QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS 3
Food libel laws, also known as veggie libel laws have been passed inthirteen states in the United States to enable food producers suetheir critics for remarks made to the effect of disparaging theirfood products. In my opinion, I do not think that such laws arenecessary because they threaten the freedom of speech that isprovided to individuals under the first amendment to the UnitedStates constitution. These laws cost the people who speak out of foodsafety millions of dollars in litigation, thereby threatening anycriticism on food matters in addition to allowing states to interferewith the nation’s constitution when they use their laws to impedeinterstate commerce either in a direct or indirect way. I suggestthat we have a national legislation that will give freedom to andprotect the rights of people and businesses to communicate with eachother interstate. Thirteen states should not be allowed to interferewith the entire Nation’s commerce through regulating communicationby limiting the freedom of people to criticize their food products.
The modern society seems to be trapped by the obligation to payattention and grant fame to lunatics who crave for it throughviolence and destruction. These people perform acts of violence witha motivation of self-glorification and a craving for notoriety. Sohow do we deal with such people? A possible solution was suggested byHerostratos, whose identity was obliterated by banning the mention ofhis name after he burned the temple of Ephesus. However, this willnot work in modern society because this is a free society, andcoerced forgetfulness cannot work. The media have to participatevoluntarily in refusing to acknowledge these individuals. This isachieved by the media making adjustments in style and presentationsuch as substituting the real name of a criminal with another.Another way that could work is by using the court system since courtsalready have the authority to change the names. We can widen thisauthority to apply in such cases. A random name that does not suggestanything would be a great choice, followed by ridicule to replace thecurrent fashions associated with acts of terror.
Secrecy in British Criminal Cases
It is perfectly understandable that the law in Britain prohibits thepublishing of any information that identifies a convict especially ifit relates to children. This is to protect the child from harmoccurring due to the information being made public. Publishinginformation when the case is ongoing can also be detrimental to theinvestigation and can lead to the media being sued if the person isnot convicted of the crime. However, I do not think there is muchsense in the protection of persons convicted of crimes in Britainespecially in the case of baby P. I believe that if we encourage thenaming and shaming of convicted criminals in the media, includingidentifying their names and putting up their photographs, we willbring justice to the victims and prevent more crimes. The public willbecome aware of the worst offenders in their area and avoid becomingvictims in the future, thus deterring the criminals from attemptingfurther crimes. Furthermore, the public and victims of crime areentitled to know what happens after crimes are committed, determineif justice is done and see the transparency in the judicial process.