How many cherries belong in frozen cherry pies? For the last few decades, the federal government has answered that question instead of the consumers of convenient desserts — but that may change soon.
According to a report published by The Associated Press on Saturday, recent emails show that the Food and Drug Administration plans to join in the Trump administration's sweeping deregulation agenda and start rolling back decades-old rules on frozen cherry pies this week.
Currently, the quality standards for frozen cherry pies say that the desserts must contain at least 25 percent cherries by weight and that no more than 15 percent of the cherries in a particular pie can be blemished.
A recent post from HotAir's Jazz Shaw pointed how the FDA has set standards like these for some foods, but not others: "There are all sorts of pies out there on the market and they don't have similar regulations. Why should your pumpkin pie be made of less than 25% pumpkin?"
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) tweeted his pleasure in response to the news: "This is good news for business owners burdened by the federal government's excessive and outdated regulations."
Lee Sanders of the American Bakers Association told the AP that, while she wants to see the old rules rolled back, she doesn't expect deregulation to have that much of an effect on the market.
"I feel confident our members are producing cherry pies with more than enough cherries," she told the outlet.
In a free market with the kind of robust competition that can be found in the freezer section, consumers are the ultimate arbiters of how much fruit filling a particular baked good should contain.
If someone wants a pie that contains less than 25 percent cherries by weight, that's their prerogative. If someone wants a value option cherry that costs less because it contains more than 15 percent blemished cherries, that's also up to them. If the quality of a particular frozen pie drops below what its previous buyers will tolerate, they can expect to lose business and will have to change course if they want it back.
The report also notes that it's considering relaxing the rules for French dressing, a plan that is expected to come out in May.