Fox & Friends segment warned on Tuesday that President Barack Obama's administration was set to enact a ban on doughnut sprinkles, which meant that the government could take control of where you live and work next. In a report that seemed to have no actual news value other than to rile up readers during the holiday season, Breitbart asserted just days before Christmas that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had moved to "ban cake" and "donut 'sprinkles'."
About a year ago, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) appeared at a fundraiser and delivered a stern warning to a group of Republican donors. "They're coming after your doughnuts!" the senator said.
Referencing the Food and Drug Administration decision to ban trans fats, Paul added, "The FDA has banned unilaterally -- some unelected bureaucrat has banned trans fats.... If we're gonna have a nanny state, and everybody's gotta eat the right thing and you can't eat a doughnut, maybe we ought to just enforce it on the government workers first."
The whole argument was pretty silly, but apparently, as of this morning, Fox News has brought it back.
Fox News host Clayton Morris told viewers that if the FDA's preliminary findings take effect, crackers, frozen pizza, popcorn, coffee creamers and canned frosting will all be prohibited.
"If you're making some cookies once a year with your kids on the holidays, that'll be banned," Morris added.
It all sounds quite scary. It's also not true.
As Jon Chait explained a while back, "They are not, in fact, coming after your doughnuts. Trans fats are not essential to make doughnuts or, really, anything. Some restaurants still use trans fats because, even though they're incredibly bad for you, they're longer-lasting and slightly cheaper than other oils, and very few customers would ever know the difference.
"But Dunkin' Donuts, Krispy Kreme, and many others have already eliminated trans fats, and customers have detected no difference in taste.... FDA officials are phasing out a dangerous substance at no cost to people's ability to eat tasty food."
In other words, when the Fox host said Americans will have to "say goodbye to your favorite sprinkled doughnut," that's plainly wrong.