Salt Shakeup: No Need to Regulate What Our Bodies Already Control

Apr 22, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Yesterday the Institute of Medicine issued an official report claiming that Americans consume too much salt and urging that new government standards be established for "acceptable sodium content" in foods. Two UC Davis nutrition experts disagree.

In November, Judith Stern, a professor of nutrition and internal medicine, and David McCarron, an adjunct nutrition professor, both at UC Davis, published a study in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology that questioned the scientific logic and feasibility of broadly limiting in humans. (See journal article online at http://cjasn.asnjournals.org/cgi/content/full/4/11/1878 .)

After examining data from sodium intake studies worldwide and a critical body of neuroscience research on appetite (innate behaviors that drive us to consume ), Stern and McCarron found compelling evidence indicating that humans naturally regulate their salt intake within a narrowly defined physiologic range.

They found that Americans’ average salt intake falls well within this range.

They suggest that government-led attempts to nationally control salt intake are simplistic, misguided and not based in science and, instead, advise that individuals who are at special risk for and related diseases consult their physicians for nutritional advice, including appropriate levels of salt consumption.

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User comments : 88

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deatopmg
2 / 5 (24) Apr 22, 2010
How is it that feeding salt (NaCl) sensitive mice salt raises their blood pressure whereas the same amount of sodium fed as sodium bicarbonate does nothing to their blood pressure? It's the chloride not the sodium!

Here!, Here! freethinking. The young leftists who went to university on someone else's dime and worship diversity, so long as no one thinks differently than they do are the ones who rated you a 1. To them, in their idealistic ignorance, gov't knows best as the already do. They and their offspring will live to suffer w/ the suffocating tax burden in a second class nation.
SpaceNinja
3.7 / 5 (15) Apr 22, 2010
I agree that the body of evidence needs re-examination for sodium intake regulation. However, NaCl, present in copious amounts in enough of our food, as more than proven to be a culprit of heart-disease preceding hypertension. If the government cut the amount in foods to more normal levels, it would save thousands of lives each year with nearly no noticeable impact on food taste. At least that's my opinion after staring at the soggy salt crusting the bottom of my McDonald's french fry box...

And man, some of you froth at the mouth when any regulation or taxation is mentioned. You might want to note that most of the "developed world" has higher taxes and more regulation than us, so we aren't exactly stumbling into "socialism"...even the most "liberal" senator would be considered conservative in any EU nation.

I won't even talk about how you insinuate ignorance from a University education is quite unbelievable.
Caliban
3.9 / 5 (8) Apr 22, 2010
The real point is, of course, that the only reason that there is so much salt in prepared foods is because the food industry ADDS IT AS A PRESERVATIVE, so that it is possible for them to manipulate/control pricing to the consumer.

So instead of relatively fresh, healthy food, we can eat months old crap that was shipped cross country or cross-globe. Next time you purchase any prepared food- check where it was manufactured-I guarantee you it wasn't within 500 miles, if it is a national brand.

It has nothing to do with flavor, or food safety, and certainly is not added out of any regard to your health.

Wise up, freething and deatpoq, and direct your concern at the real culprit here- the insatiable greed for $$$$- that is the real, fundamental disease that has undone us all.
marjon
2.3 / 5 (9) Apr 23, 2010
months old crap that was shipped cross country or cross-globe.

I keep hearing from the Luddites that we are running out of food. One would think then that any means of preserving food would be supported to end starvation.

Also, the EPA is trying to regulate CO2, something else our body controls all by itself.
PinkElephant
4.3 / 5 (6) Apr 23, 2010
Exhibit A:
humans naturally regulate their salt intake within a narrowly defined physiologic range.
Exhibit B:
individuals who are at special risk for high blood pressure and related diseases [should] consult their physicians for nutritional advice, including appropriate levels of salt consumption.
Medical diagnosis: head up arse. Urgent surgical intervention recommended...
Skeptic_Heretic
4.1 / 5 (7) Apr 23, 2010
Regardless of what the impact of salt intake is, the government has no right to regulate the food industry, beyond forcing information of content and preventing contamination with poathogens and poisons. No, salt is not a poison.

The excuse "Healthcare as a right" was used heavily.

Are we going to see "Low Salt as a right" before we see something like, oh I don't know, "housing as a right"? How about we jsut focus on actually feeding people before we start playing the selective game?

Or even better, parents could start parenting.
mjb_TO
not rated yet Apr 23, 2010
Since evolving to a low sugar, low starch diet, I have found I need more salt. My blood pressure has gone from borderline high to borderline low after increasing salt. Not that I have any affinity for processed foods. I just eat a lot of cheese, leafy greens (which are surprisingly high in sodium) and add salt to taste when I cook.
marjon
1 / 5 (1) Apr 23, 2010
Since evolving to a low sugar, low starch diet, I have found I need more salt. My blood pressure has gone from borderline high to borderline low after increasing salt. Not that I have any affinity for processed foods. I just eat a lot of cheese, leafy greens (which are surprisingly high in sodium) and add salt to taste when I cook.

I follow a similar diet and supplement with potassium.
freethinking
1.7 / 5 (12) Apr 23, 2010
Interesting the crazy big government progressives want to regulate salt, fat, junk food, portion size, and exercise levels all in the name of health, but they cant even get around to saying that anal sex is bad for you, pre marital sex is bad, etc. If you truely want healthly population then ban what truely is bad for health and society.

But as a conservative though I will tell you what is bad for you I want you I dont have the right to stop you.

Just as Government shouldnt be in the bedroom, keep the Government out of the kitchen.
Skeptic_Heretic
3.8 / 5 (12) Apr 23, 2010
Interesting the crazy big government progressives want to regulate salt, fat, junk food, portion size, and exercise levels all in the name of health, but they cant even get around to saying that anal sex is bad for you, pre marital sex is bad, etc. If you truely want healthly population then ban what truely is bad for health and society.

But as a conservative though I will tell you what is bad for you I want you I dont have the right to stop you.

Just as Government shouldnt be in the bedroom, keep the Government out of the kitchen.

Although I agree with the freedom pieces of your sentiment, the rest is simply religiously biased junk. Pre-marital sex worked for our species for millenia. Anal sex can probably be included in that mix. Neither is harmful to anything other than Judeo-Christian values and dogma.

You want to profess freedom in public? Why don't you stop supporting the ideals of the greatest oppressor of personal freedoms ever conceived.
freethinking
2.2 / 5 (13) Apr 23, 2010


Wise up, freething and deatpoq, and direct your concern at the real culprit here- the insatiable greed for $$$$- that is the real, fundamental disease that has undone us all.


Sorry the real issue here is not about $$$$ its about power and big government progressives desire about controlling people (communists and socialists love controlling things). Nothing wrong with a company making $$$$ making and selling something I want. This creates jobs if you didnt know that.

If you dont like a product dont buy the product. I avoid a lot of salty foods because I dont like the salt.
NotParker
2.5 / 5 (8) Apr 23, 2010
Salt prevents food from spoiling. Salt prevents food poisoning!!! It has been so for thousands of years.

I bet that the deaths/illness from increased food poisoning will far outweigh any health benefits from less salt.

Salt is good.
freethinking
1.5 / 5 (15) Apr 23, 2010
Skeptic the only thing worse than communism is anarchy. Freedom without self control leads to anarchy.

Dont let your bias and belief blind you to the fact that Judism and Christianity have been the greatest liberators in the world.

Also lets keep on the same side against big government. Progressives love to devide people. They love to use scare tactics (you cant trust conservative christians, you cant trust conservative athiests, etc) Christian Conservative is no threat to you or anyone. Communists and socialists are. They will/are destroying this country.
marjon
1 / 5 (5) Apr 23, 2010
Freedom without self control leads to anarchy.

Anarchy is not chaos. It is absence of a coercive government.
It important to clarify the term.
Thrasymachus
2.3 / 5 (15) Apr 23, 2010
Progressives aren't out to control individual behavior or to make everybody act, think and believe in the same ways. They're out to control corporate behavior. Within the progressive camp, there are two sometimes cooperating, but often competing factions, those who wish to control corporate behavior to promote individual health and welfare (believe it or not, most Christian evangelists fall into this category, though they often call themselves and align with true conservatives), and those who wish to control corporate behavior to promote individual freedom. Economic, or true conservatives believe it is hardly government's role to promote either of those things, especially if it comes to restricting or regulating the behavior of corporations, because the magic of the invisible hand and the inexorable logic of diminishing returns promotes both of those things better than government ever could.
Thrasymachus
1.4 / 5 (10) Apr 23, 2010
The problem is that we have not been in an era of diminishing returns since the industrial revolution. Economic growth is still largely driven by innovation and application, that is, science and technology more than by increased inputs of capital and labor. And since corporations are more and more selling an "idea" (brand, history, reputation, etc.) more than an actual product or service, a fact you can see by the price when compared to generic substitutes, they are all at least somewhat monopolistic, that is, that the product they offer is unique to them, there is no near substitute for it. Ideas are like that, and that's what you're buying when you buy Cheerios instead of Oat-O's. Monopolies need to be watched and regulated.
JayK
3.7 / 5 (7) Apr 23, 2010
Not to get in the way of a good political fight, I would like to mention that this is just a discussion of what to do, at this point. Also, there really isn't enough evidence to say this is a politically charged issue, liberal vs. conservative. I'm amazed that it has devolved into such a finger pointing match so quickly.

If the evidence that preservatives and high salt contents are reducing the health of the American population to a point where it is statistically determinant, then the free market attitude isn't going to work for that area and other alternatives need to be explored. One of those is for the FDA to step in, I'm sure there are others that aren't as ham-fisted.
marjon
1 / 5 (7) Apr 23, 2010
Monopolies need to be watched and regulated.

Monopolies cannot exist without government protection. By definition, monopolies ARE watched and regulated by the state.
JayK
4.4 / 5 (7) Apr 23, 2010
Marjon also can't believe it's not butter.
fourthrocker
4.3 / 5 (7) Apr 23, 2010
The government has every right to step in and regulate things when private enterprise can't or won't. The arguments against government regulation would allow food processors to put as much salt in everything as they want, that is ignorant beyond belief. I'm sorry but private enterprise has demonstrated their willingness to sacrifce ANYTHING for profit and they DON"T regulate themselves. If the government didn't protect us from things that can hurt us that we can't detect, who would? God? I am tired of knee jerk responses from republicans who want to be allowed to do anything they want for profit. I am against needless regulation but sometimes it IS needed and we can't tell how much salt is in things. Or transfats, or pesticides, or bug parts, or chemicals, or lead, or radon, or asbestos, etc. etc. and if it wasn't for regulation we would still be exposed to those things.
freethinking
1.3 / 5 (13) Apr 23, 2010
Skeptic, sorry to say and I thought you werent one of them, Athiests by in large are the most self rightous pompus people I've ever met. They even beat out pompus religious people. I know several arrogent religious people who sound just like you.
freethinking
1.4 / 5 (10) Apr 23, 2010
Who protects us from the Government? Government needs to be held to the same standards as Government wants to hold industry.

If Government is so trustworthy, then why are most Government employees unionized? Who interferres in your life the most? Government or industry? Who takes your money without any recourse? Industry needs to be open and honest how much salt are you putting in x? If they lie, punish them. Asking them to tell whats in a product also good.

But those that will give up freedom and demonize industry are ignorant. Those that trust governments absolutely are nothing more than useful idiots.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (7) Apr 23, 2010
Industry is just another form of government. It's just as hierarchical, and just as tyrannical -- when given the chance. It's not representative, it's not accountable, and it doesn't even pretend to have your interests in mind. If you are abused and pipe up, you'll get sued into oblivion; you'll be made an example of. Industry's only motivation is profit -- at your expense. Industry is necessary, but it's also evil. A necessary evil. Just like government.

There may be a better way to organize industry, though. Instead of hierarchical corporate structure, some (mostly smaller) companies are organized as profit-sharing coops. Everyone gets roughly equal pay, salaries and benefits are not secret, and all decisions are made in the open. Such businesses tend to be much less sociopathic, and yet still competitively productive.

And there may be a better way to organize government: start with checks and balances, then outlaw lobbyists and fundraisers, and then shut revolving doors.
Skeptic_Heretic
3 / 5 (1) Apr 23, 2010
The arguments against government regulation would allow food processors to put as much salt in everything as they want, that is ignorant beyond belief.

Last I checked, the Government could force you to buy it. In free enterprise I can simply not buy it.
freethinking
1 / 5 (7) Apr 23, 2010
like buying inferior health care? In the USA now, the progressives socialistic government now can force me to buy a product that I may or may not want to buy. Whats next, I can only buy fries without salt? Or I have to buy fries and they will be without salt?

Pink, Industry is neither moral or imoral. It is neither good or bad. Nor is it a form of Government unless your in a socialist or communist country. Just like people and government it needs to be held accountable and prevented from using the legal system to destroy those it hurts.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (3) Apr 23, 2010
Pink, Industry is neither moral or imoral. It is neither good or bad.
Take off your rose-colored blinders. Here's something that might help, delivered in a nice digestible package for a minimal fee:

http://www.thecorporation.com/
Nor is it a form of Government unless your in a socialist or communist country.
Power abhors vacuum. The more government is limited, the more business oligarchy fills in the void. The larger a conglomerate, the bigger and more powerful its bureaucracy, and the more tentacles it sinks into the societies within which it becomes entrenched. Whereas a government's mandate is to serve the interests of the electorate, the corporate mandate is to extract maximum profit from the consumer (by extension, everything and everyone is a consumer.)
it needs to be held accountable
By whom/by what?
and prevented from using the legal system to destroy those it hurts
How? Money talks, bullshit walks. Or didn't you know that already?
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (2) Apr 23, 2010
Oh, here's the free version (split up into 23 pieces), on YouTube:

http://www.youtub...14A6CE87

And here's the synopsis:

http://www.thecor...e_id=312
fixer
not rated yet Apr 23, 2010
The government recomends and the doctors prescribe.
"Professional medical advice" means someone gets paid and someone pays, it has nothing to do with accuracy or quality, or safety.
Lucky for us we have the internet.
marjon
1 / 5 (4) Apr 24, 2010
Industry is just another form of government.

It is against the law for any industry to put a gun to my head to buy their products.
The government CAN put a gun to my head and force me to do their bidding.
NO difference?
marjon
1 / 5 (4) Apr 24, 2010
. If the government didn't protect us from things that can hurt us that we can't detect, who would?

The government does a great job of protecting us from cigarettes that they tax for income. Same for alcohol. Now many want the government to tax marijuana.
Here is a new concept, individual responsibility. Protect yourself by not buying products that will kill you or that you even believe will harm you. Why wait for FDA approval? Customers control the market. The government has been claiming Toyota cars are dangerous yet customers keep buying.
If science really did it job, it would provide information for consumers to decide for themselves. UL, a private entity, tests products. Consumer Reports does the same. Auto companies design cars for safety based on IIHS standards not government standards since IIHS provides more realistic testing. Why? The insurance companies have a financial incentive. The government does not.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (6) Apr 24, 2010
It is against the law for any industry to put a gun to my head to buy their products.
Who creates and enforces the law?

In India, there have been incidents of soda pop companies hijacking the local sources of freshwater. The local population is then forced to either pay for the water they used to get for free, or die of thirst. Oh, and if they try to "steal" the water: they get a gun put to their heads...
Here is a new concept, individual responsibility.
Of course in practice, everyone has lots of spare time, money, patience, and expertise to spend researching, investigating, and analyzing every product they're about to purchase or use.
If science really did it job, it would provide information for consumers to decide for themselves.
Who will fund such research? How can you research the safety of ingredients whose existence is not even disclosed?
jgelt
1 / 5 (3) Apr 24, 2010
So it's about who is the husband and who is the wife?
So the government tells me to make them a sammich and how to make it or get a black eye, biatch - is that the gist of it?
marjon
1 / 5 (4) Apr 24, 2010
Who will fund such research? How can you research the safety of ingredients whose existence is not even disclosed?

Who funds UL and IIHS? Insurance companies. Who funds Consumer Reports? Consumers. Who funds CSPI? Liberal foundation busybodies.
The government has no incentive, no skin in the game to really care.
What were staffers doing at the SEC while Madoff screwed so many people? They were watching online porn, at taxpayer's expense.
Not long ago a pet food company discovered their Chinese suppliers contaminated their products. The company pulled the products and traced the contamination. Why? Lawsuits and the threat of bankruptcy. If the government gets anything wrong, will they go bankrupt? The Chinese government put a bullet in the head of an executive and a private company, NSF, was hired to set up quality control testing.
marjon
1 / 5 (5) Apr 24, 2010
In India, there have been incidents of soda pop companies hijacking the local sources of freshwater.

The government had nothing to do with it?
Soda companies purify the water before bottling it.
How much purified bottled water do those companies produce?
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (3) Apr 24, 2010
You poor, delusional clown. Take a look at this, if you dare:

http://www.youtub...DikRLQrw
marjon
1 / 5 (5) Apr 25, 2010
You poor, delusional clown. Take a look at this, if you dare:

http://www.youtub...DikRLQrw

I can go to any super market and find dairy products that are certified to be free from such hormones. They heavily promote that fact to sell their products.
If you haven't noticed, consumers are very concerned about high fructose corn syrup in spite of being heavily promoted by ADM. Companies are now switching to sugar as consumers stop buying HFC products.
CSPI promoted the substitution of trans-fats for butter flavored oil for theater popcorn. NOW they oppose trans-fats. Many other groups, not the government, opposed trans-fats for quite some time.
marjon
1.5 / 5 (4) Apr 25, 2010
You poor, delusional clown. Take a look at this, if you dare:

http://www.youtub...DikRLQrw

What's your point?
I can go to any super market and find dairy products that are certified to be free from such hormones. They heavily promote that fact to sell their products.
If you haven't noticed, consumers are very concerned about high fructose corn syrup in spite of being heavily promoted by ADM. Companies are now switching to sugar as consumers stop buying HFC products.
CSPI promoted the substitution of trans-fats for butter flavored oil for theater popcorn. NOW they oppose trans-fats. Many other groups, not the government, opposed trans-fats for quite some time.
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Apr 25, 2010
Pinkie, the Wash. Post won a Pulitzer for lying about an 8 year old drug addict in the early 80s. http://en.wikiped...et_Cooke
Newspapers tell lies everyday. You didn't know?
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (5) Apr 25, 2010
Oh, you don't get my point? Shocking!

Of course you don't. You're willfully blind, deaf, and most definitely dumb whenever it comes to the realities of how business "self-regulates".

I'm not arguing with you in hopes of opening your eyes. It's futile opening the eyes of someone whose head is stuck up their own arse: they won't see much in any event. But it might give a couple of people something to chuckle about.

So my real point, is entertainment. There, get it now?

Yes, it's rather uncharitable of me to be making fun of the village idiot. But then we all know you're not really the idiot you always pretend to be. Which makes it all right in my book.
marjon
2.1 / 5 (7) Apr 25, 2010
Oh, you don't get my point? Shocking!

Of course you don't. You're willfully blind, deaf, and most definitely dumb whenever it comes to the realities of how business "self-regulates".

I'm not arguing with you in hopes of opening your eyes. It's futile opening the eyes of someone whose head is stuck up their own arse: they won't see much in any event. But it might give a couple of people something to chuckle about.

So my real point, is entertainment. There, get it now?

Consumers provide the best regulation if they have choices and are not forced by some government to buy the product.
PinkElephant
4 / 5 (4) Apr 25, 2010
Regarding "consumer choice": garbage in, garbage out; marketing out, demand up; secrecy and disinformation are a business girl's best friend. What's the BPA quotient in your blood, marjie? Maybe you ought to get tested; who knows what might be affecting your brain function. Then again, it's hard to detect what one isn't looking for. Maybe in your case, it's not BPA; maybe it's melamine, or toxic drywall, or ...
Skeptic_Heretic
2.5 / 5 (4) Apr 25, 2010
Maybe in your case, it's not BPA; maybe it's melamine, or toxic drywall, or ...

All products that were found to be toxic and replaced by competing free market business.

You are kind of shooting yourself in the foot when you confuse education with free market ignorance.

If the consumers are educated, the risks diminish. The smarter and more rational the populace, the harder the industry is regulated by consumers. Push for education.
marjon
2.3 / 5 (6) Apr 25, 2010

What's the BPA quotient in your blood, marjie? Maybe you ought to get tested; who knows what might be affecting your brain function. Then again, it's hard to detect what one isn't looking for. Maybe in your case, it's not BPA; maybe it's melamine, or toxic drywall, or ...

I notice you won't address the effectiveness of free market regulation vs govt regulation. Instead, you resort to insults. How rational!
BTW, do you recall a company called Arthur Andersen? It was a government regulated accounting firm that lost trust with its customers and is no longer in business. The government didn't uncover their fraud nor did the government punish them. Their customers did that quite effectively and quickly.
Give me some data, this IS a science board, about the efficacy of government regulation vs free market consumer regulation.
Or, continue with insults if you can't defend the state.
Skeptic_Heretic
4 / 5 (2) Apr 25, 2010
I rarely agree with marjon but on this topic we're in the same camp.
marjon
1.7 / 5 (6) Apr 25, 2010
Pinkie's view of the world:
Evil corporations, owned by evil shareholders (CalPERS perhaps) hire evil CEOs who hire evil scientists and engineers to design products that will kill their neighbors and family members. And I am accused of seeing a binary world!
Thrasymachus
2.2 / 5 (13) Apr 25, 2010
How about we all try not being duplicitous? Nice try with insinuating that Arthur Anderson was some sort of government agency. They were a private accounting firm, offering both SEC required accounting services to provide financial data for publicly traded companies, and offered consulting services, not only in how to comply with SEC regs, but also with general profit maximization strategies. They conspired with Enron to defraud millions of customers in California as well as thousands of investors. You complain that the cops didn't find out about this conspiracy, and that the laws didn't punish them, so your answer is to advocate for weaker laws and fewer cops?
marjon
1.8 / 5 (5) Apr 25, 2010
Regarding Arthur Anderson, how did government fail their active regulation of the industry?
What government agency was punished and which government employees was fired for failing to regulate properly?
Government regulation implies some level of quality to the customers, as did Freddie and Fannie with securitized mortgages, customers are lulled into a false sense of security.
Any industry that requires trust would quickly establish some private method of assuring such trust if the government was not involved. The alternative for the industry is no business. China hired NSF to certify their food exports after fraud was discovered.
Organic food producers had few governemnt agencies to certify their products so they helped to establish such and organization. One is a subsidiary of the National Sanitation Foundation, http://www.nsf.or...fication
Such private agencies like UL, NSF, IIHS have an incentive to be honest and fair. Govt does not.
marjon
2 / 5 (4) Apr 25, 2010
"In a new report, investigators recount “significant improvements” and lingering shortcomings in how California and the USDA itself monitor more than 2,000 certified organic farmers. In particular, investigators cite a longstanding lack of compliance and enforcement procedures designed to keep the fast-growing organic industry honest.

“As a result,” the USDA’s Office of Inspector General noted, “the California (state organic program) is not equipped to properly enforce the requirements of the (national organic program).”"
"One sham operator, for instance, was found to have been selling non-organic, pesticide-sprayed mint under an organic label for two years. USDA officials ignored it. In other cases, officials waited up to 32 months before disciplining fraudulent organic operators."
http://www.asq.or...sID=8401
Do you trust CA organic farmers?
PinkElephant
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 25, 2010
@Skeptic_Heretic,
If the consumers are educated, the risks diminish.
Nice platitude.

Now, try and return back from marjon's imagination land, to the real world. There are tens of thousands of products out there, each containing dozens if not hundreds of undisclosed substances and components.

If consumers did due diligence on every purchase, or even on every 100th purchase, they'd have no time for anything else.

That's before even mentioning that most consumers are neither interested in, nor qualified to make such assessments. They can just as easily be, and have for centuries been, misled by quack publications and snake oil salesmen.

That's why there ought to be dedicated agencies to police and regulate the market. It's not good enough to wait until something blows up and destroys the lives and health of countless people.

Just like with any sphere of crime, "laissez faire" only makes it worse, exactly as Thrasymachus said.
marjon
1.8 / 5 (5) Apr 25, 2010
That's why there ought to be dedicated agencies to police and regulate the market

Such government agencies exist and continue to fail. Now what? Give them more money rewarding incompetence? That IS the government way.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (3) Apr 25, 2010
@clown,
Such private agencies like UL, NSF, IIHS have an incentive to be honest and fair. Govt does not.
Do you trust CA organic farmers?
That's a new one for you. Refuting your own argument for self-regulation, right after you state it. Kudos, it made me chuckle for almost half a minute.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (3) Apr 25, 2010
Such government agencies exist and continue to fail. Now what? Give them more money rewarding incompetence? That IS the government way.
No, that's the anti-government way. Every time the "pro-business" lobby wins the Presidency and/or the Congress, regulatory agencies end up weakened, under-funded, hamstrung, stuffed with industry cronies, and generally subverted and suppressed. End result: regulatory failure. By design.

Like I mentioned previously, much of our government is broken. But it can be fixed. Start with outlawing lobbyists and fundraisers. Outlaw revolving doors (can't serve in government, regulating the very industries that used to employ you; can't leave government to join the very industries you used to regulate.) Outlaw kickbacks. Outlaw earmarks. Create an independent, adversarial fourth branch, charged with auditing, investigation, and accurate data collection on government and industry. Establish severe penalties for betrayal of public trust.
PinkElephant
4.8 / 5 (4) Apr 25, 2010
Such private agencies like UL, NSF, IIHS have an incentive to be honest and fair.
So, how did that work out with securities and credit rating companies? Moody's, S&P, Fitch, etc? Oh wait, they derived their income from providing their "service" to the very firms they were supposed to audit. Oops.

Nothing like an incestuous circle jerk to fix the inherent market incentives to lie, obfuscate, and defraud on the grandest scale possible, for maximal short-term gain. The market isn't concerned with long-term consequences. The motto is, get yours then run like hell and let someone else deal with the ramifications.
marjon
1.8 / 5 (5) Apr 25, 2010
Take away the government power to control markets and the power returns to the consumer. There is no incentive for any lobbyists to create laws benefiting a company because the government would have no such power.
Pinkie's way leads to more socialism, more government power, less liberty and no economic prosperity.
Where my wife is from, they have no USDA meat inspectors. They buy their meat from fresh markets and then wash it thoroughly before cooking.
Every claims to want intelligent consumers. The only way to achieve such education is to stop providing the false sense of security of the nanny state.
Mortgages were securitized to meet government mandated requirements for 'community reinvestment'.
Wachovia bragged about securitizing mortgages in '97 to meet their CRA requirements. Once again, a government caused problem blamed on the free market.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (3) Apr 25, 2010
I guess where the clown's wife is from, they don't like their steak rare or medium; they only eat well-done. Or maybe they don't even eat steak.

Either that, or marjon's wife has a microtome, an array of staining agents, and a microscope installed in her kitchen: so that she can inspect every cut of meat for parasites, salmonella, and other cool things. Oh, she might also want a gas chromotograph or a mass spectrometer or some sort of a computerized assay, to screen for heavy metals, drugs, artificial/elevated hormones, preservatives, and antibiotics that might be present in her "fresh" meat.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (3) Apr 25, 2010
Oh, and I really hope there's no BSE where marjon's wife is from. I mean, how would marjon know if there were any pathological prions in his steak?

Hey... maybe THAT's what's been eating the clown's brain?
trekgeek1
3.3 / 5 (3) Apr 25, 2010
Yeah, we probably know how much salt we need, but our hyper tasty engineered foods probably cause our intuition and natural senses to be tossed aside by our pleasure centers and taste buds.

And the "Obamanation" isn't telling you how much you can eat, the government is telling you how much you should eat. Just like the percent daily values, they don't control you they just advise you on proper levels of substances. Most people don't listen to the recommended daily value either. I can't wait for the PARANOID baby boomers to start kicking the bucket. Your distrust of government has passed healthy levels and is impeding progress in society. You don't trust anyone. The government isn't a monster, it's made of U.S. citizens primarily. The people on TV are a small percentage of the "monster".
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Apr 25, 2010
Pinkie, still with the insults which means you can't defend your socialist state.
Where my wife is from, they don't feed their cattle other cattle.
"A British inquiry into BSE concluded that the epidemic was caused by cattle, who are normally herbivores, being fed the remains of other cattle in the form of meat and bone meal (MBM), which caused the infectious agent to spread."

Small farmers raise the food and people buy from farmers they trust. They don't trust the government.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Apr 25, 2010
"In February 2001, the USGAO reported that the FDA, which is responsible for regulating feed, had not adequately policed the various bans.[26] Compliance with the regulations was shown to be extremely poor before the discovery of the Washington cow, but industry representatives report that compliance is now 100%. Even so, critics call the partial prohibitions insufficient. Indeed, US meat producer Creekstone Farms alleges that the USDA is preventing BSE testing from being conducted.[27]"
"It is notable that there are no cases reported in Australia, Brazil, New Zealand and Vanuatu where cattle are mainly fed outside on grass pasture and, mainly in Australia, non-grass feeding is done only as a final finishing process before the animals are processed for meat."
http://en.wikiped...alopathy
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (1) Apr 25, 2010
Small farmers raise the food and people buy from farmers they trust.
LMAO. If it weren't for truly epic government subsidies, there wouldn't be any small farmers left in the States:
Although 14% of total food production comes from the two percent of all farms in the United States that are owned by corporations or other non-family entities, 50% of food production comes from the biggest two percent of all farms.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_farming#Corporate_farm_vs_family_farm

So much for people "buying from farmers they trust". I don't know who you are, or where you live. Must be on Mars, or something, because here on Earth most people get their meat from supermarket chain stores.
marjon
1 / 5 (1) Apr 26, 2010
Places to buy grassfed beef and other safe meat products from farmers:
http://www.eatwild.com/
http://www.eatwild.com/products/california.html
marjon
1.8 / 5 (5) Apr 26, 2010
If it weren't for truly epic government subsidies, there wouldn't be any small farmers left in the States:


'Family farms' have incorporated to take advantage of business laws.
NZ has demonstrated the effectiveness of ending government subsidies of agriculture.
Skeptic_Heretic
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 26, 2010
'Family farms' have incorporated to take advantage of business laws.
NZ has demonstrated the effectiveness of ending government subsidies of agriculture.

Notice you had to put it in quotes?

Because they're not small size family farms. The days of small scale farming are over. They have to be over otherwise the world will starve. The reason you engage in this ridiculous pandering for an earlier day is because you have the money and luxury available to do so.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Apr 26, 2010
Because they're not small size family farms. The days of small scale farming are over. They have to be over otherwise the world will starve. The reason you engage in this ridiculous pandering for an earlier day is because you have the money and luxury available to do so.

Of course traditional 'family farming' has ended. In SD, a family needs at least 1000+ acres under cultivation to break even. Families still operate farms, but they are now incorporated which allow multi-generational ownership and shares.
I don't understand what you mean by 'ridiculous pandering'.
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet Apr 26, 2010
@Skeptic_Heretic,
If the consumers are educated, the risks diminish.
Nice platitude.

You're erroneouosly assuming that I want NO regulation. That isn't the case.

You want a proper regulation of the market? Disclaimers and other beneficial testing regulations are just and correct. Treat the commodities like you would a new medication.

Think of it this way, if the government does such a good job at protecting consumers, then why is it that their business compatriots are allowed to do such horrible things to the people?

Right, money. Money allows them to grease the system. Remove the regulations on how business is done, and what products are available to the people, and instead focus all of that wasted effort on education. If you increase the intellect and ability of consumers, the companies will be forced to "clean up their act."
Look at Novell, the only reason why MS beat them is because they stopped listening to consumers. And they were WAY ahead of competition.
fourthrocker
3.2 / 5 (5) Apr 26, 2010
For you anti-regulationists, tell it to the families of those miners down south. The government dropped the ball on that one but they were supposed to regulate it. If it was up to you guys it would just be chalked up to the cost of doing business and we would hear the same platitudes, let the mines regulate themselves. Well, they did in that case and a lot of people are dead.
Skeptic_Heretic
1 / 5 (3) Apr 26, 2010
For you anti-regulationists, tell it to the families of those miners down south. The government dropped the ball on that one but they were supposed to regulate it.

The government performed the whole of it's regulatory requirements and guess what, people still died. Government is far from perfect. Instituting them as the "savior of mankind" and "protector of safety" will only serve to tune people out of the dangers of certain practices. Then when the government drops the ball, which they do often, people will die in greater droves.

Stop relying on the government for things you should know how to do yourself.

Those coal miners are dead because they didn't know the government was citing the boss. They didn't know their work conditions were dangerous, they thought they were protected.

And the government dropped the ball.
fourthrocker
3 / 5 (2) Apr 26, 2010
They knew. And if it was up to you the same conditions would exist in other mines.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Apr 26, 2010
They knew. And if it was up to you the same conditions would exist in other mines.

You're wrong, and myopic. You yourself stated that the government dropped the ball, just like they did on defense, immigration process, civil rights, etc.

The government sucks at doing everything unless the people bring their attention to the problem. If you have all the people relying on government, who watches the watchmen?
DaffyDuck
3.8 / 5 (4) Apr 26, 2010
I think PinkElephant is coming from a more leveled point of view which seems to be that there needs to be a balance between government and the free market. Take away government completely and you get fascism. Most people here don't seem to even take that possibility seriously and think the free market will solve everything in the absence of government. If there are no rules, lots of people will get hurt. We just witnessed this on a grand scale when banks began bundling toxic assets and telling everyone they were worth something. This resulted in more and more bad loans being made to thousands who didn't know what they were getting themselves into. This could have been prevented with the proper regulation. "Just don't buy the product" didn't work.

Everyone should listen to this episode of This American Life about Magnetar. http://www.thisam...side-job
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Apr 26, 2010
Take away government completely and you get fascism. Most people here don't seem to even take that possibility seriously and think the free market will solve everything in the absence of government.

Pre-WW2 Germany: The government slowly begins taking over businesses to ensure their markets stay solvent and their business that are "too big to fail" don't drag Germany through another tumultuous financial disaster. The Senate is infiltrated to the point of super majority by the National Socialist Party, the liberal party at the time.

Iraq/Afghanistan Wartime USA: The financial markets begin to buckle under the weight of the comming financial crisis, Democrats are elected in droves to the point of a supermajority in the House and Senate. They begin bailing out banks, and even purchase majority share in GM.

How does no government lead to fascism again?

The parallels between pre-war Germany, and current day US are wholly frightening. Moderation is key, in all things.
marjon
1 / 5 (1) Apr 26, 2010
They knew. And if it was up to you the same conditions would exist in other mines.

Who represents WV in the Senate? What has Byrd done to promote real economic development in WV? He has monuments to his pork all over the state, but the state is still dirt poor and corrupt.
marjon
1.7 / 5 (6) Apr 26, 2010
Fascism IS government take over of industry using onerous regulations. Just as we now have in the USA.
"The Nazi press enthusiastically hailed the early New Deal measures: America, like the Reich, had decisively broken with the "uninhibited frenzy of market speculation."" http://mises.org/daily/2312
Fascism IS a form of socialism.
It is amazing how ignorant so many are about Fascism.
marjon
2 / 5 (4) Apr 26, 2010
Daffy, the problem with the mortgages was NOT a free market. The government (Freddie and Fannie) was buying any mortgage that could be made. That is not a free market.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Apr 26, 2010
The government used to have all sorts of regulations controlling the products they buy. MIL-STDs were one example.
The government has basically ended such standards and now buys most products just as any other business does.
Market based regulations and standards are more effective and responsive as the participants are economically motivated to sell products customers need and want and to not be sued out of business if those products cause injury.
This is how UL was created. Insurance companies were economically motivated to test the new electrical equipment to prevent fires. IIHS test cars to reduce the cost of repair and reduce the cost of personal injury.
What motivates government regulations except politics and power?
gottr
2.3 / 5 (3) Apr 26, 2010
I chose to stop eating taco bell because I don't like the amount of sodium in the food. My wife still enjoys it though. She might stop eating it one day and I may start again. It is for us to choose. The ability to choose and free will must be preserved and not regulated.
DaffyDuck
5 / 5 (2) Apr 26, 2010
German banks had 800 billion euros in toxic assets: http://www.dw-wor...,00.html
CSharpner
5 / 5 (1) Apr 26, 2010
Hey, here's an idea: How about we simply require food providers to inform their customers of how much salt is in the food (maybe even a little note about how much you need daily). Let the customers decide. This way, everyone's informed AND still free to choose. And hey, natural selection will still work. ;)
DaffyDuck
4.5 / 5 (2) Apr 26, 2010
"The ability to choose and free will must be preserved and not regulated."

Honestly, I'm not sure I agree with the idea of regulating salt but even so, you still have the ability to go out and buy salt and use a bucket full on your home-made baked potato if it floats your boat. They aren't infringing on any citizen's rights here.

What I would love to see the government do is to stop subsidizing corn. That is much more harmful, IMO.
JayK
3 / 5 (2) Apr 26, 2010
Not to get in the way of a good marjoke thread, but the FDA announced that it is not looking to regulate salt:
http://supermarke...lt_0420/
So did the Washington Post lie, again?

http://www.foodsa...alt-use/
Skeptic_Heretic
1 / 5 (1) Apr 26, 2010
This is the type of thing that scares me senseless.
http://www.breitb...erchants

If that isn't a sure sign that the US is headed the wrong way, (and has been for several administrations), go ahead and look at things like this:
http://www.chicag...elp.html
http://www.cnn.co...hday.cnn
http://www.cnn.co...dex.html

We must all work together to stop this.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Apr 26, 2010
Hey, here's an idea: How about we simply require food providers to inform their customers of how much salt is in the food (maybe even a little note about how much you need daily). Let the customers decide. This way, everyone's informed AND still free to choose. And hey, natural selection will still work. ;)

Ever look at a food label lately?

Fannie and Freddie are not the root cause of the housing bubble.
The government was the root cause of the housing bubble using the CRA and low interest rates. F&F, as government agents, facilitated the process.
marjon
1 / 5 (1) Apr 26, 2010
NOV 97: First Union Capital Markets Corp. and Lehman Brothers have priced a $2.2 billion offering of securities backed by commercial mortgage loans - representing the industry's largest commercial mortgage securitization."
"Earlier this year, First Union Capital Markets Corp. completed the first public securitization of Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) loans."
https://www.wacho...1872RCRD
OCT 97:"The $384.6 million in senior certificates are guaranteed by Freddie Mac and have an implied "AAA" rating. First Union Capital Markets Corp. is the investment banking subsidiary of First Union Corporation."
https://www.wacho...1872RCRD
'97, wasn't that about the time the stock market bubble was bursting?
marjon
1 / 5 (1) Apr 27, 2010
"Cutting Salt, Improving Health

The New York City Health Department is coordinating a national effort to prevent heart attacks and strokes by reducing the amount of salt in packaged and restaurant foods. "
http://www.nyc.go...ve.shtml
marjon
2.3 / 5 (3) Apr 29, 2010
This is why NY wants healthy people, organs:

"Proposal: All New Yorkers Become Organ Donors
Assemblyman Brodsky Introduces Bill That Would Give State The Right To Decide If You Are To Give The Gift Of Life"
http://wcbstv.com...437.html
If you don't own yourself, your body, what do you own?
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Apr 29, 2010
If you don't own yourself, your body, what do you own?


Are there any organs that anyone would want from a New Yorker?
Skepticus
1 / 5 (1) May 01, 2010
Hey you guys, how about stop arguing and get together for real physical fights. Then you will find out you have sweated out heaps of the salt that accumulated from sitting too long in front of computers...

From other corners of the world, peasants are trying to swallow their pitiful bowls of rice helped along with few pieces of rock-hard salted fishes (it helps to conserve the expensive fishes!) and shaking their heads."..only the westerners are concerned, they'd say. " I have sweated all the salt out of my body after 12 hours of hard labor!"
marjon
1.5 / 5 (2) May 01, 2010
Hey you guys, how about stop arguing and get together for real physical fights.

How will that help the peasants?
What has been proven to help the peasants are free markets and individual property rights so when those peasants are finished working, they have something they own.

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