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Today’s topics: Eggs and heart disease, hell in print, miner matters … and more (Vitali Dyatchenko/Thinkstock)
Today’s topics: Eggs and heart disease, hell in print, miner matters … and more (Vitali Dyatchenko/Thinkstock)

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Aug. 20: The shell game, and other letters to the editor Add to ...

The shell game

The dietitian who wrote about egg yolks and heart disease (Muddied Eggs – letters, Aug. 17) repeats the egg marketer’s mantra that “eggs can be part of a healthy diet for healthy people.” She quotes a large study that failed to show harm from egg yolks among young people who remained healthy during just eight to 14 years of follow-up. The other half of the story, that the egg marketers never mention, is that the very same study showed that among those who became diabetic during follow-up, an egg a day doubled coronary risk.

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It’s easier to show harm from eggs among diabetics, because they’re at higher risk. It would take many more years of follow-up to show harm from eggs in healthy young people – but why would they want to be packing in more cholesterol, and packing more plaque on their arteries in the meantime, to bring on their heart attack or stroke sooner?

J. David Spence, professor of neurology and clinical pharmacology, Western University and director, Stroke Prevention & Atherosclerosis Research Centre, Robarts Research Institute, London

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Eggs just aren’t all that they’re cracked up to be. They’ve also been linked to prostate cancer and gestational diabetes and they’re often contaminated with harmful salmonella bacteria, which flourish on filthy, overcrowded egg farms.

Fortunately, people can enjoy healthy, humane and delicious vegan foods instead of eggs. Scrambled, seasoned tofu goes great with soy sausage, fruit, or whole wheat toast, and Ener-G Egg Replacer, a cholesterol-free powdered mix, can be used in place of eggs in baked goods. Bananas or canned pumpkin can also be used instead of eggs when baking.

Heather Moore, PETA Foundation, Norfolk, Va.

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Animals are us

Based on the same science that Stanley Coren uses to celebrate dogs (Dogs Are People Too – Arts, Aug. 13), one cannot attribute a rich, emotional life to a dog without extending the same courtesy to a pig.

I doubt anyone who has ever spent time with a pig could believe that they are any less sentient, or wonderful than dogs. Mr. Coren and Jeffrey Masson confirm what we already know deep down to be true: Animals are more like us than not, they do not want to be used or abused or killed, and therefore we should never do so.

Shannon Kornelsen, Toronto

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Hell in print

Antony Beevor’s The Second World War (War Is Not Only Hell, It’s Hell To Read About – Books, Aug. 10) indeed surveys the horror and scope of the event, but the war could and should have ended at least six months earlier. Once the United States entered, Allied industrial capacity was 10 times that of the Axis. The war went into overtime largely because of American errors.

The U.S. daylight bombing campaign, suspended in 1943 due to crippling losses, was arguably the largest strategic defeat for the Western Allies. And although U.S. industry produced 50,000 Sherman tanks, only the British upgunned Firefly could meet German tanks as equals.

All this is almost trivial compared with the dangerous U.S. emphasis on Japan. After Midway, Japan should have gone firmly on the back burner. No postwar prize in Asia equalled Central Europe, which was soon to be swallowed by the Soviet Union.

Nick Kelly, Nanaimo, B.C.

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Miner matter

I recently attended a moving performance of Dying Hard at the Fringe Festival in Saskatoon. The play is based on the words of fluorspar miners dying from lung cancer (an occupational hazard of mining fluorspar) and their wives in the 1970s in St. Lawrence, Nfld.

That evening, I scanned two articles on mining in the business section (Aug. 9). When referring to mining companies, the reporters used the term “miners” as shorthand for mining companies.

Miners are workers who labour underground, primarily, and confront rock in order to make a living. Mining companies are not miners but owners of the means of production, which are in the hands of the miners.

The Globe would be doing miners and their families an immense service by insisting that its writers reserve the term for those people who do the mining and face its dangers.

Michael Rohatynsky, Saskatoon

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Emulating China

Re Fearing Advocacy, Ottawa Rejects HIV/AIDS Funding Proposals (Aug. 7):

I had to check the location of this article, because it could have been written in China. My organization helps grassroots HIV/AIDS non-profits become sustainable and learn to do research and advocacy on health and human rights with the Chinese government.

Beijing authorities are increasingly willing to support groups that provide AIDS-prevention services, but they refuse to support (and sometimes threaten to shut down) groups that do advocacy on health and human rights.

Since China has failed to address its own HIV blood disaster, we have often raised Canada’s handling of its blood disaster as a model for China to consider emulating. It’s disappointing that under the current administration, Canada is emulating China instead.

Sara Davis, executive director, Asia Catalyst, New York

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Shine on

As the association representing the commercial indoor tanning industry in Canada, we agree with your assertion (Keep Kids Out Of Tanning Salons – Aug. 14) that it should not be left to municipalities to regulate the use of tanning equipment. We believe provincial governments can play an important role in ensuring that salons meet the highest standards of safety for users.

We do take exception to the reference to a “large body of empirical evidence linking indoor tanning beds to an increased risk of skin cancer.” Existing research has found that the risk of developing skin cancer from use of a commercial tanning bed is nominal to non-existent, as long as trained and certified operators oversee users who have been skin-typed to ensure that they are not at increased risk. People with Type 1 skin (fair and prone to burning) should never use tanning equipment and should limit their exposure to natural sunlight as well.

Steven Gilroy, executive director, Joint Canadian Tanning Association, Kelowna, B.C.

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Another faceoff

Irrespective of how one feels about the role of organized labour and the collective bargaining process in modern society, it’s disconcerting to watch the Ontario government impose terms on both employers (school boards) and employees (teachers). The government’s position seems to be that they have the right to impose terms because they pay for everything, are fed up with strikes and don’t want a work disruption in September (Ontario Liberals Unveil Details Of Threatened Legislation To Freeze Teachers’ Pay – online, Aug. 16).

I wonder if we hockey fans could do the same (Bettman, Owners Dismiss Players’ Proposal – Sports, Aug. 16).

Tim Hyde, Oakville, Ont.

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