The Blog

No More Wipes?

The Nanny State comes after anti-bacterial soaps.

8:30 AM, Mar 31, 2011 • By JONATHAN V. LAST
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

Thanks to the Nanny State we have low-flow toilets, dishwasher soap that doesn’t work, encroaching bans on plastic bags, and a looming mandate outlawing good light bulbs. But wait—there’s more!

You'll have to pry them from his cold, dead hands.

You'll have to pry them from his cold, dead hands.

Our friends in the government have decided to improve our lives again by trying to get rid of anti-bacterial products. You know them—the gels, wipes, and soaps that we use to disinfect shopping cart handles, gym equipment, children’s toys, phones, hands—you name it. Anti-bacterials contain Triclosan and Very Concerned Citizens think that Triclosan is a Very Bad Thing. So they want it banned.

With Reps. Ed Markey and Louise Slaughter leading the charge in Congress, the Natural Resources Defense Council is trying to make an end run in the courts by suing the FDA. They want the FDA to ban Triclosan.

The FDA’s testing says Triclosan is safe, though they load to wording with a bunch of ominous qualifiers: “Triclosan is not currently known to be hazardous to humans. . . . FDA is engaged in an ongoing scientific and regulatory review of this ingredient. FDA does not have sufficient safety evidence to recommend changing consumer use of products that contain triclosan at this time.”

They agency sounds like a cop confronting a mobster in a B-movie: “We don’t got enough evidence to arrest you yet, bub. But when we do, we’re gonna throw the book at you.”

There’s an online petition going around in support of people’s rights to fight germs with Triclosan. Should you sign it? Just ask yourself, WWMD. What Would Monk Do?

Recent Blog Posts

The Weekly Standard Archives

Browse 20 Years of the Weekly Standard

Old covers