A welcome to readers

As a resident of this planet for more than four fifths of a century, I have enjoyed both successes and disappointments in a wide variety of vocations, avocations, and life experiences. This blog satisfies my desire to share some thoughts and observations--trenchant and prosaic--with those who are searching for diversions which are interesting, poignant and occasionally funny. I also plan to share recommendations about good/great movies I've watched and books and articles which I've found particularly mind-opening, entertaining, instructive. In addition, I can't pass up the opportunity to reflect publicly on how I am experiencing the so-called Golden Years. Write anytime:

Sunday, January 13, 2013


I happened upon the following Blog quite by accident. Glad I found it because it saves me the work of writing an almost identical piece myself--(I deliberately omitted the blog's last line.)

Sealed for YOUR protection...

posted 8/15/2010 10:11:33 AM |
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After the 1982 Tylenol Tampering scare, where someone laced bottles of Tylenol with cyanide, manufacturers of nearly all food and drug products have begun making (and marking) their products 'tamper resistant' and the user must bear this cost built-into the price of the product. To make you feel safer, they have adopted the phrase "Sealed for your protection"

If you know me... I see things differently. It's really not sealed for your protection.. it's sealed for THEIR protection. No company wants to be affected with product tampering. They all learned from Johnson & Johnson, certainly the lawsuit repercussions could drive any healthy business into financial ruin.

How 'resistant' are these packages? Actually, some are very little.

Years ago a box of pills had a folded tab for easy open and close. Many are replaced with a glued flap... Tamper resistant? maybe not... Tamper evident? Yes.

English is a lovely language, probably the word 'resistant' has more legal or marketing sense than the word 'evident'. Either way, we must tear off, zip, strip, fold, crack & peel off layers of plasticized foil just to get at the product. It is what it is... this is the world we live in now and it's not going to be any less....(last line omitted)

 * * * * *

The Tylenol events that initiated the "sealed for your protection" regulations can be traced back to 1982 when 7 people died in the Chicago area after ingesting cyanide-laced Tylenol. The FDA responded to this crisis by requiring OTC medications to have packaging that is what we now call "tamper-evident." After the seven deaths, the FBI investigated 270 more copy cat product tampering incidents and found a number of guilty individuals.  It was estimated that the FDA's new regulations initially cost between $500,000,000 and $1 billion as industry redesigned packaging, purchased new equipment and even built new manufacturing facilities. Now, the regulations cover almost anything ingested or used by humans from containers bought in stores.

This is what my father used to call  "a fifty dollar reaction to a 10 cent offense." Not that any death for any reason, should be marginalized.

An aside: in contrast, consider this massive governmental response to a fairly limited number of "deaths-by-poisoned- medicines" contrasted with the government's puny reaction to people killed in schools and theaters and bars and homes in large numbers by military style weapons.  (But that's a topic for another blog: see "More Guns Needed?") Or think about deaths caused by driving while texting or drinking, or exposure to radioactive materials etc.

Anyway, we now know who to blame or thank for the  "protective packaging" and its various permutations that both save and plague consumers, old and young, healthy and arthritic, every day.  Try this experiment: be in a hurry, and then  try to get the top off (or back on) a bottle of Ibuprofen, Milk of Magnesia, Pepto-Bismol, eye drops--you name it--in the middle of the night, or with a screaming headache or child, or just sensing the first intense urges of diarrhea. 

At least we now know who to blame when we break our fingernails on plastic seals, or fail to release our heart medicine from its plastic-foil bubble,  or cut our hands trying to remove rigid clamshell packaging surrounding a single little item, or lose the battle of getting into a bottle of Nyquill because it is impossible to push the top down with sufficient force while turning it at the same time.

In my case, I even go to war when trying to get into my single portion of apple sauce without spilling it--- as the foil cover initially resists, and then splits when it finally succombs to my tugging. Never mind that the tab that is provided to pull the top off is both too small to be gripped effectively by large, old fingers  or resists the grip of fingers that have been exposed to even the thinest  film of hand lotion or cooking oil? All of these problems are exacerbated by the decisions of companies to really protect the consumer, (and themselves), by using Super Glue to affix the "removable" foil to the carton.

The only response that I have found to be even minimally effective is laughter--mostly at myself, as the applesauce spills onto my shirt or the counter, the slippery coated Advil pills scatter themselves all over the bathroom floor at midnight, or the bottle of MOM that I thought was closed and sealed tips over and spills down the shelves of my medicine cabinet.

As I say, laughter may well prove to be the best medicine and fortunately, it does not reside in a "tamper evident" container.

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