Freedom of Peach
"This legislation meets a real growing need in this country," says Acquafresca. "Farmers and ranchers are shaking in their boots constantly, wondering what phony allegations in regards to food safety may be leveled against them next."
Although a majority of Acquafresca's constituents seem to back his legislation, it has caused quite a rhubarb elsewhere. The Wall Street Journal blasted the measure as "an idiotic bit of crypto-fascist self-regarding rube paranoia." Acquafresca says such griping is just sour grapes—although he wouldn't like to imply that grapes are sour.
Of course, there is also the question of the First Amendment and its guarantee of free speech. Acquafresca's measure, which has cleared both houses of the legislature and is awaiting the signature of Gov. Roy Romer, almost certainly will face court challenges, but Acquafresca says he believes it will prove constitutional.
The law is intended primarily as legal recourse against consumer groups—and even celebrities like Meryl Streep—who have spoken out about the health hazards of such products as apples, beef and grapes. Meanwhile, Acquafresca thinks his bill has helped stimulate discussion about food safety. "We've got thinkers, writers and debaters talking about a national issue," he says.
And so, the beet goes on.