Wednesday, March 10, 2010

New York Assemblyman Wants To Ban Salt From Restaurants

This takes the nanny statism to a whole different level. This isn't just about taxing behavior such as the choice to consume soda or pizza, but wants to fully ban the use of a food flavoring altogether and justified for supposed health benefits. Democrat Felix Ortiz of Brooklyn introduced (with one cosponsor and one multisponsor) A10129 in the State Assembly:
No owner or operator of a restaurant in this state shall use salt in any form in the preparation of any food for consumption by customers of such restaurant, including food to be consumed on the premises of such restaurant or off such premises.
It would impose a penalty of $1,000 for each violation (and how are they counting each violation - that's silent in the penalty provision?).

Let that sink in for a moment.

This legislation would ban the use of a substance that has been included in cooking and the preparation of food for millennia. It ignores that salt is often used to enhance flavors and is frequently required in baking.

Further, there's no exception for salt used to kosher and prepare meat according to Jewish law.

It's not clear whether the bill would apply to lox and other salt-cured food products, although if it was salt-cured within the restaurant, it would violate the terms of the bill.

Moreover, salt is frequently treated with iodine, so that public health can be promoted by preventing thyroid conditions.

I don't give this bill much of a chance to pass, particularly since there is no corresponding bill in the State Senate.

This isn't the first time Ortiz has graced these pages for his nanny state-ways. He's tried to impose a pole tax, and sought to increase alcoholic beverage taxes. He'd also tried to require that schools provide the weight of students on their report cards.

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