If you’re unfamiliar, that’s a Kinder Surprise Egg. You know how it’s sad when you’ve finished your chocolate egg, and there’s nothing but hollowness left? Inside it and inside you? Well, with the Kinder Surprise Egg, there’s a tiny surprise toy waiting for you so that you barely feel the sting of disappointment that your choco egg only lasted 3 or 4 eager bites. These delightfully childish treats are banned in the United States because our government has a “prohibition against having an inedible item inside an edible object.” Apparently this doesn’t apply to pitted fruits or corn on the cob. Nor do we have similar laws to prevent inedible objects from being in the same box as edible ones (cereals and Cracker Jack) – which I think is at least as dangerous. Apparently 7 children have died worldwide since 1991 due to these eggs, and that poses a significant enough threat to justify the ban. Compare this to the 200,000 kids that die per year in drowning deaths in or around their homes. For consistency, let’s just ban pools too.
Why is this a particularly big deal in the United States? After all, the eggs are legal in most other nations, including Canada. To figure this out, let’s look at the case of Clear Care contact lens solution. While each bottle is clearly labeled “3% HYDROGEN PEROXIDE,” all it takes is a cursory search on google or on Amazon to find hundreds of unhappy customers complaining about how it burns their eyes when used as a saline rinse would be. They want FDA regulation. They want large red warning signs. They want the packaging to be very different from that of regular saline solution. They want class action lawsuits. In other words, they’re completely indignant that no one warned them that putting HYDROGEN PEROXIDE in their eyes might burn like the dickens.
Now does it seem more clear? If someone’s precious child chokes on the toy in a Kinder egg, it’s certainly because there weren’t sufficient warnings. Who would allow such an unsafe item on the market? We’ll blame the FDA for allowing them to be sold. We’ll blame the company for making parts that could be choking hazards. We’ll blame anyone but ourselves. We need the FDA to keep us from dying of accidental toy consumption and burning out our eyeballs with hydrogen peroxide. We Americans are just that stupid.