Soda Ban

Food Police Have Crosshairs on Soft Drinks


Coca-cola bottles
Credit: Lawrence Whittemore /

They're doing this because you are not to be trusted. They know that you're incapable of deciding when enough is enough. It's because they care. But don't worry! They're here to help you with your problem.

The New York Times calls them "health advocates and public health officials from major cities" (as if an urban address somehow confers gravitas) urging the FDA to take action. They are the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) and they want you to stop drinking so much damn soda, claiming that "the levels of added sugars in those products is unsafe" and "things like high fructose corn syrup and sucrose [are] a public health hazard."

Their solution? Have the FDA regulate the amount of sugar and other caloric sweeteners that can be added to beverages. Translation: they want you drinking diet.

Clearly this is a subject about which the CSPI feels passionately. They've been campaigning against "liquid candy" since before 2003, when Reason magazine senior editor Jacob Sullum wrote an in-depth article about the laughably inconsistent and unscientific organization. Highlights include a timely section on the CSPI policy of "perpetual Lent" as well as a humorous bit on the supposed gastrointestinal dangers of Quorn, which the organization once hailed as a "meatless marvel."

Perhaps the CSPI feels that New York City's soon-to-be-in-effect ban on large sodas won't go far enough to punish small, minority-owned businesses and otherwise trample on the freedoms of the American people. After all: it is just one city. Then again, maybe they just know they're not to be trusted—and they assume you're not to be either.

NEXT: Police Intent Questioned in Fire that Ended Dorner Case

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  1. Nothing will ever be enough for them. There is no limit. They will think they are going too far.

    And we are doomed because most people are in favor of it.

    1. That’s the spirit!
      It’s so much easier when you relax.

  2. So we’ll all just switch to SodaStream or Mexican imports. Fuck you.

    1. That’s directed at those who want to take away our precious soda, of course.

    2. We need SodaStream control to prevent them from giving criminals assault soda.

      1. No one needs to carbonation more than 15 ounces of soda.

        1. Think of the greenhouse effect! Most of it doesn’t even get in your stomach, it just fizzes into the air and drowns poor Indonesian children.

    3. I’ll be setting up a soda “still” in the basement. I mean really, did these learn nothing from prohibition? Ban soda and we’ll make our own. Ban sugar and we’ll make our own. Ban sugar cane and sugar beets and we’ll find some way to get sugar out of “hemp”. Seriously.

      And how do they think they can keep cane sugar Mexican Coke out when they can’t even keep Mexican marijuana out?

  3. True freedom means freedom from responsibility and consequence.

    Thus it is the duty of the government to control everyone’s diet so that no individual is responsible for the consequences of what they eat and drink, as long as they obey.

    1. I shouldn’t have to live in fear of getting fat and being unable to attract a shallow skinny girl whose life long dream is to marry a guy with great abs. Thank God for the CSPI.

    2. You don’t see a lot of fat people in North Korea, you have to admit.

  4. “Crosshairs”

    JEEBUS! For a second there I thought Princess Palin had landed at Reason instead of El Jazheera! Whew….


  5. Not the fucking CSPI again.


  6. “…health advocates and public health officials from major cities.”


    “Major. Cities.”

  7. Anyone else notice how all the BAN BONER folks have gone completely apeshit lately, whether it’s guns, or soda, or caffeine, or whatever? I wonder if that’s because they feel completely emboldened by the current political environment and administration. Ya think?

    1. I think they are desperately trying to keep forward momentum. If they stop, their movements die.

      1. That’s a good point, but the recent furious masturbation over guns, and now this, seem like more than just forward momentum. It’s much more that they think they can get far, far more than an incremental ban, and that excites them into overreach. Now, with the gun thing, it was dead children that made them stiff and hard as rocks; but what is it with the sugar? Is it because of NutraSweet?

        1. No one needs assault calories.

          1. and certainly they don’t need calories of any type in a high capacity container.

          2. Except the military. The Constitution is not a dessert menu!

        2. Go on. Blame me for everything. blah blah

          1. I already did!

        3. Is it because of NutraSweet?

          No, it’s because of the endless potential. It’s sort of amazing they didn’t think of it sooner. The ultimate regulation is regulation of what you can put in your own body. They already got drugs (legal and otherwise) down, other stimulants like tobacco, but the mother lode was sitting right there all along. Food. The ultimate regulated good.

          1. Musn’t forget the burgeoning war on caffeine, or those monstrous alcoholic energy drinks.

    2. Thank God these liberals are so tolerant. This could be a disturbing trend if those intolerant Team Red wingnuts were restricting choice.

      1. Someone needs to come up with a way to end a pregnancy by using HFCS. That way it will never get banned.

        1. I’m sure there’s a way. Look at that lady in New Zealand who died from too much soda.

          1. NZ sweetens it with sugar cuz they don’t have a retarded Corn Lobby.

    3. I think 9/11 and the “how dare you question us!” mentality it engendered in the government has led inevitably to this. It effectively killed off the last anti-statist political bloc. Now the government is the be-all-end-all, and you want our brave men and women in uniform to suffer and die if you disagree.

    4. I think it’s a good thing. Go ahead, openly show the rest of us how much you want to oppress us and how far you want to go. In fact, I think they should publish pictures of the concentration camps they want to put libertarians and conservatives in.

      1. they should publish pictures of the concentration diet camps they want to put libertarians and conservatives in

    5. Anyone else notice how all the BAN BONER folks have gone completely apeshit lately?

      This is a subject about which the CSPI feels passionately. They’ve been campaigning against “liquid candy” since before 2003.

      Define “lately.”

    6. I wonder if that’s because they feel completely emboldened by the current political environment and administration. Ya think?

      Yes, Episiarch, that is exactly it.

      They are being signaled that the money is going to flow, and flow good and hard, and everyone wants their piece.

  8. …Center for Science in the Public Interest…

    If someone can demonstrate that they are not a Center, then their name will be 0 for 4 on truth value.

    1. At a previous employer, someone tried to use a CSPI paper to justify some change to our customer outreach on diabetes adherence.

      I fisked the damned thing and did a reply all concluding with my line that just as the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire, they were neither a center, nor promoters of sound science and definitely didn’t act in the public interest while pointing to their promotion of trans-fats back in the day. The CSPI was markedly absent from the studies that people were forwarding around from that day forward.

      Aside from the company wide email flame war regarding which country made the best beers that I ignited by taunting our british CTO, that was my proudest moment.

      1. CTO = Chief Tippling Officer?

        1. Chief technology officer.

          What was comical was that I started the flame war by saying the Americans did to Yogurt what the British did for beer.

          Technically I was taunting American yogurt; most people didn’t care about yogurt (which is why the quality of yogurt sold in America sucks: consumers are willing to pay for swill); they do, however, have very strong opinions about beer.

          It was a thing of beauty with people angrily denouncing each other in emails sent to the whole company along with people replying all to those emails to inform people that it was impolite to reply all.

          I felt like I had tossed a greased underage prostitute into a room full of politicians from NJ.

    2. I don’t even believe their “in” and “the”. I’ll grant the “for”, though.

      1. At least they’re for something.

  9. CSPI’s Communications Director is a FaFu. I’ll lay off the soda when he does.

    1. And this man thinks you’re too fat.

      It’s irony all the way down.

  10. I’d rather drink water most of the time. But goddamnit these people suck. Provide information, that’s great. Lots of sugar is not good for you. But if people decide to do nothing with that information, shut the fuck up (or at least don’t try to force people to listen).

    1. And allow those of us who like to drink a Coke now and again the ability to drink a real Coke, not some diet drink. A soda every couple weeks isn’t unsafe for me, assholes.

  11. What did I say earlier about the Total Healthcare State?

  12. “or at least don’t try to force people to listen”

    When all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. All these people know is force.

    1. We’re all nails, insolently sticking up, mocking them. Don’t you know nails are useless until they’ve been hammered down into the board that is America? Can’t you see how beautiful it will be when we’re all hammered down, our little nail heads reflecting the greatness of those who did the hammering?

  13. so, I think I need to go to the bathroom. What do I when finished? What govt agency is going to help me?

    1. Let EPA and HHS fight it out.

      Actually, since water is involved, better call the Army Corps of Engineers, as well.

  14. The intern’s a Weezer fan? Ew.

    1. Perhaps they can find my hash pipe?

  15. What I object to is calling them a “Consumer Advocacy” group.

    They are a bunch of self-interested career bureaucrats intent on inflating their own power fronted by a few zealots who want us to conform to their One True Way (of the week).

    1. Its a funny kind of consumer advocacy that tries to control consumers.

      1. It’s about enabling the consumer to make informed choices.

        1. But only the RIGHT informed choices.

  16. Which one is a bigger authoritarian piece of shit: CSPI or SPLC? A question for the ages.

  17. You call yourself “advocate” and “official” when you don’t actually have the credentials to call yourself “scientist” or “doctor”. Not that credentials are the be-all and end-all, but if you had the credentials you would certainly flaunt them.

    1. You don’t need credentials to be a scientist. All you need is to conform to the scientific method. So many who have credentials are not scientists and many who do not are.

      1. This prolly needs moar commas.

        1. Academics shit all over people who are not academics. If you worked under an academic, than the academic you worked for will take the credit.

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