Posts Tagged ‘eat drink and be merry’

Eleventh Circuit: First Amendment protects right to label skim milk as “skim milk”

Florida law allows the sale of skim milk without vitamin A and D fortification but requires that it be sold under the name “imitation milk product.” Ochiltree Creamery, a business that views the addition of other than natural ingredients as contrary to its mission, was willing to put warnings on its all-natural skim milk alerting buyers to the absence of vitamin fortification, but resisted the law’s demand that it label the product something other than “skim milk.” The Eleventh Circuit ruled that the state had not met its burden under the First Amendment. [Eugene Volokh, Baylen Linnekin, Frank Garrison]

Food roundup

  • In farmer’s market raid, USDA shows exactly how much regard it has for new Food Freedom Acts in Wyoming, elsewhere [Baylen Linnekin, Reason] More on Baylen Linnekin’s new book [Nick Gillespie, and earlier]
  • “Should You Take the Government’s Dietary Advice?” [Terence Kealey in new “Ask a Cato Expert” series, earlier here, here, etc.]
  • USDA orders school districts to forbid marketing of so-called competitive foods, which might raise a First Amendment question or two [Washington Legal Foundation]
  • Watch those median spurs: “Texas Rangers Oppose Bacardi’s Logo For Green Tea Spirit Because Of The ‘T'” [Timothy Geigner, TechDirt]
  • Surely a clever parody, no? Pick-your-own apple orchards said to shed “light on some unflattering truths about the American economy.” [Slate]
  • How progressivism and the New Deal helped promote insipid Home Economics cookery [Joseph Bottum]

“No, You Can’t Sue Starbucks For Putting Too Much Ice In Your Drink, Judge Rules”

“In an epic takedown of a ruling issued Friday, a federal judge tossed a fraud lawsuit against Starbucks, dismissing claims that the coffee chain was defrauding customers by using a misleading amount of ice in their cold (i.e. iced) beverages.” [Julia Wick, LAist, earlier] More: ABA Journal (similar actions had been filed in L.A., Chicago, Starbucks moving to dismiss Chicago suitas well).

Food and nanny state roundup

  • 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]

NYC mulls tax dollars for farmland preservation

Even as absurd NYC policy ideas go, this one’s a doozy [Seth Barron, City Journal]:

To encourage a “sustainable, resilient food system,” New York’s city council has proposed a $5 million municipal farm-subsidy program, under which the city would buy development easements in the Hudson Valley. In this way, the council plans to help feed “3 million New Yorkers liv[ing] in neighborhoods without adequate supermarkets.” It’s alarming to consider that New York could suffer food shortages so acute that the city government must establish its own agricultural supply chain.

EDITED, see comments: Correspondent Carl Edman shares an anecdote on Twitter of a Soviet dignitary visiting London who asked about the bureau in charge of food supply to the city “and was shocked when told that there was no such thing and nobody in charge. At least that won’t happen in future NYC!”

Class action: too much ice in Starbucks iced drinks

“A consumer class claims Starbucks’ cold drinks are almost half ice and the coffee chain misrepresents the fluid ounces of its popular, and profitable, iced coffee and tea beverages….Further, Starbucks charges more for cold drinks than for comparable hot drinks, despite giving cold-drink customers less of the product than hot-drink customers; in this way, Starbucks makes higher profits off its cold beverages, Pincus claims.” [Jack Bouboushian, Courthouse News Service] “The customer is seeking $5 million in damages. ‘Our customers understand and expect that ice is an essential component of any “iced” beverage,’ Starbucks said in a response. It added that the company will happily remake any beverage until the customer is satisfied.” [Lindsay Putnam, New York Post] Another class action a few weeks ago claimed that the coffee chain does not fill hot drinks up close enough to the top of the cup.

More: “Dear plaintiffs: put your too-hot McDonalds coffee in your too-icy Starbucks coffee. Problem solved.” [David Burge]

How one samurai judge handled positive externalities

In old Japan, it is said, the courts of Edo (now Tokyo) were presented with the complaint of a shopkeeper whose upstairs neighbor had enjoyed the delicious smell of his cooking without, as the plaintiff said would be fair, paying a price for it. To find out how the samurai judge cleverly resolved the complaint, read on…. [Dan Lewis, Now I Know]

Food and drink roundup

  • Arizona considers relaxing its law banning potluck meals outside workplace [KPHO]
  • Class action says there is starch in McDonald’s mozzarella sticks and wants money for that [Eater]
  • Small North Carolina brewer pulls out of one market rather than trigger state law forcing it to deal through licensed distributors [Charlotte Business Journal]
  • Speaking of consumer-unfriendly laws that benefit in-state alcohol distributors with political clout, South Carolina considers adding an “at-rest” law to its three-tier regulatory system [Columbia, S.C. Free Times]
  • “These decisions are being made by people who are four to five generations removed from food production.” [Oregon rancher Keith Nantz, Washington Post, on federal land policy]
  • Freakout memes aside, shed no tears for country-of-origin-labeling on meat [K. William Watson/Cato, Jayson Lusk] “Reign of Terroir: How to Resist Europe’s Efforts to Control Common Food Names as Geographical Indications” [K. William Watson/Cato]
  • “Drunk with power — how Prohibition led to big government” [Julia Vitullo-Martin, New York Post reviewing Lisa McGirr, The War On Alcohol: Prohibition and the Rise of the American State]