Nanny staters target Anheuser-Busch and Miller

by Ted Frank on February 29, 2008

Public Citizen’s blog announced that CSPI plans to sue the beverage sellers, asking for disgorgement of profits from flavored malt beverages, unless they agree to take them off the market. Their theory? By making flavored alcoholic beverages that taste good, they are effectively marketing to children. (Because, after all, adults don’t like beverages that taste good.) CSPI also claims that it violates FDA rules to sell alcoholic beverages that contain caffeine, which would be a surprise to every restaurant that offers Irish coffee.

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1 Steve Gardner 02.28.08 at 9:13 pm

When it comes to protecting the health and safety of children, I am happy to be called a “nanny.”

2 Paul 02.28.08 at 10:06 pm

When it comes to the health and safety of children, Steve, I’d thank you to not bar me from being able to drink better tasting beverages because you won’t take on the responsibility of teaching your own kids how to behave.

3 DA 02.28.08 at 10:30 pm

Protecting the kids… think of the many things one might rationalize sueing over in the name of protecting the kids. Actually, apparently you think about precisely that based on this action.

Why would you stop at flavored etoh drinks if protecting kids is your goal? Or, a better question, why should I trust you would stop at flavored drinks…

4 Bumper 02.28.08 at 10:35 pm

Red flag: it’s about the children. It in NEVER about the children. It is about a bunch of thugs in pseudo-scientific sheep’s clothing trying to impose their will on the public. Legislators as a whole have proven to be less than receptive to such impositions, lest they incur the wrath of their electors. Thus the liberal’s time honored tradition of trying to get judges and juries to do what legislators won’t.

They are trying to take the logic of the old diet joke, “If it tastes good, spit it out” and turn into law, because kids like things that taste good. What’s next ice cream, peanut butter, chocolate chip cookies? But I like those things, what about me? Sorry, it’s for the children. BULL. This group has never found a food that they like, and probably never will. Because this is about control and the death of choice, personal choice. The sooner people get a grip on this little fact the sooner the “food police” will be relegated to the back burner of life.

Their are already plenty of laws on the books “to protect the children”, probably too many. A better bet than the nanny state is parent’s raising their own children.

5 Roger Bournival 02.28.08 at 11:28 pm

I remember drinking vodka, rum and many (good and bad tasting) beers growing up in the late ’70′s an early ’80′s as a teenager. Should I sue for reparations or something?

6 Hustiac 02.29.08 at 12:51 am

This may well be at an extreme end of the bell curve, but do chocolate malts conceiveably count as flavored malt beverages? And horrors! Chocolate contains caffeine, too! For the calories, the cholesterol, and the caffeine, I’d say that chocolate malts are dangerous to children and need to be regulated ASAP lest our frail children, and our more frail parenting skills, fall prey to them.

7 Delta 02.29.08 at 6:09 am

They say that there is “No adequate substantiation that either has a stimulant effect” and yet they claim that “These companies are intentionally spiking their alcoholic drinks with stimulants.”

So basically they’re suing because….ummm….why is it they’re suing, again?

8 Jim Collins 02.29.08 at 9:39 am

I was wondering who would be next. The cigarette companies are about tapped out and the fast food industry has pretty much surrendered.

9 Heather 02.29.08 at 12:14 pm

Have you ever seen a picture of the guy who runs CSPI? The man has ever enjoyed ANYTHING in his entire life, so he’s made it his mission to make sure everyone else is as miserable as he is.

Anyway, I’m with Paul. No one has any business restricting my freedoms because they can’t teach their own damn kids to be responsible. And as long as Kool-Aid, soda, and fruit juices are legal, kids are always going to be able to make alcohol “taste good”…the only way you’re going to be able to keep kids from purchasing alcohol that “tastes good” is to raise ‘em in Saudi Arabia. Which I suspect is what CSPI and Steve Gardner really want.

10 Joe Bingham 02.29.08 at 4:00 pm

When it comes to protecting the health and safety of children, I am happy to be called a “nanny.”

Notable difference: derisive reference to nanny-staters as nanny-staters in the headline was followed by a substantive criticism of the fallacious reasoning behind this particular nanny state effort. Your (Steve’s) comment, however, completely dodges the question of how this suit will help children, and offers no substantive thought at all.

11 JTheRock 02.29.08 at 4:26 pm

Where does it end? you know Jagermeister tastes like black liquorice…opps! dont tell CSPI. I concur “Paul” , bad parenting is no excuse allowing extremely intrusive groups such as CSPI.

12 kimsch 02.29.08 at 4:37 pm

ah but if they could make all alcohol containing products taste like rubbing alcohol then perhaps no one would drink at all including the grownups. Next they need additives to make sugars and fats and anything else that’s not great for you but tastes good taste bad… Then you won’t like it.

13 smurfy 02.29.08 at 6:50 pm

I hope this suit does suceed in ruining this industry.

Kids should have to suffer through intolerably bad cheap beer in order to get drunk, just like I did. Spoiled brats, drinking alcohol and enjoying the flavor as well as the effects.

14 John Burgess 02.29.08 at 10:20 pm

Kuwait and Iran also have absolute bans on alcohol. But (not surprisingly) they and Saudi Arabia have to deal with alcoholism problems among their populations.

How they do that varies, of course, but my pick of the place not to be is Iran these days.

15 Dave Lincoln 03.01.08 at 12:03 am

Yeah, Smurfy, enjoying the flavor indeed, till the room dorm rooms starts spinning around at 60 rpm.

Just having a flashback to an experience with a small bottle of blackberry brandy – well, it sounded good on paper!

16 yojoe 03.01.08 at 2:18 am

We must protect children. Kids can see bad things on the internet, thus destroy the internet.

Remember, children are the future.

yojoe

17 Todd Rogers 03.01.08 at 9:03 am

I thus invoke Chris Rock: “People love to get high.”

More anecdotes: In Saudi Arabia during the first Gulf War, there was a zero-tolerance policy w/respect to alcohol. But, strangely enough, everyone had alcohol. I “heard” about people fermenting and distilling cool-aid packets with the yeast to make bread, and a few other additives. I “imagine” it tasted like…well, but it got the job done without the blindness.

Kids are just as creative as nineteen year old Marine lance corporals. Whether it’s huffing a box of Whip-its, sniffing White-Out, draining a little vodka from dad’s bar, burning the roach in your brother’s car ash-tray, paying some dude in the parking lot to buy you some Little Kings, finding a way to siphon a little beer from a tap line beneath a local bar, hyperventilating, crushing Viveran, bumming Ritalin, or slurping second-hand cocktails like Spaulding in Caddyshack, you just can’t legislate good behavior.

When I was in college, the university enacted an “Anti-binge-drinking coalition.” Too bad the faculty advisor got a DUI, and the student-president got cited for public intox. People love to get high. Just ask any marathon runner or triathlete.

18 Matthew 03.01.08 at 12:08 pm

Todd… you still don’t get it. Just listen to Mr. Garnder. Just repeat the mantra and ignore any urge to question or use reason. All together now:

It’s for the children…
It’s for the children…
It’s for the children…

19 jb 03.03.08 at 9:09 pm

The problem with the nanny state isn’t “nanny,” it’s “state.”

All these bans are perfectly reasonable things for a parent to try to enforce on his or her own kids, and deal with the success or failure thereof. They’re absolutely outrageous for the government to try to do, or to spend money on.

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