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16 September 2011

How regulated do we want to be?

New health laws may be in the offing. But just how far do we want our private lives to be regulated?

Health Minister Aaron Mot­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­soaledi hit the headlines this week with criticism of junk food advertising: “Minister targets junk food”.

He is also keen to ban all alcohol advertising.

Despite a feeling in some quarters that he might be tilting at the wrong windmills instead of concentrating on the crisis in hospitals, I admire the energy with which the Minister approaches his task. He’s not afraid to roll up his sleeves and get busy. It’s a refreshing change from some ministers who seem to do nothing but run up bills in fancy hotels.

I won’t be surprised if stringent new junk food advertising limits are introduced. Making laws is what politicians do best. But it raises a red flag for me: how far do we want our lives and the world around us to be controlled by a myriad of laws and caveats?

I must confess, as a non-smoker I enjoy what the anti-smoking laws have done. I am old enough to remember when some movie houses allowed smoking, and even teachers would stand at the front of the class with a Camel plain hanging off their lips. It was smelly, unpleasant and unhealthy to be subjected to second-hand smoke.

Where does it end?

 
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