Cheerios' Reign of Terror Must Be Stopped! Or, Thank God For Cass Sunstein. Really.


The Wash Post reports on burgeoning efforts by the Obama administration to butt into even more aspects of everyday life and treat us all as if we have the brainpower of Joe Biden. "A handful of Obama appointees," writes the Post, "are awakening a vast regulatory apparatus with authority over nearly every U.S. workplace, 15,000 consumer products, and most items found in kitchen pantries and medicine cabinets."

Near the top of the list? The dread menace of Cheerios, the burp-inducing breakfast cereal that lies (lies!) about its crunchety goodness and heart-helping properties. Or at least needs to run clinical studies on more unwilling children:

FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg and deputy Joshua M. Sharfstein—both with backgrounds running public health agencies—notified General Mills that it was violating the law with its two-year-old marketing campaign that said Cheerios can lower cholesterol by 4 percent. The FDA said the company was essentially making a drug claim, which would require clinical studies and agency approval before a product is put on the market. The food giant has removed that claim from its Web site and a spokeswoman said it is in discussions with the FDA.

While the FDA began looking into Cheerios before Obama's election, several lawyers who represent food and drugmakers said they think the agency under Bush would never have taken action against General Mills.

And God bless pistachio nuts? No, god damn pistachio nuts!

In June, Sharfstein defied pistachio producers and told the nation to stop eating the nuts out of concern over potential salmonella contamination, even though no illnesses had been reported and just one company was involved.

Note that the proposed regulatory buttinskyism extends far beyond foodstuffs into all manner of basic banking practices, workplace rules, you name it. The potential savior of nanny-stateism run amok? Cass Sunstein, the head of the Office of the Office of Information and Regulatory Policy and the so-called Regulatory Czar, who was somewhat controversial as an appointee:

The regulators still face significant hurdles if they want to dramatically expand government's reach. Most proposed regulations have to be vetted by a central White House office headed by another new appointee, Cass R. Sunstein, whose embrace of cost-benefit analyses may mean he will discourage expensive new rules. Some efforts to expand regulation are sure to face legal challenges from industry. And the private sector is likely to assert that new regulations would be an additional burden in a weak economy.

Light a candle for Czar Sunstein. Read the whole article which is frustrating and depressing, and as predictable as those bad cartoons about Obama's Nobel Prize win. Hope and Change = Treating Us Even More Like Children.

Watch a libertarian defense of Sunstein by George Mason University's Frank Buckley.

More Reason on Sunstein, including attacks on his concept of "libertarian paternalism," here.

NEXT: Barack-Nobel Cartoons: As Bad as The Prize Itself?

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  1. Hey, these M&M’s are melting in my hands!

    Cass Sunstein, where are you?

    1. …Cass R. Sunstein, whose embrace of cost-benefit analyses may mean he will discourage expensive new rules.

      This whole idea of praising a guy based on what you hope he might do is really catching on. Save us, Ideal of Cass Sunstein, you’re our only hope!

    2. Meanwhile, Obama just sent 13,000 soldiers to Afghanistan.

      They must have cereal there.

  2. I was eating an ice cream cone and i got brainfreeze. It hurt really bad. Cass Sunstein needs to step in and make sure that ice cream is less cold, so nobody else has to go through that.

  3. I blame the influence of the Nobel Peace Prize committee.

  4. Well, since Cheerios’ claim isn’t likely to be validated through clinical trials, I suppose I might as well go back to eating Coco Puffs.

  5. I dunno, matth. Coco Puffs may cause insanity, IIRC.

    1. Excellent point, we need clinical trials to ensure they actually do make you insane, otherwise I am eating them for no reason.

  6. Cheerios taste like packing peanuts.

    Frosted Mini-Wheats FTW!

    1. Some of those corn starch peanuts taste pretty good.

    2. I happen to like the taste of Cheerios.

      1. Put enough syrup on them and they’re great.

  7. Coco Puffs are racist. As is Count Chocula for being an old white guy.

    And don’t even get me started on Toucan Sam and US imperialism in South America.

    1. Damn, you must’ve ‘followed your nose’ to make the last connection.

    2. Not to mention the collectivists always trying to get me Lucky Charms!

      How come the Trix rabbit and Lucky the Leprechaun never hooked up? They seem to have complimentary goals.

      1. Lucky the Leprechaun is an offensive Irish stereotype, you bastards!

        1. Yeah. Everyone knows the Irish are not Lucky. Why do you think we got stuck with shitty Boston as our American power center?

    3. And Captain Crunch, don’t forget about that war criminal.

      1. Not a war criminal – Captain Crunch was a cereal killer…

  8. Opt out of paying taxes by checking box to receive no government services.

  9. Oh wow, now yew are talking, its about time someone made sense of it all!


  10. anonymity guy is so retarded he crossed right around to genius.

  11. Once again.

    “He’s a radical animal rights extremist who would overturn all of human history to ban the eating of meat and hunting. He would grant legal rights to animals and allow attorneys for them to file lawsuits.”

    1. Thanks for that link about Cass Sunstein. The ban on hunting is a way to ban firearms, by the way. The man is all about subverting the Constitution.

  12. I wonder if the Honeycomb Bee and the Nasonex Bee are relatives.

    It would be a powerful story of the immigrant experience in America to show them both growing up poor in Oaxaca. Honeycomb makes his way to America with fame and fortune on his mind while Nasonex stays behind to take care of their ailing queen. But all that glitters is not gold. There is no place for a Hispanic Bee in show business. Honeycomb must divest himself of his ethic identity and shed his accent. He becomes a huge star, but loses that essence that make him him. After the queen dies, Nasonex makes his way North, snuggled over the border by coyotbees in a crate of fruit. But times have changed, the racism in America has receded. Nasonex gets his big break on an allergy commercial and a new star is born. Finally, the two meet by happenstance at the premiere of Bee Movie. Their eyes lock. Even across a gulf of time and cultural alienation, they know each other. They embrace and feel whole again.

    1. Isn’t the Nasonex Bee French?

      1. Is he? I thought he was doing more of Latin American Don Juan. He basically sounds like Antonio Banderas when he tries to do a romantic comedy.

        No beret, baguette, or thin mustache = No French

        1. Ah, that makes sense. You’re probably right. Forgot the whole “could be Argentine” angle. Of course, Argentines – at least those in Buenos Aires think they’re essentially French (as do their neighbors if you get my meaning).

          1. Jeebus. I just looked it up, and it is Antonio Banderas who voices the nasonex bee…..

            1. Do you think the Nasonex Bee has a tricked-out gun-tar case? That’d be awesome.

            2. Banderas is from Malaga, Spain, hence the confusion. He’s no “Latino” in the modern sense, he’s European…. So no Oaxaca in any event.

              1. But, but… he the biggest Mexican anyone’s ever SEEN! It’s not fair that he’s from Spain!

                Wow, Interview With A Vampire really sucked.

        2. also no abject surrender to Germany…

    2. So is Nasonex Bee French or Spanish? I can’t get a handle on the accent.

    3. Ok, nice American dream story, but I’m drawing te line with that Geico Gekko. Bastard is taking a job away from an American lizard.

  13. That’s beautiful, Sweet’n’Low.

    1. I should have used the Honey Nut Cheerios Bee. I apologize for my cereal confusion.

  14. My cereal didn’t stay crunchy in milk. And drinking beer didn’t get me any blonde bimboes with huge racks. There oughta be a law.

  15. No love for Sugar Bear? Actually, I have no idea if Sugar Bear is still around.

    1. Diabeetus. Frankly, it took most of the cereal mascots from us. Sure, Fruit Brute is still hanging on, but you can hardly be a “brute” while blind and minus a left foot.

      1. And it doesn’t just affect cartoon mascots shilling sugar-delivery-mechanisms.

        It got wilfred brimley too, and he shilled for OATMEAL. To be fair, i used oatmeal as a sugar carrying medium too, but it was more work.

    2. Guess I forgot to put the fog lights in!

    3. I saw him in Boys Town the other night

  16. In Libertopia one could choose products that had been reviewed by an outside research firm that would validate claims or possibly pay a little less for the stuff not validated and take the risk that the claims were hyped. Of course then, as with ratings agencies currently, there might be collusion between manufacturer and reviewer, but let’s assume that get’s sorted by the market.

    Personally, I have never understand what’s so wrong with a 2-tiered system: one with FDA stamp of approval and one without. This way we could still have access to, say, Ephedra knowing full well that we are taking a risk that this product has not been approved by the FDA.

    But there’s little to no chance that we’ll go back to the true free-market era of the snake-oil salesman… And I am not entirely convinced that that’s such a bad thing.

    1. You are clearly not thinking of THE CHILDREN.

    2. I have never seen such blatant racism on this intertube.

    3. We already have what you describe in the first graph: Its called Consumer Reports.

      The government knows damn well that if it allowed two categories that consumer reports’ reliability would rip it apart and that people would go for that over the FDA/government regulation/approval. If you can’t beat them, simply make them illegal.

      1. Consumer Reports, how I loathe thee of late!

      2. You have obviously been hypnotized by this cat, a tool of private certifiers!


      3. If only Consumer Reports would stick to reviewing products. Their “consumer advocacy” arm and associated organizations pretty much wrote CPSIA, the “lead in toys” law that also bans ATVs and ballpoint pens and rhinestones and brass bushings in Hot Wheels wheels and thrift store coats and bicycle tire valve stems.

    4. little to no chance that we’ll go back to the true free-market era of the snake-oil salesman

      Dude, snake oil is readily obtainable. I hear shark oil is teh new hotness though.

      1. You could always buy yourself a bottle of “ism” and forget your troubles!

  17. Why there isn’t a 3rd party like UL food and drugs is beyond me. Well, there is if you’re certifying kosher.

    1. I seem to recall that there is some controversy in New York, where the State government actually does dictate what “kosher” is.

      Ah, yes, here it is.

      I seem to recall that not only did the usual church/state separation suspects get involved in this but Jewish orginizations, who questioned whether the state should be involved in regulating what is essentially a religious rite, as well.

      The protests went nowhere apparently and so New York State now has a bureaucracy to tell Jews how to practice their religion.

      1. I knew New York State was like Hamas, but I never knew how much.

      2. I’m curious (but not curious enough to google), does Israel have a bueracracy for kosher standards?

        If so, is that one ok cause its run by jews? And if so, then whats the problem with new york doin the same thing?


  18. Sharfstein defied pistachio producers

    I love this phrase; you know Sharfstein thinks he is like a new Martin Luther, standing up to the Pope and the vast Catholic Church apparatus.

    1. He nailed his comments to a pistachio.

      Before you laugh, think about how hard it is to drive a nail into a pistachio large enough to hang federal regulations off of.

      That pistachio was a king among his people. He died for you sins, America! For shame!

  19. You know those pistachio producers, man, they pull the strings.

  20. Uh. What? This article is paragraph upon paragraph of totally unsupported claims of Obama laying the groundwork for Orwellian totalitarianism–based on the fact that the FDA is looking into possibly unsupported claims of health benefits by a food seller? You know, the exact reason we have an FDA? The FOOD and DRUG Administration?

    Oh, sure, this investigation started during the Bush era–but of course, the kind and benevolent Bush never would have been so crass as to allow federal regulators to do their jobs!

    Forgive my sarcasm, I have no other tools to deal with such stupidity.


    1. Actually, there is evidence that whole grain foods like Cheerios reduce cholesteral. There’s even some that suggests a drop of 4%, as Cheerios claims.

      Cheerios got in trouble because – read the FDA letter to Gen Mills – only drugs are allowed to advertise a percentage reduction. Cheerios is within its rights to say “may reduce cholesteral.” They can’t say it “may reduce by X%.”

      Oh, and the FDA complained that the type face announcing the 4% was “too big.”

    2. “Oh, sure, this investigation started
      during the Bush era”


    3. Uh. What?

      Do we have to repeat ourselves?

      This article is paragraph upon paragraph of totally unsupported claims of Obama laying the groundwork for Orwellian totalitarianism–based on the fact that the FDA is looking into possibly unsupported claims of health benefits by a food seller?

      The was the purvue of the FTC. The FDA expanded its activities and duplicated that role.

      You know, the exact reason we have an FDA? The FOOD and DRUG Administration?

      The FDA’s role was to evaluate the safety of drugs and food, not the efficacy. That, again, is an expansion of its powers.

      I have no other tools to deal with such stupidity.

      Fortunately, we have others, such as BRAIN and REASONING.

    4. Giant confabulating douchebags of the world unite…policyvote is here to make everything ok

  21. Whoa. Where’d this policyvote goon come from, and why can’t he read?

  22. Honeycomb must divest himself of his ethic identity . . . .

    That does seem to be a requirement for show biz, Sug.

    This article is paragraph upon paragraph of totally unsupported claims of Obama laying the groundwork for Orwellian totalitarianism–based on the fact that the FDA is looking into possibly unsupported claims of health benefits by a food seller?

    The FDA telling General Mills that it has violated the law seems to go a little further than you claim, Obamatron policyvote.

  23. And popular cold remedies and swimming pool drains and rhinestones on children’s clothing.

    The cold pills and rhinestones OK, but wouldn’t swimming pool drains make kids’ clothes awfully heavy?

  24. Seriously, though, folks, I’m wondering what jurisdictional hook CPSC uses to shut down 200 pools that had the wrong kind of drain.

    1. It’s the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Act (I’m paraphrasing the title), that was passed sometime in 2008 IIRC, about the same time CPSIA passed. On top of trying to determine how many lead molecules can dance on the head of a pin, CPSC was also suddenly charged with inspecting all the public pool drains in the country.

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  26. I’ve also heard there is a new law concerning swimming pool drains. Well, back in Dec.2008 the Virginia Graeme Baker Act was established be Congress. We don’t need new laws, just enforce those already passed.


    1. from the link, There have been cases where children have been disemboweled after sitting on a pool drain.

      There’s an image i didn’t need. A kids insides being vacuumed out their butt. What ever happened to supervision? (Asks the guy who grew up swimming with copperheads in a Pennsylvania stream each summer.)

      1. Reminds me of “pearl diving”, from a story I read in Playboy.

  27. “The dread menace of Cheerios, the burp-inducing breakfast cereal”
    I thought they made you fart.
    Seriously – Cheerios make you burp? I have never met anyone who claimed that Cheerios make you burp.

    1. You don’t pour beer on yours?

  28. There have been cases where children have been disemboweled after sitting on a pool drain.

    Urban legend?

    1. Read up (above) if you dare, RC.

    2. And of course it was the manufacturer who had to pay, in spite of the fact that the user had completely disregarded all of the safety protocols set by the manufacturer.

    3. Jim Baker III’s granddaughter was killed a few years ago when she was sucked under in a jacuzzi and they weren’t able to extricate her, but I don’t recall the details beyond that.

      1. it’s that on/off switch, confuses the hell of them every time

  29. Ok, some of the comments on the article were priceless. I am totally appropriating this one:


    Two different versions, two different morals !


    The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.

    The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.

    Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed. The grasshopper has no food or
    shelter, so he dies out in the cold.

    MORAL OF THE STORY: Be responsible for yourself !


    The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.

    The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.

    Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands
    to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed, while others
    are cold and starving.

    CBS, NBC, PBS, CNN AND ABC show up to provide pictures of the shivering
    grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table
    filled with food.


    Kermit the Frog appears on Oprah with the grasshopper and everybody cries
    when they sing “IT’S NOT EASY BEING GREEN.”

    Jesse Jackson stages a demonstration in front of the ant’s house where the
    news stations film the group singing, “WE SHALL OVERCOME.” Jesse then has the group kneel down to pray to God for the grasshopper’s sake.

    Nancy Pelosi and John Kerry exclaim in an interview with Larry King that the
    ant has gotten rich off the back of the grasshopper and both call for an
    immediate tax hike on the ant to make him pay his fair share.

    Finally, the EEOC drafts the Economic Equity & Anti-Grasshopper Act retroactive to the beginning of the summer.

    The ant is fined for failing to hire a proportionate number of green bugs and having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the government.

    The story ends as we see the grasshopper finishing up the last bits of the ant’s food while the government house he is in, which just happens to be the ant’s old house, crumbles around him because he doesn’t maintain it.

    The ant has disappeared in the snow.

    The grasshopper is found dead in a drug related incident and the house, now abandoned, is taken over by a gang of spiders who terrorize the once peaceful neighborhood.

    MORAL OF THE STORY: Be careful how you vote in 2010…….

    1. 10…this was wicked pissa.

  30. Here is Margaret Hamburg, nasty nanny:

  31. Behold Joshua Sharfstein, nasty nanny:

  32. Do the opposite of what this fascist government tells us to do and you cannot go wrong.

  33. Reminds me of this cartoon:


    That’s a good answer when the gov wants to know what else it can do for you.

  34. Anyone who thinks Cass Sunstein is going rein in regulation needs to check out how he defines benefits.

  35. Cass? CASS? Wasn’t that the warbling BBW who choked on a ham samich ’round about 1974? Oh wait, this Cass is ostensibly male…g-ddamned FROOT LOOP!

  36. Well, considering this has Sunstein’s fingerprints all over it….

    This news certainly destroys Glenn Reynolds’ credibility.

    Remember when he was trashing Glenn Beck because Beck opposed Sunstein?

    Don’t expect too much of a mea culpa though; he’ll just pretend : “I was with Beck all along!”

  37. For anybody who needs further confirmation that Glenn Reynolds’ judgement is as reliable as Bill Clinton in a crowd of interns, read his endorsement of Cass Sunstein:


    Remember, while he was writing about the harmlessness and wisdom of his fellow academic, he was was using links on “Instapundit” to trash Glenn Beck. Of course, Glenn Beck was the principle opposition figure to Sunstein’s nomination.

    Great job Mr. Reynolds! As usual, you couldn’t see a fascist/socialist if he threw you in prison and took your wife to the brothels.

    Word of advice everyone:

    Tune out Gleen Reynolds.

    Tune in Glenn Beck.

  38. Is this anything like when Reagan allowed as to how he didn’t like broccoli? (Or was that the first Bush?)

    I suppose in those days whatever the President said didn’t immediatlely become law.

    You probably remember the recent case of the woman who sued because she found out (after a couple of decades that there’s no fruit in Fruit Loops.

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