Service of What You Don’t Know May Hurt You

February 23rd, 2012

Categories: Deception, Double Checking, Food, Hidden Agenda, Paying Attention, Small Print

We’ve had a stream of similar posts lately-a sign of the times.

My EZ Pass bill triggered today’s topic. I love the concept. When I don’t have to wait in much of a line to clear a bridge, road or tunnel toll I celebrate my EZ Pass gizmo. To sign up I had to give my credit card number and I guess I checked “autoreplinish.” Used to be they kept $25 in my account and as I used the service, they’d suck out more money to bring it up to that amount–which now is $30. Why not $50 or $100? What a great way to collect a bunch of interest. I wonder who decides how much they can set aside from each account. sent me this tidbit about a petition created by Eric Schlosser, who wrote “Fast Food Nation,” and Gary Hirshberg, chairman of Stonyfield Farm. It urges the FDA to require labeling of genetically engineered foods. What triggered this petition on The FDA is about to approve for human consumption the first genetically engineered animal–salmon–for sale in supermarkets.

According to Schlosser and Hirshberg, “The salmon is engineered to produce growth hormones year-round that cause the fish to grow at twice the normal rate.” Holy smokes! Salmon is considered a healthy brain food. Who wants to eat something that might cause something that shouldn’t grow, to grow at twice the normal rate in us? The men want the FDA to label this fish “genetically engineered.” They note that Russia and China do along with 38 other countries. Wonder why the FDA doesn’t do this automatically.

On the subject of food, I read Julie Gunlock’s article, “Lunch Nazis on the attack,” in The New York Post. She wrote about a state lunch inspector who tossed out the contents of a lunch bag a mom packed for her four year old because she judged that the meal violated the Agriculture Department’s nutrition guidelines. In the preschooler’s bag was a turkey sandwich, banana, chips and apple juice. What she was given instead, wrote Gunlock: chicken nuggets. They are fried and processed, no? Doesn’t a mom get to determine what her child eats? How come the state–this was in North Carolina–has the right to toss out perfectly good food? Shouldn’t the child have been given back the banana, chips and apple juice which belonged to her? And wouldn’t there be negative impact on a young child from the image of someone throwing out the food her mother made and gave her?

Snake oil salesmen have been around forever, but it seems that the government is not only turning a blind eye, but joining in. Can you share other instances that we should be aware of so we’re not hurt by what we don’t know?

9 Responses to “Service of What You Don’t Know May Hurt You”

  1. KF Said:

    We’re in FL and in our forwarded mail was a check for my sister. She deposited it in a dedicated Citibank ATM machine at a 7-11 store and received a receipt with an image of the check saying it had been deposited into her account.

    But what about the actual check? Does it remain lost forever in the bottom of the ATM machine? Does the “check fairy” come daily or weekly to collect the checks? Should we be worrying about this?

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I checked [a pun!] with my husband, a retired banker, who said that the person who feeds the ATM machine with money–a representative of Citibank if not an employee–probably picked up the checks and sent them where all deposited checks go.

  3. ASK Said:

    I am absolutely appalled by the behavior of the so-called state lunch inspector. This is what happens when we rely too much on government agencies for guidelines. Once empowered by federal or state governments, they answer to no one. In my opinion, that inspector ought to be prosecuted.

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Can you imagine being so insensitive? Talk about empowerment in the wrong hands. I shiver envisioning the incident.

  5. ASK Said:

    Not insensitive as much as self-important and/or dictatorial…loathsome bureaucrat.

  6. Lucrezia Said:

    It’s too bad mom didn’t march down to the school and scare the devil out of that so called nutritionist. She could then rest assured the idiot wouldn’t be seen less than a mile from the child again. The story might have had a much happier ending if the community had reacted swiftly against such an infringement of personal rights, not to speak of blatant waste of taxpayer money. Until people learn that violations of this nature must be squashed upon contact, they will not only persist, but become the order of the day.

  7. jmbyington Said:


    The “nutritionist” also wasted the child’s parents’ money–tossing a perfectly good piece of fruit, container of juice and chips. Here’s to the reporter who brought the story to a wide New York Post audience and to the publisher for running it or we wouldn’t have known! I knew to look up the story because it ran on a NYC radio station as well. Taxpayer money would be far better spent feeding people who can’t eat as good a meal as the nutritionist tossed.

  8. Simon Carr Said:

    I saw a quote a week or two ago in, I believe the New York Times Book Review — I don’t remember of whom — to the effect that modern human beings, with the brains and bodies of cave men, are now faced with having to cope with runaway technology far beyond their capacity to control. There is considerable truth to that.

    The machine that sucks money at will out of your credit card and food stuffed with growth hormones to make a faster buck for farmers are both part of this. If we try to control their use, we run the risk of being accused of wanting too much government control over our lives.

    As to the lunch Nazis, I am reminded of Mayor Bloomberg’s recent suggestion that we cut back the public service of alcoholic beverages in restaurants and bars to reduce the cost of maintaining emergency rooms in hospitals. His Honor is no doubt right, that emergency servicing of the needs of drunks costs a fortune, just as many lunches kids consume at school are not as nutritious as they should be, but go back to prohibition? You’re kidding!

  9. Jeanne Byington Said:


    The lunch Nazis story is an example of too much government. As for the control of drinking, I thought that a bartender is already liable if a customer gets into a car accident because he/she is drunk. In NYC, people can pour themselves into cabs so that’s not as much of an issue. Next, we won’t be able to buy cakes or ice cream because sugar and choleseterol are bad for us. So I vote for educating the public, not protecting them from “evils.”

    On the other hand, I appreciate labels that tell me where things are harvested or manufactured and if something is made in an unusual way, I want to know so I can make a choice to select food that won’t harm me. I am fearful of fake sugars for example. I like knowing something is “diet,” as I steer clear.

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