I’m no expert on fish but I know that overfishing is threatening the Atlantic Cod population. I know that that puts New England fishermen in a tough position. People need their fish sticks, but the industry doesn’t want to cause a cod extinction because that would destroy their livelihood. Enter Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts. He’s concerned that Whole Foods is not going to sell endangered fish.

US Senator Scott Brown regularly mocks Cambridge, Harvard, and other perceived beacons of liberal elitism. Now, he’s taking on an arguably bigger bastion: Whole Foods.

Brown’s office mailed a letter to the righteous food chain today, criticizing it for its new policy selling only sustainable fish.

“I’m concerned that your decision has more to do with political correctness than with sound reasoning,” wrote Brown. “Aside from being based on uncertain science, this decision will hurt Massachusetts fishermen and their families at a time when they are already struggling to survive under onerous government regulations.”

When Republicans don’t like a science-based policy, they always say that the science is “uncertain.” And this is not a matter of Scott Brown mocking some liberal.

Let’s get in the Wayback Machine and go back to 2009.

Walking amongst aisles of organic produce, biodegradable detergents and sustainable seafood, liberal-minded shoppers at America’s largest natural foods merchant might assume the company’s founder shares their ideals.

But fans of Whole Foods Market, a US counterpart to Waitrose, were stunned last week when the chain’s founder and chief executive officer John Mackey came out firmly against Barack Obama and the Democrats’ plan for universal healthcare, in an article on the staunchly conservative comment page of the Wall Street Journal.

Mackey’s opposition to a “massive new healthcare entitlement” provoked outrage among granola crunchers who may never have noticed that he is a capitalist who built a company worth $3.9bn (£2.3bn) on the Nasdaq stock exchange.

Many of the company’s once-loyal shoppers have pledged to find alternate sources for free-range chicken, buffalo cheese and rutabaga, and some have called for Mackey’s head.

This is a Republican senator talking to a Republican businessman. The senator is telling the businessman to buy endangered fish. He’s doing it because the fishermen want him to do it. But a more responsible way to go is to figure out how to help the fisherman manage the population and diversify their catch somehow so they can survive in hard times. We could even pay some of these guys not to fish if that would keep them afloat while the cod population recovers. We pay people not to farm, and with far less reason.

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