CEI - 5 Dumbest Product Bans Skewered in New Report

From Feathers to Online Poker to Cardio Pumps -- an Overview of Regulatory Absurdity 

Washington, D.C., February 27, 2008—Government does some dumb things.  A new CEI report reveals a list of five clearly absurd product bans that seem to serve no social good.

Feathers in provocative packaging, online poker in gaming casinos, wildflower bouquets – all outlawed in certain states and without any sensible reason.

“America’s absurd product bans have demonstrable, negative consequences for freedom,” writes CEI Senior Fellow Eli Lehrer. “These bans simply intrude on the freedom of individuals to live their lives as they please. “While the freedom to purchase a sex toy, buy wildflowers a child has picked, or drink Sangria may not be of enormous consequence on its own, the sheer absurdity of these product bans makes them all the more insidious,” Lehrer concludes.

The bans selected for the report meet four criteria:

·         No one can present a strong case for marginal social harm from the product or service banned.

·         The product should have utility to the general public. In other words, it should be something that almost anybody might have a theoretical interest in using

·         A government must have actually enforced the ban within the recent past.

·         The ban should, at least, exist at the state level.

Read the paper: The Five Dumbest Product Bans: An Overview of Regulatory Absurdity


-> Attend a special banned-product cocktail hour on Feb. 28

CEI is a non-profit, non-partisan public policy group dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government.  For more information about CEI, please visit our website at www.cei.org.