Even Cherry Pies Fall Under U.S. Sway in Big-Government Revival

June 11, 2021, 3:56 PM

President Joe Biden’s sweeping effort to erase his predecessor’s deregulatory legacy is even reaching into the frozen food aisle.

One of the many goals in the Biden administration’s first regulatory agenda, published Friday, is to redo the Trump administration’s attempt to ax federal standards for frozen cherry pie— a move hailed at the time by then-FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb as freeing up Americans to “add extra fruit, sugar, and make the crust especially thick.”

It’s not a new debate: federal regulators have set precise standards on the gooey desert for years. Companies can’t package the pies with photos that mislead shoppers about the number of cherries in the pie, nor can they fill them with too many blemished or scabbed cherries, according to Food and Drug Administration rules. They must be 25% cherries by weight.

The Trump administration in December proposed slicing those requirements at the request of the American Bakers Association, who told officials there was no basis for regulators to “single out” the pastry from other types of frozen or unbaked pies, according to the proposal.

The Biden administration aims to publish final cherry-pie rules in April 2022, according to the to-do list.

To contact the reporter on this story: Courtney Rozen in Washington at crozen@bgov.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Bernie Kohn at bkohn@bloomberglaw.com

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