English baker caught using illegal sprinkles smuggled from the US

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2021/10/15/english-baker-caught-using-illegal-sprinkles-smuggled-from-the-us.html


Food nerds are weird


I was sympathetic with what feels like a petty rule RIGHT up until they pulled the whole Disneyland bullshit. At that point… fuck that guy, ban his sprinkles. Trying to guilt people using your child’s trip to an amusement park is vile.


“Sprinkles”?!?! “Cookies”?!?!? This man is not English. He is American. “Hundreds-and-thousands”! “Biscuits”! I don’t know what a “glazed Donut Cookie” is - or was it a “Glazed Cookie Donut”? - either way, it’s not something native to the British Isles, doncha know. And he’s taking his daughter to Disneyland (or not). This man is American. Gee, I wonder where he got the “Sprinkles”? There’s this thing, see, that some Americans don’t seem to understand. Different countries have different laws, and you really DO need to follow the laws of the country you are in.



Maybe we are. But some of us get REALLY BAD reactions to some of the foods we (try not to) eat, and we get kind of particular about that. I could write you a list, but I don’t care to share that much.


First world problems.

as someone with ADHD, I feel pretty fucking confident that the American sprinkles I consumed as a child had absolutely fuck-all to do with the chemical regulatory dysfunction of my dopamine receptors.

Now, now. I’m sure the kilo of sprinkles you ate per day, every day, for 5 years had something to do with it. /s


The evidence supporting artificial dyes as a cause of hyperactivity in children is very mixed, but there may be something there. The studies that have looked at this are pretty flawed, and I wonder if the fact that the dyes are often an ingredient in other high-sugar foods may lead to observations of hyperactivity*

*And other studies have shown that it is not the sugar itself that causes hyperactivity, rather the caregiver’s expectation that children will become hyperactive after consuming sugar. So possibly a spurious correlation with food dyes.

Regardless, there are plenty of other unhealthy things we allow into our food - added sugar is clearly linked to type 2 diabetes, but there are few if any controls in place to address this. It’s not like breakfast cereal comes in plain packaging with a bold warning telling you that you could develop diabetes. Yet we’re cracking down on food dyes that may or may not cause a temporary increase in hyperactivity? OK…


Sprinkles are

linked with hyperactivity in children

Well, duh.


The baker could have just gone through and plucked out all the red and pink ones, but no, they have to complain about regulation instead of doing the legwork. People are so lazy these days.


I’m on a low fodmap diet so I understand

Personally, I believe that the “precautionary principle” is a common-sense approach to the regulation of synthetic chemicals in food and water. We shouldn’t have to prove that something is dangerous before we ban it and an entire generation of people are harmed. It should be the other way around. Chemical manufacturers should have to prove that its safe before its allowed. I think that’s a big difference between the laws (and culture) of the EU and the US.

Plus, I always thought “Banned in Europe” would be an awesome name for a rock band.


Times like this I wish YouTube allowed you to watch at 20x speed instead of just 2x


Right. So the process for making sprinkles of any color is (doublechecks and confirms) so simple there’s a dozen videos and a hundred recipes online, and dozens of vendors who will make custom ones. Or, hell, if your volume is high enough, just call the vendor and ask for a batch without the forbidden color. Or just tell your local vendor “Look, mate, your sprinkles are shite, if yo want my business make them like these ones, only legal.”


Jim Brexit’ll fix it.


You see, it’s actually a very clever move on the part of Trading Standards. If they come in, and they see sprinkles of the wrong colour, then they know for certain that the baker isn’t paying attention to the stipulations of the contract, and there are sure to be other violations when they check the whole setup.


Came here to say this, but more skeptically. This potential link has been studied for decades and nothing conclusive has been found. That generally means there’s no signal in the noise.

The link provided by the BBC is, amateurishly, not evidence of their claim. It’s an NHS handout that merely says (paraphrasing) “some parents think food colouring makes their kids go wild”. Parents think that incorrectly about a lot of things.

There may in fact be a cultural link here because I actually have a friend from Yorkshire who believes food colourings make him go wild (unless he doesn’t know they’re in the food, tellingly), because his mother said as much. He’s the right age for this food colouring thing to be in the news for her when he was little, so a simpler explanation is that this is all urban legend. Rather like Americans who think (to this day) that Halloween candy might have razor blades in it because of a story that went around local news in the 1980s that wasn’t ever true.

This is a convenient time to remind parents out there that sugar does not cause hyperactivity, either. This is possibly the most persistent nutrition-related myth in our culture right now. “Sugar high” and “sugar crash” are not real. Kids go apeshit because sugar is fun to eat and they’re usually getting a lot of at birthday parties and other intense moments. There is no physiological effect.


I wanted to post a video of a robot doing this. I could have sworn I’d seen that before but couldn’t find anything. So this is all you get.

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Huh? That is how it works.

To market a new food or color additive (or before using an additive already approved for one use in another manner not yet approved), a manufacturer or other sponsor must first petition FDA for its approval. These petitions must provide evidence that the substance is safe for the ways in which it will be used


It’s just that sometimes unexpected side effects don’t show up for a long time and didn’t get caught. No testing can catch every possible thing. Nothing is 100% safe in this world.

That is not different between the two regions. The EU bans some things the US does not (and vice versa) but that’s nothing to do with process differences. Just different opinions among regulators about what constitutes hazard.

(Edited to expand first quote without changing meaning. I realized my reply was confusing without larger context)