15 Harmless Things That The US Government Absolutely Freaked Out About

The NSA once lost its mind over Furbies.
15 Harmless Things That The US Government Absolutely Freaked Out About

Ah yes, the joys of living in the United States of America, where the government is always looking out for our safety and well-being! From banning foreign tech, to prohibiting certain types of food and animals, to cracking down on illegal imports, the US government has a long history of protecting its citizens from harm. But, behind the scenes, there are a lot of strange and interesting stories about why certain things are banned in the US. From Furby-gate to the tobacco industry's last-ditch effort to stop a California ban on flavored tobacco products, this list will take you on a journey through the wild and wacky world of US bans. So, buckle up, and get ready to learn about why Furbies, haggis, animal hide drums, Kinder eggs, ferrets, French cheeses, black pudding, horse meat, bell peppers, slingshots, Japanese food, avocados, and British lamb imports are (or were) all banned in the US!

Tobacco companies' last-ditch effort to halt the ban goes up in smoke.

CRACKED MENTHOL CIGARETTES The Supreme Court said no to tobacco companies' emergency plea to stop a California ban on flavored tobacco products, which voters said yes to in November 2022. It was passed two years before, but tobacco companies tried to stop it by putting it on the ballot.

CNBC / Healthline 

Operation Atlantic: crushing illegal car imports one Mini at a time.

CRACKED MINI COOPERS U.S. Customs and Border Protection crushed a 2000 Mini as part of Operation Atlantic, a partnership with Great Britain to stop illegal car imports. It protects automakers and used car dealers by blocking cars younger than 25 years old from entering the U.S. صلفة BLS0336

Jalopnik / Mini 

Japan's food safety gets the green light.

CRACKED JAPANESE FOOD (FOR 10 YEARS) In 2021, the U.S. finally lifted restrictions on Japanese food imports introduced after Fukushima, after Japan showed their food inspection system is safe. This includes rice, mushrooms, wild plants, and veggies. 2/20 1584


USDA puts the block on Spanish peppers.

CRACKED BELL PEPPERS The USDA blocked fresh bell peppers from Spain because they found the Mediterranean fruit fly in them. The Medfly is a major agricultural pest, damaging over 250 types of fruits, flowers, veggies and nuts.


Ferrets: Not the pet for everyone, apparently.

CRACKED FERRETS Ferrets are banned as pets in CA, HI, NYC, and DC because they bite, get aggressive, and can take over native wildlife if they escape. Plus, they need a lot of care and can go wild.

Ethos Vet 

Drumming up trouble?

CRACKED ANIMAL HIDE DRUMS Handling animal hide drums can cause anthrax, though it's rare. Animal hides coming to the US must be treated - otherwise, you can't import them. And, if you make or play drums and you get a fever or skin lesions, definitely tell your doctor.


Guess we'll just have to settle for a lungless haggis.

CRACKED HAGGIS Haggis is a Scottish dish made from a sheep's stomach filled with its liver, heart, oatmeal, suet, stock, onions, and spices, but the U.S. won't let us use lungs. USDA banned eating livestock lungs in '71 because they can have stomach fluid, which is unsafe.


America's fear of foreign tech: Furby-gate, 1998.

CRACKED FURBY In '98, Furby was a hot Christmas gift, but it freaked out the NSA because they thought it could record and leak Top Secret info, so the NSA officially banned its employees from bringing Furbies to work.

Thrift Con 

Scroll down for the next article
Forgot Password?