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Tuesday, 11 October 2011

"Something Rotten In The State Of Denmark".

So said Marcellus in Hamlet. The same seems to be the case today, with the imposition of a tax on the sale of foods containing saturated fat in Denmark, the home of Lurpak and Danish bacon. But, that any civilised society sees fit to 'ban' anything says quite a lot about that society, especially a foodstuff, that has figured in the human diet, since the beginning of, time, says even more.

There are many strands to this, not the least is that to ban anything needs for that ban to be right. Society's that ban things have done so often at their peril, often inculcating a desire that was only weak into one that becomes an absolute need. We only have to look to alcohol or religions see this as historically inevitable. The 'fight' against drugs is a prime example, where we have squandered billions to achieve little. So to ban 'fat' seems perverse, but of course, like most Neoliberal regimes, the ban allows taxation to be invoked which will then swell the exchequer, so despite the inherent hypocrisy of a nation whose primary exports are (poor quality) pigs and butter (laden with saturated fats) they can still make money from their people and those of other nations whilst at the same time feeling the warm glow of moral superiority.

As many that have read my words know, I'm a convinced 'low-carber' with a predilection for fat and protein and have produced a considerable body of evidence that proves it's lack of any danger, over many of my posts. I have a hatred of dogma, cant and hypocrisy. The Danes have proscribed a number of foodstuffs, in the past few years including a ban on 'transfats' (trans-isomer fatty acids) and a tax on sweets, together with products high in sugar, and I would endorse the sentiment but I'm sorry, I can't endorse the legislation. If any society is to ban anything, it has to do so from a viewpoint of absolute morale integrity based upon complete and unequivocal evidence that considerable danger is invoked by indulgence in the item(s) or protocols involved. It is clear to me that Denmark is unable to do this; the evidence denies it. Yet nonetheless they have. Chris Masterjohn has an interesting and somewhat philosophical viewpoint about the Danish 'fat tax', it's worth a read. He is somewhat more credentialed than am I but comes to similar conclusions.

Sadly, it is highly likely that such a tax/ban may be invoked by the current Government (the 'toffs') who cannot grasp the concept of reading the evidence prior to rushing to legislate, especially if their efforts yield some more of  'our cash' for them to squander in the pursuit of some pointless policy or other, or to hand to their favourite consultants or offshore equity capitalist. Denmark's death rate from CHD also seems to be one of the lowest in Europe. France of course still manages to be the country with the lowest events per 100,000, despite the fact that it has the highest intake of saturated fat in it's diet! So once more science is traduced by dogma, integrity by greed. Politicians, what can you do with them. Wall and firing squad appeals to me.

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