Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 22, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta
I THE LRKSWOGE KERAIO MomKiy, Fttmxuy 11, A new threat to Canadian food supply Family shopping headache The frugal housewife who tries to ;eep household spending at a mini- num has to be a financial wizzard if he expects to come out within her ludget on her supermarket shopping lays. "Compare our these stores nyite, but the big question is how? Vith products measured in a confus- ng system of ounces, pounds, grams, rards, etc., the consumer who tries o figure out the best buy is faced rith mind-boggling arithmetic. The ault lies primarily with the industry lackaging the products and not with he supermarkets themselves, for hey merely market the goods. The Canadian Association of Con- umers has for years been badger- ng retail merchants to display prices n fresh meat, vegetables and cheese, ind in tlu's they have been highly uccessful. They managed to coax neat packers to wrap bacon in see- hrough packages so consumers could ell what they were buying. But they :ave been unsuccessful in getting in- .ustry to conform to uniform pack- iging in soap, which can come in ;rams or ounces, with or without a owel, toilet tissue, which sometimes tates how many sheets there are to the roll, and toothpaste which is the most mathematically confusing of all. One supermarket shelf recently dis- played toothpaste which came in the following sizes: 5% oz., 44 grams, 6 oz.r 1.75 grams, 158.8 grams, 3.25 oz., and 210 grams. After careful study it was discovered that in some instances the "giant economy size" actually cost more per ounce or gram than the smaller size. Industry claims that packa g i n g machines, differing product densities, and manufacturers' attempts to ar- rive at a convenient retail price are technical considerations that produce awkward package weights. But it's difficult to gloss over the suspicion that some cases are attempts to evade true price competition, and a mud- dled public is left to try to figure out the best deal. At present there is before a Com- mons committee a proposed act to regulate information on product pack- aging. If it is passed by Parliament, industry will have to update its pack- aging process whether it likes it or not, and the end result should assist housewives in making easy selections in the best buys of the week. 'Free' China Time is running out for the spare ctogenarian, Chiang Kai-shek, the J.S. supported dictator of National- it China. His son, Chiang Ching-kuo, ,ow holds the post of vice premier nd is expected to inherit his mantle rtien life exacts its inevitable toll. Tie regime, which has never been nown for its democratic methods, is howing signs of using bold measures eliminate opposition which is bound D surface when the leader dies. Sev- ral dissidents who are non-Commu- ists, have escaped custody and are ow busy in Britain and America, forking up sympathy for an opposi- ion element on Taiwan, which is nown to have many underground ympathizers. Some of these have re- ently been arrested on charges of lommunist sympathies. They are Durnalists employed by the govern- lent controlled press. No evidence as been publicly produced to sub- tantiate the charges, which, if true, ?ould indicate that the Nationalists re far weaker than anyone suspect- d. The latest to suffer from the heavy hand of Chiang's authority is the ma- yor of the capital city, Taipei. He is a native Formosan who has resisted the domination of Taiwan by the mi- nority Chinese government and has now been impeached on charges of corruption and nepotism. Reports in- dicate that the mayor, like otter high officials in government, is no honest John. Bribery might be said to be a way of life among Formosans and Chinese. But the assault on him is ba- sically political, a clear indication of the nervousness which has now be- come endemic in government circles. There is growing evidence of faction- alism among the Nationalists t h e m- selves, which could grow into a tur- bulent fight for power. Under the circumstances, with evi- dence of repression becoming more obvious than it ever was, the U.S. is going to have to face up to the fact that Taiwan is no bastion of free- dom bravely defying the mainland Communists. It is Free China only by its own designation. Spiritual malnutrition There are serious doubts being ex- Tessed today about a uniformly drab nvironment's capability for nourish- ig the human spirit. The more the loon's expanses of rock and dust re explored, the more convincing it ecomes to think man would suffer piritual malnutrition if confined to ich an environment. Barbara Ward has recently ex- ressed concern that we are creating uch environments in the cities of le world. She describes a slum ireugh which a freeway has been uilt: "Decaying rows of houses ower under the great concrete but- resses and supports of the road bove. Under it are caverns of dark- ess and filth. Above, the metal treams flash by and the constant lonotonous roar of traffic drowns all atural sounds or would do so fere there any trees to whisper or birds to sing." There is not much in such a scene to stimulate the spirit. It is not only the conversion of areas into concrete jungles that is depressing; in many places in the world, man is destroying the environ- ment. Parts of Vietnam, for instance, now bear a resemblance to the for- bidding terrain of the moon. Plant life has been decimated by bombing and herbicides, and erosion is irrever- sibly converting the poisoned soil into a peculiar rock called it is said in a book of essays, "Ecocide in Indo-China: The Ecology of War." What kind of people can be ex- pected to emerge from these depress- ing environments? Barbara Ward asks, "If they grow up to be thugs and drug-takers, should we be sur- prised that so malignant a misery produces so malignant a Perils with problem pianos Christopher Dafoe, in the Winnipeg Free Press "The same traditionally French virtues listinguished her recital at the King's school last night. The one thing which listurbed it was the nasty sounding piano. 3ut the failure of the instrument did serve .0 reveal another of Miss Queffelec's jualities. She appeared to be completely jnaffected by the piano, by the wobbly trestle on which it stood, and by the audi- aice leaving for the interval one item too soon." a review in The Guardian. >OOR Miss Qucffelec! One knows exact- ly what she must have gene through uring that horrendous concert. Pianos are 3 often the villains in these affairs. They ist don't make them the way they used to. ly friend Basil Drury. who hsd a brief areer as a concert pianist, reports that pianos were the reason he gave up lusic. He has many tales to tell of disaster or ear disaster on the concert stage. On ne occasion he was playing Beethoven's .ppassionata to an audience of nuns when ic pedals broke off one by one under his iet. Unfortunately his remarks were over- card by the Mother Superior and the cn- re audience trooped out It-fore lie had cached the section marked andanle con lOtO. Another time, while IJrury was r.cling as ccompanist to the immortal Alsatian so- rano Merda Bumberger, the lid of the- pi- w collapsed in the middle of a song called :hlaf Ilcrzensscchnchcn. Fran Bumberper, tio had been standing with one massive rm resting on the odye uf the instrumcnl, as devoured by piano-forte. Drury kept cool, lo the oirn-iion and iayed on as if nothing had happened. Frau Bumberger. still singing gamely in- side the piano, could not be heard and the audience filed out. During a Mozart concert Drury decor- ated his piano a badly out-of-tune Grum- ulfi with a silver candelabrum after the custom of Mozart and Liberace. Imagine his horror when upon looking up in an attempt to remember the next note, he noticed that the entire piano built by the immortal Osvaldo Grumulfi as long ago as 1820 was a sheet of flames. The critics, as one might expect, made great sport on the incident. The piano was a total write-off. While broadcasting "live'' from Carnegie Hall. Drury minced on to the stage to thun- derous applause. When the applause had died down he prepared to sit down at the piano, first flipping the tails of his formal coat with a dramatic gesture. Someone had placed a leaky air cushion on the stool and as Drury sat there was a loud, rude sound heard in a million homes across America. As he launched into Bach's Well Temper- ed Clavier a resounding crack told him that the front, leg had gone again. Playing at a slight list, lie made it through the first 15 preludes and fugues. Then the pedals broke off. Playing like a trouper, he forged on until the lid collapsed. Then three of the white keys came off in bis bands. Sympath- etic members of the audience helped him complete the demolition of the fugacious in- strument. He finished the concert in a blaze of glory by playing Dowland's Fantasia for Harp MI Ihr- only purl of the piano still in u crking order. II uas his swan-song as a concert performer. Jrfl B. Can-Hikers ii Ike Ottawa Journal QTTAWA Cadmium, a toxic heavy metal like mercury and lead, has raised its ugly head in Canada's food supply. Federal health scientists in Montreal, Toronto and Vancou- ver have discovered higher- than expected amounts of cadmium in a number of dif- ferent foodstuffs collected all across Canada. And health officials here in Ottawa are concerned that cadmium may he next on stage in the grim pollution play that is touring the industrialized countries of the world. The most troublesome spot uncovered by the initial food survey is Trail, B.C. and Dr. A. B. Morrison, deputy direc- tor general of the food and drug directorate said Friday federal scientists will in the coming months be look- ing carefully at foodstuffs in areas with large smelting fa- cilities like Trail. It is thought that if there is going to be a health problem involving cad- mium in Canada, then it will most likely occur in places like 'Trail and Kimberley, B.C., Flin Flon, Man., and Valieyfield and Abitibi, Que. At the same time, cadmium- contaminated foods were found hi other areas of Canada. And the FDD intends to start a long- term, two year study of the toxicity of small amounts of cadmium on rats here in Ot- tawa within weeks. The experi- ments should help health offi- cials find out just how danger- ous the heavy metal is to hu- mans (not really known right how much a problem the food contamination could be, and how Ion' an official accept- able limit (there is none at the moment) for cadmium contam- ination in Canadian food should be. Dr. Morrison said that, based on what little is known about cadmium, levels of about 0.5 parts per million are probably safe. This is the allowable level for mercury in foods. He confirmed that federal fisheries off i c i a 1 s have been told by FDD officials that a level of 1.0 ppm of cadmium has been unofficially set as the "actionable" level for fish caught, processed and sold in Canada. Only when fish are un- covered with higher amounts of cadmium will officials become "concerned" enough to start considering prohibiting sale of such contaminated fish, a fed- eral fisheries official indicated. Other countries, includ i n g Japan, have agreed 0.5 ppm of cadmium is a "safe" level for foods. In the recent food survey, some foodstuffs were pur- chased in stores by the FDD in the Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto areas. Of these, 371 (about 42 par cent) contained no detectable cadmium. Another 349 contain- ed cadmium below 0.51 parts per million. Some 44 products tested had cadmium between 0.51 and 1.0 ppm; 25 had between l.Ol and 2.0 ppm of cadmium; and sev- en had more than 2 ppm. More interesting perhaps, 55 of the 70 products containing more than 0.5 ppm (what will likely become the official limit in Canada) were analyzed by the Vancouver laboratory of the FDD. And the majority of these foodstuffs were from the Trail, B.C. area. More specifically, five vegetables from Trail con- tained more than 2 ppm of cad- mium. And 21 of the 25 prod- ucts containing between 1.0 and 2.0 ppm (including samples of eggs, meat, fish, tea, vegetables rhubarb and spices) were' un- covered in Vancouver, most coming from Trail. mostly from Trail, again predominated among foodstuffs containing from between 0.5 and 1.0 ppm of cadmium. Also tainted were samples of milk powder, cheese, meat, fish, shell fish, wheat, soup, rhubarb and spices. Since no limit has been set for cadmium in Canadian foods technically any food sold in Canada with detectable amounts of the admittedly harmful substance is illegal. The FDD also analyzed 24 samples of freshwater and can- ned fish being sold in Canada. Six of the samples contained cadmium in amounts exceed- ing 0.5 ppm, one of these sam- ples with more than 1.0 ppm. How serious is the cadmium contam i n a t i o n of Canadian foods in terms of ,human health? Experts like Dr. Mor- rison say they just do rot know. Even less is known about the low level effects of cadmium than is known about the ef- fects of mercury. It is known that mercury and cadmium affect humans differ- ently when acute poisoning does set in, as observed in indus- trial settings in most countries and as has been observed in Japanese who have eaten rice highly contaminated with cad- mium, contracted "Ouchi-Ouchi disease and even died. It is thought the presence of other metals such as iron and zinc may lessen the toxicity of cadmium. At the same tune, it is suspected cadmium accumu- the body (every hu- How about a Royal Commission on the high cost of Royal Commissions man seems to collect it from birth) might be released at times of illness when normal body defences are down or weak. The initial food survey seems to indicate the problem is not yet out of hand in Canada, ex- cept perhaps in areas with smelting facilities like Trail. But at the same time, the re- sults of the survey shows how widespread cadmium contam- ination is throughout Canadian food. This is in staijk contrast to the mercury contamination, limited primarily to fish foods. An FDD survey late last year showed mercury not to be a problem hi other foods, as once feared, as a result of mercury- treated seed grains. Dr. Morrison admits that a decision on an official accept- able limit for Canadian foods will definitely have to be made soon, possibly within a few months. And "the FDD is inten- sifying its monitoring for cad- mium and other heavy metals in foods. The federal fisheries and for- estry department (soon to be the environment department) has just set up a heavy metal watch, to try and spot prob- lems with contaminants like cadmium, arsenic and lead be- fore they become serious. Dr. C. M. Blackwood, director of the fisheries inspection branch, said Friday there has already been some limited testing done on fish in Moose Lake, near Winnipeg, on the Great lakes (primarily Lake Ontario) and in the St. Lawrence River. No problems have been uncovered, he indicated. Cadmium is widely used hi anti corrosion electroplating, paints and plastics manufactur- ing, and as an alloy to the elec- trical industry. It is known to be emitted by smslting facil- ities. And much of the heavy metal uncovered in the food survey is thought to have set- tled'out of the air onto fresh foods. Recent studies along the Great Lakes revealed signifi- cant contamination of lead and cadmium in precipitation over urban areas, notably Guelph (cadmium) and Toronto Yet the federal government has indicated it has no plans to study the extent of heavy metal pollution in the air. Cadmium, at levels equiva- lent to about a daily intake of 175 micrograms, is thought to produce high blood pressure and reduce life span. At higher levels, it can cause anemia, growth retardation and dam- age to the heart, liver and kid- ney, even death. Dr. Morrison said experi- ments have shown the average Canadian male takes in via his total diet about 70 micro- grams of cadmium a day. This would be only part of his total intake. Cigarette smoking, among other things, can con- tribute significant amounts of cadmium. In urban areas, aut- omobiles are thought to con- tribute some cadmium to the air, both from tires as dust and from burning certain petroleum products. Revolutionaries' theories based on fallacy Flora Lewis in the Winnipeg Free Press TVEW YORK: Self profess- ed American revolution- aries are more like the sparks of a pinwheel than a move- ment, shooting off in all direc- tions and sharing little more than their fury. But they do have a common core to. their beliefs. It is based on an 18ih century fallacy. Essentially, it goes back to Jean Jacques Rousseau, the piercing critic of the decadent French court. Before then, phil- osophy and religion had accept- ed as self evident that mor- tal man was flawed. Mortality Itself was the ultimate proof. Their task, and the task of so- ciety, was to compensate so far as posible for this human con- dition. That was also the pur- pose of pre Rousseau revolu- tionaries and social thinkers. In his ardor to reveal and at- tack the ways of the aristo- cracy, Rousseau turned away from the ancient wisdom. He lived in a time when the great explorers had done their work and the traders and colonists were beginning to follow. Some- thing, but very little, was known of a way of life unlike that of Versailles and the grand chateaux. Rousseau noticed lhat the oc- casional African or Red Indian brought to France was inno- cent of the artificialities, the hypocrisies, the stupidities of the upper crust society he knew and scorned. So. he con- eluded, man in his "natural" state was without flaw. He devised a theory of the "Noble Savage." The visible mixture of good and bad in people one knows, he held, is not due to human nature. The nature is all good, and all the bad conies from the rornipt- ill'J influence of society Poor old he was working on the kind of inform- ation available to astronomers who peered through Galileo's telescope and argued whether or not the moon was made of cheese. Anthropology, sociology psychology hadn't been imag- ined, let alone developed. Now they havs. The basis for believing that man is born per- fect and is only marred by so- ciety (made by men) has been as decisively abolished as the basis for gastronomical notions about the moon. Still the belie! persists. Letter to the editor Truth icanted How about telling the public some truth once in awhile? GEORGE STOOKA. Consul, Saskatchewan. crazpcapeisr It's not .to keep her warm H's to keep her quiet! It is startling that our mod- ern revolutionaries here don't realize the source of their faith in Utopia. It isn't start- ling that they cling to it. They need it to justify the destruc- tion they advocate so as to make room for the perfect so- ciety. They need it to justify the failure of past revolutions, especially the Marxist ones, to fulfil the promise of pure so- cial harmony. And they need it to justify their own attempt at revolu- tionary tyranny, for unless they can argue that they speak for the "true" man, the "natural" man, the man uncorrupted by the evils of society, their right- eousness is open to question. It would invite challenge as blind at best or, worse, self-serv- ing. Without acceptance of Rous- seau's fallacy, most of the rev- olutionary argu men! against reform and evolutionary change falls apart. If improve- ment is the best you can seek because imperfect man can never be expected to purge all evil, then only the most ex- treme circumstances could call for junking the whole society, instead of doing all we can to repair it; then there could be no assurance that a successor society would be ideal, or even somewhat better. All this may seem obvious to most Americans. But it is im- mediately pertinent to the cur- rent political strains rending the country, whether avowed or no. I quote Charles Garry, law- yer for Bobby Scale and other proclaimed revolutionar i e s. "Revolutionaries should not he tried. They are not criminals They (the system) only persecute revolutionaries, peo- ple who are stealing because they can't make a living, peo- ple who are emotionally upset because the system is destroy- ing them Human greed and human want come from in- security, from the economic system. Everything follows therefrom. I don't want to put my fellow man in prison be- cause he fell into human weak- ness." If you really believe you can make a society where there will be no human conflicts, it is reasonable to oppose our so- ciety's attempt to find better ways to resolve those conflicts. If you don't, the struggle for change must be to ease the bur- den of those conflicts, not to exacerbate them. Most people know that. The problem is that when people grow desperate they take flight to Rousseau's fallacy. That ia what makes our new revolu- tionaries. Looking backward Through the Herald 1921 Forty dollars a month and board will be the prevail- ing wage for good farm hands this spring. Farm laborers are talking a month, but farm- ers say they will let their land lie idle rather than pay more than 540 a month. 1931 The curtain has rung down on the life of Dame Nel- lie Melba, one of the purest so- pranos grand opera has ever known. She died .'n her native Australia at the age of 71. 1W1 Hitler has announced in an address to the German people that Germany would un- leash a new type of submarine into the expanded warfare next month. 1951 The 25th Canadian Army Brigade, strong, will fight in Korea. The bulk of the brigade will leave Fort Lewis, Wash, within the next two weeks to join the battalion now fighting under Cie United Nations banner. The Bank of Canada has accidentally issued 32 Ca- nadian bills containing a printing error. The bills carry the signature of J. E. Coyne in an inverted position beneath the top border. Several have been traded quietly by numis- matic dealers at undisclosed prices. The Letltbndge Herald 504 7th St. S., Lethbridgc, Alberta LETHBRIDGE HERALD CO. LTD., Proprietors and Publishers Published 1905 -1954, by Hon. W. A. BUCHANAN Second Class Mall Registration No. 0012 Member of The Canadian Press and tho Canadian Daily Newspaper Publishers' Association and Ihe Audit Bureau of Circulations CLEO W. MOWERS, Editor and Publisher THOMAS H. ADAMS, General Manager JOE BALLA Managing Editor ROY' F. MILES Advertising Manager WILLIAM HAV Associate Editor DOUGLAS K. WALKER Ediloii.il Editor "THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"