Food Allergies

Peanuts on Airplanes Protected by Law!

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By Peter Suderman

Via CNN, your nutty federal policy of the day:

Packets of peanuts are in no danger of disappearing completely from airplanes. In a nutshell, there's a law protecting them.

Last year, the Department of Transportation asked the public about a possible peanut ban on planes and other measures it said it was considering to address severe allergies among fliers.

...But when the new rules concerning issues from airline fees and bumping to tarmac delays were announced Wednesday, the department said it won't take on the peanut issue because of a 12-year-old law blocking the agency from tampering with peanut policy without more scientific study.

"The Department is prohibited by law from restricting the serving of peanuts aboard aircraft unless a peer-reviewed study determines that serving of peanuts causes severe reactions among airline passengers. There has been no such peer-reviewed study, so we declined to take action at this time," it said in a statement.

I don’t know which is more absurd: that there’s a law already on the books protecting airplane peanuts from being banned without peer reviewed evidence, or that the Department of Transportation was seriously considering a ban on airplane peanuts. 

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