Junk Food Ban "Faces Hurdles" - But Freedom Isn't One of Them

The Times' Kim Severson brings the nanny-state approach to the school snack bar, celebrating the fight against "the mountain of high-calorie snacks and sodas available to schoolchildren."

When it comes to diet, the Times isn't exactly pro-choice. Food writer Kim Severson found on Sunday that the "Effort to Limit Junk Food In Schools Faces Hurdles."

What sort of hurdles? Freedom of commerce? The freedom of people to eat what they like? Concerns over downplaying personal responsibility? No - the only hurdle Severson sees is the internecine squabbling between liberal activists who support the legislation and those who favor even stricter prohibitions on food freedom.

"Several lawmakers and advocates for changes in school food believe that an amendment to the $286 billion farm bill is the best chance to get control of the mountain of high-calorie snacks and sodas available to schoolchildren. Even if the farm bill does not pass, Mr. Harkin and Senator Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska, a sponsor of the amendment, vow to keep reintroducing it in other forms until it sticks.

"They are optimistic about their chances because there is more public interest than ever in improving school food and because leaders in the food and beverage industry have had a hand in creating the new standards.

"But that intense corporate involvement, along with exemptions that would allow sales of chocolate milk, sports drinks and diet soda, has caused a rift among food activists who usually find themselves on the same side of school food battles."


"The rules have the support of food and drink manufacturers, including the American Beverage Association, which worked closely on the amendment with Mr. Harkin's office and the Center for Science in the Public Interest, an advocacy group that has been critical of the food industry."

"Advocacy group" CSPI are better known as the left-wing "food police." No critics appeared in the story, only three anti-choice activists and a spokesman for the American Beverage Association, which supports the legislation.