Letters for September 6, 2012

What’s in our food?

Re “Organic consumers beware!” (The Greenhouse, by Christine G.K. LaPado-Breglia, Aug. 30):

One reason I support Proposition 37, the labeling of genetically modified foods, is because it will expose the numerous companies who disingenuously claim their products are natural. Our right to know what’s in the food we eat is fundamental, and paramount to a functioning free market.

Thirty-three other countries label GMO foods; why not the USA? Instead, we have companies like Monsanto, DuPont and Dow saying it’s not their job to vouch for the safety of biotech food at the same time the FDA claims it’s the food producers’ responsibility.

Studies on long-term health, impacts on soils, animals or insects are not being done. We already know that insects and weeds are becoming resistant. So if the companies don’t know, and the FDA doesn’t know, at the very least consumers should know.

Genetic engineers and agribusiness corporations depend on a lack of food-system transparency. Proposition 37 could mark the beginning of the end of their dominance and likewise allow the organics industry and truly natural foods a chance to compete on a more equal playing field.

Luisa Garza

Romney-Ryan: two views

Re “Romney-Ryan’s con game” (Editorial, Aug. 23):

He looks like a Boy Scout, but he must have gotten a “merit” badge in prevarication. At his acceptance speech at the RNC, Paul Ryan misled seriously in representing his intentions on Medicare, Social Security and help for the poor. Beyond this he flat out lied on at least two matters.

First, he claimed that President Obama took $716 billion out of Medicare to the detriment of Medicare recipients. The fact is that Obama imposed restrictions on insurance companies to reduce the amount they receive in Medicare payments by requiring them to employ cost-savings methods. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that this would save $726 billion in the cost of Medicare.

In fact, Ryan’s plan would seriously reduce Medicare payments for recipients by employing a voucher system, in essence leaving all recipients (including the impoverished) on their own once they have used up their vouchers.

Second, Ryan represented that Obama promised a small Wisconsin auto manufacturing plant that he would see that it lasted for a hundred years, and it didn’t last a year of his administration. In fact that plant closed down while George W. Bush was still president.

The GOP has no sense of shame. How can any thinking American trust them?

Victor M. Corbett

Your editorial called Romney/Ryan “con men” and cited so many Democratic Party talking points that it was a new low for you.

Anyone interested in fact-checking you can go to Obamacare’s detailed law and find where $716 billion is taken from Medicare to fund Obamacare.

Students, do you know that with Obama in office in 2013 you and/or your family will be fined (excuse me, taxed) if you don’t comply with the health-care law?

And, do you expect to get a job, want to keep a job or advance in your job after graduation? You’ll not have much luck when unemployment goes to a projected 8.9 percent in 2013! Compare that unemployment rate, 4.5 percent, to when Bush was president and Congress was controlled by Republicans.

Romney and Ryan are our only answers to helping the whole country rise to its former greatness. Someone once said: “The rising tide raises all boats.” Those boats include the poor and the elderly and you!

Loretta Ann Torres

Fluoride, silver fillings OK

Re “Whole-body dentistry” (Healthlines, by Evan Tuchinsky, Aug. 16) and “Mercury in the mouth” (Letters, by Al McKnight and John T. Cooney, Aug 30):

After reading assertions on fluoride’s effects on the body, I went to CalWater’s website and viewed the Water Quality Report.

CalWater claims there is naturally occurring fluoride in all of their water systems. This fact must be really stressful for people of the opinion that fluoride is a poison. The facts are we evolved as a species in East Africa in an area with moderate levels of naturally occurring fluoride in the surface water, and that it is an essential element for strong teeth.

Don’t be a patsy making your dentist rich by believing the superstition to the contrary.

Michael Jones DDS

“Get over your amalgam hang-up and learn not to be taken in by quacks” (TimeHealth, May 8, 2002). That pretty much sums up what I discovered about the dangers of mercury poisoning from silver dental fillings.

Of course, some dentists have capitalized on the mercury fears. They do a great business replacing perfectly fine silver fillings with something else. One Colorado dentist diagnosed mercury poisoning in every one of his patients and pulled their fillings. His practice came under suspicion when patients without silver fillings were also diagnosed with mercury poisoning. His license was eventually revoked.

Dr. Simone Rosenberg, DMD, wrote, “Silver has been used as a filling for teeth for over one hundred years…. In the past century there has been no evidence showing that silver fillings are harmful to patients. Studies about the release of mercury from normal wear of chewing and grinding show that five fillings release about the same amount of mercury as is found in a tuna fish sandwich.”

Jack Lee

Bag ban good for business

AB 298, also known as the plastic-bag ban, is a proposed statewide law that is supported by both business and environmental groups because it mends the patchwork of 32 existing and differing municipal ordinances that are already in place for roughly 30 percent of Californians.

Plastic bags are not really free. This law addresses the growing taxpayer burden and environmental blight caused by poorly designed ultra-flimsy disposable single-use plastic bags. Not all plastic bags are banned under this law, just the poorly designed ultra-flimsy disposable carry-out bags.

AB 298 will create jobs! Butte County is home to at least seven businesses involved in the reusable-bag industry: Work Training Center, Roplast Industries, Overland Equipment, ChicoBag Co., Chico Screen Print, Deviant 9 Studios, as well as others account for more than 400 jobs in Butte County. These businesses are poised to grow with passage of this law.

Contact Senator Doug LaMalfa at 530-532-5860 to let him know that you want him to vote YES on AB 298 to protect Butte County’s environment and economy.

Andy Keller

Editor’s note: Mr. Keller is the owner of ChicoBag Co.

Irony on top of irony

Re “Paradise man will run” (Newslines, by Tom Gascoyne, Aug. 23):

Mr. McEtchin might have some nice ideas, but clearly the Paradise population doesn’t want him as a council member; they’ve made that very clear election after election. If he really cared about the community, he’d bow out and save them the much-needed $35,000.

It’s ironic that by bowing out he’d show that he might be worthy of being on the council in the first place, and by not [bowing out], he shows that he doesn’t care about the community as much as he cares about airing his views. He can still attend venues and meetings and submit proposals in the future, if he bows out.

It was wrong for someone to try to pressure him, but it’s something he should be doing on his own.

Teresa Walsh

Schwab makes Chico special

Chico is facing many difficult choices, and the City Council will be casting many important votes in the next few years. We enthusiastically endorse Ann Schwab to be one of our representatives to make those choices. Her work so far, most especially including her emphasis on sustainability, convinces us she will help defend those facets of Chico that make it special and lead us through these trying times.

OJ and Gene Anna McMillan

Connelly’s ‘personal vendetta’

Re “Still on the pot” (Newslines, by Tom Gascoyne, Aug. 30):

Thank God we have a DA who cares about the people of Butte County, unlike Mr. Connelly, who has a personal vendetta against growers because he lives by them.

If Mr. Connelly wants to spend his own money on these special elections, that’s OK, but stop wasting taxpayers’ money. Maybe we need someone new for our district.

Mike Jones

O’Neill’s ‘hateful rhetoric’

Re “Teachers and their bosses” (Guest comment, by Jaime O’Neill, Aug. 23):

Jaime O’Neill said that any good teaching he ever did was in spite of administrators. Wow! In his Aug. 15 article “Freedom Summer in the segregated South,” he comments that Bob Dylan is unlikely to perform “The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll” during his never-ending tour and his audience wouldn’t know what the song was about anyway. Those ignorant, uneducated fans. In his June 21 guest diatribe “Oh (expletive deleted) ’em all,” he casts his typical, hateful rhetoric on various conservatives while providing little substantiation of why he feels and says what he says.

Maybe Mr. O’Neill should’ve opened his own Jaime O’Neill Junior College, since administrators did so little for him. Maybe he should give his pension back. I have to wonder how many good “teaching moments” he had.

Bob Dylan, by the way, has played “The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll” during his live shows well over one hundred times since 2000 and nearly 20 times in the past year. Dylan’s audience and fans are well aware of his songs and the stories they represent. To insult them without reason is typical of O’Neill.

Of course one would expect a journalist to do necessary research and not make unsubstantiated and untrue statements, but in O’Neill’s case it seems to be the norm. Blanket attacks made on any conservative define O’Neill. His act is tiresome and hard to respect.

Taft Petersen

Take care of your pet

With the Chico State students returning to town, now is a good time to remind everyone about responsible pet ownership and the importance of spaying and neutering.

Before you adopt a pet, realize that it’s a commitment for the life of the pet. The dog or cat you adopt to be your “college pal” depends on you to feed, house and love them their entire lives. If your home is too small or your daily schedule too busy, wait to adopt until your life is more stable.

Never, under any circumstances, abandon your pet.

Calculate the cost of pet ownership into your budget. Pet food prices as well as vet costs are constantly rising. Spaying and neutering can cost $60-$150 and must be done before the age of 6 months. If you can’t afford the cost of spaying and neutering, PAWS can help. A Chico nonprofit, PAWS hosts periodic low-cost spay and neuter clinics costing about $20 per pet. See the clinic schedule at www.chicospayneuter.org.

Spay or neuter your pets, provide them a good home their entire lives, and they will return your love tenfold!

Thorn Hart