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May 18, 2013

How can we legislate what some people eat?

Letter to the editor

Isn't it odd how the same politicians who complain that we regulate businesses and corporations too much are not shy about regulating individual citizens' behavior.

One example can be seen in the May 13 newspaper, "Views on food-stamp limits depend on if you get them." Legislators (both Democrat and Republican) and our governor think that we should pass laws that control what we eat. Well, those on food stamps, at least.

How can one constitutionally legislate what one person eats while exempting another. I thought laws were supposed to be universal. Unless being poor has suddenly become a crime.

Besides, how do we know what a person is able to eat? I know an elderly woman on SNAP (food stamps) who recently had a battery of chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Her taste buds were altered radically. Though she used to eat what our governor accepts as healthy foods, she now can eat only a lot of what Gov. Paul LePage calls "junk food." Were it not for "junk food" supplementing her diet, she might very well become ill from malnutrition.

We all would be far better off if we controlled what toxic chemicals the food industry puts in our food, rather than picking on the poor.

Peter P. Sirois, Madison





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