A corny scheme
A recent Associated Press article in The Tribune describes plans by the Corn Refiners Association to relabel high-fructose corn syrup as corn sugar (“Corn syrup fights bad name,” Sept. 15). False claims were made by the association to justify a rebuttal.
Lab studies on the fat cells of young children, published by The Endocrine Society, have shown that fructose increases visceral fat cells, contributing to childhood obesity. High-fructose corn syrup alters blood hormones that regulate hunger and energy in ways that make weight control more difficult than with other sweeteners.
The scientific journal Environmental Health published the results of tests that found mercury in nearly half of their high-fructose corn syrup samples. The mercury is left by the corn processing.
High-fructose corn syrup is not nutritionally the same as other sugars. It is a blend of two sugar molecules, each smaller than the sucrose (table sugar) it replaces. Large doses (as from a can of soda) pass rapidly into the blood stream, increasing triglycerides.
There is ample evidence to avoid high-fructose corn syrup, but its producers are beginning to employ methods that spread false information and confusion. They want to retain their share of the $4 billion corn subsidy.
California doesn’t have a budget, our universities and schools are starving for funds and our unemployment rate is cripplingly high — but have you seen our new state-of-the-art execution chamber? (“California moves closer to executions,” Sept. 22.)
In a medieval twist, we’ve used prison labor to build this gleaming new death chamber to carry out what will almost surely be just a handful of executions before the practice is permanently ended.
The facility cost the state almost $1 million to build, small change in today’s economy, but with the cost of actual executions it will be much more expensive. How pointless and shameful.
Thank you for publishing the Viewpoint by Bruce Badrigian (“What we need to improve education,” Sept. 8). The article reminds us that children, students and young people deserve to be recognized as individuals who are gifted with special talents. Each of those students deserves to be exposed to a well-rounded education.
We marvel at Olympians. We trust our physicians for our health care and our mechanics to service our autos. We appreciate beautiful artwork and enjoy listening to musicians.
As adults, we recognize our individual strengths and yet we have allowed politicians to mandate that all children will learn exactly the same curriculum at exactly the same time and score proficiently on the state tests. We have allowed politicians to think that printing databases on students and teachers tells us exactly how we’re doing.
Thank you for reminding us that our students are complex, desire to be engaged in their learning, and in spite of difficult circumstances, trust us as teachers to encourage their dreams and hopes. Thank you for reminding us that teachers create wonderful opportunities for students to learn and to instill the desire to be lifelong learners.
Sally J. Woelper