Keeping America safe from diabetes sufferers

Steve Watson
Aug 5, 2011

The TSA is at it again. Putting in danger and infringing on the rights of every day Americans attempting to go about their daily business is now par for the course in the nation’s airports.

This time the agency faces a formal complaint over an incident Yesterday at Denver International Airport where a TSO screener confiscated a pregnant woman’s insulin and ice packs, claiming they were “at risk for explosives.”

The woman, who asked to remain unidentified for fear that TSA agents would retaliate against her in future, described the incident to local ABC affiliate 7 News:

“He’s like, ‘Well, you’re a risk.’ I’m like, ‘Excuse me?’ And he’s like, ‘This is a risk … I can’t tell you why again. But this is at risk for explosives,’”

“I got a bottle of nail polish. I got hair spray bottles. I got needles that are syringes. But yet I can’t take through my actual insulin?” she retorted.

The woman says she ensured that the the insulin was clearly labeled and even produced a doctor’s note, yet still the TSO was adamant that the medicine constituted a security threat.

The TSA’s own website clearly states that insulin and all standard supplies associated with diabetes are permitted through the checkpoint once they have been screened.

In addition, TSA procedure does not allow for confiscation of any legal items. Agents may only take something from a passenger via “voluntary surrender”. In this instance the confiscation therefore constitutes theft.

The fact that the confiscated item in question was a diabetes sufferer’s insulin, coupled with the fact that the woman is with child makes the incident even more despicable.

Worse still, the woman claims that the agent never even confirmed the fact that the insulin had been removed from her baggage.

Picture: The TSA’s own websites clearly indicates that insulin and all diabetes related medicines and equipment are permitted through security checkpoints.

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The icing on the cake here comes with the fact that while quite prepared to violate the law and the agency’s own procedures, the TSA agent was too incompetent to conduct a thorough search, as the woman says she managed to smuggle through half a vial of insulin.

“It was at the bottom of my lunch box because they didn’t search it all the way through. They just took out every thing on top,” she said.

When asked for an explanation, the TSA refused to discuss the case, providing the following generic pre-prepared statement:

TSA’s mission is to safely, efficiently and respectfully screen nearly 2 million passengers each day at airports nationwide.

We are sensitive to the concerns of passengers who were not satisfied with their screening experience and we invite those individuals to provide feedback to TSA through a variety of channels. We work to balance those concerns with the very real threat that our adversaries will attempt to use explosives to carry out attacks on planes.

It is the traveler’s responsibility to have proper government issued identification and a boarding pass; to cooperate with applicable screening procedures and instructions and to communicate their disability or health related needs.

Liquid medications should be labeled, and those in quantities larger than 3.4 ounces (100ml) each need to be separated from other carry-on items and declared to the security officer as medically necessary. A declaration can be made verbally, in writing, or by a person’s companion, caregiver, interpreter, or family member. Liquids in excess of 3.4 ounces will require additional screening.

This woman is lucky she wasn’t locked in a glass box by agents and forced to prove she was diabetic by injecting herself with insulin, such is the mind set of the tyrannical TSA stationed throughout the country’s airports.


Steve Watson is the London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’, and He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham in England.

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