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9. Liz Williams
The government has trained consumers to read labels and to expect certain information on packaging. Companies should be allowed to inform the public through labeling if they produce a product that either contains something that the company believes that consumers want or does not contain something that consumers may want to avoid. If the claim is truthful, claiming that jelly contains no high fructose corn syrup should be no different legally than claiming that milk contains no rBST. A free-market policy would favor voluntary labeling--disclosing truthful information, giving consumers the ability to make an informed choice.
Liz Williams is president of the Southern Food and Beverage Museum in New Orleans.
10. J. Justin Wilson
Although both candidates are taking about health care reform in broad terms, there is one detail that I think warrants closer examination.
As we move closer to a single-payer health care system, the paternalistic argument that the government has a responsibility to “protect us from ourselves” has been replaced with an argument for cost-cutting. Now, many state and local policy makers are justifying greater regulation of the foods we eat and drink—like taxing soda, zoning fast food restaurants, or slapping warning labels on packaged foods—under the auspices of saving the health care system billions of dollars they attribute to obesity-related medical expenses—as if they actually cared about saving taxpayers money.
The trouble is that obesity—or the behaviors that contribute to it—is not a unique driver of health care costs.
J. Justin Wilson is senior research analyst at the Center for Consumer Freedom.