The Plight of Consumers

     Each time I reach for a carton of milk I go far afield for when I see the words “Our farmers pledge not to use Artificial Growth Hormone” I picture a group of overhauled men in straw hats standing in rows amid budding stalks of corn with their right arms raised, reciting like robots “I will not use BGH, I will not use BGH.” Sometimes in the background I hear Bossie mooing her approval in the background as if to say, “Amen to that.”

     I wonder how long it will be before this concern for veracity and authenticity will spread to other products…

     Maybe the cereal with the white check mark on the front will eschew books and toys and instead include a warranty card in each package, guaranteeing that each crunchy mouthful is from the whole grain.

     Maybe one brand of peanut butter will invite visitors to its website to view signatures of a million moms who swear “it’s number one with me and I’m choosy!”

     This new transparency might cause an orange drink to continue its claim of “delicious with breakfast” on the labels but add (in smaller type) “only so-so with supper.”

     Healthy Heart wheat breads may provide EKGs upon request.

     Commercials will feature cheery blondes who say, “My hair is bleached, but I swear these scrumptious pretzels are made from unbleached flour.”

     People taking tours of a facility that produces candy will be amazed at the sight of crones stirring pots and reading off tattered cards which contain the old world recipe.

     Testers at a factory who sample only the product of the final beans in each batch will sign affidavits attesting that the last drops are good indeed.

     An antacid will produce evidence of patients with readings on a heartburnometer of zero.

     A cologne manufacturer will produce documentary footage of one of their scientists creeping along a limb to “capture the essence of the sandalwood tree.”

     Footage of Marjorie Main puttering and muttering around the kitchen may be used to promote potato chips that claim to be Kettle-cooked.

     Some of the boasts on labels are always going to be hard to accept or disprove. “#1 Doctor Recommended” and “Preferred by Dentists” are two I am going to test myself. At my next appointment I will be well-supplied so that when I produce some article unfamiliar to my doctor I can say, “Try two of these and call Procter & Gamble in the morning.” You have my word on it.

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