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“Mindin’ Other People’s Business Seems to be High-Tone….”

Dr. Susan Levin
Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

Dear Dr. Levin:

In your November 14th letter in the Wall Street Journal you assert that “In addition to causing heart disease, trans and saturated fats can more than triple the risk for Alzheimer’s.  By banning trans fats, the FDA is taking a step in the right direction toward establishing healthful eating patterns.”

Who are you to judge for each of hundreds of millions of other people what levels of risks are “right” for them to assume in their diets?  How could you, a total stranger to me, possibly know that the satisfaction that I get from consuming trans fats does not compensate me for whatever additional health risks such consumption entails for me?  Because people differ in their risk tolerances and in their dietary preferences, there are as many ‘right’ trans-fat-consumption levels as there are people.  This fact means that it is the province only of personal choice – and most assuredly not of Science or of bossy FDA bureaucrats or of presumptuous and meddlesome busybodies such as yourself – to determine how much or how little trans fats are “right” for each person to consume.

So bugger off and mind your own damn business.

Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair for the Study of Free Market Capitalism at the Mercatus Center
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA  22030


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