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Thursday, November 27, 2014
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Published: Monday, 10/18/2010

Feds' role in food is worrisome

Blade food editor Daniel Neman's caricature of the widespread opposition to genetically engineered salmon overlooked important concerns that consumers have about eating or serving their families a product that has not been sufficiently tested (“Genetically engineered food: should we be afraid?” October 12).

Research released by the nonpartisan Food & Water Watch found 78 percent of Americans disapproving of genetically engineered salmon, and for good reason.

The Food and Drug Administration's assessment of the human health risks associated with genetically engineered salmon is largely based on flawed scientific studies. More important, it lacks the thoroughness that we would expect to approve the first genetically engineered salmon bred for food production.

Three of the four studies the agency based its review on were non-peer-reviewed and conducted by AquaBounty, the very company that would benefit from producing the fish. Moreover, AquaBounty has admitted that as many as 5 percent of the genetically engineered salmon it would produce could be fertile. This raises serious concerns about how escaped, genetically modified salmon could affect wild salmon populations.

In light of all this, what's scary here is not mutant three-eyed fish, but the ability of our government to pass a potentially dangerous, largely unknown product off as food.

Alex Beauchamp

Midwest Region Director

Food & Water Watch

Washington, D.C

Like everyone else who had neurons firing in the spring of 1973, I remember the great Secretariat. Tom Walton's Oct. 11 op-ed column, “No horse dominated the competition like ‘Big Red,'” reminded me that Secretariat was unique, not just for his outsized ability and performance, but for his wide impact beyond horse racing and even the sporting set.

Many consider 1973 perhaps the worst year of an indescribably ugly period in American history. Few of us who were old enough back then to sense the enormity of the upheaval feel any nostalgia about that time — except about Secretariat. Times often require a hero, someone to lift spirits when spirits need lifting. Over an epical six-week period in 1973, Secretariat did that.

Secretariat wasn't heroic merely because the times cried out for a hero. Sure, he was big, brawny, outgoing, handsome, and unapproachably gifted at what he did.

All of that — if he were a human and not a horse — would have easily made him a serviceable hero. He was a star of an entirely different magnitude. He would have shone as brightly even without the contrasting darkness of his time.

Mr. Walton's artful piece gave readers, some of whom were too young to have watched Secretariat, a sense of why that horse's achievements were so astonishing that he is today measured not just against the best of his kind, but against the very best of an entirely different species: us.

Richard S. Walinski

Adams Street

Rich Iott's re-enactment of a Waffen SS soldier is analogous to reenacting the Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen, or Dachau concentration camp. All could be categorized as “purely historical” pursuits.

Peter Erdman

Monroe

More than ever before, candidates have been flooding the Toledo area with phone-bank calls that have reached the point of aggravation for most residents.

While campaign staffs may enjoy making the calls, I do not enjoy receiving them.

They have cloned the format once used by telemarketers, by calling on weekdays during the dinner hour, and even late into the evening on weekends.

Politicians should be banned from using this procedure in future election campaigns.

Marvin Gagnet

Commonwealtlh Avenue

It's hard to believe that this community is just now realizing that there is a gang problem (“Toledo's gangs grow more violent, brazen,” Oct. 10). There has been a drop in the number of youths who are enrolled in school. They lack jobs, programs, and mentoring.

Gang members' main motive is to make money. As a professional who works with incarcerated youths, I know we must find a way to get youths back into school to obtain a basic education, as most of us have.

We must provide jobs, mentoring, and, most important, programs that teach them about self-esteem, anger management, and skills that would enhance the abilities they possess.

Rosalind Knighten

Maumee

Educating inner-city Toledo children is not solely the responsibility of their teachers and families. It is vital that we all play a role in their lives, either as mentors or by providing educational support.

Kids Unlimited enables all citizens to do this (“After-school program passing test of helping children learn,” Oct. 11).

Time spent with a child on an individual basis helps foster a sense of confidence and responsibility, and lets at-risk kids know that the community cares about their well-being and what they aspire to become as adults.

Anyone who has the time or resources should take part in Kids Unlimited as a tutor, mentor, or donor. My family and I have found tutoring to be an enriching endeavor that has exposed us to the challenging educational environment these children face.

Their lives can be improved by the effort and commitment of those at Kids Unlimited and their volunteers.

Jay R. Jindal

Sylvania

How can a city that declares “exigent circumstances” toward its employee unions rather than pay its negotiated contractual obligations, and that cannot maintain the restrooms in current city buildings, afford to spend money to build public showers in the city's Promenade Park (“Council OKs showers near Promenade Park docks,” Oct. 13)?

The plan is to attach these showers to the current permanent restroom building, which is locked most of the time, especially during events in the park.

These showers will have to be cleaned and maintained around the clock. Who will pay for the upkeep and cleaning?

As a visitor, I would not take a shower if the facility is dirty.

Bruce Simon

Temperance

The world watched as 33 miners were brought to the Earth's surface after they had been underground for 69 days (“Miracle miners all out, ” Oct. 14).

Chilean President Sebastian Pinera spent tireless days at the mine site, while he accepted help from around the world.

This may provide the obvious answer to the question that is the title of a book by Lee Iacocca, Where Have All the Leaders Gone?

There is one leader in Chile.

Rick Hartley

Cheryl Lane



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