Say goodbye to your yummy donuts and cookies! Over the past few weeks, the Food and Drug Administration’s new ban of trans fat has stirred up controversy around the nation, forcing companies to rethink how our beloved treats will be made. Trans fats consists of vegetable oils that have hydrogen added in order to make it more solid and give it a superior texture over other foods. Unfortunately, it has been proven that these fats are indeed harmful by raising the bad cholesterol and lowering good cholesterol. This has resulted in 7,000 annual deaths from heart disease and up to 20,000 heart attacks according to the FDA’s web site. True, trans fats are harmful, but the FDA or any branch of the government should not be enforcing one’s foods options.
As concerns grow regarding our health, even more concerns arise from the fact that our freedoms are constantly being violated based on what the government thinks is best for us. In 2009, the FDA placed a ban on certain flavored cigarettes as part of the Tobacco Control Act and it is likely that this is just a small step in their goal to eliminate cigarettes altogether, similar to what they are doing to food and nutrition. Investigative journalist and libertarian columnist, John Stossel said “Gee, I’m all for good health, but shouldn’t it be a matter of individuals choice?” Author David White backs Stossel when he says “[the] governments’ prohibition of that choice is a remarkable confiscation of freedom. We have crossed the line from banning things that are unsafe to banning things that are unhealthy.”
The problem that government leaders do not see is that people want to make decisions for themselves. The government should educate the general public about health related products rather than determining what we consume. The only time the government should interfere with people’s decisions is when those decisions directly affect other people. Who knows what is next in these governmental infringements on our liberties?