You gotta love those wild and crazy Nanny State guys; they never stop searching for things to regulate, limit and tax, and they never, ever give up. This past month of June has been a typical one for the federal nannies.
Within just one week earlier this month, the Department of Transportation, headed by federal nanny-in-chief, Secretary Ray LaHood, proposed and then backed away from a ban on serving peanuts on commercial U.S. air carriers. Seems the feds realized after proposing the ban, that they really didn’t have the authority to ban the roasted legumes. In fact, the folks at DOT apparently forgot they are expressly prohibited by law from summarily banning peanuts on airlines.
The small number of persons who fly commercially and who also happen to be allergic to peanuts, first cheered and then booed the federal actions. However, the much larger groups of Americans who are not allergic to peanuts, breathed at least a temporary sigh of relief that this small but welcome perk (for which the airlines do not yet charge passengers), would remain legal. Another reason the early demise of the peanut ban was welcomed by the flying public, is that this snack food may be some of the safest food served on airlines; at least according to a report issued also this month by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). According to the FDA, much of the prepared food served on major U.S. air carriers is prepared in unsafe and unsanitary conditions. While this reported finding could account for the uniformly poor quality of what little prepared food is still served on domestic flights, it does illustrate why it is important to at least insure that packaged, roasted peanuts remain available to ease the hunger of air passengers.
But wait; don’t ease your vigilance yet. There’s another nanny-ism looming on the horizon. The federal Salt Police at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are continuing their pressure to convince restaurants and commercial food producers to cut back on the amount of salt used in food preparation. A study by the CDC released in mid-June moves this ball a bit closer to the goal line of forced salt-reduction, by headlining that only “1 in 18″ Americans limit their daily salt intake to the level recommended by the federal nannies. This continuing effort by Nanny State adherents, including New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, could be employed by the feds as a peripheral attack on peanuts, insofar as the peanuts given out on airlines contain — shudder — salt!
Stay tuned. These Nanny-State battles are far from over.