- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 5, 2000

I don't know if it's good news or bad news, but the FDA is requiring distributors of eggs to put a warning label on the carton. Apparently there are a lot of morons out there that buy eggs and don't know what to do with them. The warning will urge the consumer to keep eggs refrigerated and to cook them thoroughly. It seems that every year we have about 2.2 cases of salmonella per 100,000 people. This is not what you would call epidemic proportions. However, we are experiencing an epidemic of warning labels.

How many people read anything on an egg carton other than the size of the egg? Even if one was to inspect the carton from end to end, how many times would one read it again? We all know how effective the warning label on a pack of cigarettes is. The idiot who keeps his eggs in the cupboard and eats them raw is not the type of person who reads anything, and certainly not an egg carton. Is the FDA running out of work? I can't imagine paying people to think up this kind of nonsense.

I believe most people remove the eggs from the carton and store them on an egg shelf in the refrigerator. People are not going to hang around the egg cooler in the grocery store reading the labels on egg cartons. This means that once the FDA finds out their warning is not being observed by the consumer, they will require the chicken farmer to have it inscribed on the egg itself. The price of eggs will then skyrocket.

I thought we had hit an all-time high on warning labels when they started embossing the air bag warning into my sun visor. Have you ever looked at it more than once? I bet you tried to peel it off and found out it's there for life. Some entrepreneur will eventually develop a sticker that will cover the air bag label and match the material on the visor. You pay big bucks for cars that have luxurious interiors, and along comes Uncle Sam and slaps a hideous sticker on the visor. It's strange that we have to be warned about something that's there to save our lives.

There is no warning label on a shotgun, and I imagine there is no warning to be found on those little scooters that are all the rage now. We could probably list hundreds of products that cause a lot more grief than eggs, but give the FDA time, and I am sure in the future we will be able to spend most of our day reading warning labels if we are so inclined. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of accidents occur because people are reading warning labels when they should be paying attention to what they are doing.

Yes, reading a warning label can be dangerous to your well-being. We can blame the lawyers for the labels. Once we are warned, we may not have valid grounds to bring a lawsuit against those supplying us with the product. The jury actually believed those people who spent 30 years committing suicide by cigarette when they said they never realized what they were doing, even though the warning label was on the product for almost 20 of those years.

By the way, if salmonella is the problem, how come there is no warning label on the chicken?


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