Coronavirus

When There Wasn't Enough Hand Sanitizer, Distilleries Stepped Up. Now They're Facing $14,060 FDA Fees.

Distilleries just learned that to cap off a brutal year, the FDA is charging them a fee normally reserved for drug manufacturing facilities.

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UPDATE: It's been a whirlwind 24 hours for American craft distillers, but 2020 is ending with some good news: Thanks to media coverage, including here at Reason, of an unexpected and substantial fee imposed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on distillers who pivoted to produce much-needed hand sanitizer, the federal government has reversed course on what would have been a devastating blow to small businesses. Read more about the last-minute reversal here

For many American craft distillers, 2020 was already one of their worst years ever. The COVID-19-related closure of tasting rooms and cocktail bars, loss of tourism, and inability to offer in-store sampling slashed their sales revenue and cut them off from their customers. Then this week, just as it seemed they'd made it through the worst of a terrible year, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had one more surprise in store: The agency delivered notice to distilleries that had produced hand sanitizer in the early days of the pandemic that they now owe an unexpected fee to the government of more than $14,000.

"I was in literal disbelief when I read it yesterday," says Aaron Bergh, president and distiller at Calwise Spirits in Paso Robles, California. "I had to confirm with my attorney this morning that it's true." The surprise fee caught distillers completely off guard, throwing the already suffering industry into confusion.

When the onset of the pandemic led to a massive increase in demand for hand sanitizer this spring, many distilleries stepped up to alleviate the sudden shortage. The main ingredient in sanitizer is ethanol, which they are in the business of making, albeit typically in more fun and tasty formats. More than 800 distilleries pivoted from spirits to sanitizer, offering it for sale or in many cases donating it to their communities free of charge. Their prompt action helped ensure supplies of sanitizer when it was otherwise unobtainable.

(Even then, the FDA needlessly complicated things, imposing additional requirements on top of guidelines published by the World Health Organization for emergency production. The FDA's mandate that all alcohol used in sanitizer first be denatured—rendering it undrinkable—created a bottleneck that raised costs for distillers and slowed production.)

Producing sanitizer is viewed as a point of pride in the distilling business, a way that they were able to help their communities in a fearful time of crisis. 

Now, however, that good deed is being punished with unanticipated fees by the FDA. "I compare it to surprise medical billing," says Becky Harris, president of the American Craft Spirits Association (ACSA) and of Catoctin Creek Distilling in Purcellville, Virginia.

At issue is a provision of the CARES Act that reformed regulation of non-prescription drugs. Under the revised law, distilleries that produced sanitizer have been classified as "over-the-counter drug monograph facilities." The CARES Act also enacted user fees on these facilities to fund the FDA's regulatory activities. For small distillers, that means ending the year with a surprise bill for $14,060 due on February 11.

"People are incredibly anxious," Harris says. "We have been dealing with tons of phone calls talking to individual members and state guilds to tell them what we know and what we don't know."

Harris and the ACSA have spent the day trying to learn more details about the law and the FDA's intentions, but the combination of the holidays and the pandemic makes this a difficult time to reach anyone. "We recognize that this bill [the CARES ACT] was not written specifically for the issue of sanitizer," Harris says. "The problem that we have right now is that [the fee assessment] is going out to a whole lot of small businesses who are struggling in the pandemic."

Bergh's CalWise Spirits is a typical example. He says that his distillery produced 5,000 gallons of hand sanitizer, with distribution prioritized to medical workers and others on the frontlines of the pandemic response. "Some of my hand sanitizer was donated," he said in a statement today. "The rest was sold at a fraction of the market price. My goal was to get as much out as I could, at as low of a price as I could, while being able to bring my furloughed employees back to work. The hand sanitizer business saved me from bankruptcy—but I didn't make an enormous profit."

Potentially compounding the impact of the fee is that it is determined by registration as an OTC (over-the-counter) monograph drug production facility in the previous calendar year. That means that distilleries not only have to contend with this year's fee; if they fail to update their status with the FDA by tomorrow, they may be liable for an additional fee in 2022 as well.

For now, Harris is advising members not to pay the fee right away. "We want to push back on this," she says. She's hopeful that if the FDA has some discretion as to the applicability of the fee, that they will exercise it to exclude distilleries, most of which no longer produce sanitizer and have no intention of continuing to do so now that the emergency shortage has passed. Currently, however, the FDA's website explicitly notes that facilities that produced sanitizer under the agency's temporary COVID-19 policy are not exempt. Reason's inquiry with the FDA has yet to receive a detailed response, but we will update if we receive one.

Paying a surprise $14,000 bill would be a challenge for small businesses in any year, but it's a particular challenge for craft distilleries in 2020. An industry survey conducted earlier this year by the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States and the American Distilling Institute projected that sales revenue at craft distilleries would decline by more than $700 million this year, amounting to approximately 40 percent of their sales.

For many distillers, the unexpected fee assessment from the FDA thus arrives as one more substantial blow in an already devastating year. "If you were making sanitizer for your community at a limited capacity, this should not be something you have to deal with," says Harris. "It will be a slap in the face to make it through all of this and then get hit with this bill." 

NEXT: Increases in Opioid-Related Deaths Show That Drug Warriors (Including Biden) Have No Idea What They're Doing

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  1. No good deed goes unpunished.

    1. Yes, this is true for a bunch of distilleries. Overall a good bunch of noble menches trying to do the right thing, and they ended up pulling a lot of asses out of the fire. That said, there are also a bunch who were being assholes too. Two of our area distilleries were holding everyone’s feet to the fire, getting as much as $200/gallon for the stuff. For these I have no sympathy.

      Regardless of the latter, hopefully this is one that becomes visible at a WH level before Jan 20th and Trump writes it off. I mean hell, this isn’t even a mole on the backside of a flea compared to the trillions we are doling out in political candy. Let’s save some small family businesses.

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      2. “and they ended up pulling a lot of asses out of the fire”

        It was fucking hand sanitizer and it wasn’t even necessary they didn’t pull any asses from any fires.

        1. hey wait a damn minute jun fan…the fact that the stuff was unneeded is immaterial to their plan…they made it and virtue signalled their nonsense and probably even trotted out the “first responder” and other crap that is mandated for the lumps as we all pretend this thing is more than it is. remember, we’re all in this together. unless you run a restaurant. or a rental unit. or a distillery. or need your kids to go to school…then it’s go fuck yourself, you’re on yer own

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          2. FDA is DEEP SWAMP in place to protect NIG DRUG & BIG FOOD interests from it’s inception. Needs radical reform.

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      3. getting as much as $200/gallon for the stuff

        Good for them for sticking to free market principles and stopping the hording of necessities; in the face of their neighbors who thought they were owed it and over the years thought it wise to burden them with endless regulations.

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        2. “getting as much as $200/gallon for the stuff”
          Did you read about the FDA requiring the ethanol to be denatured and the sanitizer to be brought up to medical standards? I just paid $6 for a 4 oz. bottle of sanitizer because I’m required to have it for work. 128 ounces to the gallon, divise that by 4, you get 37 bottles to the gallon. 37 times $6 is $222. Back off and rethink your post.

      4. So when people offer you overpriced goods, your first reaction is that people will feel compelled to buy it? In that case. I have a bunch of pencil shavings I’d like to sell you for $100

        1. Keep in mind, he will buy it, but then he’ll send the feds after you for selling it to him. Make sure you charge him enough to cover the legal costs.

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    2. Next pandemic there will be no help from private industry because of this but thats the point as i always say the government does not like competition

      1. Next pandemic, there will be no private enterprise.

        1. Maybe free-market advocates should come up with better ways to handle a pandemic than the pants-shitting fecklessness they’ve displayed thus far.

          If your plan is “Let God sort out the dead,” don’t be surprised if people don’t take your pamphlet.

          1. Well, distilleries pivoting to making hand sanitizer – which was in short supply – certainly looks like the free market was working.

            Until the government stepped in the way.

          2. Damn, you’re an idiot. Why don’t you just move down to Venezuela and get all the communism you can eat?

      2. for the next one i will be ready to ramp up and shove my nose in the trough. my pledge to you all is that i will gouge so deeply it makes LA firefighter unions look like charities

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    4. HAH! that was my FIRST thought as well

    5. GMTA – That’s exactly what I was going to say.

    6. FDA is DEEP SWAMP in place to protect NIG DRUG & BIG FOOD interests from it’s inception. Needs radical reform.

  2. We’re here from the government and we’re here to help.

  3. It’s difficult to imagine what kind of a piece of shit one must be to dream up and enforce something like this.

    1. look in the mirror shreek.

      1. Is that how you found out that you’re a piece of shit?

        1. No, it was the way you did, steaming pile of lefty shit.

          1. So much shit. See what you started sarc?

            #broken

    2. Where do you think the money is going?
      10% for the Big Guy.

    3. a shameless automation who needs never to think to do their job. they are government employees. i just learned from a very dear friend that his wife makes over $175,000/year administering grants for the feds. SHE MAKES THAT MUCH GIVING OUT OUR MONEY TO PEOPLE THAT NEVER PAY IT BACK. YOU CAN’T MAKE THIS SHIT UP

  4. The FDA is a gang of fuck-ups, what you are describing are merely the symptoms.

    1. The FDA is a gang of fuck-ups

      For implementing a piece of legislation created by Congress?

      1. Excellent point

      2. Yes. They managed to fuck it up because they would only do what they we’re told.

        But Tony wants to use this as an example of how government works better.

    2. I thank Trump for allowing the bureaucrats to speak, and discredit themselves and the government. And I think Fauci is a nice well meaning guy, but even he engages in the FDA/Big Pharma tango taking money from them as speaking fees, while promoting things like “there’s no evidence HCQ works for covid” even though many front line doctors relied upon it because it seemed to work, and if Fauci were being truthful, he’d also say “there’s no evidence HCQ doesn’t work” because they have no expensive double blind human trials to prove it one way or another. That standard being a FDA hurdle to keep competition away from Big Pharma.

      While I sympathize with your assessment, it’s their willingness to use government force (against drug producers and individuals, such as after the fact telling distilleries they have to pay $14,000 to help in the pandemic producing hand sanitizer) that makes them dangerous and harmful. We’re lucky they don’t regulate food because no food would be proven safe and effective without double blind human trials.

      I’d rather the free market make decisions about what drugs should be used allowing doctors and their patients to choose.

  5. So don’t pay it. If you are no longer making hand sanitizer let’s see what they do about it.

    1. “They’re only the federal government, what’s the worst they can…oops, never mind, let’s get the money together to pay them.”

    2. 1. Asses the fee.
      2. Send reminder notices the fee is overdue.
      3. Accumulate fines and fees and interest.
      4. Revoke the license.
      5. Confiscate the assets.
      6. Jail the officers.

      Welcome to the revolution.

    3. If I were the FDA commissioner… (pats cat and gives an evil grin) … I would send inspectors to your drug manufacturing facility. If you don’t let them in, they shut the place down for refusing an inspection. If you do let them in, they find you are not following good manufacturing processes and shut you down. If you had enough influence to beat the charges you would be rich enough to pay the fee without pain. See Katherine Eban’s _Bottle of Lies_ to understand how the inspection process works if you are too big to fail instead of the little guy.

  6. “Becky Harris, president of the American Craft Spirits Association (ACSA) and of Catoctin Creek Distilling in Purcellville, Virginia.”

    Any relation to the VP elect?

  7. Did Cuomo get his bill for making sanitizer?

  8. If ever there were a good reason for a presidential pardon…

    1. Sorry, not going to happen. Let them eat cake.

  9. That’ll teach ’em to produce things people want.

  10. They are a businesses, they make money, they can afford it, or they shouldn’t be in business.

    1. We, either that’s sarcasm, or you’re the biggest piece of shit to comment here in ages. Did you not read the article. They were giving it away at or below cost. Their industry has been devastated by closing bars and restaurants. They did a good deed, now the G wants to fuck them fir it. A pix on you and all your family… unless it’s sarcasm.

      1. “you’re the biggest piece of shit to comment here in ages.”

        Hi new idiot, if you ever actually posted here before you wouldn’t have to guess.

      2. The sad part is, you thought it was real, because it could have been.

  11. What kind of screwed up government do we have that classifies a cleaning product as an over-the-counter drug?

    1. fascist

    2. The only kind that ever exists. A short-sighted corrupt one.

  12. That’ll teach ’em to produce things people want.
    https://bindassmusic.com

  13. Government exists to crush everyone.

  14. Reason’s inquiry with the FDA has yet to receive a detailed response, but we will update if we receive one.

    “Oh, we just received it: ‘Fuck you, that’s why!’.”

  15. O/T – R.I.P., Dawn Wells.

    1. Sad. The best on the island.

      1. My favorite

    2. So Tina Louise is the last living castaway.

    3. Mary Ann was definitely hotter than Ginger…

      1. Agreed, just like Bailey Quarters was hotter than Jennifer Marlowe on WKRP.

        1. Exponentially so.

  16. If hand sanitizer is a drug then all these fuckers advising me to use hand sanitizer are dispensing medical advice without a license and I want all of them prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. By the way, are masks considered medical devices and do the same laws about dispensing medical advice apply to them as well? ‘Cause I’ve got a long list of people I’d like to report for that shit as well.

    1. Go on…

      1. As some day it may happen that a victim must be found
        I’ve got a little list — I’ve got a little list
        Of society offenders who might well be underground
        And who never would be missed — who never would be missed!

        [Chorus]
        He’s got ’em on the list — he’s got ’em on the list;
        And they’ll none of ’em be missed — they’ll none of ’em be missed

        1. Everyone in this thread is now dumber for having read that.

          1. Or, more educated, if they recognize the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta lyrics from The Mikado. 😉

    2. When anyone says I should cover my face at a store: “Jerry said that’s dispensing medical advice without a license.”

      I wonder if it will work!

    3. The First Amendment trumps any law that purports to tell me I can’t tell people to use hand sanitizer.

  17. Fuck the FDA. They have done far more harm than good this year. They delayed the Moderna vaccine And are still dragging their feet on the AstraZeneca vaccine. And now this? Bureucrats have no shame.

    1. “…They have done far more harm than good this year…”

      Expand your horizons; you left out well over 100 years.

    2. Fuck the FDA.

      Because of a piece of legislation enacted by Congress?

      1. It’s Congress all the way down.

    3. By the way, it should be noted that the FDA did take relevant actions that were with in it’s power in response to this issue. Namely, it temporarily eased several of its applicable regulations in order to facilitate increased production and distribution of hand sanitizers.

      https://www.sgs.com/en/news/2020/06/hand-sanitizer-regulations-eased-in-response-to-covid-19

      1. Oh, look – it turns out that not demanding fees was within its power all along.

  18. They’re doing this on purpose to destroy the country.

  19. This is pure evil bullshit. But remember Trumpists, it’s Trump’s FDA. Where is the executive order?

    1. This was part of CARES.

    2. This is why only idiots comment without bothering to first read (and comprehend) what they’re commenting on. This is a (presumably unintended) side-effect of a provision of the CARES act, which is a piece of legislation enacted by Congress (the provision being a part of the bill that originated in the House of Representatives…you know, the one controlled by the Democrats), not a policy/regulation the FDA pulled out of it’s collective ass.

      1. The CARES Act was the largest upward transfer of wealth in the history of mankind – the $1,200 was just “hush money” (or better, “we think you are so fucking stupid that you won’t notice what we are really up to money.”

        1. Which has absolutely nothing at all to do with the provision in question.

  20. I did the research…distilleries making Hand Sanitizer was always doomed to fail.
    https://youtu.be/iecG4_3lE34

    But damn this is even worse than I expected.

  21. Poor commies at unreason. They want commuinism good and hard but get trumpism and they hate it.

    1. How in the hell is a provision of a bill created by the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives “trumpism”?

      1. My bad. The final form of H.R. 748 was actually created by the Senate, but accepted (and passed) by the House as well. Either way…how in the hell does that constitute “trumpism”?

  22. Can President Biden waive this fee by executive order?

    1. If Obama could waive the immigration laws by executive order, I don’t see why not.

    2. No; but president Harris can

    3. SleepyJoe will double the fine.

      1. Sleepy Joe when asked to repeal the fine: “Thanks for asking, yes, I feel fine! Now, what was your question?”

  23. The FDA is UN-Constitutional!!!!!!!!!

    1. And for those who think the foundation is but a mistake in history – let’s just call this what federal healthcare for all looks like.

    2. Yeah, so what’s your point?

      1. What made America great was the Constitution. Citizens electing Congressmen, Politicians and Judges, that ignore it; Is exactly why America is not so great now.

        1. And nobody bothers to care. Well, except some nutty cranks on the internet.

          “A nation of laws, not men”

          I actually fell for that one. Then I started reading up on constitutional law. Until then, I never knew that every clause of the constitution has an “unless we feel like it” caveat written in invisible ink.

    3. How exactly does the FDA go against the constitution?

      1. There’s not enumerated power given to the federal government for Food and Drug regulation and non-enumerated powers are to be left up to the sates or the people by Amendment X.

  24. As noted at the top, you get the government you voted for, good and hard.

    1. With or without fifty gallons of lubricant?

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  27. Anyone cowed (or stupid) enough to beg for a license to create and sell a product that isn’t a tort on its face, deserves all the fines its Masters can dream up.

    1. Did you miss the Catch-22? It’s *illegal* to make the product without a license. So failing to get a license not only involves payment of fines (likely bigger than fees) AND your lawyer, but also jail time. If you get the license, you only pay the fees. No groveling makes any difference–the jackboot is on your face already.

  28. No good deed goes unpunished…… especially with government! Is Aaron Bergh the former Bachelor?

  29. If you’re the kind of bureaucrat who thinks it’s OK to attack those who step up to help us all in emergencies, go fucking kill yourself. You won’t be missed.

    -jcr

    1. You got that right.

      And if I am a distiller (or anyone paying attention in another business), I have taken note and will tell them to fuck off the next time they ask for help.

      I hate my government, but not near as much as it hates all of us.

  30. It is important to illustrate how this reflects one basic principle pushed by the Libertarian Party for decades – a flat tax or fee. These smaller distillers are paying the same fee as large distillers though their lower incomes make it much more a burden on them.

    Likewise, individuals with lower incomes can afford the burden of taxes much less, even if it is a percentage as they spend much more of their incomes on necessities, rather than luxuries – what cripples them doesnt affect a Jeff Bezos or Bill Gates. Someone working for minimum wage cannot afford even the necessities and taxes are completely unaffordable, while someone in the middle class can afford a substantial tax – meanwhile the rich can afford a massive tax – which is why income taxes are graduated at the federal level – each contributes based upon their benefit from society and ability to pay as put forward by Adam Smith.

    Of course, even that is in the rich’s favor as those who dont work for their incomes, receiving them through profits, pay less than a low wage worker and Trump cut taxes heavily on the rich while raising them for most of us – and we havent had proper brackets in 40-50 years.

    1. A “flat tax” is usually meant as a flat percentage of income, not a flat dollar amount, you know. I don’t think anyone is advocating that everyone simply pay $14,000 in taxes regardless of income, which is what is happening to the distilleries.

      1. A flat dollar amount (or per capita tax) would be the most fair, and discourage spending increases.

        Want to spend 5 trillion dollars at the federal government level? Send 250 million adults a bill for 20K each.

        Want a trillion dollar bailout for the state-government caused lockdown depression? Tack another 4K on everyone’s tax bill.

        Things the government needs to do (if any) would still get funded, if a majority agreed with them. But any new plan being pushed would cost everyone to implement, as it should.

    2. To a large medical factory, $14,000 isn’t even a rounding error.
      However, to a small laboratory, it’s a big expense.
      To a brewery? That same fee is ruinous.

  31. Sounds like an ex post facto law. Take ’em to court.

    1. “Retroactive tax? How about a retroactive vote?” — Murphy Brown

      But seriously, retroactive taxes are legal. Even if they are not, the law was passed early in the pandemic, possibly before these businesses pivoted to FDA-regulated products.

    2. Sounds like an ex post facto law.

      You mean the legislation that was signed into law on Mar. 27, 2020? How many breweries were manufacturing hand sanitizer before that date?

  32. The FDA is a dinosaur. It is a bureaucratic disaster. It needs to be dismantled and completely rebuilt.

    1. Add to that the fact that it panders to Big Pharma while posing as protection for the public.

  33. I have never used hand sanitizer in my life. I wash my hands when they get dirty. I don’t suck my thumb, why should my hands be “sanitized”?

    1. Supposedly it helps you out in the rare case you get pathogens on your hands and remember to use it before touching your face.

    2. It must be nice to always be within reach of soap and running water.

      Also, you don’t have to pay anyone to make hand sanitizer for you. I carry around a small spray bottle of rubbing alcohol, just like I did before the pandemic. That way I can snack on my groceries on the way home in the middle of flu season (or just touch my frickin’ steering wheel).

  34. I’m pretty sure that after President Trump hears about this shenanigan, he will order the FDA to waive this fee.

    My solution would have been easier: Distillers could simply eliminate the ‘denatured’ step, and market the hand sanitizer as adult hand sanitizer, so safe, that one could add it to their Egg Nog 🙂

  35. The lawyers and Distilleries need to look into the Defense Production Act. Trump implemented this in the spring for the production of medical supplies especially ventilators without all the the proper channels needing to be followed. How do you think car manufacturers were able to start producing ventilator part on the same machines they were making vehicle parts on.

  36. Somewhere Ayn Rand is chuckling

  37. This law didn’t just pop out of nowhere and enforce itself. Someone in the FDA had to say “hey, lets fine these guys” and start the ball rolling. Find out who gave the order and set it in motion and jerk their chain a bit. Then retract these stupid fines.

    1. Biden will misfile this.

  38. Just our government’s way of saying, “Fuck you very much.”

  39. I never understand why ethanol (vs. methanol or isopropyl) is used in hand sanitizer anyway (it’s not just distillers). But then I guess all those hardcore alcoholics wouldn’t get to use “I drank hand sanitizer” like some sort of litmus test for membership in their little club.

  40. I just emailed my senator. This simply isn’t fair. The distillers were just trying to help. And if they made a buck while doing so, good for them – go capitalism. A local manufacturer made sanitizer here in Mt. Gilead; wonder if they have been whacked too?

    1. I “have” TWO Senators. How many do you have? Did you e-mail them both, or just one of them? Which one? And how did you choose?

  41. Most of these were profiteers. If you have proof that you donated 10%, or sold at very close to cost, I would wave it…otherwise…pay up. The idea of gougers who were charging $200 a gallon weaseling out of the tax is more than irritating.

    I, however, think the requirement to denature it was loony. As long as it was actually hand sanitizer. Plenty of things have alcohol like vanilla or almond extract. That would be some pretty nasty stuff to down. Sounds close to that slime the Cardassians drank on Deep Space 9? Ah, yes, Kanar.

  42. This is easy: Don’t pay it. If somebody from the government comes to collect, kill them and bury their body in the woods.

  43. “To be GOVERNED is to be watched, inspected, spied upon, directed, law-driven, numbered, regulated, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, checked, estimated, valued, censured, commanded, by creatures who have neither the right nor the wisdom nor the virtue to do so. To be GOVERNED is to be at every operation, at every transaction noted, registered, counted, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized, admonished, prevented, forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished. It is, under pretext of public utility, and in the name of the general interest, to be placed under contribution, drilled, fleeced, exploited, monopolized, extorted from, squeezed, hoaxed, robbed; then, at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined, vilified, harassed, hunted down, abused, clubbed, disarmed, bound, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed; and to crown all, mocked, ridiculed, derided, outraged, dishonored. That is government; that is its justice; that is its morality.”
    General Idea of the Revolution in the Nineteenth Century, translated by John Beverly Robinson (London: Freedom Press, 1923), pp. 293-294.”
    ~ Pierre-Joseph Proudhon

    1. The above should be carefully read,and considered I think.

  44. Now how might it turn out if these distillers told The Feds (FDA) to, in plain English PISS OFF, advice that strikes me as a whole lot more than simply appropriate.

  45. Let me guess.. Proctor and Gamle, with milions of dollars in sales, pay the same $14Kfee, right?

    these small time distillers that stepped up to save the day (IF one accepts the current whiz dumb that hand sanitiser actually DOES anything useful) need to contect their congress critters that enacted that bill, tell then what they did to their small0sized constituents and demand a retroactive change to take away the fee for those that helped out.
    Plenty of water for the big fish to swim in, but hardly a riffle for the little Mom and Pop guys trying to hack out a living for their familes in the face of uncosntitutoinal gummit mucking up. Sad.

    1. Let me guess.. Proctor and Gamle, with milions of dollars in sales, pay the same $14Kfee, right?

      Did you know that billionaires pay the same fees for things like fishing licenses that those of much more modest means do? Harrumph!!!

  46. “The” law requires you to “denature” the Demon Alcohol with poison that makes people go blind or kills them. That’s what Jesus would do. It’s in the Theodore Roosevelt Bauble somewhere. If you don’t poison your fellow human beings, you’re liable to a special tax. Look it up. Before 1907, taxation mas mainly theft; after that it became maiming and murder.

    1. Spurious and irrelevant.

    2. You do know that nearly the entire Federal government was funded by a liquor tax until Prohibition.

      Most people in the US can read. There is only about 1,000,000 things you can’t drink in this world. How dare anyone make a liquid that can’t be guzzled!

      The fact that it is a gelatin blob and smells like talcum powder, doesn’t suggest that this is not a drink to you? Sounds like addiction talking.

      Denaturing it, is to keep desperate addicted loons from poisoning themselves on the other ingredients of non-beverage products. And, yes, to keep alcohol more expensive because we don’t want to be like Russia where the life expectancy of men was down below 60 years for more than a decade, because they got vodka nearly free: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_in_Russia#/media/File:Russian_male_and_female_life_expectancy.PNG

  47. Fuck this Cuntry.

  48. Abolish the FDA.

  49. This law didn’t just pop out of nowhere and enforce itself. Someone in the FDA had to say “hey, let’s find these guys” and start the ball rolling. Find out who gave the order and set it in motion and jerk their chain a bit. Then retract these stupid fines.https://thetrend24.com/

  50. I wrote my Senators and Representative. I got a response today from my representative stating “Thankfully, on December 31, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that they would direct the FDA to cease enforcement of the surprise user fees, ensuring that none of the local distilleries participating in this program will be hit with unexpected expenses.” Hooray for representatives that listen.

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