At significant risk to your perceptions of me, I post this early on a Wednesday. Last week Adam posted an interview with Marion Nestle, who is a strong advocate for something that I can’t really figure out, but being charitable I presume it is adding warning labels for artificial food coloring on foods due to their effect on childhood hyperactivity. Her rationalizations are weak, and the evidence doesn’t seem to be on her side, but I was surprised (and delighted) to find this on my can of horrible high-alcohol malt liquor:
I have no idea where the inclination to add FD&C Blue #1 and Red #40 came from. I certainly didn’t care (not when there’s another label proclaiming 12% alcohol!). I would imagine that it has to be regulatory, since this isn’t even the class of product that do-gooders are worried about. On a related Adam Ozimek note regarding slippery slopes, an Iowa Congressman proposed legislation banning the mixing of alcohol with caffeinated beverages. I don’t think it got anywhere.
Update: Indeed, it looks as if this is due to regulation. So maybe not so much market reform leader as harbinger of regulatory burden. Apparently cochineal extract and carmine carry risks of severe allergic reaction, including anaphylaxis. I actually agree with this, as labels are fairly benign from a cost perspective, and widely illuminating if you happen to have such a condition. Much more rational than a ban based on dubious evidence.