LETTERS: On ‘Don’t Fry Day,’ racial profiling, meat eating and Texas voter ID laws

Today is ‘Don’t Fry Day’

Today is “Don’t Fry Day” — an occasion to raise awareness for sun safety and encourage everyone to protect their skin.

An estimated 5.6 million Americans will confront skin cancer in 2017. Unfortunately, the “all natural” movement puts millions more at risk by advocating against common sunscreens.

In its annual sunscreen guide, the Environmental Working Group attacks oxybenzone — one of the most effective broad-spectrum protectants for UVA and UVB — as well as

Vitamin A, an antioxidant that prevents the sun’s aging effects. But dermatologists say it would take 200 years of regularly applying either of these ingredients before you’d ever see a health effect. Conversely, just 15 minutes of fun in the sun can damage your skin.

Fear over sunscreen “nanoparticles” is also far-fetched. The tiny particles clump together, which prevents your body from absorbing them. Plus, when natural mineral ingredients, like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide are small enough, they don’t leave that annoying white residue on your skin. So goodbye lifeguard nose!

In reality, sunscreens face the same rigorous safety screenings as over-the-counter medications. So as you splash your way into warmer months, remember to lather up and trust the science of SPF for a sunburn-free summer.

Dr. Joseph Perrone, chief science officer, Center for Accountability in Science, Washington, D.C.

Racial profiling’ is bad for business

In his Sunday column in The Monitor lauding Texas’s efforts to increase the coding skills of the state’s tech workforce, state Rep. R.D. “Bobby” Guerra writes, “Businesses interested in moving to Texas need to know that the demand for skilled workers can be met to fulfill their hiring needs.” They also need to know that their workers, often immigrants from tech-focused countries, will not be racially profiled and asked for immigration documents by local police. Tech firms know that “show me your papers” laws, like the recently signed SB 4 are bad for business because they encourage racial profiling and undermine efforts to attract the best and brightest workforce. As a coder in the Valley, I have worked alongside talented U.S. residents and visa holders who face enough challenges without fear of additional harassment as a result of this new law.

The ACLU recently issued a travel advisory for the State of Texas, warning national and international travelers of potential rights violations in Texas because of SB 4, which was signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott. This includes racial profiling and illegal detention. For these and other reasons, Arizona’s loss in economic activity totaled at least $500 million as a result of SB 1070, its notorious “show me your papers” law. Now Texas is following suit. Those interested in developing a 21st century workforce for our 21st century economy should work against draconian “show me your papers” laws like SB 4. Call your city and county elected officials and ask them to bring legal action against SB 4 so we can strike down the unconstitutional law before it is implemented on Sept. 1.

Mark Lagunez, McAllen

End meat consumption, eat more plants

Recently, animal rights activists shut down the 146-year-old Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus after years of effectively exposing them for animal abuse. Can the meat and dairy industry be far behind? The shift toward plant-based eating is everywhere. Fast-food chains like Chipotle, Quiznos, Starbucks, Subway, Taco Bell and Wendy’s offer plant-based options. Parade, Better Homes and Gardens, and Eating Well magazines are all touting vegan recipes.

Indeed, Global Meat News reports that nearly half of consumers are reducing their meat intake. Beef consumption has dropped by 43 percent in the past 40 years.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt views replacement of meat by plant protein as the world’s No. 1 technical trend. The financial investment community is betting on innovative start-ups, like Beyond Meat, or Impossible Foods, while warning clients about “death of meat.” Even Tyson Foods’ new CEO Tom Hayes sees plant protein as meat industry’s future.

The industry needs to transition to plant-based foods, or shut down like the Greatest Show on Earth.

In the meantime, every one of us can shut the meat and dairy industry out of our own kitchen by checking out the rich collection of plant-based entrees, milks, cheeses, and ice creams in our supermarket.

Bill Motter, McAllen

Tougher Texas voter ID laws

Let me get this right. On Wednesday The Monitor runs an Associated Press story “Voter ID law softened,” that says the new proposed voter ID law would allow people who lack a required voter ID to cast a ballot if they sign an affidavit and bring paperwork that shows their name and address, such as a bank statement or utility bill. However, “Democrats balked at the inclusion of criminal penalties for lying on the affidavit, saying voters could be prosecuted over making honest mistakes on the form.”

What morons! There will be no “honest” mistakes here! If you have an address, a utility bill or a bank statement with your name on it, you can probably get a voter ID! And it’s free! BUT the good news is (and this should brighten every taxpayers’ day) that The Monitor on Thursday reported on its front page that open government bills that would allow taxpayers to see where and how their tax dollars are spent/wasted, was shot down! Now I ask you: Who’s rights are actually being denied? The person who wants to vote (but probably won’t) could by getting a free ID card? Or the taxpayer whose hard earned money is being secretly spent with no chance of transparency? Just another case of what is wrong is right and what is right is wrong! As taxpayers, when have we had enough?

Scott Matthews, Mission