If it’s true that developments in California are a harbinger of progress elsewhere in the nation, all of America is in big trouble. Apparently subscribing to the philosophy that more regulation invariably makes us safer, legislators are enacting more and more counter-productive, nanny-state “protections”. Not only are many of them asinine, but some also transgress federal law and even the U.S. Constitution.
San Francisco recently became the only jurisdiction in the country to ban the sale, distribution, or manufacture of toys or childcare products if they contain certain ubiquitous, useful, and safe chemicals. (It will probably be overturned because of preemption by state and federal regulations.)
In February, San Francisco became the first city in the country to require employers to give paid sick leave to their workers—full- and part-time, permanent and temporary. They will be able to miss work even when they aren’t sick, but wish to stay home, ostensibly, to help a domestic partner or a family member. Then there is legislation soon to be introduced into the State Assembly that would criminalize the spanking (or slapping or whacking) of children under four.
The coup de grace, however, is a California-Senate bill that would require the labeling of meat and milk obtained from cloned animals, if such products are approved for human consumption.
This last proposal is not only unwise and unwarranted, but is also almost surely unconstitutional. Introduced by Senator Carol Migden (D-San Francisco), it comes several weeks after the U.S. FDA made public a preliminary decision to permit the consumption of food from cloned animals.
The FDA’s decision was based on voluminous—and incontrovertible—scientific data. Scientists have known for years that the clones are indistinguishable genetically, biochemically, and nutritionally from the parent. As one farmer who owns a pair of clones of a prize-winning Holstein cow observed, they are essentially twins of “a cow that was already in production.”