Charles Seife in Scientific American tells the story of how, using the “close-hold embargo” and other techniques, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other government agencies shape what you read about them when major initiatives and findings are announced. I sum up highlights in my new Cato post. More: Megan McArdle.
- FDA to dental consumers: you can’t handle the tooth [New York Times via Alex Tabarrok]
- “How lawyers scare people out of taking their meds” [Lisa Rickard (U.S. Chamber), Washington Post]
- Lawsuits fail to bring improvements to nursing homes [ABA Journal]
- “Everything,” new Institute for Justice short film about costs of regulating bone marrow donation, has upcoming screenings in D.C. area, Breckinridge, Colo. and elsewhere;
- Aetna pulls out of most ObamaCare exchanges, and the acrimony flies [WSJ editorial] “Did the Medicaid expansion limit labor force participation?” [Tomas Wind via Tyler Cowen]
- Posting will be slower in coming weeks as I conduct my own in-person investigation of the state of America’s medical system. Thanks for bearing with me!
“When was the last time that America’s chair industry hiked the price of chairs 400% and suddenly nobody in the country could afford to sit down?” Funny, isn’t it, how these episodes keep happening in a sector of the economy where a new competitor, before being allowed to enter even a well-understood generic market, faces the prospect of unpredictable and expensive government denials and delays? [Scott Alexander]
More: Scott Gottlieb on how the new, more ardently regulatory FDA keeps generic drugs (and devices) off the market. Don’t blame the patent angle; EpiPen is off-patent [Timothy Holbrook, The Conversation]
- Has Obama administration endorsed anti-GMO campaign with new labeling law? Not really [Thomas Firey, Cato, earlier here, here, etc.]
- United Nations anti-tobacco meeting seeks to exclude persons overly involved with tobacco production, ban list turns out to include many officials of member governments [Huffington Post UK]
- Dumping Michigan tart cherries to comply with USDA marketing order? There must be a better way [Baylen Linnekin]
- “I am the man, the very fat man, who waters the workers’ beer.” [Science Daily, prompting Christopher Snowdon’s recollection of that line of song]
- Feds alone have spent $500 million chasing food-desert mirage, with “negligible” impact on health [Mac McCann, Dallas News, earlier]
- “FDA Assigns Zero Value To Smokers Who Die Because Of Its E-Cigarette Regulations” [Jacob Sullum, more on vaping]
- “Don’t Ground ‘Uber in the Sky'” [Ilya Shapiro and Randal John Meyer on Cato Institute brief in FAA v. FlyteNow]
- Trademark spats bog down the world of craft brewing and those over place names are among the worst [Timothy Geigner/TechDirt on Miami Brewing/M.I.A. Beer Co. conflict]
- After the Freddie Gray trials, redistricting, StingRay, cyberbullying, eminent domain and more in my new Maryland roundup at Free State Notes;
- “Attorney: DOJ’s pursuit of Post Office’s competitors shows hypocrisy of administration” [Jessica Karmasek/Legal NewsLine (fixed link), earlier on FedEx trial here, here, here]
- Trial lawyers seize on New Jersey law to file wave of cases challenging online agreements [The Economist]
- FDA’s war on vaping pleases big tobacco firms, makes little sense otherwise [Jonathan Adler, Jacob Sullum]
“If you’re wondering why our country seems so bizarrely fearful, here’s the answer: We absolutely cannot understand that risk is inherent in everything, even things that are outrageously safe, like eating cookie dough.” [Lenore Skenazy]
Vaping isn’t the only issue on which the Food and Drug Administration has stopped its ears to distress cries from the regulated community. It has now followed through with a stringent rather than lenient version of the menu labeling concept mandated by the ObamaCare law, one that will extend coverage to doubtful areas including some restaurant coupons and advertisements and ensure burdensome compliance issues for variety items such as toppings on pizza or ice cream. [CS News, Elizabeth Harrington/Free Beacon, earlier]
I’ve got a new piece at Ricochet on the Food and Drug Administration’s just-announced measures against vaping (e-cigarettes), which will drastically restrict and maybe even ban a popular option for smokers seeking to quit the cigarette habit. It’s not just an assault on individual choice and commercial freedom — it could wind up killing people. Read it here.
Relatedly, Andrew Stuttaford thinks I am too kind in describing CDC director Thomas Frieden as in denial about the prospective health benefits when smokers switch to vaping. And thank you to Andrew for describing Overlawyered as “must-read”.
P.S. Faced with two options on how to regulate premium cigars, FDA chose the harsher, of course [HalfWheel, Jacob Grier (“The market for cigars is about to become a lot less diverse and a lot more boring.”)]
More: I’ve got a piece up at Cato now on winners and losers from the FDA’s move. Plus, a new Jacob Sullum column: “The FDA’s deadly e-cigarette regulations.” And a Washington Post editorial defends the agency’s action on a for-the-children rationale, yet says not a word about the precipitous plunge in youth smoking rates and only refers in passing to the issue of harm reduction.
- New gun store in Arlington, Va., just outside D.C., sues neighbors as well as officials who tried to block its opening [Washington Post]
- Good: “Amendment Could Save the Vaping Industry From Prohibitive FDA Regulations” [Jacob Sullum]
- N.J.: “Bergen County Father Jailed For Non-Payment Of Support For Kids Who Live With Him” [Bergen Dispatch via Hans Bader]
- Outrage over state override of local regulatory options seems to depend a lot on whose ox is gored [Aaron Renn, Urbanophile]
- That way, they could challenge it in court? Claim that businesses would be better off if DOJ went ahead and issued regulations commanding their websites to have ADA “accessibility” [Legal NewsLine, earlier]
- “Washington Redskins Appeal To SCOTUS On Trademark And Seek To Tie Their Case To That Of The Slants” [Timothy Geigner, TechDirt, earlier]
- Even into the thick of the scandal revelations, Sen. Bernie Sanders “wanted to believe that the VA was a model for government-run health care” [Tim Mak, The Daily Beast]
- Issues include state licensing, location of service for legal purposes: “How Congress Can Remove Barriers to Affordable, Quality Telemedicine” [Michael Cannon, Cato]
- “Resistance to anesthesia in the 19th century” [R. Meyer and S.P. Desai via Tyler Cowen]
- “There’s no evidence the FDA blocks innovation or makes innovation harder or makes it more costly,” claims one Harvard professor. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) disagree and have introduced a FDA reciprocity bill to “make it easier for U.S. patients to access drugs and devices already approved in other developed countries” [Alex Tabarrok first, second, third (Daniel Klein and William Davis survey) posts]
- “Judge rules against Al Qaeda supporter who claimed medical malpractice against his jailers.” [Reuters]
- No, these aren’t “three parent” babies and Congress should not be talked into moral panic about them [Andrew Stuttaford]
- “Increase in nursing malpractice claims” [Nursing Services Organization and CNA Professional Liability via TortsProf]