Silly Foreigners, Food Liability and the Nanny State

milkLast month I went way off-topic to berate the British Biscuit Threat Index, and to stake out D.H. Lawrence’s premise that comparatively “the American soul is hard, isolate, stoic and a killer. It has never yet melted.” Consider, if you will:

  1. The British food chain, Asda, has begun printing the warning “contains milk” on its milk. In case the big label isn’t warning enough.
  2. The London restaurant High Timbers requires its diners to sign a release before festive meals.
  3. And the EU preservation law which makes it criminal to make Stilton cheese in Stilton, England.  (Go on. Walk on the wild side.)

Well, okay, perhaps we’re melted a tiny bit…

  1. Recall the Michigan woman who claimed Starburst candies are dangerously chewy. (Yes, they are, but can one sue on this?)
  2. And the Wall Street Journal’s coverage of nearly 2,000 hospital visits due to improper bagel-slicing techniques.

This stuff really isn’t about technology or the law. But it is about the transformation of people from citizens to consumers.  Anyone who sues over chewy candy, or milky milk, isn’t going to trouble themselves much over the abstractions of privacy or freedom or network neutrality. Not when bagels and festive meals are rife with risk.

Happy New Year everyone!  Dave Wieneke.

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