• U.S.

Letters: Apr. 5, 1982

5 minute read

Too Much Salt?

To the Editors:

You are to be praised for your excellent article “Salt: A New Villain?” [March 15], which brings to the attention of your readers the relationship between high blood pressure and the use of salt. However, I would like to mention that Dr. Walter Kempner of Duke University School of Medicine introduced a severe low-salt diet, the Kempner Rice and Fruit Diet, in 1941 for the treatment of hypertension. This regime has the lowest salt content of any diet. His knowledge contributed to one of the greatest breakthroughs in the treatment of hypertension in our history, and to a dramatic decrease in the incidence of strokes by 49% during the past three decades.

Charles K. Donegan, M.D.

St. Petersburg, Fla.

Now I really am in trouble. Everything I like is either illegal, immoral or has too much salt in it.

Ed Drone

Suttons Bay, Mich.

Fresh oranges, grapefruit and their respective juices are very low-sodium foods. For example, a 6-oz. serving of either grapefruit juice or orange juice contains only 2 mg of sodium, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

John A. Attaway

Scientific Research Director

Department of Citrus

Lakeland, Fla.

The Kellogg Co. wants to clarify your statement “Baked goods and cereals are the No. 1 source of sodium in the diet of many Americans.” Ready-to-eat cereals contribute only 2.9% of the sodium from food; cooked cereals, 2%; and all other baked goods, 27.2% (U.S.D.A., 1977-78). While the total grain food category may add a considerable amount of sodium to the diet, ready-to-eat and hot cereals, as consumers know them, provide only 5%. Kellogg’s Frosted Mini-Wheats® cereal is low in sodium (only 5 mg per 1-oz. serving) and is readily available in grocery stores.

William E. LaMothe, Chairman

Kellogg Co.

Battle Creek, Mich.

Amnesty Reports

Your article on who is killing whom in El Salvador [Feb. 22] questioned the objectivity of human rights organizations in regard to that country and suggested that Amnesty International was “forced to rely on data supplied by the Salvadoran [human rights] organizations.”

Amnesty International has examined information and eyewitness testimony from all sections of Salvadoran society. It has recently published evidence collected by one of its fact-finding missions that visited seven refugee camps in neighboring countries. The mission reported mass killing and torture of noncombatants by Salvadoran government forces. Reliable information reaching Amnesty International shows the continuation of these abuses.

David Laulicht, Press Attaché

International Secretariat

Amnesty International


Loans to Rumania

Your article “Now It’s Cash-Strapped Rumania” [March 8] contained two errors. Contrary to your assertion, First Chicago International is not owed $100 million by Rumania. Our actual loan exposure is a fraction of this. In addition, First Chicago has not been associated with any group of international bankers that visited Bucharest “to talk things over.”

James A. Cassin, Executive Vice President

First National Bank of Chicago


Smoke Signals

We noted with interest that Paul Volcker [March 8], an avid cigar smoker, has selected our Antonio y Cleopatra Grenadiers as his favorite. However, we challenge the pejorative description of that cigar as “cheap.”

A&C Grenadiers may be relatively inexpensive compared with handmade imported cigars selling at $1.65 each and up, but there is nothing cheap about the ingredients or the finished product. Grenadiers are blended with fine domestic and imported tobaccos and wrapped with an imported natural-leaf wrapper—hardly the composition of a cheap cigar.

In an economic environment where many American-made products are at a disadvantage in the marketplace because their foreign-made competition undersells them, it was unfortunate that a fine American-made product be characterized as cheap because it remains affordable to a broad range of consumers.

Kenneth Noone, Marketing Manager

American Cigar

New York City

Goodbye, Belushi

John Belushi was as endearing and creative as any other of the best of this country’s comedians and actors. The initial reaction to his death [March 15] was “Why Belushi?” At week’s end it had turned to “Why, Belushi?”

Jon Rothe

Pomona, Calif.

Whether he turned somersaults or cocked an eyebrow surreptitiously, whether he played a demented samurai or a vulnerable columnist, John Belushi was brilliant. I am still grieving.

Joann Dionne

Nashua, N.H.

American Innovation

Your cover story “Striking It Rich” [Feb. 15] is a refreshingly positive report on American innovation and the freedom to capitalize on it. Daring men and women are still pursuing the American dream of owning their own business.

Because I believe computer technology will aid them in this enterprise, I will be introducing in Congress the family opportunity act, which is a tax incentive for setting up a home office with a home computer. The bill will also provide a tax credit of $100 for each family member. This tax credit will put into the hands of every small business owner the same computer power that helps General Motors and AT&T make a profit.

Newt Gingrich

Representative, Sixth District, Georgia

Washington, D.C.

Off-Topic Debating

As a college debater, I can well understand the appeal of off-topic debate competition [March 15]. Traditional debate has an air of hypercompetitive pseudo superiority that manifests itself in petty rivalries between judges, coaches and students. One needs to hear only one speaker spewing out obscure congressional hearings at 265 words a minute to see that it lacks entertainment value as well. As long as on-topic debate continues to be unattractive except to a handful of masochistic diehards, “debate hybrids” will continue to flourish.

Monica L. Smitt

Bakersfield, Calif

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