EDITORIAL: Another bad rule in works

Published 9:51 am Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Never content with what it has already done to make Americans safer by assuming they are fools, the Food and Drug Administration is considering a rule requiring that require warning labels on any food which could be a choking hazard. If implemented, it would be a bad rule.

Some officials apparently believe that Americans can’t figure out which foods are choking hazards. That’s hard to believe, because just about anything that isn’t a liquid is a choking hazard — in other words, almost all food. By that standard, we put ourselves at risk at least three times a day, and have been doing so for all of history. But, suddenly, it may take federal intervention to keep us all safe from the food we eat.

Such rules are undoubtedly well-meaning. People do choke on their food. And some foods are notoriously dangerous, especially for children. The occasional accident or slip-up notwithstanding, parents have been able to predict and prevent those hazards relatively successfully. And it’s unlikely that parent who can’t foresee such dangers is likely to be spending much time reading food labels.

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In short, it might make some feel good to add even more safety labels to food. But it would accomplish little except to add yet another government rule that is designed to moderate and control how Americans live their lives. In a country whose population is fast losing the ability to fend for itself, providing more layers of false protection is simply not necessary.