by Carl V Phillips
This is basically an update of this post, in which I analyzed FDA’s banning of new flavors of Ariva/Stonewall products by declaring them “not substantially equivalent” to the previous flavors. But I thought it deserved a post of its own.
You will recall that I noted (a) that the banned products were from a family of products that might well be the lowest-risk products on the market, (b) the stated reason for the ban was that they contained more (presumably an inconsequential amount) of one chemical, and (c) if a bit more of one chemical constitutes “not substantially equivalent” then basically nothing is ever substantially equivalent.
Today FDA proudly announced that they are also harassing retailers who still have some of the banned products still on their shelves (and posting their names and addresses, no less). The manufacturer has presumably stopped shipping these products, but these products are slow-moving (they never really caught on, despite having some dedicated adherents and probably being ultra-low risk) so it is not surprising that retailers still have some on the shelf.
You might think that an agency whose job it is to protect the public’s health would not spend government money (and waste perfectly good product) by hassling retailers who are innocently selling off their remaining stock of a very-low-risk product, probably completely unaware of the ban. Moreover, you might think that a regulatory agency in charge of this would know who actually manufactures the products (they list Star Scientific Inc. on the webpage, but Star got out of this business a while ago and sold the brand to a new company started by their former employees).
You would be wrong.