In 1997, the FDA Set Out to Regulate Tic Tacs. They're Still at It.


tic tac

Apparently, some people eat more than one breath mint at a time. 

This earth-shattering insight has slowed the Food and Drug Administration's rulemaking process to…what's slower than a crawl? a slither? a shimmy? a blorp?

Begun in 1997, the push to regulate the labels on Tic Tacs, Certs, and other breath fresheners has recently been restarted with a new 145-page document after the first one was withdrawn for being outdated. But that first document spawned a host of other documents from a rogues gallery of agencies about the all-important question of portion size. 

The Washington Times reports

The FDA figured out that different breath mints have different RACC's, making it tricky to standardize labels in the way originally intended by the bureaucrats. RACC is "reference amount customarily consumed," or what consumers sometimes call a "serving size."

But breath mints are not of uniform size. So rather than requiring labels to list calories, sugar content, etc., on a basis such as "per gram," the FDA is finally settling on having it listed "per unit," meaning "one mint." This makes sense because a Tic Tac is tinier than a Certs or BreathSaver. The FDA now agrees, noting that a 0.4-gram breath mint may have "the same breath-freshening capacity as larger mints" that are 2.0-grams.

But the FDA went far deeper, exploring the public health issues of breath mints.

Here come the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Agriculture, and many more with their thoughts about America's oversized behinds and whether or not breath mints are part of the problem.

And of course, there's this:

Perhaps most importantly, the FDA proposes "to redesignate § 101.9(b)(2)(i)(F) as § 101.9(b)(2)(i)(E), redesignate §101.9(b)(2)(i)(G) as § 101.9(b)(2)(i)(F), redesignate § 101.9(b)(2)(i)(H) as § 101.9(b)(2)(i)(G), and redesignate § 101.9(b)(2)(i)(I) as § 101.9(b)(2)(i)(H), because the proposed rule would remove current § 101.9(b)(2)(i)(E)."

Read the whole depressing thing.