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History lesson
I appreciate the article titled "Scotch Verdict," by Byron Woods in the July 31 Independent, but we would like to share a different perspective.

Mr. Woods quotes the Fringe Web site saying that it is "an open arts festival, with no selection process" and concludes that "the laws of the marketplace rule. Literally any group with passports, plenty of ready cash to burn--and no small amount of hubris--can play the Fringe." When you consider the origins of the Fringe Festival you can understand why the honor of performing there is meant to be "self-bestowed." You might also conclude that Mr. Woods' statement smacks of a journalist still learning his craft by stating something so unbearably obvious.

The Fringe Festival began in 1947 when a small number of performance companies were excluded from the Edinburgh International Festival. These regional companies began to perform in makeshift theaters on the "fringe" of the established festival. Given this history it becomes clear why the Fringe Festival would be nonjuried, with "no selection process."

The Fringe Festival is meant to be inclusive rather than exclusive. That is the whole reason why it was created in the first place. I'm not sure what Mr. Woods' criteria is for going to the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland, but obviously he does not use the same criteria as those original companies in 1947. Good criticism begins with the question of intention and how it was or was not lived up to in the execution. Mr. Woods might consider more thought on this in his next article.

Milky options
Food safety is a top priority to Harris Teeter. We look to the federal government to assure a safe food supply for American consumers. BST, a protein hormone found naturally in cows, is necessary for milk production ["Got rBGH?" July 31]. It is difficult, if not impossible, to differentiate between the natural synthetic versions of the hormone. To date, there is no credible scientific evidence that synthetic BST is unsafe for human consumption. The hormone has been heavily tested and is FDA approved. Harris Teeter brand milk does abide by FDA guidelines and may contain BST. For those consumers who do not want to consume BST, we do offer an alternative--Organic Valley products, which are 100 percent certified organic and free from growth hormones.

Dodgy dairy
I much appreciated your recent cover story titled, "Got rBGH?"[July 31]. This kind of informative and revealing article is not generally found in most media, since a lot is directly or indirectly supported by the overly powerful dairy industry. Hearing the truth about milk's (and the industry's) effect on human health, the country's social situation, and defenseless cows should be enough to make readers think twice about eating or drinking milk, cheese or ice cream.

While I am not a vegan, I am working on cutting down my dairy consumption due to my knowledge of the facts so aptly presented in your article. I encourage you to do similar investigative, myth-debunking reporting in the future.

Thank you to Ché Green for writing and The Independent for publishing the Aug. 7 cover story, "Got rBGH?"

While celebrities and the USDA tout milk's benefits, politics and a genetically engineered growth hormone raise doubts. This was a clear and powerful story that described the dirty doings of the USDA and Monsanto in the dairy industry. It described the effects on unwitting americans then, unemotionally, the effect on its bovine victims.

Keep up the good work, and please continue to expose the truth about big biz, government, and injustice toward human and non-human animals.

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