EDITORIAL: An open and (staple) shut case

·2 min read

Oct. 14—We're not sure who is really behind one of the stranger Senate bills to be filed this year.

The powerful Scotch tape lobby could have drafted it. Or maybe the bill, S.1408, was the brainchild of investors hoping to hit it big with a surge in demand for those plastic "chip clips" that keep our Cheetos fresh.

All kidding aside (or some of it, anyway) Sen. Sal DiDomenico, a state senator from Everett, says he's just looking out for consumer safety.

His bill would ban food delivery businesses from using staples "to seal bags or containers carrying raw or prepared foods or beverages."

DiDomenico filed a similar bill in the last session but it never came to a full vote.

The senator told GBH News that dislodged staples can fall into food, creating a hazard, so he advocates for the staple ban and thinks restaurants should use tape or plastic bags that tie shut.

"I've definitely found staples in my food," he told the radio station. "That's why, when I saw that, I thought, 'I can't be the only person who thinks that.'"

Don't bank on that, senator.

When the bill came up for a hearing, the state director of the Mass. branch of the National Federation of Independent Business, Christopher Carlozzi, testified against the ban, calling it "unnecessary and extreme."

Citing the big increase in demand during the pandemic for home delivery of food from eateries, Carlozzi said staples are essential and don't pose a risk to consumers.

"Restaurants seal bags with staples to keep food warm, prevent spillage, or avert tampering with an order once it has left the restaurant," he testified.

Given the huge supply chain issues around the world creating shortages of countless consumer items, we are happy that there are enough staples — for now — to keep those food containers safely closed.

If DiDomenico's anti-staple bill fails in this session he might want to consider a bill to mandate warning labels on all home-delivered food.

Or magnets.

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