The Center for Science in the Public Interest (the self-described "food police") have elevated puritanism–defined by H.L. Mencken as "The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy"—to their central public policy principle.
For example, this missive from CSPI just landed in my inbox:
Share Negative Experiences With Mixing Red Bull and Alcohol
Earlier this year CSPI threatened to sue MillerCoors and Anheuser-Busch for the marketing of their respective alcoholic "energy" drinks. These drinks are dangerous, because the caffeine masks the effects of the alcohol—drinkers may not feel impaired, but they are.
We were pleased that Anheuser-Busch agreed to pull its products from the market. But MillerCoors, the biggest producer of these drinks, refused to pull its product "Sparks." As a result, CSPI sued MillerCoors–that suit is proceeding.
In its research of alcoholic energy drinks, CSPI learned of dangerous experiences that consumers had when they mixed alcohol with the energy drink Red Bull. We'd like to hear from you if you or someone you know had a bad experience after consuming Red Bull mixed with alcohol.
CSPI wants to stamp out Bull Breezes, Bullgaritas, Invisibulls, and Red Bull Blasters. Next up will be the CSPI lawsuit against offering dinner party guests a cup of coffee at the end of an evening.
See my colleague Jacob Sullum's take down of CSPI, "The Anti-Pleasure Principle," here.