Tuesday, 25 October 2011

A fat man explains the slippery slope

Kelly "two chins" Brownell.
This man is an anti-obesity campaigner. Seriously.

A day might come when I get sick of reminding self-righteous nonsmokers that the anti-tobacco campaign was only a template for a larger war against every pleasure, but that day is not today.

"It's only smoking," they squealed. "Alcohol, food and fizzy drinks are completely different." Not to the British Medical Association they're not, nor to the Royal College of Physicians, the Surgeon General nor Kelly "wide load" Brownell who writes the op-ed below. Sit back and enjoy how the gluttonous soda tax campaigner draws a direct parallel between Coca-Cola and British American Tobacco. Are we getting the message yet?

Meet Big Soda — as Bad as Big Tobacco

Subtle enough for you?

...But the beverage industry, dominated by Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, and represented by the American Beverage Association, has exercised its might against this public health initiative in ways reminiscent of the tobacco industry when it came under attack in the 1950s. The beverage industry argues that such taxes are “discriminatory” in singling out one category of food, that taxes would not work, and that government should not tell people what to eat. The tobacco industry said taxes would not work (they did work — tremendously well) and that government should stay out of people’s choice to smoke.

Similar to tobacco companies, the soda industry has created a front group, Americans Against Food Taxes, to run anti-tax campaigns (a Super Bowl ad, for example). The name of the group implies a patriotic, grass roots movement, not a highly financed entity initiated and organized by industry. The tobacco industry paid scientists who did research disputing links between smoking and lung cancer, the addictive nature of nicotine, and the dangers of second-hand smoke. The soda industry funds scientists who reliably produce research showing no link between SSB consumption and health. The tobacco industry bought favor from community and national organizations by giving large donations. In an ironic twist, Coca Cola and PepsiCo are corporate sponsors of the American Dietetic Association.

Over time, the tobacco companies were outed for their dirty tactics...

And so on and so. You can read the whole thing here. There are soda taxes in more than thirty US states. Hungary and Denmark already have fat taxes. The British Medical Association says it's "time to denormalise drinking". Squeal on suckers. Like it or not, we're all smokers now.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just got off the phone with MAYHALL the author of the above,he said he and haley barbour brought the bill up to point out how rediculous the nanny state is,however they didnt have the proper PR blitz on hand to control the outbursts from it at the time so they killed it in comittee. The man is a smoker and wols hard against missisppi ever getting a ban. He isnt running for reelection this year for district 40 but he says theres a good conservative candidate running who is against smoking bans and for individual rights! We need more men like MR.MAYHALL!