The Food and Drug Administration tried a sneak attack on the artisan cheese industry earlier this week, pushing a new rule, pretending it wasn't a new rule, that would outlaw the aging of cheese on wooden board. The FDA has backed down from this new-not-new rule-not-rule.
What are the lessons?
1. Regulations disproportionately hurt small business and diversity. Gregory Macneal at Forbes explains:
Corporate cheese makers like Leprino and Kraft will be able to weather this regulatory storm — they don’t make cheese, they manufacture cheese, and as such they do not follow the centuries old artisan techniques. But for small businesses and artisan cheese makers, wood boards are in fact essential to the making of cheese.
(Wait, what? I thought regulation was about curbing Big Business?)
2. If Big Business isn't going to battle a regulation, it only loses when the regs interfere with the lifestyle of elites. Uber, food trucks and artisanal cheese often win in the political realm against the Big Business-Big Government Combine. African hairbraiders and small-time tax preparers usually need the courts to help them.