Lazy Cakes brownies promised “baked in” relaxation, thanks to a dose of melatonin. But they’d only been on store shelves for a few months in the early 2010s before becoming the subject of a moral panic about sleep-inducing baked goods.
“The inclusion of melatonin in baked goods raises numerous health concerns,” Sen. Dick Durbin (D–Ill.) wrote to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in May 2011, asking the federal agency to launch an investigation because the “sweet, chocolaty taste may encourage consumers to eat well over a recommended quantity of melatonin.”
Melatonin is widely and legally sold as a dietary supplement and natural sleep aid, and it has become more mainstream in the years since Lazy Cakes debuted. A single Lazy Cake contained about eight milligrams of melatonin; today, you can find 10-milligram melatonin pills almost anywhere health supplements are sold. Nevertheless, the FDA concluded that melatonin and brownies, though perfectly legal on their own, were somehow dangerous when mixed. The agency forced a label change.
As the FDA had its eye on the cakes, state and local officials in several jurisdictions went ahead and banned melatonin-infused products. A statewide ban of melatonin brownies, the Arkansas Department of Health declared, was necessary because the products could be especially dangerous to “young children”—even though “potential side effects associated with taking this hormone have not been fully determined.”
The post Review: How Melatonin-Filled ‘Lazy Cakes’ Became the Subject of a Moral Panic appeared first on Reason.com.
Founded in 1968, Reason is the magazine of free minds and free markets. We produce hard-hitting independent journalism on civil liberties, politics, technology, culture, policy, and commerce. Reason exists outside of the left/right echo chamber. Our goal is to deliver fresh, unbiased information and insights to our readers, viewers, and listeners every day. Visit https://reason.com
This post has been republished with implied permission from a publicly-available RSS feed found on Reason. The views expressed by the original author(s) do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of The Libertarian Hub, its owners or administrators. Any images included in the original article belong to and are the sole responsibility of the original author/website. The Libertarian Hub makes no claims of ownership of any imported photos/images and shall not be held liable for any unintended copyright infringement. Submit a DCMA takedown request.