Young friendship will cost GlendeningThe Dec. 3 article...

Letters

December 11, 1997

Young friendship will cost Glendening

The Dec. 3 article, "Young using Senate office to boost personal business," is a surprising wake-up call for the citizens of Maryland.

To have Maryland's top lawmakers immediately turn this matter over to the Joint Legislative Ethics Committee and to the state prosecutor's office for a thorough investigation is very reassuring for all of us.

Gov. Parris Glendening cannot let his friendship for Sen. Larry Young interfere with his sworn responsibilities as our chief executive. If he fails to support appropriate action to curb Senator Young's alleged abuses of his legislative position, it will seriously compromise Governor Glendening in his bid for re-election.

Walter Boyd

Lutherville

Senator Larry Young should not complain

Sen. Larry Young is guilty of at least one thing -- creating the appearance of impropriety. As a public servant, he has no right to complain about the public's scrutiny being focused on his activities.

The public's trust takes priority and The Sun is fulfilling its responsibility in safeguarding that trust.

Senator Young's apparent conflicts of interest are so blatant that one wonders why the Senate Ethics Committee and the state prosecutor had not investigated him prior to now.

Steve Zink

Towson

New obesity drug may not be the answer

The Food and Drug Administration approved sibutramine (Meridia) for use in treating obesity despite the objections of its ZTC own scientific advisers who felt that the drug was too risky. When I contacted the drug's manufacturer, Knoll Pharmaceuticals, for information, I was told that such a rapid approval was not expected. The company had no printed information to send to prescribing physicians at this time.

This medication works by making the patient feel full by slowing down the body's absorption of the normally produced neurotransmitters, norepinephrine and serotonin. It does not seem to increase the release of serotonin directly. As the Broadway tune goes: ''It seems to me I've heard this song before; it's from an old familiar score '' In an effort to provide consumers with an alternative to fenfluramine and its cousin, dexfenfluramine, the FDA's quickness to approve Meridia may, in fact, repeat the revelation in July of problems with those drugs.

As an active member of the American Society of Bariatric Physicians (physicians who specialize in the treatment of weight reduction), I believe any medication that directly influences the absorption of serotonin should be carefully tested, and retested, to assure its safety and efficacy.

I always stress to my patients that the medication is the least important component of a weight loss program. Without adequate exercise and rational food restriction, little will be accomplished.

Ian R. Andersen, M.D.

Owings Mills

Beware of pigs bearing gifts

Your news story Nov. 27 about Heavenly Ham's "Pilgrims and Progress" curriculum neglected to mention that corporate factory hog farms continue to be a hot political and environmental issue.

The defeat last year by local farm and environmental activists of a plan to build a 3,000-hog finishing operation at Millington marked the opening gun of the hog wars in Maryland. Large scale, confined animal feeding operations [CAFOs] have destroyed water quality in North Carolina, Virginia and other states.

Could Heavenly Ham's "educational" program have something to do with the corporate hog integrators targeting Maryland as a prime location for expansion?

Is Nike into recycling because of public attention to its labor conditions in the Third World? Did Exxon discover the beauty of Alaska only after its tanker destroyed much of the state's coast?

Corporate public relations materials, no matter how cleverly packaged, have no place in our classrooms.

Chris Bedford

Hyattsville

Pub Date: 12/11/97

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