EU TO DENMARK: DANISH ROLLS ARE CONTRABAND
If you harbored any doubts about whether regulation runs riot in Europe, consider the fate of the Danish Roll under EU jurisdiction. At Christmas time in Europe, a staple from Brussels to Denmark is the beloved kanelsnegler, a delicious coiled cinnamon roll. This year, the EU has ordered the Danish roll to disappear.
EU regulation places a limit on the amount of cinnamon permitted in baked goods (15 mg per kilo). That limit is said to be necessary to block ingestion of a common form of cinnamon called cassia that contains coumarin which, at high dose levels, may affect liver function. Despite the fact that the Danish have consumed kanelsnegler for over 200 years with nary a complaint and plenty of joy, the Danish government is dutifully following the command of the EU by ordering its countrymen to rid the land of this delicacy.
With Danish bakers’ backs against the wall, the Danish government promises to implement the EU regulation by prosecuting all who fail to heed its command by ridding Norway of the beloved roll forever. The Danish baking industry has until next February to comply. The Danish government is warning the Danes (as they watch on television the government announcement while eating Danish rolls), that their next Danish could be their last (death by Danish).
It takes quite a lot of coumarin for a person to enter the liver danger zone; indeed, much more than the average dietary intake of Europeans, which is some 50 times less than the EU’s “tolerable daily limit.” For Danish roll consumption to put a person in the danger zone, he or she would have to eat massive quantities of Danish day after day, quantities sufficient to kill the person from obesity before any adverse liver effects arise.
Lest you think that the plight of the Danes is limited to Europe, we in the Americas also eat a lot of imported Danish rolls.Moreover, our FDA is enamored with the European Food Safety Authority and daily replicates comparable kinds of paternalistic controls. The ban on Danish rolls is characteristic of the kind of heavy handed government regulation now ubiquitous in the Western world.
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Until the world restores the Lockean ideal of legal protection for individual liberty, the kind of overbearing state paternalism that orders Danish rolls out of the mouth of Danes will become ever more common. The American regulatory state is identical to the EU in its power to deprive freedom of choice without any true accountability to the courts, the Congress, and the American people. There are precious few remaining legal limits on government power, far more control over day to day commerce in the hands of the unelected heads of bureaucratic agencies than in elected officials,and corrupt self-dealing and self-interest rife among those who adopt and implement regulations. Moreover, there are few avenues forlegal redress for those whose freedom and livelihoods are taken from them by order of the regulators.
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