On a recent radio show Rush Limbaugh made the claim that the Left is out to ban Chinese food. He tried to blame Left wing whackos for telling you what to eat. Limbaugh said, “They wanted to ban Chinese food. These people want to get in your life and tell you what to eat.” The only problem is that this isn’t true.
Here is the audio via Media Matters:
Limbaugh said, “You know, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, this wacko bunch of leftist kooks, statists, nannies — these are the people who banned coconut oil from your popcorn in movie theaters, have gotten rid of MSG, the flavoring in Chinese food. They wanted to ban Chinese food. These people want to get in your life and tell you what to eat. If you look at these people, you’d say, well, they’re barely alive. They’re skeletal; they’re miserable; they are unhappy; and they want to spread that misery to everybody else by having you eat basically nothing but tofu and cardboard, run around and eat miniature rocks and berries as you traverse the deserts of the world.”
He continued, “And their latest target was McDonald’s Happy Meal. They wanted to sue McDonald’s to remove the toys from the Happy Meal package because the toys were incentive to kids to go out — and their parents — to go out and buy Happy Meals, which the Center for Science in the Public Interest determined was unhealthy and unwise and in fact it’s none of their business. You know, this group ought not get any attention. They’ve got a logo and a fax machine. Because they’re a bunch of liberals, the media gives them instant credibility. They’re just a bunch of kooks! They’re no different than your crazy aunt in the basement who gives herself a logo and a fax machine and sends it out to the media and says she’s against whatever. That’s essentially who they are.”
The problem for Limbaugh is that he used a 2007 CSPI report that did not call for the banning of Chinese food, but it was a warning that food from your Chinese restaurant can be loaded with fat, sodium and calories. The report found that, “Popular Chinese restaurant meals can contain an entire day’s worth of sodium and some contain two days’ worth…The good news is that Chinese food is often rich in vegetables and the fat comes mostly from heart-safe, trans-fat-free vegetable oils.”
Here is the CSPI video:
Limbaugh managed to distort a three year old report in order to defend McDonalds’ practice of including toys to get kids to want to eat Happy Meals. Notice how Limbaugh manipulates his audience by not only making the CSPI look like extremists, but also he gives them the power to ban food. The CSPI does not have the power to ban food, but this does not stop Rush from using the group as a boogeyman to whip up fear.
There is no basis in fact for Limbaugh’s rant, but his purpose is never to inform. Limbaugh is out to spread anger and fear, and sadly his uninformed listeners gobble up his falsehoods by the bunch. Only to an extremist could a nutritional warning be interpreted as an attempt to control what we eat. By the way as you listen to Rush defend Happy Meals and MSG, you may want to keep in mind that this is the same man who was hospitalized while on vacation over the holidays for chest pains. Maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to not warn people like Limbaugh about what is in the food that they so vigorously defend.