Them’s Fightin’ Words

Jul 21, 2011 12:00 pm

Food providers and the government can't agree

Soda cans
Photo: nicoleleec on Flickr
No more sugary soda? Not without a fight.
 

Why’s it always Arizona?

Between the Immigration laws, that dust storm that hit Phoenix the other week, and the unfortunate collapse of the once-proud Suns, it seems like The Grand Canyon State is constantly in the news for all the wrong reasons.

That sentiment is especially true this week if you’re one of the state’s many farmers, namely those in central Arizona. That’s because the state’s Environmental Protection Agency has proposed new regulations to cut down on nitrous oxide emissions that will also jack up the cost of water, an unfortunate ripple effect that could put some farmers out of business. The situation has farmers like Ron Rayner up in arms, telling The Western Farm Press “Farmers need to contact their congressmen and convince them to use a bridle and bit on EPA and pull the cinch strap.”

Truth of the matter is the situation in Arizona’s just one instance of a whole lot of bickering going on between government officials and the people closely involved with the food you eat. We already know about the food trucks getting kicked out of Midtown in New York City, and as we mentioned last week, efforts are being made to curtail junk food advertising towards children, but it actually goes further than that. In Massachusetts, for example, newfound nutrition standards have cut sweets and sodas out of public school meal plans, and reports suggest that the US Department of Agriculture will soon start work to put such policies in place nationwide.

Fortunately, for the sake of the people (especially those who like to consume sugary things), some are fighting back. Most notably, the American Beverage Association has shot back at the New York City health department, stating that the city did not comply with a Freedom of Information Act request concerning recent efforts to curtail soda sales and availability. The ABA is reportedly going around the country and filing lawsuits against likeminded initiatives, a practice The Consumerists thinks they picked up from watching Big Tobacco fight off lawyers in the past.

Okay, so maybe it’s not great news that the ABA is trying to keep sugary sodas on sale, but at least ABA brass is sticking it to the Man the right way. What’s the wrong way? Putting a pasta strainer on your head and telling the European DMV that you belong to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Pastafarian, right? Great, now you’ve got a metal bowl on your head.

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