Joe’s Reading Log

January 22, 2006

We See No Benefit in It

Filed under: Nanny State — Joe Martin @ 9:49 pm

The FDA probably won’t approve diet drug Xenical for over-the-counter sales. Here’s why: It is not clear to this reviewer what benefit a consumer purchasing orlistat O.T.C. can possibly reap from six months of O.T.C. use. The article gives a few more clues:

But the F.D.A. review also raised questions about whether patients who should not take the drug – including diabetics and organ transplant recipients receiving immunosuppressant drugs – would be able to make that choice on their own, without a doctor’s advice.

This reviewer concludes that, though a statistically significant weight loss for orlistat 60 mg compared to placebo is seen, there is no evidence presented that the modest, transient weight loss due to orlistat will afford any long-term clinical benefit through either a change in behavior or a reduced risk of clinical diseases manifested by being overweight.

Yes, that’s right. You can’t buy a drug because government bureaucrats don’t think you’ll see any benefit from it. Moreover, they’re afraid that you won’t be able to make the decision for yourself. Best to make it as hard as possible to buy, less any American be confused or make a potentially useless purchase.

January 20, 2006

Slavery Is Prosperity

Filed under: Madison Politics, Nanny State — Joe Martin @ 6:41 pm

The Capital Times has a rather sad article this morning about the effects of Madison’s smoking ban on the owners of local bars and taverns. It’s not good. Many owners are seeing sales that are more than $70,000 lower than last year. Staff have been laid off and one owner lamented: “Basically, I’m back to where I was seven years ago when I bought the place.”

Most of the bar and tavern business is migrating to nearby Fitchburg and Monona. In a telling turn of events, bar owners are considering lobbying for a state-wide smoking ban. The Madison ban appears to be here to stay. The only way to save their business would be to stop their customers from going anywhere else to smoke. When a man’s profitability and livelihood depend on restricting another man’s decisions something has gone horribly wrong. That something is the damnable superiority and moral preening that many Madisonians overflow with. (And yes, “damnable” is perfectly acceptible in this context.)

Repealing the smoking ban would be the right thing to do. Don’t get me wrong, I like a smoke-free atmosphere as much as any of Madison’s moral crusaders. But I hardly think my desire to avoid cigarette smoke justifies putting multiple businesses into bankruptcy and costing many employees their jobs. I abhor anyone who has the smug selfishness to think that their preferences matter more than someone else’s job.

January 19, 2006

Ban Everything: Sugar Edition

Filed under: Nanny State — Joe Martin @ 8:41 pm

When in doubt, ban it. That seems to be the current philosophy going around when it comes to cigarattes, alcohol, caffeine, sugar, prescription drugs that might (possibly in very rare circumstances) cause death. Wait, sugar? Well, not exactly. Some parents want to ban advertising that pushes sugary foods. Hit and Run has the rundown on the recent lawsuit against Kellogg’s and Nickelodeon for advertising sugary breakfast cereals. They include this quote from one of the mothers involved in the lawsuit:

It’s hard for a parent to compete with so many ads making junk food fun and cool. Although I have a strict policy against junk cereals in my house … this doesn’t stop my children from asking me for them, especially after seeing enticing ads.

The War on Fun: The Caffeine Front

Filed under: Nanny State — Joe Martin @ 8:22 pm

My wife has always said that caffeine is the “only Christian additiction”. Now, the mayor of Shaker Heights (Ohio), Judith Rawson, is trying to stamp out caffeine with a little help from the Caffeine Awareness Alliance. Radley Balko points out that the head of the Caffeine Awareness Alliance, Marina Kushner, has ulterior motives for driving out the evil additive.

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