Independent Women's Forum RSS feedhttp://www.iwf.orgThe RSS feed for the IWF. News/Commentary, Blog posts and publications(...)IWF RSShttp://iwf.org/images/email-logo.pnghttp://www.iwf.org33968NYC's "Juice This, Not That" policy for day care • One News Nowhttp://iwf.org/media/2796663/Julie GunlockFri, 27 Mar 2015 09:03:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumMamavation Myths: Killer Thin Mints<p> Mamavation is at it again with their misleading blog posts. Today, it&rsquo;s a warming against &ldquo;toxic&rdquo; Girl Scout cookies.</p> <p> That&rsquo;s right. The blog post, authored by my favorite Mamavation alarmist Elizabeth Bruno, goes full paranoid, starting with its charming title: &ldquo;<a href="http://www.mamavation.com/2015/03/peddling-poison-whats-really-in-girl-scout-cookies.html">Peddling Poison: What&rsquo;s Really in Girl Scout Cookies.</a>&rdquo;</p> <p> Really? Poison?</p> <p> Let&rsquo;s just take a stroll down exaggeration lane, shall we?</p> <p> In the blog post, <a href="http://thefederalist.com/2015/02/17/the-first-food-snob-and-her-mommy-blogger-allies-make-mothering-difficult/">Bruno (who has a talent for hyperbole</a>) actually suggests these cookies are poison. Before delving into her bizarre reasoning, let&rsquo;s just for the sake of argument imagine that she&rsquo;s correct (I know, it hurts to do this) and say these cookies are actually poison.</p> <p> To believe that, you&rsquo;d have to also believe that the Girl Scouts organization is an unethical, felonious, and wholly immoral club filled with thousands of budding sociopaths who are encouraged to sell poison cookies to families and who earn merit badges while doing it. It also means, the 100-plus-year-old organization is run by mass murdering lunatics who have devised a sophisticated method to use their army of young ladies to slowly kill the American public.</p> <p> Does this sound reasonable? Possible? Plausible? If not, ignore Bruno&rsquo;s odd article. If so, well, I doubt anything else I try to debunk is going to reassure you. But let&rsquo;s give it a go.</p> <p> Let&rsquo;s take a look at the meat (Sorry, Ms. Bruno, I meant the vegetarian meat substitute) of Bruno&rsquo;s piece. Basically, Bruno says these cookies are poison because they contain&hellip;enriched flour, sweeteners, vegetable shortening, artificial coloring, and artificial preservatives.</p> <p> Hey, I don&rsquo;t know about you, but just writing that list made me super hungry!</p> <p> I mean, what exactly does Bruno think Girl Scout Cookies should be made of? Magic? Unicorn hair and fairy dust? Purple flowers and puppy tears? Toddler kisses and baby sweat?</p> <p> Girl Scout cooks actually tried to make it with those ingredients but unfortunately the taste and texture was a teensy bit off. So, they decided to rely on science instead to develop a cookie that tasted good, had an adequate shelf life, and that satisfied consumer and scout demands.</p> <p> As for Bruno&rsquo;s claims that all of these ingredients are toxic, she might want keep in mind that even with cookies, the dose makes the poison. Yes, I&rsquo;m sure if you ate a few billion cookies, you might die. But is anyone doing that? No. Heck, people can&rsquo;t even develop a year-round Girl Scout cookie habit because Girl Scout cookies are a once a year treat.</p> <p> People do not live on these confections. They might eat a sleeve (or three) once a year, but for the most part, these cookies aren&rsquo;t a part of a normal diet nor do reasonable people see them as part of healthy habits. And for those who do (again, once a year!) eat more than an appropriate serving of Girl Scout cookies; chances are, they know they&rsquo;ve overdone it.</p> <p> One other amusing part of Bruno&#39;s piece is that her title--&quot;What&#39;s Really in Girl Scout Cookies&quot;--suggest the Girl Scouts are hiding something or some terrifying ingredient. Yet, when you look at the blog post, she actually includes pictures she&#39;s taken of both the nutrition label and ingredient list that&#39;s present on the actual boxes of cookies. Pro tip for Bruno: when suggesting someone&#39;s concealing something, don&#39;t provide evidence to the contrary.</p> <p> Look, Mamavation isn&#39;t going to stop attacking these happy traditions and they are never going to cool it with the hyperbole. But moms and fans of Girl Scout cookies should be aware of what Mamavation does: Lie, steal everyone&#39;s fun, and make everyone worry for no reason at all.</p> <p> The Girl Scouts is a wonderful organization dedicated to helping girls understand the importance of civic duty, independence, fun and friendship. The annual cookie drive is a much loved tradition that provides these young women with a sense of accomplishment and teaches them concepts of leadership, decision making and basic business skills.</p> <p> Elizabeth Bruno needs to eat a thin mint and calm down.</p> http://iwf.org/blog/2796651/Julie GunlockWed, 25 Mar 2015 11:03:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumNew Bill Would Allow For More Flexibility With School Lunches • Cam & Company http://iwf.org/media/2796652/Julie GunlockTue, 24 Mar 2015 13:03:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumFast Food Ban Failure<p> Back in 2011, right after the Los Angeles City Council unanimously passed a regulation to ban fast-food restaurants South Los Angeles, <a href="http://iwf.org/blog/2435816/Everyone-Loves-Fast-Food...Not-Just-the-Poor...">I wrote</a> about a <a href="http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/nationnow/2011/11/middle-class-the-poor-fast-food.html">new study </a>that shed doubt on the efficacy of bans of this sort having any affect on obesity rates. As I wrote at the time, the study found that poor people really don&rsquo;t eat that much fast food. Instead, the researchers found that as people&rsquo;s income increased, so did their hunger for fast food meals.</p> <p> The study was important for several reasons: first, it destroyed the &ldquo;it&rsquo;s good for you&rdquo; excuse used by those who push these bans. Second, it exposed how patronizing, paternalistic and ultimately unnecessary these regulations are since they&rsquo;re missing the very demographic eating at fast food restaurants.</p> <p> Of course, at the time, food writers, politicians and health activists were lauding the fast food ban as a positive step towards helping people make better nutrition decisions.</p> <p> Now, several years later, we know the results of this ban.&nbsp;</p> <p> <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/03/why-the-fast-food-ban-failed-in-south-la/388475/">The Atlantic reports</a> (emphasis mine):</p> <blockquote> <p> On Friday, the ban got a dose of bad news: A study released by the RAND Corporation revealed that the ordinance had &quot;failed to reduce fast-food consumption or reduce obesity rates in the targeted neighborhood.&quot; In fact, <strong><em>obesity rates in the area had grown at a faster clip than elsewhere in the city</em></strong>. As NBC News reported, the percentage of people in South Los Angeles who were overweight or obese in 2007 was 63 percent. By 2011, that figure was 75 percent.</p> </blockquote> <p> You know what has also increased in South Los Angeles during this timeframe? Unemployment. <a href="http://articles.latimes.com/2012/apr/28/business/la-fi-black-unemployment-20120428">A 2012 Los Angeles Times article</a> on the subject had this grim report:</p> <blockquote> <p> Two decades after the L.A. riots brought pledges of help to rebuild South Los Angeles, the area is worse off in many ways than it was in 1992.</p> <p> Median income, when adjusted for inflation, is lower. Many middle-class blacks have fled in search of safer neighborhoods and better schools.</p> <p> And the unemployment rate, which was bad at the time of the riots, has reached even more dire levels. In two areas of South Los Angeles &mdash; Florence Graham and Westmont &mdash; unemployment is almost 24%. Back in 1992, it was 21% in Florence Graham and 17% in Westmont.</p> </blockquote> <p> Oddly, the LA Times article failed to mention one of the main reason for this area&#39;s sustained unemployment problem -- that the city council had actually worked to ban the very industry that offers low-skilled jobs in fast food restaurants. Perhaps that little nugget of information would have been useful to the paper&#39;s readers. &nbsp;</p> <p> This is an important lesson about the unintended consequences of &quot;good for you&quot; government policies. They might sound good on paper but they rarely work and sometimes, these policy prescriptions leave the very people they are intended to help worse off than before. Perhaps if politicians hadn&#39;t banned job-creating businesses from locating in South Los Angeles, unemployment rates wouldn&#39;t be so high. But unfortunately, both unemployment and obesity rates continue to increase, thanks largely to potiticians&#39; efforts to &ldquo;help&rdquo; poor people.</p> http://iwf.org/blog/2796635/Julie GunlockTue, 24 Mar 2015 10:03:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumAge Limits on…Apple Juice?<p> Brave New York City health officials have decided to institute an age limit to combat the epidemic of children who abuse apple juice.&nbsp;</p> <p> THANK GOD!</p> <p> The <a href="http://www.myfoxny.com/story/28598711/new-york-city-limits-juice-in-day-cares#.VRK79dTVqMI.twitter">city&#39;s health code has now been updated</a> to reduce the amount of juice kids are allowed to drink from six ounces of juice a day to four ounces. Also, children under 2-years-old cannot be served juice. Health officials are also banning television viewing for children 2 and under and added a requirement that children not be allowed to remain sedentary or to sit passively for more than 30 minutes at a time except during nap time.</p> <p> Naturally, health department officials say these rule changes are all to combat childhood obesity.</p> <p> You know, I don&#39;t run a daycare but I am raising three rambunctious kids and I know that I like having all tools at my disposal. Many may consider these policies a good idea and important for guiding child care providers but one can&#39;t help but pause to think maybe the government&#39;s a little too involved when an agency is issuing rules on things like 2-ounces of juice.</p> <p> The city of New York already requires licensing of these daycare facilities and for the people working in them. Can&#39;t we trust these professionals to make good decisions for these kids?&nbsp;</p> <p> Of course not. Government bureaucrats know best.</p> http://iwf.org/blog/2796638/Julie GunlockTue, 24 Mar 2015 09:03:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumDebunking BPA Alarmism/Hillary Clinton Scandals/IWF Marriage Event • Bill Cunninghamhttp://iwf.org/media/2796599/Julie GunlockThu, 19 Mar 2015 12:03:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumMore Flexibility for School Lunches<p> It looks like school lunch reform is in the news again, and I&rsquo;m glad to hear that Rep. Kristi Noem has introduced a bill aimed at giving local authorities more flexibility when it comes to creating food that kids might actually eat.</p> <p> <a href="http://www.msnbc.com/morning-joe/watch/gop-rep.-proposes-new-school-lunch-bill-415339075662">Appearing on Morning Joe today</a>, Rep. Noem explained how the reforms passed by Congress in 2010 make it extremely difficult for school lunch personnel to make the food taste good. She highlighted how Washington limits calories, meat and other proteins, grains, and sodium levels to the point that they can&rsquo;t even put milk or cheese on the menus anymore.&nbsp;</p> <p> I&rsquo;m glad to see Congress working to give local officials a say in how they run the school lunch program. Now, if we could just get a politician to remind people that ultimately, parents should be the ones responsible for feeding kids.</p> <p> Watch Rep. Noam&#39;s appearance here:</p> http://iwf.org/blog/2796583/Julie GunlockWed, 18 Mar 2015 09:03:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumNewsweek's Chemical Alarmism<p> Newsweek really needs to do some fact checking. <a href="http://www.newsweek.com/2015/03/13/bpa-fine-if-you-ignore-most-studies-about-it-311203.html">In a piece that ran last week on the safety of the chemical Bisphenol-A</a> (commonly called BPA), writer Douglas Main couldn&rsquo;t even do a simple Google search on his sources before publishing the piece.</p> <p> He writes (emphasis mine):</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in;"> To date, there have been around 1,000 animal studies on BPA, and the vast majority show that it causes or is linked to many health problems, from alterations in fertility to increased risk for cancers and cardiovascular problems to impaired brain development, <strong>says<a href="http://endocrinedisruptors.missouri.edu/vomsaal/vomsaal.html"> Frederick vom Saal</a>, a longtime researcher of the product at the University of Missouri-Columbia</strong>.</p> <p> Oy! There&rsquo;s so much wrong with that paragraph. Let me start off by explaining a little something about &ldquo;studies.&rdquo; Reporters like to throw around the word &ldquo;studies&rdquo; and the phrase &ldquo;studies show&rdquo; but they often don&rsquo;t read any of those studies or check on the validity of the study. But this is an important thing to do, especially if you&rsquo;re going to use the so-called study in a story that will scare the crap out of millions of Americans.</p> <p> The most important thing to understand about &ldquo;studies,&rdquo; is that there are studies that mimic how humans come in contact with chemicals like BPA (eating canned soup, touching receipts, handling plastic things) and then there are studies that don&rsquo;t in any way replicate human interaction.</p> <p> An example of that latter study is to inject large doses of BPA directly into the blood streams of rats. Tell me, do you know of anyone mainlining BPA? If so, get that person psychological help. Another strategy is to feed large quantities of BPA to lab rats. Are you sitting down to a large, hot steaming bucket of BPA? If so, yes, there&rsquo;s a problem. Still other strategies involve injecting BPA directly into living cells in a peti dish. Are you doing this? Then you&rsquo;re an oddball. There&rsquo;s even a study that involved injecting BPA directly into monkey&rsquo;s brains. Are you injecting a syringe full of BPA into your brain? If not, super, you&rsquo;re fine.</p> <p> (You can listen to my podcast on this subject <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIp60_v5nco&amp;list=UUg_s5BRCyjhOHbOyZQC3gDg">here)</a></p> <p> So, I think it&rsquo;s important to put out there that yes, there have been thousands of studies and some in fact do show harm due to BPA exposure. But again, those studies introduce BPA to an animal in a way that humans never experience.</p> <p> But let&rsquo;s examine that other category of studies&mdash;the ones that attempt to mimic the way humans normally come in contact with BPA. Even with these studies, the scientists usually expose the HUMAN (see that? That&rsquo;s right, these studies actually involve the species we&rsquo;re worried about) to larger doses of BPA than a human would normally come in contact with. The reason? So that they can establish that there&rsquo;s no harm even at larger doses than humans would normally consume.</p> <p> In studies like these, no harm has ever been demonstrated.</p> <p> Mmmmkay?</p> <p> So, look, I&rsquo;m a mom and I don&rsquo;t have a science degree but I don&rsquo;t think it&rsquo;s hard to understand a few concepts about what makes a scientific study relevant to the way in which humans come in contact with chemicals. So, if I can do it, why can&rsquo;t Newsweek reporter Douglas Main. Or, for heavens sake, why can&rsquo;t an editor at Newsweek?</p> <p> Next, Main quotes &ldquo;long-time researcher&rdquo; Frederick vom Saal but manages to leave out that vom Saal doesn&rsquo;t have the best reputation in the scientific community. I&rsquo;ve <a href="http://www.iwf.org/blog/2795431/Not-the-Onion:-Killer-Cash-Register-Receipts#sthash.ySzhrpIg.dpuf">written about him before</a> and the press&rsquo; inability to check his record when quoting him:</p> <blockquote> <p> A quick primer on vom Saal. First, he&rsquo;s a well-known anti-chemical activist who has been called out within the scientific community for unscientific tactics in academic research. His research has been dismissed by the National Toxicology Program. For more on him, read Trevor Butterworth&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/trevorbutterworth/2011/10/27/top-government-scientists-challenge-leading-anti-bpa-researcher-on-misrepresentation-ties-to-trial-lawyers-and-claiming-he-refuted-specific-research-years-before-it-was-actually-published/">thorough examination</a> of vom Saal&rsquo;s anti-BPA mission as well as <a href="http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/commentators/richard-sharpe-let-common-sense-guide-you-in-the-saga-of-bisphenol-a-1942935.html">this piece</a> by Dr. Richard Sharpe, a professor at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and an expert on reproductive health issues.</p> <p> Now, if I were a reporter who covered the chemical beat, vom Saal is a name I would most certainly notice. Given vom Saal&rsquo;s dodgy record, a responsible reporter would immediately question the validity of the research.</p> <p> Call me crazy, but that seems to be the basics of good journalism.</p> </blockquote> <p> Later in the piece, Main does mention a researcher who has done fantastic work researching BPA safety. He writes:</p> <blockquote> <p> <a href="http://www.pnl.gov/science/staff/staff_info.asp?staff_num=7021">Justin Teeguarden</a>, a researcher at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, published a study last month investigating the impact of consuming soup containing six times the FDA&rsquo;s acceptable daily intake (which is five micrograms per kilogram of body weight, according to Eisenman). The 10 men tested ended up with blood concentrations of BPA of about 0.1 ppb, 10 times lower than levels found in vom Saal&rsquo;s review. Teeguarden says the vast majority of people probably have BPA blood levels much lower than this, since these subjects were exposed to thousands of times &ldquo;more BPA than most are exposed to.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p> But then, Main claims Teeguarden&rsquo;s missing a key element&mdash;non-food sources, like handling receipts. Ummm, how much shopping does Main think we&rsquo;re doing?</p> <p> Moreover, if Main is going to bring up receipts (annoyingly, he again quotes his favorite junk scientist vom Saal), might he do his readers a favor and mention another study (he likes to use the word &ldquo;study&rdquo; so why not mention one more) <a href="http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378427414013101">conducted by researchers at the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health in Helsinki Finland</a>, which examined the exposure levels of cashiers instead of just random shoppers. The reason is obvious; cashiers touch a lot more receipts than your average shopper. In fact, cashiers touch every single receipt as they hand it to the shopper.</p> <p> The study was set up to capture just how many times a cashier touches the receipt paper. From page 2 of the study&rsquo;s summery of &ldquo;materials and methods&rdquo;:</p> <blockquote> <p> A working day was set to 8 h, including lunch and refreshment breaks. A thermal paper receipt containing 0.9% (w/w) BPA was firmly held by three fingers, the BPA-containing side of the paper being in contact with the pads of the forefinger and the middle finger.</p> <p> &hellip;</p> <p> During the experiment, the paper receipt was handled about 140 times, and the total times the paper&rsquo;s contact with the fingers was approximately 11 min.</p> </blockquote> <p> The <a href="http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378427414013101">researchers concluded</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p> The calculated maximum BPA excretion per day after handling thermal paper was less than 0.2 mg/kg of body weight, suggesting a total daily intake over 25 times lower than the European Food Safety Authority&rsquo;s (EFSA&rsquo;s) proposal for a temporary tolerable daily intake (temporary TDI) (5 mg/kg/day).</p> </blockquote> <p> So, let&rsquo;s put that in English: According to this Finnish study, a cashier working an 8-hour shift would touch 140 receipts and still have exposure 25 times <strong><em>below </em></strong>safe established levels. That means, a cashier would have to handle 3,500 receipts in a shift, just to come up to the safe intake values that have been calculated by government scientists and regulatory agencies.&nbsp;</p> <p> As the study shows, cashiers touch around 140 receipts in an 8-hour shift so it&rsquo;s simply impossible for them to reach levels that would be toxic. In other words, you&rsquo;re fine. I&rsquo;m fine. Newsweek&#39;s Douglas Main is fine.</p> <p> Newsweek owes its readers the truth, not made up stories of danger. Once these stories are out there, they are hard to correct. People read them, they become scared and they demand changes to a product when it wasn&rsquo;t even harmful in the first place. Perhaps that&rsquo;s by design. But consumers should know there&rsquo;s sloppy reporting out there that only adds to the Culture of Alarmism.</p> http://iwf.org/blog/2796576/Julie GunlockTue, 17 Mar 2015 12:03:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumDebunking BPA alarmism • Kresta in the Afternoonhttp://iwf.org/media/2796574/Julie GunlockTue, 17 Mar 2015 11:03:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumDebbie Downer Alarmists Ruin the Greatest Show on Earth<p> Well, we can all say goodbye to yet another American tradition&mdash;elephants at the circus. Thanks to the nonstop harassment of animal rights activists who tell lies and promote distortions about the treatment of animals used by Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus, the company has decided to retire it&rsquo;s elephants to &hellip; wait for it &hellip; a 200-acre, state-of-the-art facility located in central Florida that is dedicated to the conservation, breeding and understanding of the Asian elephant.</p> <p> According to the <a href="http://www.elephantcenter.com/about-us/about-cec/">Center&rsquo;s website</a>, it even &ldquo;hosts researchers, academicians and conservationists to create new dialogue focused around animal care, conservation and health, and the exchange of knowledge about the Asian elephant &ndash; both in the Western Hemisphere and in their range countries.&rdquo;</p> <p> Huh? But I thought those circus meanies hated elephants.</p> <p> Feld Entertainment says the decision to take elephants out of the show is a response to changing consumer preferences, but let&rsquo;s face it, they&rsquo;re just tired of dealing with the constant threat of lawsuits filed by animal rights activists. These lawsuits, while unsuccessful, are costly and create tons of bad public attention. Facing this, is it any wonder they&rsquo;ve decided it&rsquo;s just better to move the elephants to this conservation center?</p> <p> Of course, the activists are now claiming victory over this development but is this really a victory? Let&rsquo;s look at a few underreported facts here:</p> <p> First, does anyone ever hear about this conservation center? No. Because that&rsquo;s a good news story that won&rsquo;t sell. As my friend <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/cherylyn-harley-lebon/a-bittersweet-day-for-the_b_6864586.html">Cherylyn Harley LaBon admitted in her Huffington Post column</a>, she didn&rsquo;t know this center even existed:</p> <blockquote> <p> I was pleasantly surprised to learn the 13 elephants in the traveling circus are heading to a 200-acre conservation facility in Florida, the Center for Elephant Conservation (CEC). Who knew the circus was in the business of animal conservation? But what a wonderful thing.</p> <p> I cannot pretend to be a conservation expert, but a glance at <a href="http://www.elephantcenter.com/">Feld&#39;s CEC</a> is impressive. They founded the Center in 1995 and it is home to the largest and self-sustaining herd of Asian elephants. Their program boasts the most successful breeding program in the Western Hemisphere. I thought the Giant Panda reproduction cycle was complicated, but I have since discovered that elephants have a longer gestation period than any other mammal with a gestation of almost 22 months. And since the Center&#39;s inception, 26 elephants have been born there!</p> </blockquote> <p> Second, let&rsquo;s hear the facts about these lawsuits. The lawsuits filed by these animal rights activists make the news. That&rsquo;s for sure. But rarely does the fast moving news cycle allow for any follow-up on these lawsuits. What people don&rsquo;t hear is that those lawsuits have consistently been found without merit. In fact, in 2014, <a href="http://www.bradenton.com/2014/05/16/5155199_humane-society-to-pay-feld-ringling.html?rh=1">the Humane Society and other animal rights groups paid a $15.75 million settlement to Feld</a> as a result of a lawsuit filed by the animal rights groups that was found frivolous and without merit. Shortly after that settlement, <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/12/29/usa-elephants-circus-idUSL1E8NS7ZN20121229">another group&mdash;The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals&mdash;was forced to pay Feld $9.3 million to Feld</a> because it made false claims against the company in U.S. district court.</p> <p> No one is suggesting the ethical treatment of animals isn&rsquo;t a worthy topic. It is. And I&rsquo;m sure there are plenty of horrible cases of animal abuse that deserve the spotlight. But elephants performing in the circus simply isn&rsquo;t one of them.&nbsp;</p> <p> Despite this, the Debbie Downers have won another victory against good old-fashioned fun.</p> http://iwf.org/blog/2796575/Julie GunlockTue, 17 Mar 2015 11:03:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumNudge Theory at Work<p> <a href="http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/report-lays-groundwork-for-food-interventionists-in-schools-workplaces/article/2561411">Health Interventionists showing up to your work place</a> for a heart-to-heart on your eating habits.</p> <p> These same interventionists <a href="http://freebeacon.com/issues/feds-america-should-adopt-plant-based-diet/">showing up to your kid&rsquo;s school</a> without you knowing.</p> <p> <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/mar/08/puerto-rico-childhood-obesity-law-parents-abuse">Parents being charged with child</a> abuse if their kid&rsquo;s BMI gets too high.</p> <p> Government <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/02/20/feds-america-should-adopt-plant-based-diet/">monitors on your television</a> to make sure you&rsquo;re not watching too much TV.</p> <p> Government bureaucrats <a href="http://www.onenewsnow.com/politics-govt/2015/03/13/new-dietary-guidelines-just-another-govt-power-grab#.VQmALDr40d4">tweeting you</a> when you&rsquo;ve eaten too much.</p> <p> <a href="http://freebeacon.com/issues/epa-wants-to-monitor-how-long-hotel-guests-spend-in-the-shower/">EPA monitoring your shower</a> to make sure you&rsquo;re not wasting too much water.</p> <p> Taxes on your favorite beverages and snack foods.</p> <p> Government restrictions <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/fda-issue-salt-guidelines-food-industry-article-1.1833796">on salt</a> and <a href="http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/2/20/dietary-guidelines-limit-added-sugar.html">sugar</a>.</p> <p> When is enough enough?&nbsp; Americans are facing an onslaught of new restrictions on the way they live, eat, shower, raise their kids, relax, and enjoy life and it&rsquo;s all because &ldquo;it&rsquo;s good for you.&rdquo;</p> <p> It&rsquo;s important to realize that this isn&rsquo;t some oversight or the result of overzealous bureaucrats at government agencies. This is by design. The Obama administration has employed nudge theory to their policy initiatives. Nudge theory holds that the government can nudge&mdash;really shove--people to do what&rsquo;s good for them by limiting people&rsquo;s choices.</p> <p> Don&rsquo;t want people to drink soda? Tax it and make it difficult for people to afford. Want people to feed their kids a certain way or want them to raise them a certain way? Threaten them with jail time or suggest their kids will be taken away if certain behaviors aren&rsquo;t followed. Want people to eat right and exercise? Tell them that if they don&rsquo;t comply, some government official is going to show up at their office and embarrass them.&nbsp;</p> <p> This is nudge theory and while it&rsquo;s wrapped up to look more socially acceptable, it&rsquo;s simply a form of re-education. Americans should be aware of these measures and take note that this administration is determined to make them behave, no matter the cost.&nbsp;</p> http://iwf.org/blog/2796570/Julie GunlockTue, 17 Mar 2015 06:03:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumChemical Reform is Coming<p> Americans want sensible regulations that balance our need for safety and innovation.&nbsp; We want to trust that the products we buy are safe and meet rational standards, but don&#39;t want companies to have to jump through unnecessary hoops&mdash;and even worse, 50 or more sets of hoops when regulations are coming from the state and local level&mdash;that just make products more expensive and no safer.&nbsp;</p> <p> The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) is the federal law that governs chemicals used in commerce in the United States. The original law was&nbsp;enacted by Congress 1976 and it has not been revised since.</p> <p> TSCA has done a good job at keeping people safe for almost 40 years (for more info on TSCA reform, read Senior Fellow Angela Logomasini&rsquo;s very thorough analysis <a href="http://cei.org/sites/default/files/Angela%20Logomasini%20-%20The%20Real%20Meaning%20of%20TSCA%20Modernization.pdf">here</a>).</p> <p> However, demands by environmentalists to update the bill have become deafening and state and local regulations have started to make manufacturing difficult. So, the demand for change isn&rsquo;t&rsquo; just coming from radical environmentalist, it&rsquo;s now coming from the chemical and manufacturing industries who are having trouble keeping up with the varied and often disparate regulations governing the use of chemicals in products.</p> <p> As such, Senators David Vitter (R-LA) and Tom Udall (D-NM) introduced&nbsp;the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Majority.PressReleases&amp;ContentRecord_id=359bb1cb-0088-68a6-d2c2-9c2faf3c9bd3"><em>Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st</em>&nbsp;<em>Century Act </em>(CS21)</a> (named for Senator Lautenberg because he introduced the original bill&nbsp;before his death in 2014).&nbsp;The bill has wide&nbsp;bipartisan support since it streamlines regulations, which is a relief to many businesses drowning in red tape, even as it increases some protections.&nbsp;</p> <p> However, the bill didn&rsquo;t satisfy some radical environmentalists or California Senator Barbara Boxer. So, Senator Boxer responded by introducing a competing bill, which contains far harsher restrictions on industry and, if enacted, will cost jobs and will cause the increase of prices on common, everyday products. It might also actually lead to products become less safe as&nbsp;the&nbsp;Boxer bill would make manufacturers replace some long-used chemicals that make products safer.</p> <p> If Congress is going to update TSCA, they should do so in the manner that will boost the likelihood for sensible regulations that won&#39;t needlessly hamstring innovation and raise prices for consumers.&nbsp; That means they should embrace the bipartisan approach, rather than follow Boxer&#39;s lead and bow to radical environmentalists.</p> http://iwf.org/blog/2796554/Julie GunlockMon, 16 Mar 2015 11:03:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumWorking For Women Podcast 2 • Chemophobia: Why does it exist? Who is promoting it? <p> IWF Culture of Alarmism director Julie Gunlock was joined by the Dr. Julie Goodman, an expert in toxicology, epidemiology, and assessing human health risks from chemicals in consumer products and the environment. Dr. Goodman specializes in analyzing and interpreting epidemiology and toxicity data, apparent disease clusters, and chemical exposures. She currently works for Gradient, an environmental and risk sciences consulting firm. On the podcast, Gunlock and Goodman discussed what constitutes a safe level of chemical exposure and why this issue is so often badly reported by the mainstream media. Goodman also explained the latest studies on BPA safety and why many of the replacements for BPA do not have the safety record of BPA. Lastly, Goodman explained why there&rsquo;s so much fear surrounding chemical use and how environmental groups often frighten women unnecessarily.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/SIp60_v5nco" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p>http://iwf.org/blog/2796544/Julie GunlockMon, 16 Mar 2015 07:03:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumGovernment food policy could be coming to a workplace near you • Fox & Friendshttp://iwf.org/media/2796528/Julie GunlockSat, 14 Mar 2015 09:03:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumBig Pizza Is Dangerous + Soft Drink Policies • Cam & Company http://iwf.org/media/2796511/Julie GunlockWed, 11 Mar 2015 13:03:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's Forum