Entries in Nanny State (3)


FDA Budget Hearing Turns from Money Talk to MTV's 'Skins' 

Adam Gault/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- In the future, your children might not see commercials for chocolate milk, graham crackers, and Cheerios during breaks from their favorite television shows, prompting a House subcommittee chairman to take issue with some proposed guidelines regulating the marketing of food to children.

“I’m concerned about the potential overreach based on these guidelines that are sitting on the table right now,” Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., said at a hearing on Capitol Hill Friday.  “The food that would not be allowed to be advertised on television shows in which 50 percent of the audience is children could include peanut butter sandwiches, eggs, granola bars, noodles, chocolate milk, pretzels, cheerios, bread, graham crackers and cheese.”

At a hearing mainly focused on the FDA’s budget, Kingston took a moment to go after the “Nanny State,” pointing to the disparity in banning television advertisements for certain foods while still airing controversial shows like MTV’s Skins, a show he described as a “soft porn titillating type show,” which he claims to have never watched but channel surfed through.

“What does the ‘Nanny State’ want?” Kingston asked. “Look at a review of the show Skins and think, we’re saying fine you can watch it  -- freedom of speech, parental control. I’m not here knocking Skins, but I’m saying it’s ironic that you can watch Skins, but Cheerios can’t be advertised on it because that might really hurt our teenagers, not the fact that they’re all running around in skimpy little clothes doing naughty little things.

FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg testified before a House Appropriations subcommittee to defend the 30 percent increase in the FDA’s budget proposed in the President’s FY 2012 budget, saying it will provide support to an “underfunded” and “under resourced” department.

“FDA’s charged with an enormous and unique set of tasks,” Hamburg said.  “If we do not do our job and do it completely, there is no other agency or entity out there to backstop us.  That’s why I am here to ask for your support of the Fiscal Year 2012 budget for the FDA.”

The President’s budget request would raise the FDA’s budget to over $4.3 billion.  The President also requested $183 million to implement the Food Safety Modernization Act, which, Hamburg argued, the FDA would be severely hampered in implementing should Congress not appropriate the funds.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 


Michele Bachmann Critical of First Lady's Promotion of Breast Pumps

Photo Courtesy - Bachmann dot House dot gov(WASHINGTON) -- Rep. Michele Bachmann spoke out Tuesday against first lady Michelle Obama’s reported support of tax breaks for breast pumps.

On Laura Ingraham’s radio show Tuesday, the Tea Party favorite criticized Mrs. Obama for reportedly endorsing steps she warned could lead to a “nanny state.”

"I've given birth to five babies and I breast fed every single one of these babies," Bachmann, R-Minn., said. "To think that government has to go out and buy my breast pump for my babies. I mean, you want to talk about the nanny state? I think you just got a new definition -- a new definition of the nanny."

The IRS announced last week that breast pumps and supplies that assist lactation are medical care under Internal Revenue Code “because, like obstetric care, they are for the purpose of affecting a structure or function of the body of the lactating woman.”

Bachmann, who is in her third term and considering a challenge to President Obama in 2012, declined to elaborate on her comments through a spokesperson Tuesday evening. The Office of the First Lady also declined to comment.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Cookiegate: Sarah Palin Takes on ‘Nanny State' Nutrition Guidelines

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(DOYLESTOWN, Pa.) -- Sarah Palin is baking up some controversy over proposed school nutrition guidelines in Pennsylvania. At a fundraising event at a Buck’s County school Tuesday, the former Alaska governor served students cookies to make a point about “laissez-faire” government.

Pennsylvania’s proposed school nutrition guidelines would limit the number of sweets in classroom parties and encourage parents to serve more healthy snacks. The proposal, which will be voted on this spring, would also slash the number of birthday and holiday parties allowed in classrooms.

Monday Palin tweeted that, in addition to her fundraising power, she “may bring cookies” to the Plumstead Christian School to protest the guidelines.

“Hmm...may bring cookies to my PA school speech tmrw to make a pt ‘PA mulls ban on cake/cookies/candy@ school parties,’” Palin posted, linking to an article from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review about the guidelines.

Tuesday Palin took it further saying Pennsylvania was a “nanny state run amok.”

“2 PA school speech; I'll intro kids 2 beauty of laissez-faire via serving them cookies amidst school cookie ban debate;Nanny state run amok!” the 2008 vice presidential candidate posted on Twitter.

While Palin’s comments may be tongue-in-cheek, the debate over government intervention in school nutrition programs continues to be a point of contention in Congress.

In August, the Senate passed the $4.5 billion "Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act," which would expand children's access to federal nutrition programs and give schools more money to spend per meal. Supporters say the bill would significantly improve the nutritional quality of school lunches by upgrading menus and banning certain junk food from lunch lines.

The legislation, which awaits approval in the House, would mark the largest investment in child nutrition programs since their inception.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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