WARNING: Life Could Lead To Death!
I wish I knew more about civil lawsuits. If I did I might be able to understand just exactly how the restaurant chain Denny's could possibly be held responsible and even punished for disclosing that there is lots of salt in their food. This is exactly what they are facing.
I understand, kind of how MacDonald's could be be sued for giving scalding coffee to drivers who, if they spilled it, could seriously hurt themselves. We are talking about an immediate threat to the coffee drinker. But is there really an immediate threat to someone who eats a Grand Slam Breakfast due to the salt in that delicious plate of goodness?
The suit claims that folks with high blood pressure could retain too much water if they eat food with excessive amounts of salt, leading to water building up in the lungs. The lawsuit calls on Denny's to list the salt in each item on its menu AND put health warnings on its menu.
You know what bothers me? You could use this argument to make the case that water should be labeled as dangerous since if your drink it in excessive amounts, too much water will build up in your body and you might drown.
What bothers me more is that the claim could be made that if a person drinks too much wine they could die of alcohol poisoning.
Wouldn't it be appropriate to for the following words to be placed at the end of these kinds of warnings: "NO SHIT!!"
I'm generally the last person you'll see making "slippery slope" arguments. I think they are conjecture filled and often illogical formulations that are best categorized as rhetoric and hyperbole and tend not to even be in the vicinity of logical or well-thought out. That said, is there any reason to believe that a combination of motivated and well financed food police, an apathetic populace, lawsuit hungry lawyers and timid politicians will eventually lead us to a serious discussion of criminal penalties for food and drink purveyors who offer items that might hurt our health?
Will we eventually want to put a government-mandated warning on our foreheads that reads: "WARNING: Life Could Lead To Death!".
I, like everyone else, has become accustomed to the warning labels on wine. Have they saved lives? I don't know. Have they lessened risks associated with alcohol consumption. Probably. But isn't there a line? Isn't there place where concern for health becomes a burden on our intellect, not to mention a burden on commerce, that outweighs any benefit that comes from mandating the warnings on how we choose to live our life?