Labeling modified food not so simple

With the increasing demand to label genetically modified products, food companies are struggling to meet consumers' demands without risking profit.

Certainly, labeling engineered food products is not as simple as it seems. Underlying aspects may be present that can either help or further confuse consumers. Labeling will allow us to distinguish one from the other, but how the consumers will response to this type of information is still uncertain.

Thus, instead of rushing to push through policies requiring these products to be labeled, we should first assess the knowledge of the public about genetically modified foods. Then, we could invest our resources in helping fill in the gaps. After this, maybe we can then start discussing about labeling genetically engineered products.

I believe equipped with the accurate information, we can assume that the public will make better decisions on whether to buy genetically modified products or not.

Lareina Samonte

San Leandro

Fabulous production is truly worth seeing

A fabulous adaptation and performance of Oscar Wilde's "An Ideal Husband" is now playing at the Douglas Morrisson Theatre in Hayward, and it is a show not to be missed.

At its world-premiere preview Feb. 6, it was joyously received by a diverse audience ranging from teenagers to seniors who laughed and cheered the cast's wonderfully smart and professional performances.


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Each of the 11 performers brought a delightfully-balanced mixture of nuance and over-the-top qualities to their roles. And each performed as a featured rather than supporting player.

Scott Munson modernized and Americanized this 19th century English comic-drama of political corruption and morality into the milieu and vernacular of 1950s Washington, D.C. without sacrificing any of its original comic irony, wit, or wisdom -- a bravura achievement.

I would be remiss if I didn't also mention an extra added treat, that of an unexpected and truly magnificent turn by Beebe Reisman and Alicia von Kugelgen, together singing the most hauntingly-beautiful version of "Autumn Leaves" that I have ever heard.

Treat yourself. It runs Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in February.

Robert Palgon

Fremont

A proposed new cell law won't cut thefts

Passing a law to discourage the theft of tablets and phones using kill switches seems naive and intrusive.

Sure, the information and usability of these devices will prevent the thief from using it, and subsequently prevent the victim's information from being stolen. For a while. Criminals will just find ways to keep those kill signals from activating.

What our civic leaders seem to overlook is that those who commit these robberies don't use these phones or sell them on the street or steal information from them. The pros unload them as quickly as possible to local dealers who are too prepared to thwart these electronic protections.

A recent article specifically cites that many of these devices are spirited from our shores.

What if there's nobody to buy stolen goods? They'd lose their value, and wouldn't be worth the trouble of stealing.

We need to throw our efforts into jailing the buyers of stolen property. If this could be accomplished, crime of all kinds will diminish significantly because, literally, crime would no longer pay.

Erich Hayner

Oakland

Don't portray King as 'coming out' idol

With all due respect to Billie Jean King, she is not the paragon of coming out honesty as the author of the Feb. 6 letter, " 'Coming out' now truly no big deal," made her out to be in criticizing Brian Boitano for not coming out at the 1988 Olympics.

King was outed by a lover who filed a palimony case against her. King confessed to the affair at a news conference, with her husband by her side.

Boitano has said he was subjected to homophobic slurs in the locker room during his career and that he felt some judges favored the most masculine and straight-looking male skaters over those perceived as gay.

Who is the letter writer to tell him how to deal with the oppression he faced, and when, how and whether to come out? Boitano has a right to be "first and foremost, an American athlete." It's his life.

Let Boitano put love and family first and politics second. This isn't the old Soviet bloc. He has no obligation to credit his Olympic success to the glorious LGBT workers' paradise.

Beth Elliott

Oakland