No sooner do I blog on the food nannies’ campaign for a federally redesigned hot dog (earlier here and here) than Hot Air “Green Room” observes that Mayor Bloomberg’s anti-salt minions have gotten Heinz to promise to reformulate ketchup.
- Failure to warn? “Non-Child Sues For Slide-Related Injury” [Lowering the Bar]
- “AG Cuomo Sues Lawyer for Fraud, Says He Sold His Name to Debt Collector for $141K” [ABA Journal]
- Ted Frank on his move to the Manhattan Institute and Point of Law [CCAF]
- “Viacom is becoming a lawsuit company instead of a TV company” [Doctorow, BoingBoing]
- UK: “NHS pays £10,000 to family of psychiatric patient who committed suicide” [Times Online]
- American Cancer Society: federal advisory panel’s chemicals-cause-cancer alarms are overblown [NYTimes] More: Taranto, WSJ.
- “Who Knew Bankruptcy Paid So Well?” [NYTimes]
- Famed sleuth Bloomberg Holmes on the case: was the Pathfinder headed for a vile sodium den? [IowaHawk]
- Jury rules for Disney in case of man who said Tower of Terror theme park ride caused him to have stroke [Orlando Sentinel]
- The most dangerous place on earth is getting caught between Dick Blumenthal and a television camera.” Craigslist snipes back against demagogic Connecticut AG [Craigslist blog, Antle/American Spectator, earlier]
- U.K.: prisoner falls from bunk bed, wins £4.7m [Times Online]
- New York Times jealously guards its own sources’ right to speak with anonymity, doesn’t feel quite that way about others’ [Stoll]
- SUNY Buffalo mathematician/HuffPo blogger: why’d they let that awful Eugene Volokh into the country? [Volokh vs. Jonathan David Farley, Greenfield, background]
- College journalist won’t face criminal trespass charges after all in showdown over photographing escaped cows [Romenesko and update]
- Regulating “the American palate” — by what authority? [Healy, Examiner] More links on FDA salt regulation [Compton/CEI, ShopFloor (on CSPI), earlier here, here, etc.]
- Why one putative beneficiary decided not to file $2 claim after settlement of AT&T class action [Chidem Kurdas, Christian Science Monitor]
- The report in the Washington Post that the Food and Drug Administration intends to work toward mandatory limits on salt in processed food provoked some negative public reaction, and now the agency has issued a public statement not exactly denying the story, but complaining that it “leaves a mistaken impression that the FDA has begun the process of regulating the amount of sodium in foods. The FDA is not currently working on regulations nor has it made a decision to regulate sodium content in foods at this time.” Emphasis added to point out the cagey phrasings: there is no denial that the agency’s leadership intends to do all these things in the future, exactly as the Post reported.
- In what is known as coordinated publicity, the trial balloon, if a trial balloon it was, was sent up to coincide with the release of a large National Institute of Medicine report pushing for salt reductions. More: WSJ Health Blog;
- In more coordinated publicity, Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Ct.) and Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Ia.) held a conference call with reporters demanding that the agency move faster to regulate salt. “I don’t want this to take 10 years. … This is a public health crisis,” said DeLauro (via Carter Wood at ShopFloor, who comments and in a separate post points out some CSPI lawyer angles);
- Welcome listeners from Ray Dunaway’s morning show on WTIC Hartford, where I discussed these issues this morning.
- And here’s an apparently new group calling itself “My Food, My Choice” that has come up with a good epithet for NYC Mayor Bloomberg’s squad of food regulators: “bland-lords“.
- More: Stanley Goldfarb, Weekly Standard.
The Food and Drug Administration is planning a crackdown meant to lead to “the first legal limits on the amount of salt allowed in food products,” reports the Washington Post. We’ve been warning of such developments for a while, and they come as little surprise given President Obama’s pick of hyper-regulator Margaret Hamburg as FDA commissioner.
P.S. Perhaps we should invite comment from the New York Times journalist who sternly admonished an interview subject recently: “You shouldn’t trivialize issues of health and safety by calling them nanny issues.”
Assembly members Felix Ortiz (D-Brooklyn), Margaret Markey (D-Queens) and Nick Perry (D-Brooklyn) have filed a bill that would hit restaurants with $1,000 fines if their chefs use salt as an ingredient in their recipes. Some reactions: Russell Jackson, Metafilter via Althouse, Verdon/Outside the Beltway (“Is salt necessary for some cooking? Yes.”) via Bainbridge, Mangu-Ward (“$1,000 a pinch? $1,000 a grain?”) and more, Alkon, Gothamist. Four years ago we reported on a breathalyzers-for-everyone proposal from Ortiz.
- 1978 accident settlement: “Old check for $17,500 found in woman’s nightstand drawer” [Orlando Sentinel]
- John Tierney on the great dietary salt debate [N.Y. Times]
- U.K.: reports from chiropractor association libel case against Simon Singh [Jack of Kent, Index on Censorship, Crispian Jago, earlier here, here, here, etc.]
- Law firm marketers should employ Hitler videos with care, if at all [Greenfield] Another funny lawyer ad from NYC’s Trolman, Glaser & Lichtman [Lowering the Bar, earlier]
- Claim: to undo “blockages”, psychic needed $4,773 shopping spree at Ralph Lauren [N.Y. Daily News, h/t Siouxsie Law]
- First Amendment plaintiff wins $1,791, but Jefferson County, Colorado may be out a million in legal fees [Karen Crummy, Denver Post]
- Unanimous SCOTUS ruling could curb forum-shopping in suits against national businesses [Krauss, PoL, and more at roundup]
- Long Island: “Woman Sues ‘Babies ‘R’ Us’ Over Peanut Allergy” [WCBS]
Last night’s show.
- Renewed attention to Amirault case contributed to Coakley’s political nosedive [e.g., Jacob Weisberg of Slate via Kaus, earlier] First time a Massachusetts prosecutor has paid a political price over that episode?
- Many, many Democratic elected officials call for rethinking/renegotiating Obamacare rather than trying to force it through [e.g. Barney Frank] Blue Mass blogger: talk radio fueled ire at Coakley, let’s have FCC shut it down [Graham]
- “Big Brother and the Salt Shaker” [NY Times “Room for Debate”, Food Liability Law, earlier on NYC initiative and more] NYU’s Marion Nestle “loves” being called a nanny statist, so we’ll just go right on calling her that [Crispy on the Outside]
- Terror suspects win right to seek compensation from UK government over restrictions on their activities [Canadian Press]
- “Men Without Hats. Meaning no hard hats. Meaning The Safety Dance never met OSHA requirements. No wonder it was shut down.” [Tim Siedell a/k/a Bad Banana]
- Italian judge orders father to go on paying $550/month living allowance to his student daughter, who is 32 [Guardian/SMH, earlier on laws mandating support of adult children]
- Two informants vie for potential bonanza of whistleblower status against Johnson & Johnson [Frankel, AmLaw Litigation Daily]
- “Polling Firm Says John Edwards Is Its Most Unpopular Person Ever” [Lowering the Bar]
“Because it requires the participation of restaurant chains and food manufacturers, it will, if successful, affect the diet of the entire country,” notes Jacob Sullum. Ira Stoll offers a reminder “that, as the government assumes a larger share of health care costs, it is increasingly able to use that as a justification to intrude into personal decisions or private enterprises, whether it’s a matter of smoking policy, trans-fats, or salt.” (& ShopFloor).