When you come right down to it, State Senator Ralph Shortey of Oklahoma is articulating the core value of politicians everywhere: this is America, dammit, and a complete lack of evidence or logic should be no barrier to passing legislation banning or regulating something.
In Senator Shortey's case, the thing in question is the grim prospect of corporations serving us human fetuses to eat as food, or in novelty items like ring-pops. Concluding that this is a real threat that Americans face, Shortey has introduced Oklahoma Senate Bill 1418:
No person or entity shall manufacture or knowingly sell food or any other product intended for human consumption which contains aborted human fetuses in the ingredients or which used aborted human fetuses in the research or development of any of the ingredients.
SECTION 2. This act shall become effective November 1, 2012.
Shortey delayed the bill's effective date until November because, though serving fetuses to unsuspecting consumers is a real and palpable threat, banning it isn't something you want to just rush into.
What caused Shortey to conclude that there was a need for a don't-serve-us-fetuses-you-big-bad-corporations law? He read it someplace. I'll give you one guess as to where.
Freshman Sen. Ralph Shortey said his own Internet research led him to believe such a ban is necessary and prompted him to offer the bill aimed at raising "public awareness" and giving an "ultimatum to companies" that might consider such a policy.
Shortey said he discovered suggestions online that some companies use embryonic stem cells to develop artificial flavors, but added that he is unaware of any Oklahoma companies doing such research.
America needs leaders like Shortey — leaders willing to scour the internet for any hints of threats from fetus-peddling corporations or possibly Lizard People. Who else is going to protect us? Our so-called regulators?
In an e-mail to The Associated Press, U.S. Food and Drug Administration spokeswoman Pat El-Hinnawy said: "FDA is not aware of this particular concern."
Of course the FDA is not aware of this concern. The FDA hasn't read nearly enough Geocities pages.
Some might see Senator Shortey's actions as bizarre, unbalanced, or indicative of poorly chosen priorities. I prefer to see them as noble. Why? Well, if Ralph Shortey is legislating against things that don't exist, he's not micromanaging real-world industries or regulating to help rent-seeking donors or passing stupid anti-bullying laws or otherwise interfering with the affairs of real humans that others can see and hear. Let's encourage more state legislators to be like Ralph Shortey. Let's tell them to spend more of their time legislating against the horrors of jenkem and bonsai kittens and the like. It keeps them busy.
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