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Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Feeling tricked

The natural product landscape barely resembles the health food movement I grew up in as a child. Every time I turn around another “natural” brand is bought up by a multinational conglomerate.

Nestle owns Garden of Life and Pelligrino. Clorox bought Rainbow Light, Natural Calm and Burt’s Bees. New Chapter was purchased by Proctor and Gamble, who shares leadership with Monsanto. Unilever owns Seventh Generation, and Odwalla profits go to Coca Cola.

Yes, I get it. When natural/organic goes mainstream, mass markets are exposed to virtues like human rights and sustainability.

However, cash becomes king. Formulas are changed, making them easy to cheaply mass produce. They have no qualms presenting as healthy and sustainable while destroying the environment, using GMOs and treating workers unfairly.

I feel tricked. I’ve unknowingly contributed to the profits of, and supported the policies and practices of, companies with which I have profound disagreements.

Green washing and the unceasing onslaught of mega conglomerate buyouts is a discussion that needs to continue to happen. In the natural products industry this is the elephant in the room.

Jacob Dials

Ashland

D9 accountability?

Imagine having a job where you make over $200,000 annually in salary and benefits and you can set your own goals and decide how you will be evaluated. And over 10 years you always get great evaluations even when the results of your job are below average.

On March 14, the Eagle Point School District 9 board voted 3-2 to give Superintendent Cynda Rickert a three-year extension on her contract instead of letting her finish the next two years of her current contract.

Data from the Oregon Department of Education shows D9 being in the bottom 10 percent of all districts in Oregon for graduation rates for the past five years (56.1 percent to 65.12 percent). Previously 62 percent, 58 percent, 60 percent, 60 percent. D9 has been well below state average. (Oregon ranks 48th of 50 states) Most test scores have been below state average over this time. Will federal standards identification by ODE help?

School Board policy stresses the priorities of student achievement and listening and acting on taxpayer concerns. D9’s performance and reputation have been at a low level because of failure to hold administration accountable to those policies.

Thanks to those board members striving for accountability.

Jim Mannenbach

Eagle Point

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