Monday, February 22, 2010

Simply not listening to the voters

There is a sense that government is doing too much and costing too much.

The response?

Regulate the size and shape of food!

Nutritionists have long warned of the perils of hot dogs: fat, sodium and preservatives to name a few.

Now, the American Academy of Pediatrics wants foods like hot dogs to come with a warning label — not because of their nutritional risks but because they pose a choking hazard to babies and children.

Better yet, the academy would like to see foods such as hot dogs "redesigned" so their size, shape and texture make them less likely to lodge in a youngster's throat. More than 10,000 children under 14 go to the emergency room each year after choking on food, and up to 77 die, says the new policy statement, published online today in Pediatrics. About 17% of food-related asphyxiations are caused by hot dogs.

. . . The Consumer Product Safety Commission requires labels on toys with small parts alerting people not to give them to kids under 3. Yet there are no required warnings on food, though more than half of non-fatal choking episodes involve food, Smith says.

. . . The Food and Drug Administration, which has authority to recall products it considers "unfit for food," plans to review the new statement, spokeswoman Rita Chappelle says.

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