Posts Tagged ‘eat drink and be merry’

Food roundup

  • Why manufacturers often push for the government to define food terms like “natural” [Peter Van Doren, Cato]
  • The curse of Prohibition: how government nearly killed the cocktail [Peter Suderman]
  • “Judge tosses class action suits over ‘100 percent grated Parmesan cheese’ label” [ABA Journal] “Food Court Follies: Fraud Suits Fall Apart after Plaintiffs’ Candid Admissions During Discovery” [Glenn Lammi, WLF] “Will a class-action suit really benefit those who bought Starburst [candies] expecting eight-percent fewer calories?” [Baylen Linnekin]
  • Farmers are good at replenishing their flying livestock: “How Capitalism Saved the Bees” [Shawn Regan]
  • “Menu labeling rules have not proven to have a significant effect on the amount of calories people consume” [Charles Hughes, Economics21 on FDA decision to proceed]
  • More reactions to the Seventh Circuit’s caustic ruling (“no better than a racket”) on the Subway footlong settlement [George Leef, Cory Andrews, earlier]

Sugar in Jelly Bellies? Who knew?

In a lawsuit seeking class action status in California state court, Jessica Gomez alleges that Jelly Belly’s “Sport Beans,” which are touted as containing electrolytes and vitamins, “contain more sugar than she thought,” and that the ingredient list resorted to the euphemism “evaporated cane juice” to describe the sweetener. [John O’Brien and Sara McCleary, Legal Newsline]

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!”