Looks like all we need to do now is call up the FDA to have a product banned. It is the precedent that is most disturbing to me. Twinkies next? Happy Meals? The complete control of our food supply by the DHS in case of, well you know what. The expansion of the FDA could be limitless. We tried Prohibition for right living and proved to be a disaster. Yet ten’s of thousands die each year from driving drunk, untold havoc in the lives of so many.. yet we are not going to try this again? What is the difference?
Our long national nightmare is over. Phusion Projects, the makers of Four Loko brand caffeinated malt beverages, announced yesterday that it will remove the caffeine from its products. Phusion’s decisions came just one day after Senator Chuck Schumer (D–NY) pushed the Food and Drug Administration to ban “these dangerous and toxic drinks.”
Unfortunately Schumer never explained what exactly makes these drinks “dangerous and toxic.” For now, Americans are still free to buy malt beverages. And for a limited time they are also still free to buy caffeinated drinks like coffee and Red Bull. So please, nobody tell Schumer how easy it is to buy alcohol and caffeine and mix them together. Because then Schumer might pressure the FDA to take away your morning coffee and table wine, too. Please don’t tell him about Rum and Coke… a mixed drink that is just riddled with danger.
And now Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D–NV) wants to grant the FDA even more unaccountable administrative authority. Specifically, he is pushing for passage of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act in the lame duck session that opened this week
So just how big an expansion of government does Dingell, Pelosi, and Reid want to inflict on the American people to combat a non-existent food safety crisis?
Well, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that the legislation would require 50,000 domestic and foreign inspections in 2015, compared to just 7,400 in 2009. That is a sevenfold increase in government inspections. And the government would be reaching into a lot of new places as well. The act requires that all food “facilities”—including those home-based businesses that make jam, bread, and cheese for local markets—would be required to undertake periodic hazard analyses and produce “risk-based preventive controls.”
And then there is the wasteful spending that accompanies every liberal expansion of government: grants to schools for allergy management ($107 million); food safety training, education, outreach, and technical assistance ($21 million); and food safety participation grants for states and tribes ($83 million). Heritage Research Fellow in Regulatory Policy Diane Katz writes: “The Reid bill clearly contradicts the message sent by voters just two weeks ago: Americans do not want and cannot afford yet more unnecessary regulation and expansion of government. This proposal constitutes a costly and ineffective answer to a manufactured crisis.”
More at Heritage