Heavy-handed regulators across the U.S. have been putting the squeeze on that time-honored adolescent entrepreneurial venture: the friendly neighborhood lemonade stand.
Last week health officials in Portland, Ore., shut down 7-year-old Julie Murphy's lemonade stand and threatened her with a $500 fine for not having a $120 temporary restaurant license. Murphy's stand was selling 50-cent cups of Kool-Aid at an art fair, according to The Oregonian.
Officials later apologized to the girl's mother, according to FOX News.
"Our health department what they were trying to do, I understand … I just feel like we have to be able to distinguish between a 7 year old, who is selling lemonade and trying to learn about business and someone who actually has a business," Cogen said.
Before the apology the girl's mother, Maria Fife, told the paper that while she sees the need for some food safety regulation, she thinks the county went too far.
"It's gotten to the point where they need to be in all of our decisions. They don't trust us to make good choices on our own."
The Portland incident is just the latest salvo in an ongoing lemon war between bureaucrats and budding pint-sized small business owners.
Last summer police in Haverford Township, Pa. closed a lemonade shop being run by seven children because they didn't have a permit. The police officer was later found to be wrong, and cops eventually apologized to the kids.
And last August, New York City parks department agents levied a $50 fine against a 10-year-old girl for selling lemonade in an Upper West Side park without a permit.