CEI Daily - The Obesity Epidemic, Charles Rangel, and Food Safety

Obesity Epidemic


Environmentalists say manmade chemicals dubbed "obesogens" are causing the obesity epidemic.


Director of Risk and Environmental Policy Angela Logomasini says the "obesogens" hype is irrational.


"Even if chemicals — man-made or natural — have an impact on weight, the impact is likely tiny, particularly compared to known factors related to weight gain: over eating and low activity levels. In fact, as the nation has grown fatter, it is no coincidence that portion sizes have grown larger. On the positive side, our weight problem reflects our growing wealth.  We simply need to better manage our food consumption, which is something that only individuals — rather than bureaucracies — can do."




Charles Rangel


Last week the House censured Charles Rangel.


Research Associate Brian McGraw says that the 45-second "censuring" by Nancy Pelosi wasn't an appropriate punishment for Rangel's behavior.

"This entire process makes a mockery of the idea that our politicians are actually subject to any sort of accountability, and to the news media who continually use the word “severe” in the same sentence as censure. [...] After being found guilty of over 10 different violations (some of them admittedly benign), his severe and humiliating punishment is a 45 second announcement."



Food Safety


Food safety legislation now being considered would give the FDA the ability to order product recalls.

Senior Fellow Gregory Conko urges Congress to reject this expansion of the FDA's power.


"[G]ranting FDA the power to order product recalls is a solution in search of a problem. Supporters would be hard pressed to identify a single case in which producers refused to honor a recall request based on evidence that a product was actually or likely to be tainted. [...] But with public and media pressure for authorities to "do something" any time there is a food-borne illness outbreak, an FDA with unlimited power could be expected to order recalls on countless products that are perfectly safe, with predictable impacts on prices and consumer choice."