Food Allergies

Peanuts on Airplanes Protected by Law!

| by Reason Foundation

By Peter Suderman

Via CNN, your nutty federal policy of the day:

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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.

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...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.