Rand Paul Says FDA Wants to Take Away Your Doughnuts, FDA Disagrees

From my cold, dead hands.<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/91252560@N00/4066872653">Lindsey Turner</a>/Flickr

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“They’re coming after your doughnuts!” Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) told a roomful of conservatives in South Carolina Monday, accusing the Food and Drug Administration of launching a campaign of doughnut obliteration. “Did you hear they’re coming after the trans fat in your doughnuts?” he continued. The senator was referring the FDA’s decision last week to have the food industry phase out trans fats.

“I say we need to line every one of them up,” he said at the Charleston Meeting, an invite-only gathering. “I want to see how skinny or how fat the FDA agents are that are making the rules on this…’Cause if we’re going to have a nanny state, and everybody’s got to eat the right thing, and you can’t eat a doughnut, maybe we ought to just enforce it on the government workers first.”

His comments on the tyrannically anti-doughnut FDA were met with laughter and applause from the audience. The lines worked for the crowd, but in the real world, the FDA is not coming after any American’s treasured doughnut. (Trans fats aren’t even required in the doughnut-making process.) FDA spokeswoman Theresa Eisenman sent Mother Jones the following statement on Tuesday:

Consumption of artificial trans fat, a man-made, not naturally occurring substance, increases the risk of coronary heart disease. In recent years, many food manufacturers and retailers have voluntarily decreased trans fat levels in many foods and products they sell. Trans fat can be found in some processed foods, such as certain desserts, microwave popcorn products, frozen pizzas, margarines and coffee creamers. Numerous retailers and manufacturers have already demonstrated, however, that many of these products can be made without trans fat.

And as New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait noted, Dunkin’ Donuts, Krispy Kreme, and others already eliminated trans fat from their product, and consumers don’t taste the difference. “FDA officials are phasing out a dangerous substance at no cost to people’s ability to eat tasty food,” Chait concluded.

Chalk the FDA’s War on the American Doughnut up to the list of bizarre and incorrect things that Rand Paul says he believes.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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