Politics

Cheerios' Reign of Terror Must Be Stopped, Says FDA

| by Reason Foundation

The Wash Post reports on burgeoning efforts by the Obama
administration to butt into even more aspects of everyday life
and treat us all as if we have the brainpower of Joe Biden. "A
handful of Obama appointees," writes the Post, "are
awakening a vast regulatory apparatus with authority over nearly
every U.S. workplace, 15,000 consumer products, and most items
found in kitchen pantries and medicine cabinets."

Near the top of the list? The dread menace of Cheerios, the
burp-inducing breakfast cereal that lies (lies!) about its
crunchety goodness and heart-helping properties. Or at least
needs to run clinical studies on more unwilling children:


FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg and deputy Joshua M.
Sharfstein -- both with backgrounds running public health
agencies -- notified General Mills that it was violating the
law with its two-year-old marketing campaign that said Cheerios
can lower cholesterol by 4 percent. The FDA said the company
was essentially making a drug claim, which would require
clinical studies and agency approval before a product is put on
the market. The food giant has removed that claim from its Web
site and a spokeswoman said it is in discussions with the FDA.


While the FDA began looking into Cheerios before Obama's
election, several lawyers who represent food and drugmakers
said they think the agency under Bush would never have taken
action against General Mills.

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And God bless pistachio nuts? No, god damn pistachio
nuts!

In June, Sharfstein defied pistachio producers and told the
nation to stop eating the nuts out of concern over potential
salmonella contamination, even though no illnesses had been
reported and just one company was involved.

Note that the proposed regulatory buttinskyism extends far beyond
foodstuffs into all manner of basic banking practices, workplace
rules, you name it. The potential savior of nanny-stateism run
amok? Cass Sunstein, the head of the Office of the Office of
Information and Regulatory Policy and the so-called Regulatory
Czar, who was somewhat controversial as an appointee:


The regulators still face significant hurdles if they want to
dramatically expand government's reach. Most proposed
regulations have to be vetted by a central White House office
headed by another new appointee, Cass R. Sunstein, whose
embrace of cost-benefit analyses may mean he will discourage
expensive new rules. Some efforts to expand regulation are sure
to face legal challenges from industry. And the private sector
is likely to assert that new regulations would be an additional
burden in a weak economy.

Light a candle for Czar Sunstein.
Read the whole article
which is frustrating and depressing,
and as predictable as
those bad cartoons
about Obama's Nobel Prize win. Hope and
Change = Treating Us Even More Like Children.

Watch a
libertarian defense
of Sunstein by George Mason
University's Frank Buckley.


More Reason on Sunstein, including attacks on his
concept of "libertarian paternalism," here
.