Letters 7-1-13


Do you know where your fish comes from?

When you purchase poke or a similar seafood product in Hawaii’s retail or wholesale outlets, do you have any idea of when that fish was caught, frozen, treated or prepared? Because of loopholes in the federal Food and Drug Administration regulations, lack of disclosure and dating of the products is not required for items commonly sold in Hawaii, such as poke.

A large amount of the ahi used to make poke is “gassed” ahi, imported from outside the United States. This gassed tuna, or “tailpipe tuna,” (because of the use of carbon monoxide in treating this fish) arrives in Hawaii for use in poke and other local dishes. The fish is usually made up of smaller, older or damaged fish that are treated with carbon monoxide to retain the red color and make it appear of higher quality. When sold in local markets, the buyer has no idea as to when the fish was caught or how long it was frozen prior to being placed on the shelf.

A state of Hawaii regulation requiring the seller to list on the packing, the date caught, use by or some similar information would inform the buyer of the product he is about to consume. This information would assist the consumer in his choice of selecting the “gassed” and usually less expensive product as opposed to the fresher and usually more expensive locally caught tuna.

Gary Beals

Hilo

Snowden is hero and should be defended

Some of you think Edward Snowden is a traitor.

After reading his interview with the Guardian, I believe he is an ultimate patriot. Take time to read the full text of his interview with the Guardian that caused the worldwide hunt for him. See for yourself exactly what he said. Google “full text of Guardian interview with Snowden.”

This man is probably going to be killed for telling us our government is the hidden enemy within and is trashing our Constitution. What he describes seems to parallel Germany’s experience. Snowden was a cog in the machine destroying our rights. But he just could no longer stand to say nothing about it. His conscience will cost him his life. He did this for us, and for the cause of freedom. Who among us would be so brave as to give up his country, his career, his very life in the hope of defending our Constitution? Few — very few.

He may be a man without a country now but he will not be forgotten and ought not to be vilified.

We should, we must, defend this man.

Tom Beach

Waimea