Food and Drug Administration

Massie Drops Two Bills in Defense of Raw Milk Distribution

raw milk

Farmers across America continue to be harassed and fined for distributing unprocessed milk. This has been a problem to hard-working American families even before former congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) introduced his Unpasteurized Raw Milk Bill, HR 1830, in 2011.

Now, Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) has announced he is dropping two separate bills addressing the same issues with the goal of restoring the farmers’ right to distribute milk, and the consumer’s right to choose what he or she wants to put in their own bodies.

Dairy farmers across the country find themselves in trouble with the law over the Food and Drug Administration’s strict guidelines, which end up pushing the raw milk business to the sidelines, turning it into a black market and thus increasing the risks associated with the poor processing quality. When laws are too strict, farmers can no longer make use of the protection of an open market where they compete freely. Consumers are the ones who lose.

While many doctors continue to defend the reasons why people may prefer to drink raw milk, many others will say that raw milk is in fact hazardous and must be kept from consumers, for their own good.

While the open debate is always important, banning a consumer item solely on the premises that it may eventually cause somebody harm is just not compatible with living in a free society, where individuals are aware they might have to face certain risks every now and then but are also entirely free to opt out.

FDA Wants To Roll the Cigar Industry

Jeff Edgens is a member of the Executive Committee for the Libertarian Party of Georgia and a member of the Cigar Rights of America.  He lives in Statesboro, Georgia.

Cigars have a family tree that can be traced back like that of a pencil. I,Pencil - the classic article written by Leonard Reed describes how a pencil is made.  In his essay, Reed chronicles the business transactions seen and unseen in the manfuacture of a pencil. He distinguishes between the invisible hand of the marketplace that brings willing buyers and sellers together from that of the planned economy foisted on to the marketplace by a regulatory agency.

I, Pencil reminds us that no single person has the knowledge to make a pencil and the same holds true for making a cigar.  Both are made by a myriad of individual business transactions that cooperate and bring to bear their respective talents toward a final product.

In this case, besides rolling the cigar there are all of the steps that come before the final product reaches the hands of the customer.  There are those who provide the raw materials to build the tools used to harvest the tobacco.  There are those who harvest the leaf, those who ship it, those who buy the leaf, those who roll it, those who market it, and those who sale the final product.  Other steps are unseen and those are the ones that take place long before a cigar ever reaches the marketplace. There are entirely too many transactions for one person or an agency of people to know how to direct or control.

Snakebites: A Failure of the Free Market?

Sometimes, the free market does not adequately provide for a need. Today, while reading popular mechanics, I worried that I had stumbled upon such a situation.

The cure for North American coral snake bite is about to disappear. Why an unprofitable anti-venom may end up costing lives.

The North American Coral Snake is deadly, but bites requiring antivenom were so few and far between that the companies who produce it are shutting down because they aren’t making enough money.

As venomous snakes go, the coral snake is a clumsy biter. Unlike pit vipers such as rattlesnakes and cottonmouths, which have gruesomely efficient fangs …the brightly colored coral snake has small, rear-facing fangs that guide venom into a wound. This process doesn’t always work well—experts estimate that 25 percent of coral snake envenomations are dry bites—which is perhaps why the coral is so unaggressive. The snake is found throughout Florida, as well as in parts of Alabama, South Carolina, Louisiana, Texas and Arizona, but there are generally only about 100 or so bites each year.

There is now a worry that antivenom will not be produced in high enough quantities to be available when it is needed. Shockingly, according to this article, antivenom shortages aren’t uncommon!

But Why?

Big Government at it again: FDA proposes two sweeping “calorie count” labeling rules

Calorie Count Requirements

Two proposed rules from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this morning could radically increase the number of locations that are required to post calorie counts next to food items. Language that was snuck into Obamacare by Democrat Senator Tom Harkin (IA) and Representative Rosa DeLauro (CT) mandates expanded labeling that could reach as far and wide as vending machines, grocery stores, and even more restaurants.

POLITICO reports:

Restaurant chains will soon have to post calories for every dish of chicken Alfredo, every cheeseburger combo, every margarita and most every other item on the menu thanks to new rules from the FDA expected Tuesday.

The two long-delayed and far-reaching regulations will cover foods served at chain restaurants, grocery stores, vending machines and even movie theaters.

But this piece of President Barack Obama’s legacy on food policy won’t take effect without a fight.

Big chain restaurants are on board: They pushed for a national standard to override a patchwork of state and local menu labeling rules. McDonald’s adopted its own nationwide labeling in 2012. But grocery store and convenience store chains, the likes of Whole Foods, Sheetz and 7-Eleven, are expected to put up a fight about slapping calories next to their kale salad, nachos and Big Gulps. Movie theaters and the alcohol industry are also expected to fiercely protest being included in the mandate.

New FDA tactics to scare people away from smoking

The same federal government that decided to not share gruesome photographs of a terrorist leader are now considering putting gruesome photographs on a legal product to make you not want to buy it.  After killing Osama bin Laden, the White House made the determination to not share the photographs with the American people.  A lot of people agree with the decision, many citing to me that they would feel more than a little squeamish at the though of seeing a terrorist leader with a hole in his head.  However, now Uncle Same is thinking about using that effect to modify behavior it wants people to stop engaging in.

From CBS News:

Can the federal government scare cigarette smokers into stopping with a new campaign of horrific images to be placed on cigarette packages?They’re certainly going to try.

Images of corpses, cancer patients, and diseased lungs are just some of whats in store in graphic new warning labels.

The images are part of a new visual campaign announced by the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday to reduce tobacco use, the Associated Press reports, which is responsible for about 443,000 deaths per year.

Yeah.

Look, I’m not a fan of smoking.  I think it’s a horrible habit that I wish no one would engage in.  It is, however, quite legal.  There’s no reason on this planet for government to constantly get involved in trying to modify legal behavior.  None.  I’ve heard all the excuses, and they’re all bogus.

FDA denies burn treatment to child

An eight year old boy from Gwinnett County, Georgia has been denied a procedure by the Food and Drug Administration that could help him recover from burns over 80% of his body:

Family members of a Gwinnett County boy with third-degree burns covering 80 percent of his body are angry because they say he’s been denied a medical procedure by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Alfred Real, 8, a rising third-grader at Arcado Elementary, is being treated at Shriners Hospital for Children in Cincinnati after suffering extensive burns in a June 7 fire in a wooded area not far from his Roe Hampton Lane home, near Stone Mountain.

After the accident, Alfred was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital, where his family was told his burns were so severe he required medical treatment elsewhere.

The Real family traveled to Cincinnati, where they were told a “cultured skin” procedure used to treat burns like Alfred’s was denied by the FDA. The procedure involves taking unburned skin from a person’s body and growing more of it in a lab. The procedure can replace burned skin more quickly and reduces the chance of infection, according to burnsurvivor.com, a Web site for burn victims.
[…]
The procedure is performed as part of a 20-year clinical trial conducted at Shriners Hospital by the University of Cincinnati.

The FDA recently has deemed cultured skin inappropriate for burn victims, according to Zac Real, Alfred’s father, who said he received a letter from the FDA on Saturday.
[…]
According to the letter, the family was denied due to concerns that the device used in the procedure may produce inaccurate data.

FDA, regulation continues to cause drug prices to increase

John Goodman explains how the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) causes the costs of drugs to sky-rocket:

Gout sufferers can thank the FDA for the 10,000% increase in the price of an old treatment.  An old drug used to treat gout (colchicines) used to cost mere pennies per tablet but now a newly approved version is $5 per pill.

As part of a push to expand its control over the sale of non-approved drugs, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently gave the maker of an old gout drug (colchicines) exclusive rights to market it for three years. The period of exclusivity was in return for commissioning several studies showing this drug (that has been used for decades) was in fact, safe and effective.

Many drugs already in existence when the FDA gained control over approval for prescription drugs were allowed to continue to be sold.  Probably the best example of this is the common aspirin. The FDA has recently begun trying to rein in some of the old drugs that predate the FDA approval process. Last month several makers of nitroglycerin tablets for chest pain were essentially told their products were not approved by the FDA and could not be sold.

Nanny State Update: FDA Set To Regulate Salt Content In Food

The Food and Drug Administration is getting ready to regulate the amount of salt in the food you eat:

The Food and Drug Administration is planning an unprecedented effort to gradually reduce the salt consumed each day by Americans, saying that less sodium in everything from soup to nuts would prevent thousands of deaths from hypertension and heart disease. The initiative, to be launched this year, would eventually lead to the first legal limits on the amount of salt allowed in food products.

The government intends to work with the food industry and health experts to reduce sodium gradually over a period of years to adjust the American palate to a less salty diet, according to FDA sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the initiative had not been formally announced.

Officials have not determined the salt limits. In a complicated undertaking, the FDA would analyze the salt in spaghetti sauces, breads and thousands of other products that make up the $600 billion food and beverage market, sources said. Working with food manufacturers, the government would set limits for salt in these categories, designed to gradually ratchet down sodium consumption. The changes would be calibrated so that consumers barely notice the modification.

The legal limits would be open to public comment, but administration officials do not think they need additional authority from Congress.

The food industry has been working, voluntarily, on reducing salt content in processed foods, but apparently that’s not good enough for the Food Police:


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