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What's wrong with...
The Pure Food and Drug Act

"The Pure Food and Drug Act requires that medicines and foods be labeled with regards to what they contain. How could even the anarchist nuts at HEROIN helper have anything against that? Isn't it a good idea to have products list what's inside of them? How else would we know what was inside of them?"

Well, the anarchist nuts at HEROIN helper do have a problem with the Pure Food and Drug Act. The problem is that it requires that consumers make the same decisions as the government. Certainly, it is a bad idea to consume products with unknown constituents. But if I want to consume such products, that is my God given right.

The Drug War Begins

It was President Nixon who coined the prase "War on Drugs". As a result, people tend to think that the War on Drugs started then--or even later, like with Reagan. But the truth is that the War on Drugs has been going on for over a hundred years. At first it was mainly a war on alcohol. But after the failure of prohibition, it switched to "drugs" only.

"Hey pop... How Should I Live my Life?"

This act is the first really clear example we have of the United States government acting paternally. Every consumer can decide that they will only buy labeled products. They do not need the government to make that decision for them. In passing such a law, the government is saying that it is in a better position to make choices than are individuals.

Note that we would not have a problem with a law which required that any product labeled be accurate. Inaccurate label ling is fraud. No label ling is quite accurate and clear: we won't tell you what's in here--take your chances.

A wonderful irony is that because the government insists on making choices for individuals, those individuals who choose to ingest products that the government disapproves of, end up ingesting substances that are not labeled. And the products come from sources that have little incentive to maintain a high level of quality (and purity).

by Dr. H
© 2001
Last Modified: 21 Jul 10


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