Improbable Lawsuits Insult My Intelligence

I’m not going to waste your time with a lengthy exposition on overly cautious warning labels.  We”re all so used to seeing companies perform the necessary CYA that it insults my intelligence when people expect me to still be surprised to see it.

People are stupid and they act stupidly and then they get hurt.  After that, they sue manufacturers, restaurants, etc. for not warning them against what they did.  This is nothing new.

Today, I bring you something a little different.  Take a look at this:


This stuff tastes great on steak.

This is a seasoning for meat, packaged in a typical spice bottle.  Beneath where it says “Low Sodium,” you can see that it only rates one flame out of four.  This stuff is not spicy at all; it tastes more like lime than anything else.  Now look at the writing on the lid: “this is not a candy.”  Candy?  That’s random.  How does anyone get this stuff mixed up with candy?

Oh, I know, it’s the highly visible “low sodium” marking on the label or the word “seasoning” in large lettering right above.  Candy is almost always low in sodium, so this must be candy, right?

But then, in case the lettering on the lid wasn’t enough to protect you and your children (from what, exactly?), the warning is repeated on the back label.

Tajin reverse

Here we go again.

So, the warning is important enough to print twice, but it’s sufficiently unimportant that they put it after the ingredient list and a couple of other details. Additionally, we can deduce that this product, because it isn’t spicy, would not cause a lawsuit even if some kid tried to eat it like candy.

From a legal perspective, “this is not eye drops” would seem like a less laughable warning label.

They must think we’re beyond stupid.

Or maybe they’re sadistic.  Or maybe they have really bad lawyers.  Or both.  This other product has no warning on it, not even on the box it came in:

Three flames out of four, so this must be candy.

Three flames out of four, so this must be candy.

Now please, everyone, don’t go feeding this to your toddler just so you can try to win a multimillion dollar lawsuit.  That toddler will choose your nursing home one day.

10 thoughts on “Improbable Lawsuits Insult My Intelligence

  1. While I agree that this particular warning is a bit idiotic, I have to wonder sometimes what kind of complaints companies got from customers necessitating the warnings they eventually placed on their products. Why, for example, would you need to put the warning on hand lotion, “For external use only”. Did someone, somewhere actually try and eat it? (And of course there will be someone who takes the warning to mean you are only supposed to use it outdoors.)

  2. I caused this label. One year at Halloween someone dropped a few shakes of this seasoning into my candy bag. Naturally, I was upset. I called the company the next morning and told them my story, after which I repeated the words “This is not a candy!” about fifty times. Looks like took my call seriously.

    That’s a joke, but this warning label makes me wonder if someone at the packaging design group likes to mess with people. We all assume these insulting labels are put on because someone already tried to do the thing that is being warned against, but what if they are put on there as a challenge to see if stupid people will actually do it? Maybe a think tank generates all the ways a product can be misused and then they select the best one to print on the package. After that they just wait for the phone calls to come in, saying “I gave my friend a whole bottle of your seasoning, told him it was candy, now he is lying on the floor convulsing and sweating what smells like beef broth. Um, can I sue you?” To which the company can legally say “Ha ha! You dolt, we put a warning on the package! Have a nice day!” If you’ve ever worked customer service, this doesn’t seem so far fetched.

  3. Actually, I got here because my daughter (who is 7) and some of her friends have been eating this straight at school and I wanted to figure out what the heck it was and if it had MSG in it. So I don’t think it’s dumb at all that it says that on there. I’m not even being sarcastic or joking. Also lots of Mexican candies are spicy and kids love em.

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