Am I a closet authoritarian? I don’t think so. But what if I suffer from Capill syndrome? Well, I don’t. No way! Give me Liberty, or give me Death!!
But isn’t there a little bit of authoritarian in every libertarian? It used to be that libertarians had a fetish for public libraries. “I think libraries are great,” declares Jeff Landauer, author of The Scourge of Public Libraries. None but a cad could possibly argue against the existence of public libraries, isn’t that so?
The little bit of authoritarian in me has a fetish for mandatory labelling. I like to know what I’m eating. And smoking. So I took some small solace in Section 58(2)(a) in Part 3 of the recently enacted Psychoactive Substances Act.
58 Restrictions and requirements relating to labelling of approved products
(1) A label for an approved product must not be designed in a manner or way, or using a medium or form, so as to particularly appeal, or to be likely to particularly appeal, to minors.
(2) A label for an approved product must include the following information in a prominent position on the label:
(a) a list of the active ingredients of the product and the appropriate quantity of each active ingredient; and
(b) the appropriate health warning relating to the product; and
(c) the contact details of the importer, manufacturer, wholesaler, or retailer of the product; and
(d) the telephone number of the National Poisons Centre information service or any other telephone service prescribed in the regulations; and
(e) any other information prescribed by the regulations.
(3) A person must not sell an approved product with a label that does not comply with subsection (1) or (2).
(4) A person who contravenes subsection (1), (2), or (3) commits an offence and is liable on conviction,—
(a) in the case of an individual, to a fine not exceeding $5,000:
(b) in the case of a body corporate, to a fine not exceeding $10,000.
It’s only been a couple of weeks and already fake cannabis products are back on the market. The government has been quick to grant applications for interim approvals of psychoactive products. And why wouldn’t they at $10,000 per product?
5 Control of psychoactive products granted interim approval
Part 3 applies, with any necessary modifications, to a psychoactive product granted interim approval as if it were an approved product.
So now do I get to indulge my fetish?
Well, let’s see what we have here … some Red Kryptonite by Lightyears Ahead Ltd. And the new label says
Ingredients: SGT-7 (25mg per gram),
Damiana herb and flavouring.
Seems legit. Only problem is … no one knows what SGT-7 is. Even Google’s never heard of it.
I think Lightyears Ahead Ltd. is taking the piss. Perhaps they’re prepared to risk a fine not exceeding the licence fee they already paid. What do you think?
But it gets worse. Another new label says
Ingredients: This product is made with a blend of herbs and a single synthetic cannabinoid. The cannabinoid is not enhanced, adulterated or contaminated with any other substance.
Seems legit. I can’t name the active ingredient. And I can’t name the product or the retailer. But they know who they are. 🙂
5 thoughts on “What’s in a man’s mind?”
Demanding labeling isn’t authoritarian. It follows naturally from the principles of contracts. If you buy something, then there is an implied contract. If there is something in the product that is not obvious (e.g., an apple has apple in it) and is not disclosed, then that is fraud. It is very libertarian to prosecute fraud.
It is when it’s the government doing the demanding.
There’s obviously something in the product. 😀
Lol! Something in the product.
One of the government’s main roles is to adjudicate contractual disputes. I think mandatory labeling is perfectly valid from a libertarian point of view.
That having been said, I think that the only thing that should be mandated are the ingredients, and additives, as well as whether an ingredient has been genetically modified or processed (and in what way was it processed).
In other words, the consumer has a right to know what they are agreeing to buy.
If you bought a house with foundation problems and the seller didn’t tell you, that would be fraud. Why is it different for consumer products?
“If you bought a house with foundation problems and the seller didn’t tell you, that would be fraud. Why is it different for consumer products?”
It is fraud, but not wrapping the house in a list of indigence isn’t fraud, neither is selling apple juice without a list of indigence on it.