FDA opens door for caffeine age restrictions

May 10, 2013, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government General Counsel Nathan Mehrens today issued the following statement in response to a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announcement that “the agency will investigate the safety of caffeine in food products, particularly its effects on children and adolescents”:

“The federal government has absolutely no role, none, in governing age restrictions on purchasing products. Everything from drinking ages, smoking ages, to voting ages and drivers’ licenses are all handled at the state level. Why suddenly investigate caffeine’s effects now after more than fifty years of inclusion in American food and beverage products? We suppose the agency has already made up its mind on this issue, so in the not so distant future, we should all be prepared to be carded at Starbucks.

“The FDA is the perfect example of an agency that is ever encroaching on the choices — the liberty — of consumers in the market place to determine what they wish to consume. It’s a mindset. When it’s not caffeine, it’s sugar, it’s sugar substitutes, it’s the size of beverages, it’s menthol in cigarettes, it’s harm reduction in cigarettes. It never ends with the nanny state.

“These unelected bureaucrats operate with no consent of the governed, yet they believe they can make us better. That if choices are restricted, better outcomes will be produced. It is a self-appointed mandate to ‘improve’ upon the human condition by restricting choices such that the only ones that remain available are highly confined, government-approved choices. In this ever-expanding mandate, agencies like the FDA will eventually come to regulate every aspect of life.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at (703) 383-0880 ext. 106 or at media@algnews.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG General Counsel Nathan Mehrens, also a former Labor Department appointee.