BRIGHT WRITES DOT OVER PROPOSED PEANUT BAN
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Rep. Bobby Bright (D-Ala.,) has written Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood regarding a proposed DOT policy that would severely restrict the use of peanuts on commercial airplanes.
The DOT recently announced it is considering three options in regards to distributing airline peanuts to customers: a complete ban, a requirement that airlines offer a "peanut free" flight if requested in advance by a passenger with a peanut allergy, or a requirement to create "peanut-free buffer zones" on flights for passengers with allergies.
Similar guidance was offered by the DOT in 1998 but ultimately abandoned after Congress barred the use of funds to implement suggested changes to airline peanut policy.
"It is my belief that any ban or restriction on peanuts in airplanes is a clear case of overreach on the part of the federal government which has no basis in science, and could hurt American farmers and kill jobs," Bright wrote in his letter. "While I understand that some travelers are anxious about the possibility of severe allergic reactions to airborne peanut particles in airplanes, scientific research shows this concern is unwarranted ... This suggests that the DOT's proposal is a solution in search of a problem."
"This is a clear case of the government trying to regulate something that shouldn't be regulated," Bright said. "For years, airlines have provided peanuts to passengers with few problems or complaints. I see no reason for the Department of Transportation to suddenly intervene to solve a non-existent problem and I urge Secretary LaHood to reconsider this policy. It is unnecessary and could have an adverse effect on the peanut industry and the thousands of jobs it supports. I will fight to ensure this policy is never implemented."