Meet the New FDA Caffeine Crackdown

The FDA's latest misguided crackdown targets caffeine. It's déjà vu all over again.


The FDA announced earlier this week that the agency will investigate "any and all products with added caffeine."

FDA officials claim they were spurred to take action after the recent introduction of one product, Alert Energy Gum, a new caffeinated gum made by Wrigley.

The agency argues that such a novel product necessitates a longer look at all foods and beverages that contain added caffeine.

While the FDA's interest in caffeine is hardly new, neither is caffeinated gum. The idea has been around at least since 1980.

Coincidentally, it was during that same period that the FDA helped foment a minor hysteria around the presence of added caffeine in foods.

FDA rules consider a food additive to be generally recognized as safe, or GRAS, when it's "adequately shown to be safe under the conditions of its intended use." FDA regulations had explicitly recognized the GRAS status of caffeine added to "cola-type beverages" since 1961.

But in October 1980, the FDA launched proceedings that could have imposed severe restrictions on the presence of caffeine in all foods.

When the agency didn't move quickly to revoke caffeine's GRAS status, it was sued by the Federation of Homemakers, a 1950s-sounding consumer group dedicated to "protecting the integrity of food products."

News reports from the time give a broader picture of the anti-caffeine climate of the early 1980s.

A 1981 Christian Science Monitor article, for example, repeats the hilarious claim of some anti-caffeine activists that "Americans are drinking large amounts of caffeinated soda, often without even realizing it," implying that eating and drinking is some sort of passive process that frequently happens to people without their knowledge.

The article also reports that the Center for Science in the Public Interest was at the time "lobbying for a ban on caffeine in soda pop."

In spite of the hysteria, a federal judge ruled against the homemakers.

That might have been the end of the story were it not for FDA documents uncovered by angry coffee drinkers and other supporters of caffeinated drinks. They argued correctly that caffeine has been consumed safely for hundreds of years and that this fact should largely take the substance out of the FDA's regulatory purview—granting caffeine a status known annoyingly as a "prior sanction." (A Janus word, "sanction" here means "approval" rather than "disapproval.")

By 1987, according to a short and interesting summary in Food and Drug Law, the definitive FDA law school casebook, the "FDA proposed to recognize a prior sanction for caffeine in nonalcoholic carbonated beverages[.]"

This would have been the sensible thing for the agency to do.

But because it's the FDA, the agency instead took a mere 17 years to ponder that action before deciding not to take that—or any other—particular course.

Which brings us to back to caffeinated gum, which the FDA's Michael Taylor referred to this week as part of a worrying pattern of "new and easy sources" of caffeine that are "beyond anything FDA envisioned."

That's rich.

Not only is caffeinated gum not the least bit new, neither did it fly under the federal government's radar. In fact, the Pentagon reportedly spent hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars over the last 15 or so years testing whether nothing less than caffeinated gum can help U.S. troops be more mentally acute in the battlefield

So why this potential crackdown based on a decades-old product that the U.S. government itself has studied for its alleged benefits?

The last time the FDA warned the public of products containing caffeine, back in 2009, the result was a ban on the addition of caffeine to beers like Four Loko.

With an agency history in the area of caffeine that is as fascinating as it is idiotic, contradictory, enraging, and aimless, there's good reason to fear for the future of everything from caffeinated gum to energy drinks, and from caffeinated beef jerky to Mountain Dew (which is not a "cola-type beverage" and so could be in jeopardy under the strict interpretation of FDA rules the agency wields at its whim).

"[I]s this something we need?" asks Marion Nestle, a professor of public health at New York University and prominent advocate for greater government restrictions. Though Nestle's rhetorical question was directed at Wrigley and its caffeinated gum, a more appropriate target for such inquiry would be the FDA itself.

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  1. They will get my Mountain Dew throwback when they pry it from my icy-cold, dead, but still twitchy, hands.

    1. +12 fl oz

      1. Nobody needs a high powered 12oz drink. Nobody’s trying to take you drink away, just make it less than 10oz.

        1. Agreed, with these military-style, tactical, assault, high-capacity drinks you can literally drink the entire 12 oz without the need to open a new can!
          /hysterical progtard

          1. Maybe just make it so you can only drink 7oz of it, since no one is making 7oz cans yet. If you drink that eighth oz, felony.

            1. In the mean time you can buy 12 oz cans, but they can only fill them to 7 oz.

    2. Y’all are flat-out all WRONG; don’t you ignoramuses know that Government Almighty loves us more than we love ourselves?!?! Your better-informed Brethren, unseen Scienfoologists amongst us in the millions, in an un-noticed Great Revival, are actually WORSHIPPING Government Almighty, and most especially, the FDA. Some nay-sayers out there question us Scienfoologists, saying, “Well, if you actually WORSHIP Government Almighty, then government itself will become endangered, since we can’t collect taxes to support a religion.” (Church / State thing, you know). Well, that’s a risk that I, for one, am willing to live with? But we have solutions to that problem, and many more. Including methods of getting coffee for your EFFIGY to drink, in religious rituals, when coffee is outlawed. To learn more about Scienfoology, see http://www.churchofsqrls.com/ .

      1. More slack.

      2. Needs more [BRACKETS]!

    3. Ha ha ha!

  2. The FDA announced earlier this week that the agency will investigate “any and all products with added caffeine.”

    FDA officials claim they were spurred to take action after the recent introduction of one product, Alert Energy Gum, a new caffeinated gum made by Wrigley.

    The agency argues that such a novel product necessitates a longer look at all foods and beverages that contain added caffeine.

    NOTHNG CAN BE CUT!!!!!!!!!1!!!!one!!!!

    1. If teh FDA were reduced in size, who would be left to save teh chilrenz from BIG CAFFEINE?


      Why, oh why, do you hate teh chilrenz?

      *sobs uncontrollably after collapsing on fainting couch*

  3. My grandfather died suddenly from a large amount of caffeine. He was stocking shelves at the caffeine store and a big box of caffeine fell onto his head. So don’t talk to me about how safe caffeine is.

    1. And the other grandfather died in a concentration camp…when he fell from a guard tower?

      1. My grandfather went to school with MC Escher. For Grampa, the walk really was uphill both ways.

        1. My grandfather went to school with the Four Yorkshiremen. He had to get up in the morning at ten o’clock at night, half an hour before he went to bed, eat a lump of cold poison, work twenty-nine hours a day down at the mill, and pay the mill owner for permission to come to work.

          1. That’s an EASY life; when I grew up, we had to wear rat-fur coats and eat cockroach stew… On the GOOD days!

  4. Prohibitionistic types can suck on my nitrates filled wiener. And leaves me with a rhetorical question – Air? Do they really need it?

    1. And shouldn’t their latest shenanigans be ‘sequestered’ or something?

      1. Of course not. Everyone knows the sequester only hurts puppies, kittens, children, and old people while emboldening terrorists. It doesn’t harm legislators, they’re exempt because of their innate superiority.

  5. Caffeine is the problem. Like, the primary activity of caffeine is to kill! And how lobbyists used the almighty dollah and fear to defeat legislation that stopped the sale of caffeinated beverages? And how the regulation of the sale and use of caffeine is an affront to our freedoms? And a victory for pro-tyranny forces? And how it’s totally up to parents to decide when their kids can drink a pop? And how drink manufacturers are constantly making strides to improve the killing power of caffeine? And how we can’t check the identity of caffeine buyers because that would create a registry of caffeine drinkers and that would somehow be really bad?

    Fuckin’ caffeine, man.

    And to those who say “sure are a lot of caffeine deaths, maybe we should look at ways to change that” I say HOW DARE YOU TRY TO BAN ALL CAFFEINE!!!!!

    1. I wonder how many of these parasites enjoy a nice cup of coffee or two before they begin their business of meddling in the private affairs of citizens for the day.

    2. Look, all they want to do is require locking up all your caffeinated products that contain more than a certain amount of caffeine, and then have the sherif come to your house and verify it once a year.

      You can’t just keep pop in the fridge, kids might get into it.

    3. You lost me when you said pop instead of the correct word “soda.”

      1. Amen! What the hell SG, you a Yinzer?

        1. Soda is what I top my Tom Collins with.

          It’s pop here.

          1. “here” meaning one of the dark blue counties on the map?

            1. Seems to be the bluest of the blue states.

          2. Do you know why they call it pop? Do you know WHO else called it pop?

            1. Michael Jackson?

              1. Dr. Seuss?

            2. JFK?

  6. Caffeine gum has been around for years, at least. Awful tasting stuff, but what are you going to do? Besides, how is it any different from the caffeine pills that have been around even longer? I used to pop those every watch underway. Better than the terrible coffee onboard and didn’t burn your mouth. Funny thing is I’d get weird looks from other watchstanders chugging multiple Monster drinks.

    1. Yeah, I don’t get it.

      I pop a Vivarin every morning with my vitamins and lay there till it kicks in. I’ve had coffee drinkers tell me I’m a pathetic druggie.

      Critical thought…how does it work?

      1. When I was in GNC buying my vitamins last weekend, they gave me a couple sample packs of some caps that contained caffeine and a bunch of other herbs.

        I decided to try one of them yesterday evening around 7pm. Man, those damn things are strong, I was still awake at 3am this morning putting new strings on my guitar.

        1. Oh, and I forgot to mention, they are big scary looking black capsules.

          1. Always with the racist capsules.

          2. There Hyperion goes again with his BBCs.

  7. “[I]s this something we need?” asks Marion Nestle,

    Ms. Nestle, go fuck yourself. It’s none of your goddamn business what I need.

    1. And we sure as hell do not “need” positions such as professors of public health.

      Take my caffeine at your peril, I am a vile human being without it.

    2. Ted, why do you NEED extra caffeine? How much is enough?

      1. We are not banning caffeine. Just the black caffeine with pistol grips, foldable stocks and flash suppressors. You know, reasonable caffeine control.

    3. Doesn’t the thought of someone named Nestle asking whether people need caffeine pin the irony meter?

    4. Doesn’t the thought of someone named Nestle asking whether people need caffeine pin the irony meter?

  8. I remember reading an offhand remark in a chemistry book a long time ago saying that aspirin is a pretty remarkable drug and had it been discovered in modern times it would probably be available only by prescription. Perhaps that day is coming still.

    1. Perhaps that day is coming still.

      That day is DEFINITELY coming still.

    2. But according to the newsreaders, “fifteen year old women” can get their Plan B without a whit of hinderance …

      1. And if I understand properly, the 15 y/o cutoff age has now become the reactionary right-wing position, with the evidence-based scientific stance is to let any female of childbearing age, even 13, buy it OTC.

      2. All a 15 year old has to do is show an ID, which we all know 15 year olds always carry.

        1. We all know that none of them would share with their (panicked, crying) younger friend.

        2. Fifteen-year-old boozers can always use their “I’m 21” IDs.

  9. If we’re only free to drink a Mountain Dew because they’ve decided to let us, then freedom really has become an illusion in this country.

  10. http://thelawdogfiles.blogspot…..html#links

    I just laughed my ass off reading this.

    1. +1

  11. Modern caffeinated drinks are just like modern marijuana. Infinitely more powerful and deadly. It used to be, you could kick back a couple cups of joe and get a mild feeling of stimulation. Now, you go to Starbucks and get a heart attack in a paper cup.

    How long will we allow the madness to continue?

    All we ask is sensible, reasonable limits on other people’s access to guilty little pleasures.

    1. …”get a heart attack in a paper cup.”…

      I heard pasta al pesto called a ‘coronary on a platter’, but yours is more useful.

      1. Pesto is a coronary on a platter? How did the person you heard it from get that? It’s olive oil- it’s a heart healthy oil.

        Alfredo I could see to an extent, tons of butter and cream, but pesto? WHA?

  12. Here at the edge of this world
    Here I gaze at a pantheon of oak, a citadel of stone
    If this grand panorama before me is what you call God. . .
    Then God is not dead

    Agalloch is an American black/folk metal band from the Pacific NW. They have 4 full albums, and are centered around themes of nature and mysticism. They are often categorized as post black metal becuase of their prolific use of textures, and their oftentimes slow, plodding song structures. Agalloch’s music is not about sheer technical prowess like some metal bands, but about creating atmospheres and soundscapes which entrance the listener. Their sound is warm and organic; very natural.

    This song, “In the Shadow of Our Pale Companion”, is off of their second album, The Mantle, which is widely regarded as their best (I would agree with that), though it is also the album in which their post rock influences are most prominent, with few places of black metal fury, and more sparing use of harsh vocals. The entire album is worth a listen (and can be heard on youtube).

    1. Needs more twerking.

      1. Jesus H. Christ I hate twerking.

        BAN IT!!

      2. Is there anything, in your estimation, that wouldn’t be improved with more twerking?

        1. Is there anything, in your estimation, that wouldn’t be improved with more twerking?


          1. Mozart’s *Magic Flute?* Handel’s *Messiah?* Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address? Martin Luther King’s *I Have a Dream* speech?

            1. Dear Lord, I thought I was being so clever, but now the images I’ve put in my own mind won’t go away.

              1. The State of the Union Address?

      3. I actually looked that up, and I hate you because of it. You have made my quality of life worse.

    2. On a graymetal kick lately MLG?

      Here’s a healthy dose of fucking BOLT THROWER:


      1. Yeah. Dig me some Graymetal. I find it to be more imaginative and musical than most black metal. Don’t get me wrong, black metal can be great. But it can also be predictable and repetitive, even going from band to band.

        We’ll see some of the real deal this week.

        Bolt Thrower ain’t bad!

    3. The Mantle, which is widely regarded as their best (I would agree with that),

      I think Ashes Against The Grain might actually be better. Regardless, great band.

      1. I have a particular attachment to The Mantle as it was the album that introduced me to Agalloch. But even if I didn’t have that connection with it, it flows well together as an album in a way that the others don’t. It’s very cohesive with each song being placed exactly where it should be.

  13. A comment from Nestle’s blog:

    brainmattersApril 30, 20135:39 pm
    Oh, lord?now even more people will be bagging my groceries, cutting my hair, serving my food, and generally disgusting me by mangling their jaws around with a mouthful of gum.

    Yuk. If I didn’t hate the custom of chewing (anything other than food with mouth SHUT) in public so much, I might try it just to avoid so many bathroom trips from my coffee habit!

    Whatever IS the point of gum?

    Umm…the point is that some people, who are not you, enjoy it, you captious little twat!

    1. If she doesn’t like it, presto! Illegal!

      1. I wonder if it ever dawned on Ms. “brain” that some people mind find her “coffee habit” to be repugnant, with her carrying a coffee cup around, slurping from it, and then possessing stale coffee breath?

        Of course not. If she possessed the ability to conceptualize the inner mental states of others, she wouldn’t be a socially inept cat lady.

        1. And leaving cup-rings on good furniture.

    2. It has reached the point where I HATE these nanny statist motherfuckers. An actual palpable hatred. They are nothing more than petty little tyrants who want to harass, discriminate against, fine, silence, imprison, and even kill in some cases those who annoy them in the slightest.

      I consider them to be embryonic totalitarians. Some might say that is a bit of an exaggeration. It is not. There is no activity or behavior they are not willing to regulate or ban. Although I am still in my twenties but I remember back in the early 90s when smokers would say “One day they are going to go after fatty foods and alcohol” and everyone laughed and the people saying it might not have even believed it and now here we are.

      1. I would say your three cent titanium tax doesn’t go too far enough!

        And by that I mean that there is nothing embryonic about these totalitarians. Given the power and a public who either didn’t or couldn’t resist, these people would create some sick Brave New World/1984 hybrid.

      2. Frank, I felt back in 1980 the way you feel now. Imagine my hatred at this point.

        There was a TV show in the 90s called Sliders. The regulars would jump from one parallel universe to another, righting wrongs. The only episode I ever saw was one where they ended up in a universe so overrun with litigation you had to show a printout of your cholesterol before purchasing a burger. I laughed…


        1. Sliders had the fat kid from stand by me! It was… a sort of half baked show. Some episodes were interesting, but a lot weren’t. I always like the one where the British won the Revolution, and the other where the roles of men and women were utterly reversed socially.

          1. Sliders was great because it really opened the door to counter-factual narratives.

            It’s the kind of show that a good director and writer team, on a cable or premium network could really make into something of high quality.

            1. Sliders made fiction acceptable?

              1. Ok, yes the way I structured that was dumb.

                It opened up the door to a television series that got to do thins like “what if the British won” or “What if Fascism had become the world wide dominant political philosophy,”* and deal with a different one each week. I can’t really think of another show that did this (Fringe briefly touched on some of this with the alternate universe).

                *This of course isn’t a counter-factual, this is reality.

                1. Oh, that, yeah. It was the sort of TV series that I suspect was produced from outlines that’d sat on various people’s shelves for years. It’s not all that hard to adapt such ideas to a show with fairly generic characters like those of Sliders.

          2. Funny you point that out, because he was my friend’s son’s poker buddy Jerry at NYU. My friend then showed me a video of that movie and said he was the same actor as in Sliders, but I wouldn’t’ve recognized him. Meanwhile my friend’s son, Damon, created Lost, which I think I mostly figured out almost 2 yrs. after it concluded. I think it was Damon’s way of telling Alan Moore that he recognized that Watchmen was an adaptation of A.C. Doyle’s The Lost Special.

          3. Funny you point that out, because he was my friend’s son’s poker buddy Jerry at NYU. My friend then showed me a video of that movie and said he was the same actor as in Sliders, but I wouldn’t’ve recognized him. Meanwhile my friend’s son, Damon, created Lost, which I think I mostly figured out almost 2 yrs. after it concluded. I think it was Damon’s way of telling Alan Moore that he recognized that Watchmen was an adaptation of A.C. Doyle’s The Lost Special.

    3. AndyMay 2, 20137:55 pm
      Adding caffeine to gum seems excessive. Every time I see a gum commercial or advertisement in a magazine I feel the way it is marketed is very aggressive and outlandish. It does not surprise me at all that they have taken this damaging approach to make money. Thanks for the informative article.

      What kinda of pussy gets upset over gum advertisements?

      1. Ugh, the comment.

        “The greedy corporations are just being all… corporationey… because they want more money!”

        Jesus fucking christ, do these people not understand consumer demand? Does it scare them? What?

        1. AuH20, if they did use the word “corporationey” that is a reference to Team America: World Police, so that would be a smart ass comment and not a serious statement.

          1. Frank, you are new here, so I’ll let you in on a little secret: The best way we have found to deal with these people is to mock them. We make a lot of sarcastic comments, we put a lot of words in the statists mouths (Well, we put the truth in their mouths, really). It helps to deal with the fact that somehow these jerks have managed to take over our country. Laugh to keep from crying or punching someone, as it were.

            And I know that “corporationey” is from Team America, I am just pointing out what they sound like.

            You seem like a good new addition, but just remember before you read the comments to insert your tongue firmly in your cheek, and you’ll do fine.

            Welcome aboard!

            1. Actually, I am not that new here. I have been reading these boards several years. I think since about 2007 or so. I just very rarely posted (and when I did I used my real name). So I am a long time lurker just starting to comment.

              I know of the trolls Joe (who I once had a debate with), Shriek (before he became Palin’s Buttplug), and Tony. Although I missed out on most of Mary’s stuff.

              I am also familiar with most of the posters to some extent.

              Damn. I almost feel like stalker. “I’ve been watching you…”

          2. Oh, also, there will be a LOT of Futurama and Star Trek references. Just a heads up.

            1. You have to tow the lion here.

      2. What kinda of pussy gets upset over gum advertisements?

        A proglotard.

        Their entire existence is based on being offended by something.

    4. Maybe she’s a sock puppet for willy wonka.

    5. She should move to Singapore.

  14. Wait wait wait, did you say caffeinated beef jerky?!????!!

    1. I know! Where can I buy this product?

      1. Perky Jerky is a fantastic name.

      2. Wow! They sell it at Best Buy around the corner. I’m there tomorrow morning instead of Starbucks!

  15. OT:
    CA legislators are really pissed that poor people can borrow money:
    (mostly hidden behind a paywall, but there’s enough to get your blood pressure up)

  16. This would have been the sensible thing for the agency to do.

    I hope you’re not trying to pretend this matters.

  17. Pretty funny satire:


    1. If only it were real. That would have made my week.

    2. So much better execution than The Onion … I heard that a couple of newsoutlets ran it as a true story …

  18. It’s time the “pop” and “coke” states left the “soda” and “other” (read: “seltza”) states.


    What was Arizona thinking?

    1. You can’t abandon us Midwesterners who moved to Arizona! I will never buckle under social pressure & call it “soda”, it’s POP, dammit.

      1. They called the product “Soda Stream” for a reason, bud. Face it. We have won! You’re quaint Midwestern euphemisms are no match for our awesome power!

        1. You soda totalitarians would round up pop drinkers the second you got the chance.

          Pretty sure I live in the bluest blue state for pop.

          1. There’s a reason why the midwesteners call it pop, and those on the east coast do not.

            1. Because in the Midwest it came from bottles, hence an audible “pop” sound as you opened a bottle, whereas on the East Coast it was more common to go to a drug store and have someone make you a X soda?

              Is that it?

              1. Yes, it’s called a Hutchinson bottle. They are very thick squat bottle, with a bell shaped wire that holds a rubber disc inside the neck of the bottle.

                The carbonation of the soda would force the rubber stopper up against the short narrow neck of the bottle and seal is shut.

                When you wanted to open it again, you would hit the top of the wire bell with the palm of your hand and it made a popping sound when the rubber disk released it’s seal.

                The soda bottles from around here(MD) of the same period, have a marble in the neck of the bottle, they’re really strange looking. I have several of them, but I don’t know exactly how they worked. But it’s the same principle, where the carbonation would force the marble up this bend in the neck of the bottle.

                1. Sushi places sell Japanese drinks for kids that are sealed with a glass sphere. You can buy them at some high end grocery stores.

      2. Yeah, but buried in the percentages are the New Englanders who call it a “phosphate”.

        When a friend from Mo. told me about the generic “coke” phenomenon over 30 yrs. ago, I marveled at the awesome market dominance implied by people’s ordering a Pepsi coke. Like buying a Ricoh xerox machine. But not so gloat-ish when it becomes unprotectable like zipper or aspirin.

    2. Whatchutalkingabout – AZ calls it by its proper name – soda.

      1. This looks like a Supreme Court commerce clause case.

  19. May the 4th be with you!

    Anyone see any parallels here?

  20. Another NPR Hit Piece on Gun Rights Disguised as Criticism of the NRA

    Count how many logical fallacies you come across within the first five comments. It’s like a legion of more cowardly, dumber T O N Y’s…if that’s even possible.

    1. more cowardly, dumber T O N Y’s…if that’s even possible

      It’s totally unpossible, but that never stops a proglotard from trying.

    2. That’s a circle jerk of self-labeled “intellectuals.”

    3. OT. We’re talking about Gum Rights here.

  21. Oh no!

    Wilson’s company Defense Distributed operates defcad.org, where he plans to upload the blueprints and designs of the Liberator once the gun has undergone testing and is proven to work reliably. While Defense Distributed may be a licensed gun manufacturer, once the prints and designs of the Liberator become available to the general public, anyone will be able to download them and print their own gun without any oversight. This means that we could see illegal, unlicensed, 3D printed plastic firearms readily available to anyone who has access to a 3D printer.

    It’s like deep fried terror on a stick.

    1. It is an Indian tech website, after all. Those poor sons of bitches have had to endure The Raj, and then Gandhi’s socialist bullshit. So, a new technology is developed, and tech writers instinctively worry until they find out how their government masters will handle the technology. The default seems to be ban it.

      1. And this is different from our tech writers… how?

      2. At least in part, Indian government policies hostile to property rights has fostered the 50-year Marxist/Maoist insurgency across almost 10% of its landmass (Naxalism).

    2. Aside; I must assume that the Liberator pistol was named with the intention of referring to the FP-45 Liberator, a machine stamped smooth-bore pistol made to be air-dropped to the French Resistance in huge numbers.


      The FP-45 Liberator has the distinction of being the only firearm in history that took less time to manufacture than it did to reload.

    3. Pants Shitting Hysteria over a glorified zip gun.

      I hope no one ever tells her about the dangers of fertilizer. Or even worse, that lethal chemical known as dihydrogen monoxide.

  22. Somebody haz a sad

    Much has been said about how the great gerrymander of the people’s House ? part of a brilliant, $30 million Republican action plan at the state level ? has now produced a clot of retrograde politicians who are comically out of step with a majority of Americans. It’s not just that they oppose things like immigration reform and simple gun background checks for violent felons, while huge majorities support them.

    The worst thing about gerrymandering is that it helps rethuglitards, too!

    1. Gerrymandering is their new excuse for why they lost the House?

      Nothing to do with the Obamacare vote?

      1. Nope. Everyone loves Obamacare and always has.

        Republicans cheated to win back the house; it couldn’t have had anything to do with anything that anyone on Team BLUE did to lose support.

      2. No, gerrymandering will be their reason, that, despite 90%!!!!!!!, they will lose the House in 2014.

        Honestly, when you look at representation in the House, it is weird. For decades they just kept adding new reps, adding new reps, until they hit the current 435 and just… stopped. There is no constitutional reason they couldn’t increase it again (and they probably should, as now House members are each serving, at least in states where this is possible, about a half million people. The People’s House my ass)

        1. I think they stopped because they ran out of room for new chairs in the Capitol building.

          1. They could just gut the building, and do what the brits do and not give them desks. Pretty sure the British House of Commons seats more people in a smaller area.

            1. But then they wouldn’t have the palatial positions promised to them as representatives of the people.

    2. Fortunately, the noble Democrats are far too benevolent to ever stoop to such underhanded practices.

  23. “Nestle’s rhetorical question” would be more appropriately aimed at Professors of Public Health.

  24. Aside; I must assume that the Liberator pistol was named with the intention of referring to the FP-45 Liberator

    I hope so. It’s probably not just a coincidence.

  25. How goddamn much must movies The Thin Man movies, where everyone smoked, drank tons of martinis, and drank copious amounts of black coffee, horrify these statist twerps?

    1. Also, if you watch those Thin Man movies, you’ll notice everyone is carrying pistols and shoots at each other. Alot. It’s funny as shit.

      1. Also, I think some of the martinis they drink are legit, because there are a few lines the actors clearly slur. Those seem like they would have been super fun movies to work on.

    2. Stanton Glantz and other anti-smoking activists actually support censoring smoking out movies.

      1. I heard about that. At least they haven’t come for the coffee or the booze


        1. In the UK they have. There are lobbies for the outlawing of alcohol advertisements, a growing alliance between the anti-smoking groups and neo-temperance groups, demands for higher taxes and minimum pricing, and accusing the alcohol industry of targeting children. They have also been publishing a number of articles claiming the Prohibition in the US was a wild success, but the spineless politicians and liquor industry wouldn’t let it work.

          Trust me, they are going for booze.

  26. Which brings us to back to caffeinated gum, which the FDA’s Michael Taylor referred to this week as part of a worrying pattern of “new and easy sources” of caffeine that are “beyond anything FDA envisioned.”

    Please, please let Michael Taylor, and all the other bureaucrats at the FDA, come down with pancreatic cancer.

    “[I]s this something we need?” asks Marion Nestle, a professor public health at New York University and prominent advocate for greater government restrictions. Though Nestle’s rhetorical question was directed at Wrigley and its caffeinated gum[…].

    Ditto for Marion Nestle, and all the profs of public health.

  27. Never underestimate the government’s ability to regulate or ban something through sheer force of will.

  28. If people are allowed to use caffeine as they please then people will be allowed to have the mistaken idea that their bodies belong to themselves and not to our rulers.

  29. Why not do what the Canadians do? If the caffeine in a product is naturally occurring like in tea, coffee, and cola it’s okay. What’s not okay is to add it to a product that wouldn’t have had it in the first place. Makes sense to me.

    1. Why does that make sense to you? What specifically makes sense about it naturally occurring? What specifically is wrong with adding it to products?

      1. It’s a ‘naturalism’ fetish that a lot of people have. As if something occurring in nature is inherently better than a human putting it there.

        1. Now, now, Irish, strychnine is natural, so it’s perfectly fine to consume. It’s good for you, too.

        2. See: White Suburban Mothers. It is really funny when you try to get them to articulate why, exactly, natural is so automatically superior, and you point out how artificial the distinction is. They really put no thought into it generally; it is just a herd mentality generated on the dreaded “mommy blogs” (Not having to deal with “mommy blogs” is probably one of the top reasons I am glad I am not a woman).

          1. Most of the highly toxic substances the majority of us will encounter in our lifetimes are all “natural.”

            The “naturalism fetish” doesn’t stand well against sound scientific method.

            1. The “naturalism fetish” doesn’t stand well against sound scientific method.

              Especially when you consider that a certain amount of caffeine has the same effect regardless of whether it’s naturally occurring or unnaturally occurring.

              What on earth is the difference between gum with added caffeine and espresso? There’s no difference in the effect it has on you, so saying one is okay and the other isn’t doesn’t even stand up to the most basic logic.

              1. In many cases the purer forms of various substances are those made by man.

              2. I, for one, thought adding caffeine to booze was the greatest thing since sliced bread. Saved me the time of mixing Red Bull with my vodka. Some of them even tasted pretty good.

                God I was pissed when they arbitrarily banned the practice. I despise nannies.

            2. That and the fact that the generations of human beings who lived naturally (which apparently means absent some arbitrary level of technology) tended to die horribly and young.

              Can’t speak for others, but I’d rather my wife didn’t die of sepsis three days after birthing a child who will more likely than not die before the age of six.

          2. The distinction is so artificial (I see what you did there) there’s not even widespread agreement on where or how the line is drawn. Much of the time AFAICT “natural” actually means “old fashioned”, and that things that are considered “synthetic” just haven’t gotten enough seniority yet to be “natural”. Solid minerals are “natural” but mineral oil ain’t. Sometimes vegetable is “natural” and animal ain’t.

      2. Would a caffeine pill naturally contain caffeine?

    2. Because what the Canadians do is retarded?

    3. So milk shouldn’t be fortified with extra vitamin D?

      1. Humans are icky and unnatural so everything they do is impure and nasty.

  30. Why not do what the Canadians do?

    Isn’t that reason enough?

    1. One thing I wish we’d do that the Canadians do is tap into our vast natural resources. Outside of that there’s not much the Canadians do that should be imitated.

      1. Actually, we should also privatize air traffic control, as they did with NAV CANADA in the 1990s.

        1. There are a few things Canada does that we should also do, that’s for certain.

      2. Their SS reform wasn’t awful.

    2. He probably wants us to get milk in bags, too.

      1. That’s sounds like a great idea. Especially if the pouring nozzle is designed to look like a nipple.

  31. “Though Nestle’s rhetorical question was directed at Wrigley and its caffeinated gum, a more appropriate target for such inquiry would be the FDA itself.”

    Or at Nestle herself – after all is cocao and caffeine and sugar combined something we really need?

    1. Whether or not it’s what we need is all a matter of opinions, and in some cases sketchy “research.” What is sure is more than a few people want chocolate.

      Do we really need officially appointed masters telling us what we may and may not put in our own bodies?

      1. No, but maybe she might start changing her tune when the source of her inheritance is threatened.

        1. And what a fine inheritance that must be.

  32. I think this may end up being the FDA’s Waterloo. Messing with people’s caffeine is a sure way to piss them right the fuck off. They only got away with it for Four Loko because few people drank it.

    1. You may have a point there. Until the news that there were those who wanted to ban Four Loko came to my attention I had never tried it. Immediately after learning the FDA wanted it off the shelves I bought a 4-pack. It was nothing to write home about.

      1. It was a sugary beery mess of a concoction that was brewed for and marketed solely to the young male demographic. It tasted like sweetened horse piss and got you drunk as fuck. Of course it was popular with kids.

        Now they’re just mixing vodka and Red Bull, which is fucking awesome and what they should have been doing anyway, instead of drinking Four Amigos.

  33. When the agency didn’t move quickly to revoke caffeine’s GRAS status, it was sued by the Federation of Homemakers

    Without googling, I’m going to hazard a guess that said Federation had a lot of Mormons on it, and may even have been run by them.

  34. FDA suspicion of caffeine goes back to before it was even called the Food & Drug Admin. and was a bureau in Ag.

    1. Sure, but they lost in the Supreme Court. For details see United States of America v. Forty Barrels and Twenty Kegs of Coca-Cola, 241 U.S. 265 (1916)

      Seriously. I am not making this up.


  35. This is the same agency that protected us from the horrifying international ramifications of calling dried plums “prunes.” We must defer to their pants-wetting authority in all food-based* stimulant matters.

    *Only if it has an LD 50. Substances with no known lethal dosage ceiling should be considered armed and extremely dangerous. For the children.

  36. before I saw the paycheck for $7727, I did not believe that…my… brothers friend woz like they say truley bringing in money in there spare time on their apple labtop.. there friends cousin started doing this less than 19 months and by now cleared the debts on their appartment and bourt Citro?n DS. go to….. http://WWW.DAZ7.COM

    1. Take that paycheck and enroll in some English classes.

  37. “[I]s this something we need?” asks Marion Nestle, a professor public health…

    Stop right there and go fuck yourself.

  38. until I looked at the paycheck four $5817, I have faith …that…my mother in law could realey erning money in their spare time on their apple laptop.. there aunts neighbour haz done this 4 less than 13 months and just now repaid the morgage on there home and bourt a great new Buick. this is where I went, http://www.up444.com

  39. as Norman responded I’m amazed that a stay at home mom can earn $4672 in a few weeks on the internet. did you see this link… http://www.up444.com

  40. You folks sure love your labels. Fact is I’m not a “nauralist” nor am I married to the concept. It just seems logical that since caffeine doesn’t add flavor, texture, or a health benefit it’s illogical to inject it into products except to gain a marketing advantage. Caffeine is a drug, and before you judgmental knuckleheads get your panties in a twist, I’m not rallying against drugs. What I am against is manipulation. Marketers add caffeine to products to boost sales due to the psychoactive stimulant effect. You might like being played. I don’t.

    1. How is artificially adding the caffeine any different than not removing the natural caffeine? They have decaf coffee and tea, and it doesn’t contain any “sales boosting” stimulants.*

      Coming from a guy who tries to use ingredients that are as close to what you pull out of the ground as possible, how is injecting caffeine into something manipulative? Worthless? Maybe. Manipulative? Only if they don’t mark the caffeine as one of the ingredients and put it in there to foster addiction.

      *Technically they contain small amounts of caffeine, but they are negligible.

    2. It’s not being played when you know what you are buying. I KNOW that my Pepsi has caffeine in it and I don’t act shocked by the fact. I also think most energy drinks taste like ass, so I don’t drink them. I know, it’s really complicated…

  41. til I looked at the check of $8158, I have faith …that…my mom in-law was truly making money in there spare time from there pretty old laptop.. there brothers friend has done this for only 8 months and as of now repayed the loans on there apartment and bourt a great new Ford Mustang. go to, http://www.up444.com

  42. This is just wrong. It’s my choice.

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