The war on fat kids gets more absurd all the time.
Last week Tony Gehrig, who ran for the Fargo City Commission in June but lost, submitted a guest column to SAB about city leaders instituting a new ordinance on juice in daycares.
“Juice shall only be provided to children 12 months and older, and shall not be provided in a bottle,” the new ordinance states. “Only 100 percent juice shall be permitted and children shall receive no more than six ounces per day.”
The ordinance says “Beverages with added sweeteners, whether artificial or natural, shall not be provided to children.”
The five-member commission passed the ordinance on the consent agenda with no debate or comment from the commissioners.
Dave Piepkorn, a conservative who was elected to the commission in June but wasn’t seated in time to vote on this issue, says the ordinance goes to far and that it was probably rushed to pass before he could get on the commission and raise a stink about it:
“If I would have been there I would have made a lot more of it, and I definitely wouldn’t have voted for it,” he said. “Obviously obesity is a concern, but I think the government involvement is too much. Especially with day cares, I think that’s the parent’s responsibility.”
Piepkorn was elected to the commission in June but had not been seated yet when the ordinance was voted on. He thinks the ordinance was rushed through so he wouldn’t get a vote.
“I think there was a lot of that stuff they were trying to shovel through before I got there.”
Commissioner Mike Williams, who did vote for the ordinance, defends it by saying that the city has the authority to regulate licensed businesses:
Commissioner Mike Williams, who was part of the unanimous vote for the ordinance, says it’s about healthier kids.
“It’s similar to school lunch where they used to take ketchup as a vegetable,” he said. “Our health officers have been working with our day cares to create a healthier environment. It’s about good nutritious food in day cares.”
Asked how he responds to suggestions it may be overreaching, Williams says the city has the authority.
“It’s like any other licensed facility, whether it’s a store or bar or restaurant,” he says. “It’s like lunches in schools. We have similar oversight over any facility. I don’t see it as overreach.”
Well, restaurants have to get a health inspection and a license to operate from the city. Are the commissioners going to dictate menu items next?
And it’s worth noting that this isn’t the first time the Fargo City Commission has taken to micromanaging daycares:
“Toddlers and preschool-age children shall not be sedentary or sit passively for more than 60 minutes continuously, except when sleeping.”
I’m all for healthy, active kids, isn’t that up to the parents?
Who is raising our kids? The politicians, or the parents?