MANCHESTER – The picturesque town of Manchester, VT may be renamed for a day next month to “Romainechester” if the National Romaine Association (NRA) has their say. Thanks to several sizeable contributions to the town, town manager John O’Keefe says he is considering the organization’s request. O’Keefe was formerly on the board of the NRA and headed up many high-level lettuce initiatives, though he says this would not affect his decision to promote the vegetable to Vermonters.
Romaine lettuce has come under attack recently in the media for causing several outbreaks linked to E. coli bacteria, and many have pressured merchants to pull the lettuce from their shelves. The NRA has pushed back against such claims, citing Article I, Section 10 of the Constitution which mentions produce in the paragraph that limits states’ rights. Their new publicity campaign states “Lettuce Doesn’t Kill People, Eating Kills People” and will feature prominently around the town of “Romainechester” in a few weeks.
“How many people has Romaine lettuce killed?” asked NRA spokesperson Dina Loane. “Zero! 32 cases of E. coli reported, and only 13 hospitalizations. It’s miniscule! Now look at the number of people affected by gun violence in 2018 alone. Over 13,000 deaths, over 25,000 injuries, and nobody wants to keep people away from those things! Lettuce keeps people safe, it keeps people healthy, and people have a Constitutional right to have it. We’re going to fight this recall, and I think we have a solid case for keeping the delicious crisp lettuce where it belongs: inside of your body. And if the US government can’t regulate what goes on inside your body, I don’t know who can.”
The NRA’s efforts have so far been unsuccessful, with many customers complaining that they are unable to find Romaine lettuce on the shelves of their local grocery stores, but if the lawyers for the NRA have their way, we may all be eating safe and yummy E. coli before Christmas.