The Nanny State Backs Off Frozen Cherry Pies
In a victory for American consumers, and a case study in bureaucratic nanny statism, the FDA has decided to relax is rules on what goes into a frozen cherry pie.
With its rule change, the FDA is rolling back half a century of frozen cherry pie oversight. According to Reason’s Scott Shackford:
In 1971, the FDA established regulations imposing particular standards for frozen cherry pies. The lengthy regulations…determine not just how much of the pie must be made of cherries (25 percent by weight) and how many of the cherries may be “blemished,” or have scabs, or be of less than stellar quality (under 15 percent, even though pies are a great place to put blemished fruit to keep it from going to waste), but also establishes complicated rules for determining compliance.
While the FDA has been granted the power by Congress to regulate frozen foods and fruits, including pies, it’s very important to explain that these regulations were only implemented for cherry pies. There are no other similar regulations for other types of fruit pies. And there are no similar regulations for fresh pies to control the number and quality of the cherries in them. Just frozen pies, and only the cherry ones.
And so under [former FDA Commissioner Scott] Gottlieb and by request of the American Bakers Association (ABA), a trade association and lobbying organization, the FDA began rethinking this rule. The ABA argued that consumers, not the federal government, should decide whether they want to shell out more money for pies with more fruit in them or spend less money on lower-quality pies, if that’s what they can afford.
All well and good – common sense is finally coming to a very small corner of the frozen food marketplace.
It only took 15 years – from the time the petition asking for the rule change was filed to the FDA’s action — to make it happen.