Your Views for July 2


Correlation vs. causality

I would like to respond as a scientist to Vicki Vierra’s letter on Sunday, June 30 (Tribune-Herald, Your Views).

First, there is a difference between correlation and causality. In other words, just because two things are increasing at the same time does not prove that they are causally related.

For example, organic foods have increased in popularity over the past 10 years. If cancer were increasing over the past 10 years, this would not be proof that organic foods caused cancer. (It should be noted here that according to the American Cancer Society, deaths due to cancer actually decreased 1 percent for both men and women between 1999 and 2008).

Second, there are problems with the research methods in the article in the Journal of Organic Systems. The authors failed to ensure that genetically engineered (GE) corn and soybean were nearly identical to non-GE feed in this feeding study on pigs, calling into question their conclusions.

For one scientist’s review of this article, you can go to the BioFortified website, a non-profit organization of independent scientists who are dedicated to educating the public about genetics and genetic engineering of crops at http://www.biofortified.org/2013/06/pig-feeding-study-gmo/.

As scientists, we conduct research so that we can arrive at the truth. We are as concerned as the general public that our agricultural systems provide nutritious, healthy, economical and safe foods to a growing global population with minimal environmental problems. Agricultural biotechnology is one tool that can help us achieve these goals.

Susan C. Miyasaka

Pepeekeo

Voting clarification

Sara Steiner is exactly backwards in her letter to the editor on June 27. In the primary election, voters must choose a single-party ballot. In the general election, they can vote across party lines if they choose.

The idea is that Democrats should choose Democratic candidates, Republicans choose Republican candidates, and so forth. Therefore voters are limited to a single party in the primaries, which choose the candidates. But in the general election, all of us can vote for anyone we want to, regardless of party.

Dan Lindsay

Hilo

Dangerous drive

I witnessed the aftermath of a bad traffic accident at Makuu Drive and Highway 130 the morning of June 21.

When, oh when, will the powers that be get a clue that we need traffic signals at these dangerous intersections at Paradise Drive, Kaloli, Makuu and Pahoa?

They might slow down traffic, but that would be a good thing. Get a clue, people.

Barbara Fahs

Keaau

 

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