Letters for February 24, 2011

More on GM foods

Re “Non-GMO grocery shopping” (Uncommon sense, Feb. 17):

It is stated in the story, “Studies have shown that genetically modified (GM) vegetables can cause cancer in laboratory rats,” but no original science is referenced to substantiate the claim.

Can the person who authored this guide claim the qualifications to competently understand the original science reference, if there is one? The preponderance in the news medium that many scientists are against this or that is a blatant abuse of how scientific research, irrespective of the field, is evaluated.

There is something called the scientific method. News in either a weekly or daily paper is not the place to carry out scholarly scientific discourse. It makes great copy but is a gross disservice to the public.

Brahama D. Sharma, Ph.D.

I am opposed to genetically engineered foods! I personally know 300 people who are opposed to genetically engineered foods! In California, five counties voted to ban growing genetically engineered foods!

The Sierra Club, representing 1,400,000 members, is opposed to genetically engineered foods! Greenpeace is opposed to genetically engineered foods! Millions of Americans are opposed to genetically engineered foods! Europe is opposed to genetically engineered foods! Japan is opposed to genetically engineered foods! Other countries are opposed to genetically engineered foods!

Please do not use genetically engineered foods! Why force on people something they don’t want?

One website calls Monsanto the most hated company on Earth! Another website calls genetically engineered foods the largest food experiment in the history of the world!

Genetically engineered foods are dangerous tampering with nature! We must stop genetically engineered foods!

Arthur Tesla

Equal in love

Re “Love, multiplied” (Cover feature, by Christine G.K. LaPado, Feb. 10):

She [therapist Adrienne Parker-Morano] understands poly better than most people do. Being in a poly, one man, three women, I find it discriminatory that marriage is reserved for heterosexual couples. I love my husband. Yes, I use that term. Even though we can’t legally wed, he is still my husband.

How can he provide for our future when the law won’t let him? We need to change this.

She did get something wrong. There is no primary relationship. We are all equals. Each relationship with him is equal to the others.

Roxanna Tice
Gering, Neb.

See the sting video

Re “The campaign against abortion” (Editorial, Feb. 10):

Your editorial supported Planned Parenthood without giving facts about what happened. I know editorials only express the views of the editor; but, they should still be accurate and true. I think they should print the location of the video and let people watch it and draw their own conclusions. That would be good journalism. Why I used CN&Rs to line the bottom of my bird cage. At least I found a good use for their papers! (Way too ruff for toilet paper!).

Here is the location of the video: www.liveaction.org.

Robert Berry

Don’t tax my plants!

Re “Supes to tackle pot topic” (Downstroke, Feb. 17):

As far as I’m concerned, this is taxation without representation. Do you require almond farmers to display a $44 band around their trees? Your tax would impose a $1,096 cost on my garden of six plants! To add insult to this tax, why is [Deputy Administrative Officer] Sang Kim trying to approve this ordinance without public debate?

I have been following this debate, and it has always been about dispensary issues. The dispensary side of medicinal marijuana is where the regulatory practices need to take place. Please work on legal dispensaries, do not impose taxes on the farmers themselves.

Brad Jenkins

Medically, we want it all

Recently, millions of us received letters from our health-insurance provider informing us that costs had increased drastically in 2010—most notably, a 15 percent increase in hospital-related expenses. If this is any indication of where we are going, hospital costs are on track to double every five years, along with health-insurance premiums.

As a percentage of GDP, we spend more than three times what we spent on health care in 1960—and that percentage grows steadily every year. (We are rapidly approaching 20 percent of GDP.) On health care alone, we now spend more per person in the United States than the combined median income of five households in India.

Some will argue that this is a great achievement. That is, we are able to throw mind-boggling sums of money at health care because we are great entrepreneurs and producers. Others will say that we have a grossly inefficient and, therefore, inordinately expensive system.

Both liberals and conservatives seem to ignore the fact that we have an aging population and that each member of this demographic tsunami has been led to believe that he or she is entitled to state-of-the-art medicine—ad infinitum. All the while, the state of the art becomes exponentially more complex and expensive. And so, on the left we demand universal access, and on the right it is, “Down with death panels!”

But we’re all saying the same thing: Everybody gets everything they want, and what they want is everything they can get!

We have the ultimate vortex in the making—the kind that might just swallow an entire economy.

Patrick Newman

‘A historic revolution’

A peaceful revolution led by youth toppled a powerful dictator in 18 days, aided by electronic communication invented by young people. I don’t know of any similar event in history; do you?

In his last speech, Hosni Mubarak mentioned “young people” many times, acknowledging their power. I feel deep respect for the Egyptian protesters for their discipline and commitment to peace. The worst I heard they did was to yell profanities, throw rocks, and shake their shoes in derision.

How fortunate that we get to observe such a historic and peaceful revolution and the waves it’s setting in motion globally.

I summarized what I’ve discovered so far on my blog: http://gaylekimball.wordpress.com.

Gayle Kimball

Herrera’s stand

On Sunday, Feb. 13, the city of Chico cut down a healthy sycamore tree to make way for a capital project. While I was unsuccessful in my efforts, I hope that my nonviolent form of civil disobedience demonstrates the importance of standing up to the “business as usual” mentality that dominates this culture. Simply because government says it is right does not make it so (as history has clearly shown).

My reasoning for protecting the life of this tree is rooted in my understanding of the intrinsic value of all life and the interconnectedness of all things. And my perspective that a perfectly healthy tree should not be sacrificed just because it is in the way of a capital project is what drove me to act.

Every living being has its place in this world. Mine is to speak for those who do not have the ability to do so for themselves.

Chico needs a change in our hearts, our minds, and the status quo regarding our relationship to the land base and all that it offers us. I am willing to be the alarm, but we all need to wake up to the call of a deeper consciousness.

The trees need your support. And I did make my parents proud.

Mark Herrera

We are proud of our son, Mark Herrera, for standing up for the environment and the preservation of the historic sycamore tree in Chico. Without the earth, the trees and our precious environment we cannot exist. Who will stand up for the environment, if not us? Mark has our full support and we encourage him to spread the message that, indeed, all things are interconnected and we ought to evaluate so-called progress and change in light of that.

Steve and Lindy Herrera
San Jose