FDA Moving to Regulate The Deadly Menace of Caffeine

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


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One day the FDA will run out of things to regulate and when every blade of grass carries a warning label and every speck of dust carries a nutritional label, then perhaps it will wither of its own accord.

But that day has not yet come. For now, the FDA casts its regulatory eyes toward the menace of Starbucks and Coca Cola.

When Michael Taylor, deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, was asked last week, “Is it possible that FDA would set age restrictions for purchase?” he responded:

We have to be practical; enforcing age restrictions would be challenging. For me, the more fundamental questions are whether it is appropriate to use foods that may be inherently attractive and accessible to children as the vehicles to deliver the stimulant caffeine, and whether we should place limits on the amount of caffeine in certain products.

One of the great things about liberal fascism is how it wraps itself in words like “appropriate”, “common sense” and “limits”. It always uses “we” to mean government. And it never contemplates the possibility of telling parents something and letting them decide.

In true Obamaesque form, the FDA has put out a cheerful flyer warning that caffeine is everywhere. It’s in your jelly beans. It’s in your shoes. It might even be in the air you breathe.

The flyer includes a bizarre Q and A with its own boss, echoing Obama Inc’s strategy of fake interviews that make it seem like they have their own in-house press.

“An instant oatmeal on the market boasts that one serving has as much caffeine as a cup of coffee, and then there are similar products,” the flyer ominously informs us.

I haven’t seen this over-caffeinated oatmeal anywhere, but maybe it’s sneaking up on me right now.  And while you may have concerns about adding another layer of totalitarian bureaucracy to the government… don’t.

Q. Don’t new regulations take a lot of resources and time?

A. They do. But we believe that some in the food industry are on a dubious, potentially dangerous path. If necessary, and if the science indicates that it is warranted, we are prepared to go through the regulatory process to establish clear boundaries and conditions on caffeine use. We are also prepared to consider enforcement action against individual products as appropriate.

However, we hope this can be a turning point for all to prevent the irresponsible addition of caffeine to food and beverages. Together, we should be immediately looking at what voluntary restraint can be used by industry as FDA gets the right regulatory boundaries and conditions in place.

That’s right, if you’ve been irresponsibly adding coke to your rum, now is the time to stop. Don’t make the FDA come to your house, knock that glass out of your hand and take away your children. They don’t want to do it, but it might be the only common sense, sensible form of restraint to explore.

Hopefully once the FDA has finished battling the caffeinated oatmeal devil, it will spare some time to finish off the dihydrogen monoxide menace. Which in the new Obamerica in which idiots vote and file charges is a serious problem.

Florida country radio morning-show hosts Val St. John and Scott Fish are currently serving indefinite suspensions and possibly worse over a successful April Fools’ Day prank. They told their listeners that “dihydrogen monoxide” was coming out of the taps throughout the Fort Myers area. Dihydrogen monoxide is water.

The popular deejays are mainly in all this trouble (potentially of a felony level) because their listeners panicked so much — about the molecular makeup of their drinking water, however unwittingly — that Lee County utility officials had to issue a county-wide statement calming the fears of chemistry challenged Floridians

The WWGR station’s manager did have to issue a retraction — or at least a constant on-air admission that the gag was, in fact, a joke — even though St. John and Fish were technically correct that dihydrogen monoxide was, indeed, coming out of their taps.

“My understanding is it is a felony to call in a false water quality issue,” Diane Holm, a public information officer for Lee County, told WTSP.

Java Devil!

Java Devil!

  • BLJ

    I protect my Coca-Cola and Dunkins coffee with my guns.

  • Doc Kimble

    Dick Biondi was a deejay way back when at WLS in Chicago. He once pulled a fake phone call prank, telling parents that the school teacher had tested their son and "….discovered that he's a herosexual."

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

      I thought it was a 'homosapien'?

  • Spikey1

    Not to worry; caffeine regulation will not drive up the cost of the FDA due to the caffeine tax.

    sarc.

  • UCSPanther

    The FDA needs to switch to decaf…

  • Ozzy

    Yeah, … somehow moms being protected from inadvertently over caffeinating their kids just doesn't quite bother my as much as it does you, Daniel

    • Spikey1

      Ozzy, you and apparently, from your comments, a lot of moms in the USA need someone to hold their hand while they help their children put of pants in the morning.

    • DDay66

      If you are stupid enough to need the Government to help you NOT over caffeinate your children, you should voluntarily forfeit your children and let an adult raise them instead.

  • Edward Cline

    It's time the FDA also offer a bounty on Colonel Lipton, and Constant Comment, and all that other perilous tea out there. If there's anyone with half a brain running the FDA who has some imagination, he can concoct a campaign in which the FDA can tie caffeinated tea to a conspiracy of the Tea Party.

  • Doug Mayfield

    Great article.

    "One of the great things about liberal fascism is how it wraps itself in words like “appropriate”, “common sense” and “limits”."

    Having no interest in facts or reason, since both contradict their ideology, the Left has to rely on argument by intimidation, that is, intellectual blackmail. Words like those above allow them to indicate the proper path for your thoughts. Stray from the thinking of which the Left approves, and by implication, in their terms, you are being inappropriate, nonsensical, and out of bounds so they don't have to bother even considering, much less refuting, what you have to say.

  • bookburner

    Caffeine is just another lucrative commodity to be taxed by the Pillager in Chief. Guess I'll have to stop irresponsibly adding it to my vodka.

    P.S., Val St. John and Scott Fish ripped off the dihydrogen monoxide gag from Penn and Teller. See the "global warming episode of "Bull$hit."

  • Asher

    Alot of Nanny Bloombergs out there who need to be taught a lesson to follow their own rules. The Mayor wanted more Pizza at a local restaurant and told he was allowed only 1 piece and the owner stuck to the rules.

  • Cat K

    I recall interviewing for a graduate program (very leftwing faculty &students, of course) where there were soft drinks offered. They all proudly displayed their de-caffeinated beverage and said so. Ah, caffeine, the biggest threat to humanity. I think that's what motivated the Boston terror bombers- too much caffeine.
    While we fiddle with caffeine, the country "burns"

  • figment

    “An instant oatmeal on the market boasts that one serving has as much caffeine as a cup of coffee, and then there are similar products,” the flyer ominously informs us.

    I've obviously been eating the wrong brand of oatmeal —

  • DDay66

    Well as a recovering alcoholic who has not had an alcoholic beverage in 8 years, I substituted alcohol with coffee, as most alcoholics often do. And as one of the last surviving smokers, my cigarette taxes are extremely high. If caffeine goes the same way I guess I will have no other option than to quit coffee and cigarettes, and go back to booze, pot, and cocaine. Then as an addict I will qualify as disabled and I can go out on the dole where they will subsidize my bad habits.

  • David

    What amazes me is that bureaucracy was one of our complaints against Britain listed in the Declaration of Independence. Oh, what a difference a couple of hundred years make!

  • Jerry G

    With all this talk about caffeine I still don't know what's wrong with it?