A 35-year-old university professor was forced to surrender her cupcake to TSA officials at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas on Wednesday on grounds that it posed a potential “security threat.” According to MSNBC.com, the security officer said that the frosting on the red velvet cupcake was enough like a gel to violate the administration’s restrictions on liquids and gels which may be used as explosives.
Rebecca Haines, a communications professor at Massachusetts’ Salem State University was attempting to fly out of Las Vegas when a Transportation Security Administration agent confiscated the purportedly dangerous baked good. The tasty but apparently deadly weapon was packaged in a small Mason jar.
The officer, according to Haines, didn’t seem to believe that the pastry might actually explode, but that it fit the bureaucratic definition of a potentially dangerous item and was therefore not allowed on the flight. MSNBC quotes Haines as saying, “I just thought this was terrible logic.”
Haines had traveled without incident through Boston’s Logan International Airport earlier in the week with two similarly packaged cupcakes, which were gifts from a student. The professor, who lives north of Boston, said, “It’s not really about the cupcake; I can get another cupcake. It’s about an encroachment on civil liberties. We’re just building up a resistance and tolerance to all these things they’re doing in the name of security, when it’s really theater. It is not keeping us safe.”
The TSA has said that passengers are allowed in most cases to carry cakes and cupcakes on flights. According to spokesman Nico Melendez, the agency is currently reviewing the incident.
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
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