Submission Number: 00040
Received: 5/11/2011 11:58:17 PM
Commenter: Paul Hsieh
Organization: Freedom and Individual Rights in Medicine
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Initiative: Preliminary Proposed Nutrition Principles to Guide Industry Self-Regulatory Efforts; Project No. P094513
Attachments: No Attachments
As a physician, I have two serious problems with this proposal:
1) The science is not settled as to what is actually the best nutrition for growing children. In particular, there are strong medical reasons to believe that children can benefit from whole-fat milk (as opposed to low-fat milk) and may be harmed by consuming whole grains (which can predispose them to develop disease such as celiac sprue and irritable bowel syndrome later as adults). The government should not be promoting potentially dangerous nutritional guidelines such as currently proposed.
2) More broadly, the government should not be adding to the burdens of businesses by compelling (or "encouraging") them to spend time and money disclosing any particular nutritional information. Instead, the choice of what sorts of nutritional disclosures (if any) should be left up to the marketplace.
If enough parents wish such information from sellers, they can let the voices be heard through the free market. The only proper role for government in this context is to protect against sellers making fraudulent false claims. It should not compel any specific type of nutritional claims otherwise.
Paul Hsieh, MD