Monday 28 January 2019

The slippery slope becomes a runaway train

Less than two weeks after setting out its bizarre near-vegan diet, the Lancet has published a lengthy report detailing how it expects the government to force us to eat it. In short, it wants to bypass democracy by getting a global treaty based on the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control passed by UN agencies. To that end, it wants a billion dollar slush fund for activists to lobby the government (courtesy of the taxpayer, natch).

This is the anti-smoking blueprint copied to the letter - complete with state-funded sockpuppet campaigners and the equivalent of Article 5.3 to keep industry experts out of the conversation - and they make no bones about it.

I put out a comment for the IEA:

“This is the final vindication for those us who have warned about the slippery slope of regulation. Nanny state zealots are no longer hiding their intention to use the anti-tobacco blueprint to control other areas of our lives. They are openly contemptuous of freedom of choice and make no secret of their desire to bypass democracy and use unaccountable global institutions to further their agenda.

“If such authoritarian regulations come to pass, a thriving and competitive food market which responds to consumer demand will be replaced by a “state anchored approach” in which bureaucrats and activists decide what the public is allowed to eat. The idea of taxpayers being forced to contribute to a $1 billion slush fund for them to lobby for such a future is nauseating.”

The Lancet has well and truly jumped the shark. It's almost painful to watch. If only editor Richard Horton had done the honorable thing and resigned after the Andrew Wakefield scandal, things could have been so different

The report itself is a 56 page diatribe against 'Big Food'. You can read it here or read all about it in my Spectator Health article.

The increasingly loony Lancet is on a roll this month. After causing global mirth two weeks ago by publishing the EAT-Lancet diet (no more than a quarter of an egg, a tenth of sausage a day, etc) the once great medical journal has now laid out how it expects the government to make us eat it.

Published today, a lengthy report from the Lancet Commission on Obesity gives a detailed overview of what it sees as the problem (capitalism), the solution (higher taxes, more state control) and the means by which the great transformation will take place (more money for activist groups to lobby the UN). It is explicitly modelled on the anti-tobacco blueprint and is the final vindication for those of us who have warned that the slippery slope of nanny state regulation is becoming a runaway train.

The lead author of the report is Boyd Swinburn, a New Zealand doctor and food campaigner who declared last week on Twitter that the EAT-Lancet report shows where diets need to get to while his report shows how to get there. They are two sides of the same coin and whilst there is no shortage of policy suggestions in the EAT-Lancet document, including rationing and the outright prohibition of certain food products, the Lancet Commission takes it a stage further by calling for a global treaty.

Do read the rest. 

You can also see my colleague Kate Andrews giving it with both barrels on Sky News last night...

No comments: