Government “health” bullies target kids’ lemonade stands

In one of the latest, but by no means isolated examples of the Nanny State run amok, so-called “health inspectors” are shutting down kids’ neighborhood lemonade stands.  These regulatory bullies are forcing kids who want to supplement their allowances by offering a cool glass of lemonade for a few cents to willing consumers, to either pay for a “temporary restaurant license” or be shut down.  A seven-year old girl in Portland, Oregon, is but the latest victim of this bizarre government action.

Little Julie Murphy was confronted by one of these government intimidators while selling lemonade at a neighborhood fair and forced to stop her enterprise because she had failed to secure a $120 license.  Had she continued to engage in the apparently deadly act of selling lemonade without a license, the “health” inspector informed her she would be subject to a $500 fine. 

Oregon’s lemonade police defended their actions by claiming they were simply there to “protect” the public against unsafe foods and beverages as part of the so-called “food-borne illness prevention program.”  And, since Miss Murphy was engaging in “commerce” by selling glasses of her homemade beverage, she was subject to the heavy hand of government regulation.

This is but a small example of what the government is doing in virtually every area of our economy.  If you like having lemonade police, you’ll love the federal health police as they implement the massive health care “reform” recently signed into law by Prsident Obama.

42 comments Add your comment


August 13th, 2010
6:59 am

You are so right, Mr. Barr. Good article as usual! As a child in the early 1970s, my friend and I brought out our table, chairs, and kids’ plastic Coca-Cola dispenser, which was designed exactly as a summer “fun” activity, reflecting the innocence and simplicity of the time. A few neighbors came got to buy a 2-4 oz. coke for a nickel or dime, and no one got sick. If, as adults, they had any health concerns, they probably didn’t drink it. Instead, the point was to recognize our efforts, while building a neighborly “community”. Government has no place in a child’s “make believe” business.


August 13th, 2010
7:27 am

But … but … but …. it had deadly SUGAR in it!!!!!!!!!


August 13th, 2010
7:51 am

Thank God for Barack Obama!

In less than 24 months on the job he has solved all the nations problems.

All Bob has left to worry about is lemonade stands.


August 13th, 2010
8:13 am

I don’t think the underlying concern was the safety of the lemonade and the potential health risks. Obamacare wil ltake care of any health related problems. The real issue was more than likely that the young lady wasn’t collecting the right sales taxes from her customers.


August 13th, 2010
8:31 am

I’m glad they shut it down. As someone who has suffered food poisoning; lemons can become contaminated very quickly in the heat. I personally would not buy lemonade sold or made by children, but unsuspecting kids would buy it.

So, if the “Government State” is going to eliminate the possibility of paying for medicine and medical bills; I’m all for it. The last time I had food poisoning I was sick for about a week. It wasn’t pretty or cheap. It cost me a few day off work and more than $1,000 in medical expenses.


August 13th, 2010
8:40 am

“if the “Government State” is going to eliminate the possibility of paying for medicine and medical bills”…keep dreaming.

The Government State isn’t going to do anything except charge you more, give you less, and fine or jail you if you aren’t happy about that.

It’s hot…drink some more kool-aid. I’m sure there’s some kids down the street selling it (assuming, of course, the government hasn’t stopped them), but if not, there’s plenty in DC to go around.


August 13th, 2010
9:20 am

Yes, I also worry about what bored kids DO to the lemonade… to see if anyone notices the special secret ingredient, or what happens to them afterward. Curiosity is, I fear, a much bigger incentive thant the $4 and change they might make in profits. Ewwwwww!


August 13th, 2010
9:22 am

Mr. Barr you are a bit off the mark on this one. It was by no means a “neighborhood stand”. The stand was setup at an organized fair where all other vendors were paying these fees and abiding by sanitation ordinances. This would be akin to setting it up at Music Midtown or something like that. In this case, all vendors are required to have a license. Your argument is that it is perfectly feasible for someone to come in and setup a food vending booth at an event like that without the burden of following sanitation and other ordinances simply because they are young?

Now, if it were an actual neighborhood stand then you would be 100% correct in your assertions.

john k

August 13th, 2010
9:29 am

Yeah Bob, nice editing there. Why did you leave out that she set up a booth at a fair? Where the vendors need to be licensed?

Or does that not fit into your anti-government hysteria and desire to make a wide, illogical leap directly to the lap of Obama?

No wonder you’re a failure of a politician.


August 13th, 2010
9:33 am

Really? This is a worthy story???


August 13th, 2010
9:47 am

Bob, occasionally you hit a story right on the mark, in both your selection of a topic and yoru analysis of it. This one fails.

Lt Col

August 13th, 2010
10:00 am

To Sick&Tired – You are not tired but you are definitely sick…in the head!!


August 13th, 2010
10:45 am

As others have pointed out, this was at a fair that, I’m sure requires all vendors (including those selling t-shirts) are required to get a permit.

Secondly, please show me how this has anything to do with the Healthcare bill that was passed by congress and signed by the President. What page in the bill is it on? I would like to look it up. The federal government are not the ones who issue the licenses, it’s a state’s issue. This is not the first lemonade stand that has been shut down…there have been others who were shut down way before the Healthcare bill was even introduced in congress.


August 13th, 2010
10:46 am

Lt Col

August 13th, 2010
10:00 am

You’re just plain STUPID.


August 13th, 2010
10:51 am

Now there are child labor laws. This girl is being eploited by the proletariat. All day in the hot sun selling lemonade. Not right at all.It was not that long ago that Western Union telegraph was having runners delivering telegrams who were children. And, of course children were working in the coal mines. Now, it is lemonade. Who gets the profits, I would like to know.

Charley Miller

August 13th, 2010
10:58 am

My first comment here, so first.

Thank you for your public service and keeping us all on the right track. Its out of control.
We seriously have to support each other, but most of all fight.

Stop the Insanity! Fix Economic Mess! End Free Rides! Please take a moment to visit my Website no matter where you live.

Colorado Unaffiliated for US Senate
@charleym2010 on Twitter

john k

August 13th, 2010
11:12 am

Mr. Miller;


Port O'John

August 13th, 2010
11:13 am

More selective editing from Andrew Briebart, uh, I mean Bob Barr.

The inspector’s boss overruled him and apologized. I guess Bob wasn’t interested in that part of the story as that does not fit his worldview that all govt is evil all of the time.

The point of Bob’s column is to get all the wingnuts inflamed and hating the govt — why tell the whole story? Don’t want to appear “fair and balanced”?

Change I can Believe In

August 13th, 2010
11:22 am

I am bothered by this story. Since there are no jobs, thanks to our President and Congress ruining our economy, I had plans to open a lemonade stand to bring in some much needed capital. Now I have to buy a permit. I bet I will also have to issue a 1099 to everyone that buys lemonade. Maybe Presbo will stop by from one of his vacations for a photo op and buy a cup.


August 13th, 2010
11:25 am

Mr. Barr, if you are saying the new healthcare legislation is going to protect us from Lucy from “Peanuts” 5-cent doctor visits, then I think you made a great comparison though likely not valid. If you were attempting to do anything more, then I believe you failed miserably.


August 13th, 2010
11:36 am

Yes, Bob Barr, with all the problems here in GA under the current Republican administration (how about citizens of GA can’t even vote on Sunday liquor because the “Republican” governor doesn’t think it’s right) you go after the feds. Bob, for every negative you have to say about the current government there is an equal negative about the current Republican dominated nanny state of GA that you refuse to write about.

I have an idea, how about writing about the Republican support for education, transportation (other than asphalt), water, air quality, jobs (in GA), etc. etc. But I forget, you were, in Congress, part of the problem and can’t bring yourself to criticize your own.

Junior Sample

August 13th, 2010
11:58 am

As usual, Bob has taking a non-story and blown it out of context, and proportion. Take off the tin-foil hat Bob.

TJ Destry

August 13th, 2010
12:01 pm

So this is happening all over, Bob?

Name two other examples.


August 13th, 2010
1:56 pm

Really, Bob? There’s a government agency devoted to shutting down lemonade stands? Which one would that be? And which government? Surely the Federal Government doesn’t regulate them — so is it all of Oregon that has set up such a bizarre system, or just Multnomah County? And can you give me other examples of this perverse group at work, or is this the only one?

Look, the little girl was serving an item that people will consume, and if she’s doing it improperly (not washing, etc.) people could get very, very sick. I think we can all agree that restaurants should be regulated — and this fits the definition of a restaurant in a broad sense (which is how it’s defined in the law). There’s no legal exception for things that are cute, or businesses that are very, very small.

Should there be? Yeah, maybe that county needs to change the law to say that a business that does less than a certain volume is not subject to regulation. If so, we’d all just have to accept the risk that Aunt Susie’s homemade cakes might kill us — but maybe that’s a risk that, as a society, we might decide to take so as to encourage small businesses. But that’s not the law right now.

Should the inspector have nonetheless looked the other way? I can see that argument. But you know what? We’re a nation of laws — and his job is to enforce them. He was attending an event where all groups were operating in accordance with the law — and where you’d expect an inspector to be there, doing his inspections. This wasn’t on her front lawn — there’s not some roving band of inspectors driving around neighborhoods looking to shut down lemonade stands. When you’re in violation of the law right in front of someone whose job is to enforce the law…I mean, what do you expect?

It’s just not within his power to decide that the law applies to some people and not others. (His boss has that discretion, though — and he exercised it.) So what do you want him to do? If he had looked the other way, I don’t think anyone would have blamed him — but if we want him to always look the other way in that situation, we’ve got to change the law so that it doesn’t cover lemonade stands.

We may all get sick from that — but I can understand making that legislative choice. But until we have changed the law, arguing that it’s somehow “nanny state” to have followed it — or for the drafters of the law to have not had the foresight to specifically exempt “cute” businesses — well that just doesn’t make any sense, Bob.


August 13th, 2010
1:56 pm

Bob, I want to thank the voters of Georgia for voting your butt out of office….Thank you GA.

David S

August 13th, 2010
2:00 pm

Looks from these comments that some folks won’t wake up to the ever-diminshing rights in this country or the steady growth of the totalitarian state until they find themselves on a train car on the way to the camps. Hope you all have a nice ride. Don’t worry, I hear there are wonderful warm showers when you get there.

Thanks for bringing the oppression to light Bob. These folks are making it really clear which side of the battle they will be on.


August 13th, 2010
2:06 pm

Freedom of choice is a valuable thing, ashamed they can find a lemonade stand but can,t find 36 million illegal mexicans on every street corner,make your votes count.


August 13th, 2010
2:08 pm

As usual, Mr. Barr, you don’t know what you don’t know! Like most Republicans. And Tea partiers, who don’t realize they behave like anarchists – and some like faschists. If you continue to do the same things and expect the outcome to be different, you could be considered insane or at most stupid.

john k

August 13th, 2010
2:09 pm

“the totalitarian state until they find themselves on a train car on the way to the camps.”

Why, I think this falls under Godwin’s Law.


August 13th, 2010
2:48 pm

Personally, I think the stand should have been shut down as it was at a fair. That’s like kids setting up a lemonade stand at the Georgia Dome to make money during Falcons games. Illegal vending is illegal vending.I seriously doubt that these kids came up with the idea on their own to sell lemonade at a fair instead of going on the rides.

I actually respect you Mr Barr. You’ve brought good points up about the Patriot Act when other on the right looked the other way. I expect better from you.

“the totalitarian state until they find themselves on a train car on the way to the camps.”
…And then space aliens use their ships to destroy every American City, so they can take the planet for themselves.

1) dictatorship: a form of government in which the ruler is an absolute dictator (not restricted by a constitution or laws or opposition

2) A system of government where the people have virtually no authority and the state wields absolute control of every aspect of the country, socially, financially and politically. For example a dictatorship such as the Nazi regime

Someone needs remedial social studies… :(

Don't Forget

August 13th, 2010
2:48 pm

One idiot health inspector shuts down a kid’s lemonade stand and you try to turn it into some sort of national conspiracy. Very lame.

Don't Forget

August 13th, 2010
3:04 pm

David S

August 13th, 2010
2:00 pm
Looks from these comments that some folks won’t wake up to the ever-diminshing rights in this country or the steady growth of the totalitarian state until they find themselves on a train car on the way to the camps.
Really? Concentration camps is what you think this points to? You have completely lost your mind. Get help.

Keep up the good fight!

August 13th, 2010
4:27 pm

Hmmm….workers bathing in the sinks at restaurants, spitting on burgers served to police, but sure no problem letting them serve food or drink made on counters where their cats climb on the food or food may fall on the floor. And of course, very enterprising to let the kids sell lemonade where at the same fair (with 15,000 people attending) an adult vendor has paid a fee for the proper license. The other food handlers and vendors paid but “fair competition” meant this girl did not have to pay? Bob, you should be ashamed of your distortion of the facts. If you had tried this garbage in law school even a 1st year would have whupped you good.

john k

August 13th, 2010
4:39 pm

I find it pretty funny to see in your recent article list to the right, you have one called “Liar Liar….Pants on Fire.”

Foreshadowing, eh Bob?

[...] August 13, 2010 Socrates Leave a comment Go to comments By now I’m sure you’ve heard the story about the little girl selling lemonade who was told to cease and desist by Health Department [...]

Scarf ace

August 14th, 2010
7:58 am


barking frog

August 14th, 2010
10:05 am

one little government resister among
the sheep. you go girl.


August 15th, 2010
10:03 am



August 15th, 2010
10:10 am

tried to tell you people about black leadership, didnt I …?

This one trick donkey so called peresident will REALLY put some taxes on yall’s bot come January…

Just you wait, he knows his little piss party is about over..


August 15th, 2010
1:25 pm

Ol J. B. Stoner told em years ago, still makes good points.


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4:24 am

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August 26th, 2010
4:31 pm

Just another example of how the government can torment us citizens into obeying yet another pointless law. It’s not like the children will poison you; they just want to sell some lemonade and get some cash. The government needs to get their own head out of the clouds and stop wasting our tax-payer’s money. If they are going to torment kids like this, imagine what they will do to the rest of America? They’ve gone crazy with power and need to be stopped. They’ve already ruined America enough as it is…