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OpenMarket: Risk and Consumer Freedom

  • 85 Years after Repeal, Prohibition Lingers in Your Beer

    December 10, 2018
    On December 5, 1933 the federal government’s nationwide prohibition against alcohol ended. Eighty-five years later, the beer market seems to have finally recovered. Today, there are more than 6,000 breweries—more than at any time before or since Prohibition—making a seemingly endless variety of beer for us enthusiasts to enjoy. But, while we may be living in the “golden age” of beer, the specter of Prohibition remains.
  • Conflict of Interest over Vaping Threatens Public Health

    December 5, 2018
    Cigarette smoking kills nearly half a million Americans every year, and for every person who dies due to smoking, at least 30 people live with a serious smoking-related illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The rise of a vibrant market for e-cigarettes in recent years has been a blessing for public health because many longtime smokers have been able to reduce health risks associated with smoking or even quit their life-threatening habit entirely after switching to vapor products. Research suggests vaping poses just 1 to 5 percent of the health risk posed by combustible cigarettes.
  • Can You Buy Alcohol on Christmas in Your State?

    December 3, 2018
    The holidays bring parties, feasts, and libations. But some celebrants may find themselves without a cup of cheer if they wait until the day of a holiday to buy their booze. Though alcohol Prohibition ended 85 years ago this December, many states maintain Prohibition-era laws, which ban the sales of liquor on Sundays and certain holidays.
  • Reason's John Stossel Interviews Michelle Minton on the E-Cigarette Scare

    November 20, 2018
    The FDA recently announced new regulations restricting the sale of e-cigarettes, supposedly to protect young people from harms associated with nicotine. However, as CEI Senior Fellow Michelle Minton, author of an upcoming CEI study on the topic, notes, “Rather than keeping adolescents away from nicotine, the FDA’s new rules will likely push adolescents to acquire e-cigarettes through illicit channels or simply use combustible cigarettes.”
  • Senate Should Move Forward with Confirmation Votes on Buerkle, Others

    November 13, 2018
    With the 2018 election behind us, it’s time to look for opportunities to advance freedom and economic well-being. I don't expect much to happen congressionally given the divided chambers, but that does not mean policy changes can’t happen administratively within federal agencies and departments.
  • Greens Want to Hide the Truth about Chlorpyrifos

    October 26, 2018

    Environmental crusades to ban pesticides often exaggerate chemical risks with little, if any, consideration of how bans undermine food production. And there is a reason for that: a balanced approach undermines the greens’ radical agenda. Just recently, some activists have gone as far as to ask a federal court to basically ignore an amicus brief filed by farm groups. It details the damage that a court-ordered pesticide ban could cause.

  • Is Particulate Matter Air Pollution as Dangerous as Cancer?

    October 18, 2018

    Yesterday the Competitive Enterprise Institute published Steve Milloy’s new policy brief on the impact of revised federal rules for auto mileage and emissions, “Will the Trump Fuel Economy Reform Proposal Create Deadly Air Pollution?” This reform to the Obama-era policy on corporate average fuel economy standards is one of the current administration’s biggest (de-)regulatory initiatives, so the debate over what effects it’ll have on Americans is particularly important. 

  • Unfounded Accusations Regarding Bees and Glyphosate

    October 3, 2018

    Recent accusations that a popular weed killer harms honeybees have become headline news in a wide range of sources including CBS News, The Guardian, and Popular Science. Yet the solitary study they all cite doesn’t hold much water.

  • Health and Human Services Secretary Should Halt Grants to UN Cancer Agency

    September 19, 2018

    Yesterday, Congress passed an appropriations bill that kept funding intact for the United Nations body known as the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). The House version of the bill originally included a provision that would have placed strings on U.S. funding for IARC. That language was stripped out at the last minute, unfortunately, so now the funding has been retained in the next fiscal year’s appropriations for the departments of Defense, Health and Human Services, Labor, and Education.

  • New York State’s Proposed Plastic Bag Ban: Assaulting an American Dream

    September 4, 2018

    I recently wrote a blog post about entrepreneur Eli Amsel, who reached out to me about how nanny state regulators and lawmakers have waged war on his New York City-based small business. My first post address the state’s new insane minimum wage law. Now we turn to regulations on plastic and even paper bags that may be the last straw, shutting down Amsel’s business permanently.

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