Taking on Big Soda

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that plaintiffs' attorneys who made big bucks by suing tobacco companies plan to take on soda manufacturers with lawsuits arguing, among other things, "that soft drink companies use caffeine, a mildly addictive substance, to hook children on a product that is dangerous because of its empty calories." Northeastern University law professor Richard Daynard, who founded the Tobacco Products Liability Project and now heads the Obesity and Law Project at the Public Health Advocacy Institute, has this to say about selling soda in schools: "It is less egregious, but it is a little like having a cigarette machine in a school."

I have no strong opinions about soda machines in schools, although I'm pretty sure removing them would have no measurable impact on overall calorie consumption or the number of tubby teenagers. But recovering damages from soda companies for selling their products to students will be a neat trick if Daynard et al. can manage it, especially since school administrators and board members are the ones who decide what gets vended.

[Thanks to CEI's Christine Hall-Reis for the link.]

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  • Dave W.||

    They shouldn't sue the soda companies until they scientifically figure out the correlation between corn sweetner and diabetes. then they should sue the hell out of big soda to make sure that big soda really had no idea about this. Discovery is a wonderful thing.

  • ||

    Damn you big soda!!!

  • ||

    Of course. Kids are fat because they drink soda, not because they tend to sit on their ass and play play station or whatever.

  • ||

    I wish violence upon fat kids.

  • ||

    Booze and tobacco are one thing, but dammit, now they're messing with God, Country, and Coca-Goddamn-Cola...TO ARMS!!!

  • ||

    Don't worry. They'll all have to answer to the Coca-Cola corporation.

  • ||

    Hey Dave, any idea why everybody switched to corn sweetener? 'cause Iowa has an early primary, that's why.

  • ||

    "They shouldn't sue the soda companies until they scientifically figure out the correlation between corn sweetner and diabetes. then they should sue the hell out of big soda to make sure that big soda really had no idea about this. Discovery is a wonderful thing."

    Anyone else, and I would assume this is satire.

  • Dave W.||

    "Hey Dave, any idea why everybody switched to corn sweetener? 'cause Iowa has an early primary, that's why."

    That is good. Then Coke's documents won't show any lobbying efforts aimed at getting the gov't to give corn sweetner preferential treatment. In that case, discovery will be a wonderful thing for Coke. On the other hand, if the documents show another kind of narrative, then we will hope for a different outcome . . .

  • ||

    Guy - That's a new one on me. I thought it started because of our embargo on Cuba and grew because it made lots of people wealthy. Or does that tie in with what you said?

    Damn you, Big Money!

  • ||

    I find the idea of suing food/soda/whatever corporations for individuals' own gluttony absurd. And I agree with Jacob that blaming those corporations for what school administrators and board members decide to put in vending machines is ridiculous as well.
    Which is why I thought one of the most interesting scenes in Super Size Me was the one about the Appleton, Wisconsin Alternative School. Providing healthy meals for students seems to me a pretty good idea, and I don't doubt that cutting off access to sugar/caffeine and other junk is helpful in curbing behavioral problems. If I were a parent worried about my kids' health, I wouldn't want them to be able to gorge themselves on garbage all day.
    It's the parents' responsibility to feed their kids healthily, but the parents have a lot less control over their kids' eating habits while they're at school. The schools should share some of that responsibility.

  • ||

    soft drink companies use caffeine, a mildly addictive substance, to hook children on a product that is dangerous because of its empty calories.

    For America, the faces of evil sure have changed. We've gone from Hitler, Stalin and Mao to the Marlboro Man, Mean Joe Greene and Juan Valdez.

  • Dave W.||

    " grew because it made lots of people wealthy"

    and grew because it failed to be realized that corn sweetner was making people diabetic at a much higher rate than cane sugar ever did. If it truly was ignorance, then I guess it was okay (although I thought we had an FDA to look into these potentially expensive kinds of problems). On te other hand, if Coke knew, then, well, c'mon.

    Don't kid yourself into thinking that this is about fatness. It is about the industry using unsympathetic fat lawsuits now in order to get laws to block the diabetes lawsuits later.

  • ||

    Dave W.-

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought that in Mexico they make coke with cane sugar. If true, that would suggest that Coke just wants to use whichever sweetener is cheapest. In the US, cane sugar is subject to a tariff and corn is subsidized. My understanding is that if it weren't for that combo, cane sugar would be industry's preferred sweetener.

    I can't imagine why Coca Cola would lobby for that situation.

    Also, as far as the allegation that caffeine is grounds for a suit, the Starbucks suit can't be far behind. Those frappucinos are nothing but milkshakes with caffeine, and those giant muffins are loaded with fat and sugar.

  • ||

    Use of corn sweetener grew because the government hands out free money to anyone who grows corn, which increased the supply of corn until they were practically giving it away.

  • Dave W.||

    Good idea, Thoreau. We compare the growth of doiabetes in Mexico and the US. If Mexico is exploding with diabetes as fast as the US, then beloved Coke is off the hook.

  • Dave W.||

    "Use of corn sweetener grew because the government hands out free money to anyone who grows corn, which increased the supply of corn until they were practically giving it away."

    Was it that. Or was it:
    Use of corn sweetener grew because Coke convinced the government, with the help of some symapthetic farmers and less sympathetic agribusinesses, to hand out free money to anyone who grows corn, which decreased the cost of Coke's raw materials and increased Coke's profits.

    You don't know. I don't know. But discovery will tell us, so that we can move ahead in perfect harmony, one way or t'other.

  • ||

    Dave W-

    Whatever the effects of corn sweetener, if Coke is using corn sweetener because of a public policy that discourages other sweeteners, why is Coke the only party that should hand over money? The fact that they use cane sugar in Mexico suggests that the company is perfectly willing to use safer sweeteners if public policy doesn't distort the market.

  • ||

    Heh. Maybe the feds can recoup all the subsidies they hand out to ADM. And then they can use the proceeds to fund healthy-eating initiatives. Seems to have worked with the tobacco funds.

    Round and round she goes, where she stops...

  • ||

    Use of corn sweetener grew because Coke convinced the government, with the help of some symapthetic farmers and less sympathetic agribusinesses, to hand out free money to anyone who grows corn, which decreased the cost of Coke's raw materials and increased Coke's profits.

    Yes, but the corn subsidies are only half of the situation. The sugar tariff is the other half.

    And I have some baked goods in my kitchen with corn sweetener. Should Entemann's be sued as well?

  • ||

    corn sweetner was making people diabetic at a much higher rate than cane sugar ever did.

    Is there proof of this?

    As I understand it, outside of the US, Coke and other softdrink makers still use cane sugar because corn syrup prices aren't artificially lower due to subsidies.

    Seems to me that it wouldn't be terribly difficult to do a comparison between people in different countries that consume the same quantities of the same soft drink, just one's made with corn syrup and one isn't.

    After controlling for things like amount consumed, average diet, etc. it shouldn't be difficult to see if there is indeed a higher rate of diabetes among a group of domestic cola drinkers vs. foreign ones.

  • Dave W.||

    "The fact that they use cane sugar in Mexico suggests that the company is perfectly willing to use safer sweeteners if public policy doesn't distort the market."

    Just because the Mexican gov't had more integrity than the US gov't (or whatever) doesn't excuse Coke's actions in the US. If commit a wrong in the US, you can't point to good behavior in other jurisdictions to get you off the hook. that is not how jurisprudence works. And it ius certainly no substitute for examination of the relevant documents and actions of Coke.

    However, just because Coke needed help to get corn sweetner into all the soft drinks doesn't excuse Coke. They will simply be jointly and severally liable along with any other big businesses who knew the diabetes effect and still petitioned the government to do what it did on the corn. If Coke has to be jointly and severally liable with ADM or whoever, then so be it.

  • Dave W.||

    "Is there proof of this?"

    If the legislation the industry wants passes, then there never will be. On the other hand, if these suits are allowed to go forward, then there may or may not be proof. Me, I'd like to know one way or the other.

  • ||

    That is, of course, assuming that there is a clear and direct link between the use of corn syrup and higher instances of diabetes.

    I remain unconvinced.

  • ||

    "And then they can use the proceeds to fund healthy-eating initiatives. Seems to have worked with the tobacco funds."

    Happy Jack - You don't live in New York State, do you? Remember that huge Clinton-era highway bill in which NY, CA and Arkansas were the big winners? NY plopped down a huge share of their loot to subsidize the NYC subway system.

    Their share of the tobacco loot went directly into the general fund. But NY State is notoriously corrupt. Our legislature passes laws to make corruption legal all the time.

    Or were you kidding?

  • ||

    If the legislation the industry wants passes, then there never will be. On the other hand, if these suits are allowed to go forward, then there may or may not be proof. Me, I'd like to know one way or the other.

    Oh. I get it. So now science is conducted in the court room.

    Hey, thoreau, you still working in one of those antiquated "laboratory" things?

  • ||

    Dave W-

    Discovery may be perfectly good at discovering what people did, but discovery won't tell whether corn sweetener causes diabetes. Peer reviewed double-blind studies and so forth are the tools needed to answer that question.

    Anyway, regardless of what Coke is responsible for, the elephant in the room is the sugar tariff. Get rid of that, and the corn sweetener consumption will drop dramatically, while consumers save money.

  • ||

    saw-whet, I live in Ohio. I think our share was invested in Beanie-Babies. :)

  • ||

    "Peer reviewed double-blind studies and so forth are the tools needed to answer that question."

    No,nono... You're talking about science >8-(

    Dave is talking about SCIENCE (8-D

    With SCIENCE (8-D we can prove anything and make lots of MONEY!

  • ||

    Am I the only person here who rarely reads Reason anymore because of the ridiculous ultimate fitness ad on the right side of the screen?

  • ||

    Use firefox.

    Install the adblock extension.

    No more carpet humping guy.

  • ||

    Soda consumption is no excuse for obesity. Anybody who wants to can master his own body weight.

  • Gimme Back My Dog||

    Dave W,

    What do you think Coke's motivation is? Are they trying to create more diabetics? If their motive is to reduce the cost of producing their crap, I am not sure how raising the price of sugar works toward that end.

  • Dave W.||

    "Discovery may be perfectly good at discovering what people did, but discovery won't tell whether corn sweetener causes diabetes. Peer reviewed double-blind studies and so forth are the tools needed to answer that question."

    The part we need discovery for is to find out what Coke new. Peer reviewed studies may be needed initially to establish the link, but discovery is needed to see whether Coke knew or had reason to know of the link.

    Here is a funny question for you, T?

    Howcum we as relatively educated people with families have no idea whether corn sweetner is somehow super-harmful diabetes-wise? I see health articles everyday on tenuous health links. However, something that is as obvious (to me anyway) as the link between corn sweetner and diabetes gets little attention. In oter words, howcum your double blind study hasn't been done yet? Isn't diabetes a costly enuf problem to merit that kind of attention? What is going on?

  • ||

    soda

    Do what mediageek says or just hit 'esc' to make him stop.

    mediageek
    Great simpsons reference!

  • ||

    Dave W.-

    The link between calorie consumption and diabetes seems obvious. It's not entirely clear to me, however, whether calories derived from corn are worse than calories derived from sugar cane.

    I haven't surveyed the epidemiological literature. I don't know what studies have been done.

  • ||

    "We compare the growth of doiabetes in Mexico and the US. If Mexico is exploding with diabetes as fast as the US, then beloved Coke is off the hook."

    This would be a very poor test since diets and levels of activity are very different between the US and Mexico, and I imagine it would probably be very difficult to get decent sample sizes of really well-controlled populations (I certainly don't know that for sure; kind of talking out of my ass...).

    "Use of corn sweetener grew because Coke convinced the government, with the help of some symapthetic farmers and less sympathetic agribusinesses, to hand out free money to anyone who grows corn, which decreased the cost of Coke's raw materials and increased Coke's profits. You don't know. I don't know."

    Wow. Maybe you didn't mean this as strongly as it's written, or maybe I'm reading more into it, but this sounds an awful lot like that Rep congressman (Hastert?) saying "Maybe George Soros' anti drug war campaign is being financed by narcoterrorists. You don't know, I don't know. I'm just sayin' ya know?" It seems like there should be some actual solid evidence before they're hauled into court on such serious accusations.

    "Howcum we as relatively educated people with families have no idea whether corn sweetner is somehow super-harmful diabetes-wise?"

    I think most educated people know that sugars are harmful diabetes-wise. I don't think many know about the relative harm caused by sucrose, glucose, dextrose, etc., but I don't think that's at all surprising. You hardly need to posit a conspiracy to explain why educated laypeople don't understand at least somewhat subtle medical/dietary distinctions like this. And I would be willing to bet a lot that such studies have been done - diabetes research gets a lot of funding in this country, despite the best efforts of those bastards at Coke.

  • ||

    Dave W.,

    Discovery isn't for these kind of fishing expeditions.

  • Jim Murphy||

    I grew up in Utah, and even with the Mormons' stance against "strong drink" we had plenty of coke machines in our high school. It's a good thing, since I wouldn't have graduated without them. I bet you'll see a dramatic rise in the dropout and absentee rates in schools where they don't sell soft drinks...

    What's funny is that for one semester they removed all of the machines--no one ever told us why, but they were gone and not replaced. I don't think it was a health concern, but who knows. During that semester one of the science teachers but a fridge in his back room and started selling "black market" Cokes at $1 a pop (which was way above market price back then). After Christmas, without fanfare or controversy the machines were back (though the Coke machines had been replaced by Pepsi products). The science teacher kept selling cokes, chips and sweets out of his backroom but he did have to lower his price to compete with the Coke machines....

  • ||

    "Great simpsons reference!"

    Heh. I was wondering if anyone would get it. :D

  • ||

    Discovery will most certainly show that, as far back as 100 years ago, Coke knew that Americans would become inactive, corpulent, all-consuming fat-asses who would do nothing to burn off the empty calories they shovel into their holes every day. They then conspired with the government and others to artifically deflate the price of corn syrup in comparison to cane sugar, knowing that the former is more diabetes-inducing than the latter. And, since there are apparently no peer-reviewed studies proving this, Coke must've suppressed any such evidence. It was a perfect plan and it worked! Picturing these evil overlords twirling their handlebar mustaches and laughing diabolically has me really pissed off!

    (Did I hit all of the major data points?)

  • ||

    thoreau,

    Listen to J, Dave W. He's a biologist, if I'm not mistaken.

    Which, if true, gives him about zero insight into the matter of what discovery is and is not for.

  • ||

    "This would be a very poor test since diets and levels of activity are very different between the US and Mexico, and I imagine it would probably be very difficult to get decent sample sizes of really well-controlled populations (I certainly don't know that for sure; kind of talking out of my ass...)."

    To be completely honest, so was I. I was just throwing the idea out there.

  • ||

    thoreau,

    I do find it rather funny that you, someone who despises attornies, basically yawns at the notion of discovery abuse.

  • ||

    "He's a biologist, if I'm not mistaken."

    It's true, it's true! I'm an evolutionary biologist, though - I don't know much about diabetes (I don't know how harmful the different sugars are either...), except that the lizards and sunflowers I've studied don't seem to have too much trouble with it. But I know a fair bit about NIH and other biomedical funding, and I know pure and applied diabetes research gets a lot of it.

    "...gives him about zero insight into the matter of what discovery is and is not for."

    That's true too! I don't know shit about discovery. I just can't imagine it's supposed to be used in the way Dave W seems to be suggesting, where there really is no substantive evidence against Coke. At least with tobacco we knew before the legal proceedings that they had consistently lied about the addictiveness and adverse health effects of smoking, right? (Not that anyone smarter than peat moss should have believed them during the past several decades, but that's a tpoic for another thread.)

  • ||

    J,

    You know dieticians are now recommending that kids forgo fruit juices due to the sugar content of stuff like O.J. I can only imagine what Dave W. would due in light of such ... Tropicana is fucked.

  • ||

    "You know dieticians are now recommending that kids forgo fruit juices..."

    Yeah, I was very sad when I heard that. I don't want to live in a world where a big, delicious, vitamin C-ariffic glass of orange juice isn't good for a kid. (Or for me, for that matter, although my personal preference is grapefruit juice - mmm...puckery!)

  • ||

    Forget the sugar, what about the caffeine? I'm not joking around here. The caffeine is addictive, the companies know it, and they put it in. You know that fact will be used against them. And after they take down the Coca Cola company, they'll go after Starbucks.

    They'll pry my coffee from my trembling, cranky, sleepy hands.

  • ||

    J,

    I perfer cranberry juice (in all its various incarnations).

  • ||

    July 29, 2005 -- A sweetener commonly used in soft drinks and other foods may lead to more body fat than drinks sweetened with plain sugar.

    A new study suggests that fructose may alter the body's metabolism in a way that prompts it to store body fat.

    Researchers say the findings may help explain the recently established link between rising soft drink popularity and obesity rates in the U.S. and other parts of the world.

    "Our study shows how fat mass increases as a direct consequence of soft drink consumption," says researcher Matthias Tsch�p, MD, associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Cincinnati, in a news release.
    [...]
    "We were surprised to see that mice actually ate less when exposed to fructose-sweetened beverages, and therefore didn't consume more overall calories," says Tsch�p. "Nevertheless, they gained significantly more body fat within a few weeks."
    [...]
    ...between 1970 and 1990, high-fructose corn syrup consumption increased by more than 1,000%, largely because the nation's soft drink manufacturers switched from sucrose to high-fructose corn syrup.

    Soft Drink Sweetener May Add Extra Fat: Fructose May Alter Metabolism to Add Body Fat

  • ||

    My wife just brought up the fact that soda manufacturers offer diet soda, and they've been doing it for a very long time. Doesn't that show that the companies have made a good faith effort to offer the consumer a healthy option?

  • ||

    And people wonder why I (and others) don't really see a difference between food totalitarians (Democrats) and sex totalitarians (Republicans). Same delusions of seizing control over an individual's life, just different suject matter.

  • ||

    Anyway, its not soft drink companies don't offer an alternative in massive quantities - be it diet drinks, their own brands of water, various types of fruit juices, etc.

  • ||

    I've always had it in for high fructose cornsyrup. Hate the stuff. But diet is much more complicated than a single, evily supported sweetener.

    I had some brussles sprouts and just took an acorn squash out of the oven. Try feeding that to the kiddies. No salt, no butter. Skim milk added to it to whip up the squash.

    Of course I sloshed it down with a bottle of homemade elderberry wine. Try feeding that to the kiddies. In this country.

  • ||

    I was a certified coke addict. I got really fat in college. I gave up sugar soda and switched to diet. I gave up eating high fructose corn syrup whenever possible (in obvious sources, like candy, I know it's in a lot of stuff so I'm sure I still eat some). I have cut way back on my beer (I drink more hard liquor now though). I managed to lose about 40lbs, going from 220 to 180 (I'm 5'8. I also changed diet & excercise). I've been as low as 165, and now hover around 190 (I started a seditary office job about a year ago and haven't ramped up my excercise to compensate). I don't know if any of these things are connected, but I don't see how any corporation is responsible for anything that I've done or not done.

  • ||

    Here's a link with more info about the sugar industry in the states.

    http://www.opensecrets.org/pubs/cashingin_sugar/sugar02.html

  • ||

    If we start referring to class action lawyers as Big Tort or Big Liability, that automatically makes them into bad guys, right?

  • ||

    Thanks for the link, Guy - it was very interesting. It looks like from 1974-1981, we managed to muddle through without any sugar support or tariffs at all! And also, based on their 1995 numbers, the price of sugar in the US was over 40% higher than the world price. I don't know how directly comparable those numbers are, because I don't know how the world price is calculated (would one expect world price and US price to be equal in the absence of such market distortions?), but a 40% increase seems pretty substantial.

    "My wife just brought up the fact that soda manufacturers offer diet soda..."

    And aren't diet sodas almost as large a portion of sales as regular (and continuing to rise)? Can't remember where I read that, but I think the soda companies are being very successful with their non-diabetes-causing sugarless sodas. (Of course, just a few cans of those carcinogenic artificial sweetener sodas and you'll have a brain tumor as big as a bowling ball, but you can't win 'em all....)

  • ||

    If we start referring to class action lawyers as Big Tort or Big Liability, that automatically makes them into bad guys, right?

    Heyyyy. You just might be onto something...

  • ||

    Even Mexican "Cocas" specify sugar OR corn syrup these days.

  • ||

    June 13, 2005 -- People who drink diet soft drinks don't lose weight. In fact, they gain weight, a new study shows.
    [...]
    "What didn't surprise us was that total soft drink use was linked to overweight and obesity," Fowler tells WebMD. "What was surprising was when we looked at people only drinking diet soft drinks, their risk of obesity was even higher."

    In fact, when the researchers took a closer look at their data, they found that nearly all the obesity risk from soft drinks came from diet sodas.

    "There was a 41% increase in risk of being overweight for every can or bottle of diet soft drink a person consumes each day," Fowler says.
    Drink More Diet Soda, Gain More Weight?: Overweight Risk Soars 41% With Each Daily Can of Diet Soft Drink

  • MP||

    Install the adblock extension.

    Cool! Thanks, mediageek!

    though I'm already starting to miss my online humping pal...

  • ||

    Diet sodas make ME hungry.... Not hypoglycemic-like, not munchies-like, just a vaguely empty feeling in the gut.

  • Kevin Carson||

    While we're at it, let's sue the gun manufacturers because firearms do what they're intended to do, even though the actual deaths are caused by careless owners.

    Oh, wait....

    And shouldn't we sue the USDA and the American Dietetic Association, both essentially agribusiness stooges, for promoting an old "Food Guide Pyramid" that encouraged people to load up on carbs as fast as ADM could churn them out?

  • ||

    >I can't imagine why Coca Cola would lobby for that situation.

    They wouldn't. But Archer-Daniels-Midland would. Or to be more precise, ADM doesn't lobby for corn subsidies, they lobby for *sugar* subsidies. Specifically, price supports. As long as the government-mandated minimum price for sugar is higher than the cost to produce and distribute high-fructose corn syrup ADM makes out like a bandit and the cola companies are forced to use corn syrup because it's significantly less expensive than sugar.

  • ||

    Kevin Carson and Bob Smith - Bingo! If you guys ever find yourselves in the Eastern-most reach of the rust belt, Syracuse, give me an e-mail jingle. I'll share a splash of my hard cider for a slpash of your wisedom.

    But, then again, you might just want directions out of Sryacuse, being lost and everything.

  • ||

    thoreau,

    My wife just brought up the fact that soda manufacturers offer diet soda, and they've been doing it for a very long time. Doesn't that show that the companies have made a good faith effort to offer the consumer a healthy option?

    Don't get anyone started on the conspiracy theories over the health hazards of aspartame :)

    Hakluyt,

    Anyway, its not soft drink companies don't offer an alternative in massive quantities - be it diet drinks, their own brands of water, various types of fruit juices, etc.

    Coke's Dasani contains an infinitesimal amount of "sodium somthin' or another", it's addictive, and an evil corporate conspiracy! ;-)

  • ||

    Thank you, Bob Smith, for clarifying sugar policy.

    So maybe the best question is, if corn syrup turned out to be as dangerous as Dave W. is hinting that it might be, why sue a few companies that use corn syrup in their products, when you could sue the companies that actually make the corn syrup? Especially since the corn syrup manufacturers are the people who actually lobbied for the crazy policies that created all these perverse incentives?

    That would be like suing the tobacco companies while giving subsidies to tobacco farm....oh, I get it now.

    Never mind.

  • ||

    BTW, to be clear, I'm not calling for a suit against the corn industry. I'm just pointing out that the notion of suing Coca Cola over the dangers of corn syrup doesn't even make sense when taken on its own perverse terms.

  • ||

    If we start referring to class action lawyers as Big Tort or Big Liability, that automatically makes them into bad guys, right?

  • ||

    Damn, does this mean I need to change my handle now?

    "soda" is an impostor! An impostor I tell you!

  • raymond||

    (Did I hit all of the major data points?)

    Nope. You failed to mention the massive investments by Coca Cola and other drinks manufacturers in insulin and syringe factories.

    Dr Pepper. A simple trademark? I think not.

    ---0---

    Food kills. Sue farmers.

    Water is addictive. Sue God.

  • bb||

    I'm as turned off by the proliferation of lawsuits blaming corporate america for bad choices as anybody but I do think softdrink companies should at least let people know about caffeine.

    I once worked for a company that was owned by the local Coke distributor. One of the perks of the job was a constantly filled cooler of cokes. I found myself drinking coke instead of water. I know, I know, I was an idiot.

    Anyway, I left that job, and the state, and completely cut out my coke consumption. I don't drink coffee either so I basically stopped the caffeine intake.

    A few weeks later I was getting massive headaches that eventually grew to the point that my teeth felt like they were ready to fall out. I was taking ibuprofren like candy and had no idea what was going on. Until I happened to mention it in a call to my mother. She suggested it could be caffeine related. I have no idea why she would know such a thing.

    So, I went to the store, bought a six pack of diet coke and chugged 2 cokes. The headache went away.

    Granted, I was drinking way too much coke and I guess common sense should have told me that, but I'm a fairly intelligent guy who reads about current events and had never heard that caffeine had such an effect.

    Would it kill somebody to let consumers know about this?

  • Jadagul||

    Well, my mother and sister are both caffiene addicts, so I'm pretty aware of that. They keep it under control, and it's not bad, but neither can get through the day without at least one coke.

    Coincidentally, tonight Im drinking coke for the first time in months. I'm oversensitive to caffiene, and so usually can't handle it; but I went out and bought a couple cokes because I don't think I'm gonna get through finals week without them.

  • Dave W.||

    So maybe the best question is, if corn syrup turned out to be as dangerous as Dave W. is hinting that it might be, why sue a few companies that use corn syrup in their products, when you could sue the companies that actually make the corn syrup? Especially since the corn syrup manufacturers are the people who actually lobbied for the crazy policies that created all these perverse incentives?

    That would be like suing the tobacco companies while giving subsidies to tobacco farm....oh, I get it now.

    T, you are approaching an insight here. A big one.

    The insight goes like this: as libertarians, we know that gov't is bad, power corrupts, don't trust gov't, etc, et, etc. Sometimes Dems or Repubs will say they understand this, but they don't. Either they constantly forget or they are hypocrites or both. So far, so good.

    However, when big business buys off portions of the gov't, then that business is acting as the gov't. If the politician is honest about the money he gets and the meeting she has and her true motives, then that's fine. On the other hand, if business is having secret meetings with the legislators (of all major part(ies)), and is doing business dirty bidding in the guise of gov't to sanitize all reponsibility and control people in anti-libertarian ways, then those businesses need to be as distrusted and disliked as we have learned and never forgotten to distrust gov't. Because, effectively, and despite the dog and pony democracy show, the lobbying business *is* the government.

    What do I mean by businesses acting in unlibertarian ways. Here's two examples.

    easy:
    company lobbies for strategic tariffs to increase its profits, yet hurt the economy as a whole.

    a bit more difficult (this is hypothetical, we will defer discussion of reality until discovery takes place):
    a food manufacturer wants to switch one of the ingerdients in its food product. although the additive is relatively safe in small amounts, in large amounts it is (secretly) believed that consumption of large amounts of the additive will increase the nation's diabetes rate by a factor of 10 or so (the data is imprecise and the company intends to remain as ignorant as they can of the risks in case there is litigation later). However, because the company believes that nobody will ever be able to prove that they knew the risk, they petition the gov't to keep the FDA out of its hair while it makes the ingredient switch. In one last brilliant move, the company pulls some farmers out of Grant Wood's central casting and everybody says that these wonderful farmers are the moving force behind this whole farce. The farmers are smiling, tho! Grant wouldn't like that. After diabetes has increased 10 fold, a brave man says we ought to look into what really went on there, with private lawsuits if the gov't is not up to the task of investigating its own corruption. he is roundly shouted down on a "libertarian" board.

  • ||

    I will probably get shot down for asking this, but how much of the increase in the diabetes rate in this country over the last thirtyfive years is due to the increase in the population of those ethnic groups that are more susceptible to diabetes?

  • ||

    Dave W.-

    For the record, in my view the small family corn farmers are NOT the main villains here. If you are right about corn syrup, the main villains are ADM and other big agribusiness firms. No, not for the fact that they're profitable (the Michael Moore strawman reason), but simply because the people who make the most corn syrup would be the biggest villains if corn syrup is as dangerous as you suggest it might be.

    So I'm not falling for some bait and switch where I start blaming the little guy while letting the big guy off the hook. No, I'm blaming the root source of corn syrup, the people who make it not only for soda manufacturers, but also for baked goods manufacturers and other food producers. (Assuming, of course, that corn syrup is as dangerous as you suggest it might be.)

    Anyway, change sugar policy and this whole corn sweetener problem goes away.

  • ||

    Also, Dave W., whatever the merits of your case about corn sweetener and shenanigans with the FDA, I don't know that the corn-diabetes link is what suits are most likely to explore. There are at least two other points that plaintiffs might raise:

    1) It's full of calories. Calories are calories. Eat too many and you gain weight. Now, where you get those calories from may affect other aspects of health, but as far as weight goes it's plain old thermodynamics: Energy Consumption - Energy Burned = Energy Stored.

    2) It's addictive: The caffeine thing.

    So I should ask you this: What if discovery winds up focusing on those issues rather than corn and diabetes? With corn and diabetes you've at least got the possibility that there was deception and manipulation of regulatory agencies. We're all against fraud here. So awarding damages on those grounds is at least something to contemplate.

    But what about the fact that soda simply contains a lot of calories and caffeine? Are those grounds for awarding damages?

  • ||

    If you are right about corn syrup, the main villains are ADM and other big agribusiness firms. No, not for the fact that they're profitable (the Michael Moore strawman reason), but simply because the people who make the most corn syrup would be the biggest villains if corn syrup is as dangerous as you suggest it might be.

    And they're "villains" if and only if this alleged link between corn syrup consumption and increased incidence of diabetes was known to them at the time (which would appear to be unlikely at best if science is only now uncovering such a link), if they decided for whatever reason it would be in their best interest to continue manufacturing it anyway, and if they decided it would be good to give all their customers diabetes.

  • ||

    "...a brave man says we ought to look into what really went on there, with private lawsuits if the gov't is not up to the task of investigating its own corruption. he is roundly shouted down on a "libertarian" board."- Dave W

    Given what is known about the history of sugar price supports and corn subsidies, the rather elaborate machinations you posit on the part of the food manufacturer are unnecessary to explain its actions (where corn syrup is cheaper, it uses corn syrup, where sugar is cheaper it uses sugar). Furthermore, if the purpose is to expose and punish the government corruption the lawsuits against the food manufacturer are a poor way to do that. If what you propose happened, did happen, then the episode will be chalked up to corporate greed, not government malfeasance.

  • ||

    Dave W. is a brave man for suggesting that a lawsuit is the best way to solve a problem. Nobody in America had ever thought of such a thing before.

  • ||

    From this morning's Wall St. Journal:

    World sugar price (nearest futures contract):
    12.43c per lb.

    Domestic sugar price (nearest futures contract):
    21.43c per lb.

    This is why Coca-Cola uses corn syrup. The sugar tariffs are one of the most egregious examples of government protectionism gone bad in the history of the U.S. High-fructose corn syrup would not exist if not for these tariffs (and some subsidies for corn farmers - another black eye for government).

  • Dave W.||

    Dave W. is a brave man for suggesting that a lawsuit is the best way to solve a problem. Nobody in America had ever thought of such a thing before.

    No. I am suggesting something much braver. I am suggesting that the laws Congress is passing against these personal injury suits represents the removal of an important historical check on business behavior and that the lobbyists who don't want this check are doing a bait and switch: offering up stories about how a couple fat teenagers and their lawyer almost bankrupted McDonald's so we are going to have to get rid of product liability law altogether. I am saying that there are "unintended consequences" inherent in doing this radical thing,and we need to be able to look past the fat teenagers and remain vigilant that McDonalds (or M&M or Coke) do not plant nutritional ticking time bombs in our food. Diabetes is one example that many people can relate to. Maybe its as bad as I am saying it is. Maybe its not. The shocker is that no one seems to know! Your right, Jacob S., there is no meth epidemic episdemic, but there is a diabetes epidemic. Where's fucking Reason mag? I thought they cared about us.

    This diabetes epidemic seems to have slowly started getting underway about the time Coke (and soon everybody else) changed one of the main ingredients in its uber-popular food product. You don't need to be a scientist to get to the hypothesis stage here. But when I try to bring a scientist named Thoreau along this patch, he assumes that the safety studies are sitting in a library and I could find them if I really wanted to. If that's science, I will stick with my native, pre-science brand of inquisitiveness. It sounds like science is more about making sure you don't say things that will jeopardize relationships potential future employers and/or clients.

    When people come back and read this post in 5 years, a lot more ex-libs will relate as they begin filling out the government paperwork they need to fill out so that their insulin remains underwritten in part by the government. It is brave not to be a fool when everybody else is saying such foolish things. It is a brave thing to attack science when everybody around here seems to think it the orgasmic ejaculation and all-seeing oracle of human knowledge. Its not. It can't even cognize and fight a diabetes epidemic that has arisen in our midst, preferring instead to harvest fetuses for speculative plans that never seem to pan out, at least not in this lifetime. Time will tell, T. Google remembers and so do I.

  • ||

    I wonder if this long debate about Coke's harmfulness would make Pepsi envious or relieved.

  • Dave W.||

    Its the same company, really. They are laughing because they know the outcome already.

  • ||

    But when I try to bring a scientist named Thoreau along this patch, he assumes that the safety studies are sitting in a library and I could find them if I really wanted to. If that's science, I will stick with my native, pre-science brand of inquisitiveness.

    I didn't say that. You asserted that the studies haven't been done, and I said that I have no idea if you're right or not. I said that I'd have to go to the library to find out. I haven't memorized the contents of the entire library, so I can't just tell you right away to what extent (if any) scientists have investigated this.

    Would you prefer that I simply assert something without checking it out first? Would that be a better brand of science?

    If the studies haven't been done, well, it's an interesting hypothesis and worth exploring. There, I said it, does that make you happy? If you wanted I guess I could go and conduct the study myself, but since I have no epidemiology training I'd probably do a piss-poor job of it. Maybe you'll think I'm just making excuses for a lack of curiosity, but I haven't been trained in every scientific discipline under the sun.

    You would probably be happier talking to somebody who's memorized an entire library and received training in every discipline known to mankind.

    It sounds like science is more about making sure you don't say things that will jeopardize relationships potential future employers and/or clients.

    I don't plan to work for a corn syrup manufacturer. Or a corn grower.

  • ||

    It can't even cognize and fight a diabetes epidemic that has arisen in our midst, preferring instead to harvest fetuses for speculative plans that never seem to pan out, at least not in this lifetime.

    There are a heck of a lot of scientists working on diabetes. The fact that stem cells get all the headlines doesn't mean that they are the only game in town.

  • Timothy||

    Dave W. must be a pepsi drinker.

    As a point of order, the sugar policy is a quota, not a tariff. They accomplish the same things, but I'm a total pedant.

    As of CharlesWT's link WAY upthread about a diet/fat link. There's a big goddamn difference between correlation and causation: Are diet soda drinkers gaining weight, or do fatasses tend to switch to diet? I'm going to guess the latter.

  • Dave W.||

    So I should ask you this: What if discovery winds up focusing on those issues rather than corn and diabetes? With corn and diabetes you've at least got the possibility that there was deception and manipulation of regulatory agencies. We're all against fraud here. So awarding damages on those grounds is at least something to contemplate.

    This is much better, T. Yes, maybe we could pass a much more limited Cheeseburger Bill that says you can't sue based on calorie intake least with respect to businesses that made the correct calorie numbers available. It might even make sense to pass some other narrow exemptions for other well understood harms, such as salt or nicotine. But this is *not* (I repeat *not*) what is happening.

    Maybe we could just make McDonald's defend the suits. I think they complain about these suits out of all proportion to the costs incurred, yet there is no way to check their allegations. Some ppl trust here. I don't.

    If I could stack all the money Coke really spends (and will spend) on tort lawyers in one stack and then put all the dollars that represent the relative rise in society's spending on diabetes in another stack, I know which stack would be bigger. That is, by no means, the end of the relevant inquiry. However, it is enough justification to stop stonewalling, get curious about diabetes, file lawsuits if the evidence dictates and (above all) reject horribly overbroad bills like Cheeseburger Bill.

  • ||

    I know several diabetics. They're all grossly fat and stuff themselves with cakes 'n' ice cream all day long...with some financial help from taxpayers.

    And I'm surprised by the anti-Coke feelings in this thread.

    If Coke knew that corn syrup was naughty, which is laughable, then tough shit - why don't YOU know the same damned thing about what you're consuming before you consume it? Is Coke suddenly responsible for educating you and taking care of you? And if you don't know about the Evil Forces of Corn Syrup, then either pay your money and take your chances, or stick to something that you DO know about - perhaps spring water, raw deer meat and lawn clippings.

    And yeah, subsidies are stupid, expensive and crooked. So is the court system. What else is new?

  • ||

    Who's Cheeseburger Bill? Sounds like a fun guy.

  • ||

    Yes, maybe we could pass a much more limited Cheeseburger Bill that says you can't sue based on calorie intake least with respect to businesses that made the correct calorie numbers available. It might even make sense to pass some other narrow exemptions for other well understood harms, such as salt or nicotine.

    Fair enough. I'd have no problem disallowing those lawsuits. People have known for millenia that when you eat too much you become fat.

    But this is *not* (I repeat *not*) what is happening.

    Are plaintiffs suing over the grounds that, on a per calorie basis, certain foods are more likely to cause diabetes? Or are they suing simply because the foods have too many calories?

    If they are claiming that some foods are more likely to cause diabetes, and that the manufacturers failed to disclose this to a public that couldn't know any better, then I will contemplate the possibility that damages might be justified. But if they are simply suing over calorie intake, then I don't care how much you spin it, the suits are ridiculous. People have known for millenia that eating too much makes you fat.

  • Dave W.||

    I know several diabetics. They're all grossly fat and stuff themselves with cakes 'n' ice cream all day long...with some financial help from taxpayers.

    I assume that if the diabetic demographic changes (as I feel it probably is, drastically even), then your opinions will change too. We'll revisit this post and have a wry chuckle.

  • ||

    Next up: government price controls on tinfoil to address the shortage caused by Dave W.

    Seriously, though, U.S. sugar policy is one of the most incredibly screwed-up things the government does. Here in South Florida, the feds are preparing to spend Billions of dollars to remediate the fouling of the Everglades, caused mainly by fertilizer runoffs and waterflow diversions used to support all the cane sugar fields. Of course, said cane fields--and their collateral damage--would disappear immediately if the feds would simply remove the goddamn price supports, quotas, etc. But U.S. Sugar is a big playa ib Florida politics, and of course FL is a key state in presidential elections, so don't hold your breath.

    I can only take consolation in the fact that our university will probably get several large grants to help out with the everglades cleanup.

  • Dave W.||

    Are plaintiffs suing over the grounds that . . . If they are . . .

    The suits that the Cheeseburger Bill would prevent includes the kinds of fact patterns I am hypothesizing above. If you are arguing for an exemption in product liability law, then I want to know, first and foremost, that the exemption won't block meritorious claims. That is what you need to address to be credible here, T.

    Whether some frivolous suits have already gone forward is a distant secondary consideration compared to that.

    You want to block the good suits, and then point out all the frivolous suits that were barred as a justification. That is a scientists' conception of justice, which is to say poor justice.

  • Dave W.||

    There are a heck of a lot of scientists working on diabetes. The fact that stem cells get all the headlines doesn't mean that they are the only game in town.

    Yeah. I get too much of my information from the media.

  • ||

    The "diabetic demographic" changing does not suddenly make people not responsible for what they put in their own mouths.

  • ||

    I would just like to also point out that, AS USUAL, Dave W. has not provided a single source, link or cite for a single claim he has made in this thread. Not one.

  • ||

    Dave W.-

    When have I said a word about blocking suits that allege fraud?

    I have criticized suits based on the allegation that some foods have too many calories. Excess calorie consumption is a well known risk, and so the buyer should be wary.

    I have also suggested that even if you are right about the dangers of corn syrup, and even if that information was kept secret from the public, Coca Cola is the wrong defendant. Instead I've suggested going after ADM in that case.

    Finally, I've suggested that all of these corn syrup issues would be moot if we had a sane sugar policy (which is to say, little or no sugar policy).

    Where have I said anything about not letting people sue on the grounds that fraud was committed?

  • ||

    especially since school administrators and board members are the ones who decide what gets vended.

    My girlfriend's father is an Athletics Director for a sizable upstate NY city, and he would beg to differ. He's no big fan of soda and he said getting the soda companies to stock even caffeine-free, sugarfree soda alongside the regular stuff was like pulling teeth. When they finally capitulated, they were still sneaking regular soda into the machine without his knowledge (he discovered this when he went to get himself a caffeine-free, sugarfree soda and found the regular stuff instead).

    Now, I don't want to suggest that a frivolous lawsuit against soda companies is *a* solution (let alone, *the* solution), but it's an interesting anecdote.

  • Dave W.||

    Dave W. must be a pepsi drinker.

    I quit drinking soda two years ago because I suspect that there might be latent health risks in both diet and corn syrup sodas.

    I do eat brown sugar out of the jar. Too much of it. However, I promise not to sue the brown sugar people, even if I get diabetes. Because the sugar ppl didn't hide the risks. It is interesting to note that there was a time when the sugar companies got too big and powerful. Congress made a good response to that problem (for once!).

  • ||

    Yeah. I get too much of my information from the media.

    No, you draw erroneous conclusions from that information. They point out the sexiest, most controversial science being done, and you assume that we have no interest in anything other than stem cells.

    Mind you, I'm not asking you to assume anything from a paucity of reporting on diabetes research. That would be every bit as unjustified as assuming that stem cells are the only game in town. I'm simply asking that you refrain from concluding that nobody is studying the problem. Don't assume that we are, don't assume that we aren't. Simply say "I don't know if scientists are studying diabetes." And then try to investigate the matter before accusing the scientific community of not studying it.

    Aren't you always saying that scientists should be silent about gaps in knowledge? Why shouldn't you be more modest about the conclusions you draw from gaps in reporting?

  • Timothy||

    Rafuzo: if the schools don't want soda, they're free not to have vending machines. Seriously.

  • ||

    It is interesting to note that there was a time when the sugar companies got too big and powerful. Congress made a good response to that problem (for once!).

    What did they do besides encourage us to consume corn syrup?

  • ||

    Texas banned "soft drinks" in the schools. They allow only food and beverages with some nutritional value. The vending machines are now full of soft drinks that are fortified with some trivial amount of vitamins and minerals. It took about 6 months to find the loophole.

  • Dave W.||

    Where have I said anything about not letting people sue on the grounds that fraud was committed?

    I think that the food oligopoly is trying to make this happen. You are defending the oligopoly, vigorously. That was the source of my confusion.

  • ||

    Dave W., don't argue with the thoreau in your head.

  • Timothy||

    I suspect that there might be latent health risks in both diet and corn syrup sodas.

    And now we get to the truth of the matter, Dave's actually also afraid of nutrasweet. No matter about the science on it, nope.

    How do you feel about Splenda, Dave? Why not import your soda from Canada or Mexico? I'm sure you could order it over the internet.

  • ||

    One key difference between the real thoreau and the thoreau in your head: The thoreau in your head is a big defender of ADM. The real thoreau has repeatedly called for an end to the policies that enable them to make so much money off of corn syrup.

  • Dave W.||

    T:

    "For many years the Sherman Act went unenforced, but Congress began seeking out violators of the act, starting with the sugar combine E.C Knight Co. in 1895"

    from the wiki

  • Timothy||

    So 110 years ago congress went after some Anti-trust violators who happened to be in sugar. That doesn't change the facts on the ground RE: ADM and the sugar compacts today. Again, the preferential treatment of sugar producers, along with the corn people's lobby for preferential treatment, drive up the price of sugar and drive down the price of corn syrup.

    Do you remember a couple of years ago when Hershey was going to move their American plant from PA just across the border into Canada? The plan was to make chocolate up there an import under NAFTA to save manufacturing costs. Hershey already does manufacturing in Ontario for Hershey Canada Inc., and has since 1962. The PR outcry kept them in PA, but it looks like Nestle, Cadbury, Hershey, and all of the other major US candy makers are in on the diabetes conspiracy.

    The question is: why would they want to cause diabetes? I'll bet the Illuminati and the Stone Masons know the answer! CALL ART BELL!

  • Dave W.||

    Sorry, other T. the comment was addressed to Thoreau because he asked.

  • raymond||

    Here's an article. Perhaps this will be of interest in this discussion.

  • ||

    Wow.

    Watching Dave spiral off into Tinfoilhatastan over the course of this thread has been one of the most bizarrely amusing things I've witnessed in quite some time.

    I only have a couple of things to add:

    1) No intelligent designer/invisible watchmaker would all such a thing as high-fructose corn syrup in his world.

    2) Here's a link to a website that shows how they make corn syrup in the first place.

  • ||

    Wow.

    Watching Dave spiral off into Tinfoilhatastan over the course of this thread has been one of the most bizarrely amusing things I've witnessed in quite some time.

    I only have a couple of things to add:

    1) No intelligent designer/invisible watchmaker would allow such a thing as high-fructose corn syrup in his world.

    2) Here's a link to a website that shows how they make corn syrup in the first place.

  • raymond||

    And I don't know how accurate this article is, but I do recall that when I participated in a scientific experiment (as a subject) I was not allowed even black coffee before they took blood. When I asked why, the doctor-researcher said that caffeine raised blood-sugar levels.

    (This darned server won't let me post 2 links in the same post.)

  • Dave W.||

    The real thoreau has repeatedly called for an end to the policies that enable them to make so much money off of corn syrup.
    My head Thoreau yet seems decidely uncurious about the people who funded the lobbyists who made this corn syrup thing happen. Seems not to want the people asking basic questions like what did the lobbyist-government know and when did they know it.

  • ||

    Dave, that's because thoreau is in on it. ;-)

    Don't forget that he's a scientist, and as such probably a dirty, baby-eating, God-hating anti-intelligent-designist.

  • Timothy||

    Raymond: Well, there's a correlation, look at that. Again, those of us with some statistical background will note the correlation is different than cause, and have to withhold judgement on that particular study until we can read it.

    However, even if we take the study for what the press-release says: that doesn't make a particular argument against corn syrup unless there's an entirely different metabolization process for Fructose and Sucrose. From the article:

    Foods high in refined carbohydrate, the argument goes, send blood sugar soaring, requiring the pancreas to pump out insulin. Over time, the body's tissues become resistant to the excess insulin and pancreatic cells wear out, resulting in diabetes.

    Which implies, to my mind at least, that unless corn syrup can be shown to spike blood glucose more than sucrose (table sugar, cane sugar, etc). I'm not a medical chemist but I hightly doubt the way in which those things are metabolized is different enough to make corn syrup worse than other sugars.

  • Timothy||

    It should also be noted that most forms of commercial HFCS have ~the same amount of fructose as table sugar, being that sucrose is a fructose and a glucose molecule stuck together.

  • Dave W.||

    No, you draw erroneous conclusions from that information. They point out the sexiest, most controversial science being done, and you assume that we have no interest in anything other than stem cells.

    Look Thoreau. I may be having a child or 2 soon. If I am a parent, then I will want to know if its okay to feed the children cornsyrup or if I am being paranoid. Why I am I hearing nothing? They may as well not exist if they can't get the word out, one way or the other, to an average schlub like me. Science needs to do a little bit more work on problems I have and answers I need now. I am not dazzled by your hopes for the future. Now where's my link, scientist?

  • ||

    I will want to know if its okay to feed the children cornsyrup or if I am being paranoid..... Now where's my link, scientist?

    Do your own damn searching. I'm busy trying to understand tumor growth and help biologists visualize the interior of cells better. Sorry if I don't have time to solve all of your problems as well.

  • ||

    So, let me get this straight: Dave W. wants some huge lawsuit complete with a fishing-expedition discovery period against The Coca-Cola Corp., not even because It's For The Children, but because It's For His Future Children; and because he's too lazy and cheap to subscribe to a good research database and look for shit himself, and too overcome by inertia to just avoid corn syrup if he think's it's polluting his Precious Bodily Fluids?

    Score! Looks like I'm retiring early!

  • ||

    I work in a chemical plant that happens to also make syrup for Coca Cola and we do not use corn sweetner, we use sugar. Big, 50 pound sacks of it. Believe me that's the least of my worries about what is in the syrup. Phosphoric acid, crotonaldehyde, ammonia. No thanks.

  • Dave W.||

    Now Thoreau. You are a scientist trained to sort the good studies from the bad. I am not trained. My future children are more woriied about diabetes than the specific type of tumors you work on. Anyway, why should research be required to answer my question. It seems like very basic information that loving parents need and have needed since the new diabetes surge became apparent. In true scientific fashion, your response is heartless.

  • ||

    thoreau and Dave W.,

    You two are really bringing down the debate. Now start acting like gentleman! :)

  • Rich Ard||

    "Science needs to do a little bit more work on problems I have and answers I need now."

    Why don't you go to school, Dave, and look into it yourself? Ain't somebody else's job to figure shit out for you.

    I checked out this thread last night and figured it would have petered out long ago - I can't believe you guys are still going on this.

  • ||

    Dave W.-

    Why do you assume that I'm just peachy with corporate conspiracies if I don't immediately throw all of my expertise into the possible role that corn syrup might play in diabetes? If you are dying to get to the bottom of this, find a couple studies, point me to them, and some time before Dec. 31 you have my solemn promise that I will render whatever opinion I am qualified to render. You have my email address/

    And why do you think that soda companies are better defendants than corn syrup manufacturers? If corn syrup is indeed contaminating our precious bodily fluids and they know about it, why not sue the source? The corn growers and corn manufacturers can pay the plaintiffs for harms incurred if you are right, and then pass on some portion of the costs to Coca Cola, Entemann's, etc.

    And what if your kids get leukemia? Or what if a cell biologist with a better microscope learns something important about diabetes? Ever think of that?

  • ||

    "My future children are more woriied about diabetes than the specific type of tumors you work on."

    Wow. sperm hasn't even met egg yet, but Dave's future kids are already crying out about their future health concerns. I wonder what those dirty evolutionists would make of that indisputable fact?

    "Anyway, why should research be required to answer my question."

    Um, maybe because without actually putting effort into researching how things work, you can't understand, you know, like, how they function?

  • ||

    Is it just me, or does every single one of Dave W.'s arguments boil down to the following:

    "Science can't solve a couple of these questions I have *right now* therefore science can't possibly solve anything at all! Wah!"

    Or am I being overly harsh?

  • Rich Ard||

    Or, ya lazy bahstahd, why don't you read some of the research?

  • ||

    I'm sure that a lawsuit will remedy the fact that America has become a land of whiny, bitchy, fat fucks who can't stop shoveling crap food down their pieholes.

    Perhaps a class-action suit is in order against whatever law school managed to turn out a dangerous Tort Warrior like Prof. Daynard.

  • ||

    BTW, the allegation that I used to get is that I'm too lefty, not sufficiently respectful of business. Hell, not too long ago I was called a Democrat. Now Dave W. is coming at me from the other angle.

    I just can't win.

  • ||

    It's like the Baby Bear said, thoreau: This one is just right!

  • Timothy||

    You're a winner in my book, thoreau!

    mediageek: no, you're being too generous, if anything.

  • ||

    Thanks, Phil!

  • ||

    And thanks to Timothy, too! Didn't mean to leave you out.

  • ||

    B.P. your post was perfect.

  • ||

    Dave W. is the same guy who prattles on about intelligent design, right?

  • ||

    Dave W. is the same guy who prattles on about intelligent design, right?

    Uh-huh. That and pretty much claiming at every turn that lack of evidence is proof of a coverup or conspiracy. And demanding that atheists prove that there is no God.

  • ||

    The question is: why would they want to cause diabetes?

    A damned good question. Don't think about it too much.

  • ||

    that's the least of my worries about what is in the syrup. Phosphoric acid, crotonaldehyde, ammonia.


    You're not giving away trade secrets, now, are ya? Secret recipe? Mmmm, crotonaldehyde.


    There are some colas out there made with sugar. I see them a lot in (heh) health food stores. Some have ginseng too and are quite yummy. But what do I know? I liked Virgin Cola.

  • ||

    "Dave W. is the same guy who prattles on about intelligent design, right?"

    Yes.

  • Dave W.||

    Mediageek, Thoreau and I agreed above that the studies would be easy to do because different populations adopted massive cornsyrup intake increases at different times. Some modern societies still use sugar. This is not like looking for a leukemia or diabetes cure. This is easy, low hanging fruit for the scientists. The project should have been done a long time ago because it can help me save lives now, unlike speculative research that may or may not pay off a long time from now. I can't believe that none of you guys get that, nobody sees any anomaly here.

    Thoreau:
    I agree that ADM is a more likely culprit than Coke. But we shouldn't have to guess. The discovery of a lawsuit would give us a much better idea of who knew what when and who lobbied for what when. Liability should track the documentary evidence as established by the discovery. That is the way with the most justice. i don't think there is any question but that both Coke and ADM lobbied to get the tariff (or whatever they are called). My main doubts are these: 91) is there really a super strong link between diabetes and corn syrup; and (2) what did the lobbyists (whatever companies they may be) know when they secured the tarriffs and kept the FDA at bay, etc. I am open to the possibility that ADM Mc Donald's and Coke all realy had no clue back in the 70s. However, unlike the ppl accusing me of tinfoil hat, I am also open to the possibility that they(or some of them) knew and just didn't care. Hopefully this is our common ground, Thoreau.

  • ||

    If it's such a great big glaring error that's so easily resolved, then finance the research yourself.

  • Dave W.||

    If it's such a great big glaring error that's so easily resolved, then finance the research yourself.
    Go fuck yourself.

  • ||

    Thoreau and I agreed above that the studies would be easy to do because different populations adopted massive cornsyrup intake increases at different times.

    What did I agree on, again?

    Studies with time as a variable are dangerous, Dave W. I'm no epidemiologist, but my statistics professors talked a lot about that. I'd rather look at cross-sectional studies, comparing members of the same population at the same time with different corn syrup intake. Comparing the US with Mexico would be dangerous. Interesting, but hardly the sort of thing you'd want to base firm conclusions on.

    Anyway, after a good epidemiological study, I'd start asking questions about the biochemistry of how corn syrup is metabolized. Work with animals. Do blood tests on humans with different diets. Things like that.

    And why would Coke lobby with ADM to make sugar more expensive? I can see why they might lobby for a corn subsidy to make corn syrup less expensive, after sugar has been priced above corn syrup due to public policy. But why would they lobby to make sugar more expensive? They have nothing to gain from that. ADM does, but not Coke.

    Do you have any historical facts to back up that suggestion about Coke lobbying for sugar tariffs? (Not corn subsidies, mind you. Sugar tariffs.)

  • Timothy||

    That would require more than conspiracy theories and bluster.

  • Dave W.||

    Here are the operative facts that might have given Coke a strong motive:

    1. Because cheap corn syrup is cheaper than cheap sugar

    2. because corn syrup tastes like shit comapred with cane

    3. Coke wanted to make sure that few, if any, "competitors" continued to use cane.

  • Dave W.||

    Here are the operative facts that might have given Coke a strong motive:

    1. Because cheap corn syrup is cheaper than cheap sugar

    2. because corn syrup tastes like shit comapred with cane

    3. Coke wanted to make sure that few, if any, "competitors" continued to use cane.

  • ||

    Comparing the US with Mexico would be dangerous

    I should add, especially if the studies involve time as a variable. The adoption of corn syrup in Mexico could always coincide with some other events that actually influenced diabetes.

    You're the guy who's always cautioning scientists not to draw hasty conclusions. Why is the alleged link between diabetes and corn syrup a topic where rigor can be abandoned?

  • ||

    First, these theories seem kind of dubious, but who knows. More importantly, do you have anything to back the assertion that they lobbied to make sugar artificially expensive? The ADM-corn subsidy link has been discussed by John Stossel. (Including a Reason article, I think?) What about the Coke-sugar tariff link?

  • Dave W.||

    What about the Coke-sugar tariff link?

    that is a discovery issue. You'd be surprised what pops up. Personally, I am more interested in who said what to the FDA, because these are the ppl that are supposed to make sure our food doesn't make us sick. They have been asleep on this for a long, long time and that makes my lawyer nose smell a powerful rat. But only discovery yields actual answers in this context.

  • ||

    "Go fuck yourself."

    I would if I could.

    I am quite literally that hot.

  • ||

    The project should have been done a long time ago because it can help me save lives now, unlike speculative research that may or may not pay off a long time from now.

    Also, somebody should have put $1 million in an annuity for me 100 years ago, because it would help me be rich now, unlike money from the future that I might never see.

  • ||

    1. Because cheap corn syrup is cheaper than cheap sugar

    This makes no fucking sense whatsoever unless you've got some evidence -- LIKE A FUCKING CITE FOR ONCE FOR PETE'S SAKE, JUST ONCE, YOU KNOW? -- that it takes more sugar to sweeten a given volume of soda than it does corn syrup.

    How close are you to conceding the point that there is no evidence whatsoever except in your addled brain that Coke has anything whatsoever to do with sugar price supports?

  • ||

    But first I'd smother me in corn syrup.

    Mmmmmm...

  • Timothy||

    because corn syrup tastes like shit comapred with cane

    How is that a motivation? If Coke's goal is to maximize profits, using a crappy tasting sweetener seems like a bad strategy. I'm just sayint.

    thoreau: Time-series data are really difficult, there are issues with autocorrelation, and such. Time-series econometrics is difficult, really difficult, and I'm in the midst of trying to teach more of it to myself...ught. Going to have to wait until I start that MBA.

  • Dave W.||

    You're the guy who's always cautioning scientists not to draw hasty conclusions. Why is the alleged link between diabetes and corn syrup a topic where rigor can be abandoned?

    Your point is correct. Even though I may have slaughtered the terminology, my basic point remains that the cornsyrup question is an easy one to solve. I am not looking for slight differences. I am looking for big correlations, like, for example, is cornsyrup at least 10 times as likely as cane to cause diabetes? Whatever the science details may be, this work has got to be a lot more confidently achievable than the cure for cancer. There is no way you will convince me that the kind of big phenomenom I am looking for would cost anywhere in the ballpark of, say, gene research. Yes, I understand that you want the Rolls-Royce study or none at all. Tool.

  • Dave W.||

    No egregiuous. My hypothesis (we are not at theory stage yet) is that ADM did the tarriffs and that Coke took care of the FDA. You lobby the agency you know.

  • Dave W.||

    How is that a motivation? If Coke's goal is to maximize profits, using a crappy tasting sweetener seems like a bad strategy. I'm just sayint.

    This is why you don't work at Coke headquearters.

  • ||

    Yes, I understand that you want the Rolls-Royce study or none at all.

    How about a study done to the same level of rigor as one that would persuade you that the earth is 4 to 5 billion years old?

    Tool.

    Because I am careful with my science?

  • R C Dean||

    I want to know, first and foremost, that the exemption won't block meritorious claims.

    It will. No law is perfect. Get used to it.

    That is what you need to address to be credible here, T.

    Sorry, but thoreau is a known quantity on this forum. I doubt I could point to anyone who posts here who has more credibility or goodwill amongst the regulars. I don't think he's the one at the bottom of the credibility curve looking up, Dave.

    Whether some frivolous suits have already gone forward is a distant secondary consideration compared to that.

    Well, no. Allowing frivolous suits is just as much of an injustice as blocking meritorious claims, in the abstract. If you doubt this, its only because you haven't been bled white trying to fend off a frivolous claim.

  • ||

    Whatever the science details may be, this work has got to be a lot more confidently achievable than the cure for cancer. There is no way you will convince me that the kind of big phenomenom I am looking for would cost anywhere in the ballpark of, say, gene research.

    Dave's got the conclusions all worked out! Now all he needs to do is come up with the method that proves his conlcusions.

    Thanks, Dave!

  • ||

    This is why you don't work at Coke headquearters.

    Evidently you do, though.

  • ||

    There is no way you will convince me that the kind of big phenomenom I am looking for would cost anywhere in the ballpark of, say, gene research.

    What if the first studies don't validate your hypothesis? How far would you want to go, how much money would you want to spend?

    And thank you, R C, for the compliments. Although I have disagreed with you, when I disagree I nonetheless find your comments challenging and interesting.

  • Timothy||

    This is why you don't work at Coke headquearters.

    Acutally, I don't work at Coke headquarters because I've never tried to get work there, don't have much of an interest in the soft-drink world, and don't really want to live in Atlanta. I'm sure if I were sufficiently motivated, they have any number of sittin' in cubicles crunching numbers sort of jobs that I could do.

    The goal of any corporation is to increase shareholder value, I fail to see how something tasting bad is a motivating factor when one is trying to sell as much soda as possible.

    Sure, maybe Coke is an exception and their board members, executive management, and product development team are all motivated by some sort of insatiable urge to give children diabetes, but that doesn't seem all that likely. So unlikely, in fact, as to be located in Tinfoilia, capital city of Tinfoilhatistan. Do we need to ship you off to a basic microeconomics class, maybe followed up by a semester of industrial organization, Dave? This is real basic theory of the firm kind of stuff.

    Here's a challenge for you, Dave, prove that Coca-Cola was involved in lobbying for corn supports, sugar subsidies, and/or sugar quotas. You're demanding that thoreau quit his day job and devote himself to answering your inquiries by performing a study, why don't you actually prove that Coke does any of the things you alledge? Shouldn't be that hard to find the lobbying expenditures in their required reporting for the SEC.

  • Dave W.||

    What if the first studies don't validate your hypothesis? How far would you want to go, how much money would you want to spend?

    Probably not too far at all. I just want the first round of studies. I don't want to keep my kids from drinking Coke. I only want them to be forbidden from Coke if Coke is, say, >10 times more dangerous than it used to be (in the cane days) wrt diabetes. Show me something decent and I will pack it in in a hurry. Like I said, i think there is an unrecognized *big* correlation lurking, like there used to be back in the days when there was not a cough in the carload.

  • ||

    I'm still interested in how Dave W. jusifies what can only be considered wanton discovery abuse.

  • ||

    Timothy,

    ...maybe followed up by a semester of industrial organization...

    My wife hated that class.

  • Dave W.||

    I'm still interested in how Dave W. jusifies what can only be considered wanton discovery abuse.

    This issue is not ripe for adjudication. However, I am sure that Coke's lawyers know how to use Rule 11 and all of its ilk. So, yes, the discovery will have to be justifiable in context of the suit if and when that suit occurs. If it is not, I would be in trouble. Like, duh.

  • ||

    The last time that I took a class on basic nutrition (many years ago) the instructor emphathized the fact that ALL sugars (as well as starches) are broken down by the body's digestive system into glucose. This happens BEFORE they get into the bloodstream and insulin comes into play.


    Is this the same Dave W. that kept going on about the relative merits of Intelligent Design and Evolution being taught in the classroom in that super long thread last month or before? You know...the one that I stayed up reading all night hoping that "the dog would finally let go of the damned bone"?

  • ||

    "Look Thoreau. I may be having a child or 2 soon. If I am a parent, then I will want to know if its okay to feed the children cornsyrup or if I am being paranoid. Why I am I hearing nothing?"

    I weep for the future.

    So, the scientific community is insufficiently responding to a hypothesis that you've concocted in your head? Wow.

    Thanks for the shoutout johnl.

  • Dave W.||

    So, the scientific community is insufficiently responding to a hypothesis that you've concocted in your head? Wow.

    Well, the marked increase in diabetes helped a lot with the concoction. How big an increase in diabetes would we have to see before you saw a problem, BP?

  • ||

    I have STILL yet to see a cite to a reliable medical or epidemiological source -- the CDC? Something? Bueller? -- concerning this "marked increase in diabetes." Not one.

  • ||

    "Look Thoreau. I may be having a child or 2 soon. If I am a parent, then I will want to know if its okay to feed the children cornsyrup or if I am being paranoid. Why I am I hearing nothing?"



    Give them good ol' Karo syrup in water occasionally in their bottles. It's a great laxative and helps keep them regular. You might even try some yourself.

  • Dave W.||

    I have STILL yet to see a cite to a reliable medical or epidemiological source -- the CDC? Something? Bueller? -- concerning this "marked increase in diabetes." Not one.

    Check my sig link. Scroll down to the "Statistics" section.

  • ||

    Dave W.,

    So, yes, the discovery will have to be justifiable in context of the suit if and when that suit occurs.

    Given your presuppositions I don't find your statement sincere at all. You've been judge, jury and executioner throughout this entire thread.

  • ||

    Dave W,

    I think you probably wanted to cite directly the fructose-to-diabetes connection like 75 postings ago:

    http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/minerals/chromium/index.html

    "Foods high in simple sugars, such as sucrose and fructose, are not only low in chromium but have been found to promote chromium loss (2)."
    ...
    "Because chromium appears to enhance the action of insulin and chromium deficiency has resulted in impaired glucose tolerance, chromium insufficiency has been hypothesized to be a contributing factor to the development of Type 2 diabetes (3, 7)"

    2. Lukaski HC. Chromium as a supplement. Annu Rev Nutr. 1999;19:279-302. (PubMed)

    3. Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine. Chromium. Dietary reference intakes for vitamin A, vitamin K, boron, chromium, copper, iodine, iron, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, silicon, vanadium, and zinc. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press; 2001:197-223. (National Academy Press)

    7. Jeejeebhoy KN. The role of chromium in nutrition and therapeutics and as a potential toxin. Nutr Rev. 1999;57(11):329-335. (PubMed)

    Why you couldn't have pulled this together yourself, I have no idea. Anyway, I have to get back to work now.

  • Dave W.||

    yes, Hak, because we are not assigning liability here. Rather, we are exploring what types of lawsuits need to be available in case the plausible things I am saying turn out to be true. Anyway, Coke only needs fear discovery if it has something to hide.

  • Dave W.||

    Keith,
    That won't pass muster with Thoreau! I only trust the scientist on my epidemiological issues (and once in awhile I trust the Wiki, too).

  • ||

    Well, the marked increase in diabetes helped a lot with the concoction. How big an increase in diabetes would we have to see before you saw a problem, BP?

    Correlation is not causation.

    Just because there is a marked uptick in diabetes does not mean that corn-derived sweeteners are to blame, even if they happen at the same time.

  • Dave W.||

    Seriously, though. Thanks, Keith. If this were cancer instead off diabetes, I think we would have had a reasonable response to the disturbing indicators,one way or the other, a long time ago.

  • Timothy||

    Dave, seriously, stop debating the voice in your head called thoreau and start paying attention to the real one. Do we need to get you some haldol?

  • ||

    Dave W.,

    You have been assinging liability. Hell, you even claimed that thoreau was in league with ADM.

  • ||

    Dave W.-

    How do you know it won't pass muster with me? Anyway, I'll read the articles when I get a chance. The snippets seem very suggestive, and perhaps the other references will include epidemiological data.

    If it becomes apparent that this risk is very real, then there are many other questions to ask. Three that come to mind are:

    1) (Your favorite) "What did the Coke dealers know and when did they know it?"

    2) Is Coke really the best defendant anyway? What about ADM?

    3) Wouldn't the easiest solution be to end the sugar tariffs, price supports, etc.?

    Also, if only the guilty need fear anything from an investigation, then you won't mind if I examine your filing cabinets, safety deposit box, financial records, bedroom drawers, computer, credit report, etc.

    I'll be there tonight with my crow bar.

  • ||

    Clicking on your signature is too hard, Dave. I want you to do the work for me.

  • Dave W.||

    How do you know it won't pass muster with me? Anyway, I'll read the articles when I get a chance. The snippets seem very suggestive, and perhaps the other references will include epidemiological data.

    If it becomes apparent that this risk is very real, then there are many other questions to ask. Three that come to mind are:

    1) (Your favorite) "What did the Coke dealers know and when did they know it?"

    2) Is Coke really the best defendant anyway? What about ADM?

    3) Wouldn't the easiest solution be to end the sugar tariffs, price supports, etc.?


    agree exceppt on #3, I think we need to go further to make sure we don't get a repeat of this fiasco, if at all possible. That is where tort suits and punitive come in. If somebody ever did bring Coke to court, then Coke will bring a frivolous suit motion and the attorneys records, at least those relating to some kind of legally cognizable damage, would be produced. this kind of thing happens fairly frequently in patent suits. It is difficult to see what my checking account would have to do with Coke, but my "Rule 11 basis" would be fully discoverable. The account of the FDA head would probably be more relevant, tho.

  • ||

    4) Suppose that a plaintiff comes to the judge and, without mentioning a word about any sort of effort to hide the dangers of corn syrup, files a suit alleging that
    (a) Soda contains a lot of calories, which makes people fat.
    (b) Soda contains caffeine, which makes people fat.

    And suppose that a jury awarded damages based solely on evidence supporting those claims.

    No mention of corn syrup posing a great diabetes hazard than cane sugar.

    What would you say?

  • Timothy||

    I'd also like to point out, again, that sucrose is just a glucose and a fructose molecule stuck together, and if you look at the wiki-linked entry I posted WAY upthread, you'll see that the main fructose concentrations of HFCS are 42%, 55% and 90% by volume. Sucrose is 50% fructose, you can see a molecular diagram here.

    Therefore, assuming the rest of the HFCS is glucose like regular corn syrup, you're looking at almost the same fructose/glucose ratio as you find in normal table sugar in two out of three of the major commercial HFCS formulations. I'd have to do a little more research to figure out which of these formulas is most prevalent.

  • Dave W.||

    Why do you think such a fat people claim would succeed in court. The facts you mention sound like an excellent defense. Coke would win on that, Coke will win on that (on appeal if not at the jury level). Contrast your hypothetical facts with the great bugbear case where McDonald's was warned about the overheating of its coffee, but did basically nothing to address the risk.

  • Timothy||

    And, again, as a non-medical non-chemist, there may be something radically different about the metabolization processes, but chemically speaking they really aren't that far apart.

  • ||

    Dave W., what if it turns out that eating too many sweets can give you diabetes but some people keep selling sweets anyway? And other people keep buying them? What's a lawyer to do?

  • ||

    Why, sue of course!

  • Timothy||

    Would that be a torte tort mediageek?

  • ||

    mediageek, what if somebody wants to live in a world where it's impossible to damage your health with what you eat? Are you going to take away that right?

  • ||

    Timothy-

    Let's rhyme! Dave W. will file torts until we stop eating tortes!

    Lawyer for the chubby plaintiff: If the pants don't fit you must convict.

  • Timothy||

    what if somebody wants to live in a world where it's impossible to damage your health with what you eat? Are you going to take away that right?

    Hey, that individual has the same right to not live as anybody else does. Suicide is painless, afterall.

    The filing of torte torts should be considered a last resort, perhaps instead the fatties should put down their forks!

  • ||

    You know, the Dr. Pepper Co. made me drink this Dr. Pepper I have in my hand. I'm gonna sue! :)

  • ||

    Huzzah! Massive cash settlements for everyone!

    Ice cream's on me!

  • Dave W.||

    what if it turns out that eating too many sweets can give you diabetes but some people keep selling sweets anyway? And other people keep buying them? What's a lawyer to do?

    As they explained in my Food and Drug Law class, many, many foods are harmful to one degree or another. Part of the FDA's job, or the job of a private company that sells food for that matter, is to make sure that nothing gets into the food that causes an epidemic. Scientists may not have to make these distinctions of degree, but the law does it all the time, and not just food law either -- all areas of the law. But you knew that.

  • Dave W.||

    If things are as sinister as I am speculating, I would settle for appropriately serious criminal punishments (eg, enforced liquidation of guilty companies, jail time for guilty officers and board members) in lieu of cash. Just so long as any future bad behavior is de-incentivized. No money-grubber, me. So, there is yet another enforcement option.

    You guys are really good at exposing non-epidemics (eg, meth). When it comes to real, verified epidemics, you are helpless and trusting as abandoned kittens. Jacob: pls, no more meth stories; bigger fish, etc, etc.

  • ||

    Why didn't Coke just lobby for price supports on sugar?

  • ||

    Knock it off, guys. The fun is just starting on Jeff Taylor's Tautology thread. And Nick has got a good one started, too.

  • ||

    "Scientists may not have to make these distinctions of degree, but the law does it all the time, and not just food law either -- all areas of the law."

    So what you're saying is that the law is tasked with objectively instituting laws based on objective conclusions that they draw without the aid of, oh, I dunno, some framework of rational methodology?

    Hell, I could go to a convention of "Magic: The Gathering" players, and come up with practically the same thing.

  • ||

    Way... too... much... of nothing.

    Dave W.:

    Don't you remember your momma saying "Don't put that in your mouth!"? Damn, dude. Don't give your hypothetical children Coke. There is not a single reason to do so; not one! It's full of caffeine and sugar and without any nutritional value. Be a man and just say no!

    If you will find it difficult to deprive your children of soft drinks, you're really not competent to raise a child.

  • Dave W.||

    All yours fear of discovery just makes me know that you guys aren't as confident that Coke is clean in this as you say you are.

    Discovery will bankrupt Coke! There is no diabetes epidemic! Coke probably never though about diabetes way back in the 70s and 80s! We are thru the looking glass now, ppl.

  • Dave W.||

    thought, not though

  • Viking Moose (working on time ||

    "thoreau: Time-series data are really difficult, there are issues with autocorrelation, and such. Time-series econometrics is difficult, really difficult, and I'm in the midst of trying to teach more of it to myself...ught. Going to have to wait until I start that MBA."

    time series???? you called?

    i'd advise against mba time series - go for the big boy and girl time series.

    shoot me a note through grylliade and we can chat.

    (am working on very high frequency financial data right now for my freakin final right now...)

  • ||

    "For many years the Sherman Act went unenforced, but Congress began seeking out violators of the act, starting with the sugar combine E.C Knight Co. in 1895"

    The wiki doesn't know what it's talking about. Congress didn't seek out anybody. It was the Justice Department that did that. (Somebody needs to explain to the wiki that, while Congress makes the laws, it's the executive branch than enforces them.)

  • Dave W.||

    Seamus,
    That occurred to me, but I am not sure how the branches divided powers back then. It might have been different in 1995, when antitrust action were now being brought against small, powerless businesses like Microsoft. I am going to assume the Wiki is right, but reserve the possibility that you are correct.

    btw, just because Congress doesn't bring antitrust actions today doesn't mean they can't. I don't know if they can or can't, but I wouldn't assume they can't just 'cause they don't.

  • ||

    "Look Thoreau. I may be having a child or 2 soon. If I am a parent, then I will want to know if its okay to feed the children cornsyrup or if I am being paranoid. Why I am I hearing nothing?"

    I'd give them beer. It's a lot more healthy than corn syrup.

    I'm not kidding. The brewmaster at the Weeping Radish Brewery in Manteo, North Carolina, told some of us who were on his brewery tour that, when he was growing up in Germany, his parents would give him a half beer/half lemonade mixture. Sounds good to me. Of course, he added ruefully, you can't do that here. But he was emphatic that it would be better for the children than soft drinks.

    Beer. It's for the children.

  • Dave W.||

    My parents gave me lots of beer growing up, at least from 10 to 15. From 15 to 18 I was a non-drinker because I could only have beer at the house and it wasn't as fun because of the parental supervision. I used to love playing "kill the man" after a couple brewskis. These days my parents would probably be prosecuted. the kids of today should defend themselves against the 70s.

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