The Safety Seal of Approval

Yesterday, I stopped at the grocery store and bought one of those little jars stuffed with tasty artichoke hearts.

But when I was trying to open my treasure back home in my kitchen, the lid wouldn’t turn.

Closer inspection revealed that there was a transparent seal protecting the contents of the jar.

It was easy enough to get off but you know, it got me wondering again about WHY there are seals on jars of artichoke hearts and other such goods.

Who or what is being protected?

The jar is already vacuum-sealed and requires a little extra finger power to pop it open. So why the extra little transparent seal?

Are people in danger of overdosing on artichoke hearts? Or is it to make it harder for children to develop a taste for artichokes at too young an age?

Back in the day when Granny used to “can” veggies and fruits, she didn’t use a little transparent seal. No people were harmed because of this omission.

So then I was reminded of aspirin.

In 1970, the US Congress passed the Poison Prevention Packaging Act (PPPA) requiring that drugs and some household chemicals such as furniture polish be sold in child-resistant packages.

The first product to be regulated by this law was aspirin on August 8, 1972.

From thence on, more and more substances that are considered hazardous have been added to the child-proof list, including prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications.

How many of us remember when that good old “push down and turn” safety cap first started showing up on aspirin bottles?

They were so dadgum effective that even some adults could not open them.

So this is all well and good…there are boring statistics that can be googled to show how many young lives have been saved by the “PPPA.”

And I suppose countless other folks have been saved from the handful of wackadoos out there who like to poison food and medications at the grocery store.


This all comes back around to those feared topics of Personal Responsibilty and Freedom of Choice.

Now, I’ve never had children, but I do have cats and I am always very careful to keep harmful substances away from their inquiring little noses.

I am an expert at storing things in closed cabinets and drawers and on tops of high shelves to keep the paws off my important stuff and my boring prescription drugs.

I certainly don’t need a law to force me to practice common sense.

So I wonder why people with children expect the government to protect their offspring. Isn’t it part of the job description of “parent” that a mother or a father takes responsibilty for the safety and well-being of his or her children?

And what the heck does this all have to do with artichoke hearts you may wonder.

Well, those silly transparent seals are all over everything nowadays. Consumers basically have to “break-in” to their purchases when they get home from the store.

You can’t even slather a hot dog with mustard, catsup and relish without having to break through transparent seals.

This is what happens when government gets its slimy hands into our personal lives. Choices are taken away and milk cartons are harder to get open.

Yes, bad things do happen to good people sometimes.

But the thing is, they ALWAYS WILL. It doesn’t matter how many laws and rules are shoved down our throats.

There will always be things that happen by CHANCE. Uncle Sam can’t control all of them.

And what are the odds that a jar of ARTICHOKE HEARTS is going to be poisoned?

©May 2011 by Phyllis J. Hanniver


About pjh95811

I am a writer and poet living in California. I love cats, dogs, nature, poetry, spirituality and the Pacific Ocean.
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