health authorities fear the treats could pose a health risk. When a dietitian from Saffron Walden Community Hospital in Essex asked for help last year to provide cakes for afternoon tea, members of 11 WIs in the area started baking. But healthcare experts have now ruled that, because the kitchens where the cakes are cooked cannot be checked for hygiene, 'potential risks cannot be eliminated.' The patients' daily treats of jam tarts, sponges and fruit cakes have ended on the orders of Uttlesford Primary Care Trust, which says it's acting on advice from environmental health officers, reports The Times."

Overkill on smoking: "I repeat my long-standing charge that the worst aspect of the anti-smoking war is not the effect on smokers, nor the effect on personal liberty, nor the effect of bans on individual property rights, but the effect on the scientific community. Honest scientific inquiry is being supplanted by JUNK SCIENCE. Formerly honest people and organizations are being twisted into shills for the anti-smokers. Big money and media attention are perverting science, and that leaves us with nobody to trust."

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