It’s the real thing

And bring back the cocaine in Coke while you’re at it: Fans of the beverage called Vitaminwater want parent company Coca-Cola to drop a new formula that uses stevia. They say the low-calorie sweetener gives the product a metallic aftertaste.

Sorry, Vitaminwater drinkers, but that’s not stevia you taste — it’s snake oil.

It’s the water — and lots of other stuff: The federal government has cut away red tape that made it hard for brewers to bring new beers to market. The changes will enable brewers to experiment with ingredients and production techniques.

Perhaps some enterprising craft brewer will make a stevia beer, just to tick off the Vitaminwater drinkers.

Doctor, doctor: A number of new laws take effect this week in Washington state, including one that bans teenagers from using tanning salons without a doctor’s prescription.

Good luck finding a doc who considers looking good for the family’s Hawaii vacation next winter to be a legitimate medical condition.

— Mark Carlson, Herald staff