Letters for Friday, July 29, 2011

• Snakes on a plane • Fish: A healthy

food source • Why the ‘permanent’


Snakes on a plane

Recently we have been getting more and more unwanted reptiles and creatures entering our state via the airways.

Are Transportation Security Administration officers paying any attention to their monitors while screening passengers, or can’t the expensive scanners pick up these creatures/reptiles on the monitors? Are the scanners only good to pick up human anatomies?

One can understand that these creatures/reptiles may hitch a ride and enter our state through shipments, such as lumber, Christmas trees and cargo containers. It’s even possible that they can be sent through the postal services.

If these creatures/reptiles are passing TSA screeners via our airways, can you imagine what would happen if they get lose in the airplane?

Liquids such as water, baby’s milk in bottles and shampoos can’t pass the TSA screeners. Yet these reptiles and creatures make it on the airplanes.

Let’s keep these unwanted creatures/reptiles away from our state. TSA officers should be more qualified to recognize suspicious objects on passengers flying the airways. Also, the expensive scanning equipment should be checked to determine why these creatures/reptiles cannot be seen on inspectors’ monitors.

Howard Tolbe, ‘Ele‘ele

Fish: A healthy food source

I would like to comment on the July 24 letter “Fish among worst things you can eat.” The only point I agree with its writer, Gordon LaBedz, is that some fish do contain tiny traces of mercury in their flesh.

His letter had no facts to support the over-exaggerated claims, particularly when he stated, “The fact is large fish like tuna are often full of mercury.” That is alarmist scare mongering at its best and totally misleading and untrue. 

The Food and Drug Administration standard for mercury in fish to be sold must not exceed 1.4 parts per million. That’s how minuscule the mercury content is in wild fish.

Your friend that was unfortunate to be diagnosed with mercury poisoning, as you say, “from eating too much fish,” but it could have quite easily been caused by amalgams fillings in his teeth.

Fact: Amalgam comprises of 50 percent mercury. The World Health Organization considers silver or amalgam used as fillings to be the prime source of human mercury toxicity.

Fact: November 2005, the American Journal of Preventive Medicine published new research from Harvard University on fish-borne mercury. Spokesman Dr. Joshua Cohen summed up the research by saying, “ We are talking about a very subtle effect of mercury … changes that would be too small to measure in individuals.”

Fact: Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish can help to decrease the risk of heart attack, stroke, arthritis, type-2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. Harvard’s Dr. Eric Rimm told the New York Times in 2004: “The message of fish being beneficial for good health has been lost, and people are learning more about the hypothetical scare of contamination than they are of the well-documented benefits.”

Fact: Japanese people have a higher life expectancy than any other nation, yet individually they consume more than 900 percent more seafood per annum than the average person in the U.S.

Fact: In the past 35 years, not one death in the U.S. has been attributed to mercury poisoning through the consumption of fish, yet each year more than 750 thousand people actually do die from something rarely perceived by the public as dangerous: conventional medicine mistakes.

Gordon, as a family physician, you would be no doubt aware of those sickening facts. To me, I would find it very hard to tell any Hawaiian that has lived on the shores of these beautiful islands for generations and fished as part of their family upbringing and heritage that the fish that abound in these pristine waters, especially the prized ahi, are in your opinion among the worst things you can eat.


Jim Uttleymoore, Kapa’a

Why the ‘permanent’ commissioners?

I am writing to voice my concerns regarding the Charter Review Commission.

As the article the other day stated, the 10-year period is set to end in 2017. Yet, the article begins with the fact that the “workload is winding down” six years ahead of the scheduled end of their mission.

With the new commission scheduled to begin in 16 years, what exactly would the “permanent” commissioners be working on? With monthly meetings becoming not really necessary, why — in these financially trying times — would we create a permanent expense with no urgent workload?

Perhaps instead, the retiring commission members could make themselves available to the new members in 2027 to help with the learning curve? Just a suggestion.

Michael Stauber, Koloa


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