Letters to the editor for Jan. 20

Would you eat meat from cloned animals?

Remember the E. coli cases from spinach, or lettuce, the illnesses from fresh juices, and the threat of mad cow disease? What's next?

Despite concern among scientists, and food safety advocates and even cloning scientists who have acknowledged that genetic abnormalities are common in clones, the FDA announced over the holidays that meat and dairy products from cloned animals are safe to eat.

Maybe you believe the FDA, but personally, I do not, as its track record is poor indeed.

Whether you believe the FDA or not, meat and dairy products from cloned animals should not be sold to the American public (or exported), unless the products are labelled "from cloned animals." The FDA has further announced that they will not require this labeling.

Soon there will be an open comment period, and everyone interested in this serious issue should take the time to send in their comments and let their voices be heard.

By the way, a recent news article states a ranch run by a Texas biotechnology company already has a field of a dozen cloned calves, and an Austin based company with three ranches already sells cloned cows, pigs and horses.

Does it make you wonder, once again, who is minding the store?

Diane M. Williams, Lacey

Starving elk should be hunted

Kudos to Chester Allen for writing it and The Olympian for printing it. I'm talking about the article in the Outdoor section titled "St. Helens elk population can't survive without hunting."

Starving to death should never be an option. The cost alone to relocate 2,500 elk is reason enough not to do any type of relocation effort. Elk die from being frightened to death during these relocation roundups and the meat cannot be used from a tranquilized elk that dies during one of these operations. It's a lose/lose situation.

Coyotes and cougars will eat an elk while still alive if they are weak from starvation. That could be the best option for them. The other option might be months of holding onto life by eating Scotch broom down in the river bottom like they do now.

The only realistic option is hunting. After all, hunting is legal, ethical, educational, fun and most importantly, HUMANE.

Yes, unlike other methods hunting is the most humane way to downsize the herds of elk in the Mt. St. Helens area. It has been working in other parts of the state for decades.

The revenue from a hunter that buys an elk tag goes back into helping these same elk that are hunted not to mention the revenue that hunters bring into a community near you. You could say that without hunting, there would be nothing to hunt.

Hunting is the future.

I hope it's not too little, too late.

Bryan Taylor, Olympia

It's time to raise the minimum wage

We need to raise the minimum wage. There are retired people in RVs, taking cruises, etc. That's fine, they worked for it, but at a time when they did not have to work two jobs to put food on the table for their children.

If your hamburger costs a few cents more because of an increase in the minimum wage, so be it.

There are more people working longer and there are not as many jobs available as there were when the retirement age was 65.

I am 72 years old, so don't think I am beating up on old people.

Let your representative know that a raise in the minimum wage is needed.

Shirley Harper, Olympia

Put Bush and Cheney on the front lines

My fellow Americans, here is the scenario that will prove the mettle of Mr. Bush, Mr. Cheney and their cronies in this administration.

Put them in the front line of the first squad of soldiers to enter Sadr City in Iraq. Don't give them protective vests and let Cheney have his shotgun.

You will see these two cowards for what they really are.

Bernard "Bw" Jesse, Olympia

Let Bush and Cheney fight war in Iraq

We can easily end this war now, with a troop surge of two. Just send them the Chickenhawks in chief, and everyone else can come home.

Craig Oare, Olympia