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Mississippi almost had ‘food police’

Thank goodness Mississippi Legislator Steve Holland showed Monday that he is not catering to senseless, fear-spreading groups in doing his job as chairman of the House Public Health and Human Services Committee.

His intention to disallow HB282, which would force restaurants with over 5 seats (in other words, ALL eating establishments) to refuse service to people who are obese, is a stand against the establishment of government is the do-all, end-all to people’s problems and a big score for common sense.

This bill is one of the worst to come through so far this session.  Basically, in the words of one of its authors, it was presented to ‘bring attention to the state’s obesity problem.’  Media outlets from all over the Western world have been tuned into the bill.  So, the attention getting was achieved, at the expense of Mississippi’s perception.

If somehow the bill had passed through all the legislative channels and been signed into law by Gov. Barbour, not only would it be grossly infringing on civil rights, but it undoubtedly would have opened the door for a slough of equally ridiculous bills (insert your own list here.)

Yes, the statistics show that Mississippi’s citizenry has an overall problem with obesity.  But, passing such a bill that not only would have put a huge burden on restaurants–Holland called them the ‘food police’–but also would have put the state in a huge legal battle, is not the answer.

Good job, Mr. Holland, for standing up to the common-senseless.

Joe Buck Coates

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