Editorial had facts wrong on shark fins 

I am shocked and concerned over your completely unfair editorial (“Soup ban about overfishing, not culture attack.” July 24). Both you and Gov. Jerry Brown seem to have swallowed hook, line and sinker the untruth and distortion put forth by AB 376’s sponsors concerning the need for a shark fin ban.

In fact, the reality is that virtually all experts in the field agree that there is no need for such a ban because federal law since 2000 has made shark finning illegal.

In a recent speech by Dr. Choo-Hoo Giam, a member of the United Nations Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, he detailed the fact that there is no evidence of any need for a ban on shark fins. Furthermore, there are Marine Stewardship Council-sanctioned sustainable fisheries for sharks on both the East Coast and West Coast. According to both these fisheries and the federal government’s figures, the population of sharks has exploded in both East Coast and West Coast waters and therefore the fishing quotas for sharks have dramatically increased over the past three years.

The fact that a Chinese-American assemblyman, Paul Fong, introduced the bill does not mean that the bill is not discriminatory.

In fact, as part of the support of the bill, Fong compared eating shark fin soup with what he termed “the ancient and barbaric practice of foot binding.” This is the same type of anti-Chinese sentiment that led to the outlawing of firecrackers and the sounding of gongs at Chinese celebrations in the 1870s.

I suggest you study the facts before you accept more spin and rhetoric from Assemblyman Fong and his supporters.

I am sure that my clients have a better chance at a fair hearing with the federal court than with your editorial department.

Joseph M. Breall
Attorney for Chinatown Neighborhood Association and Asian Americans for Political Advancement
San Francisco

Made in USA? Not in S.F.

It is ironic that Mayor Ed Lee and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom are at the forefront of promoting aggressive expansion of business contracts in China (“San Francisco welcomes China investment, delegates,” Wednesday).

Newsom says he wants his role in Sacramento to be that of a leader in energizing the state’s economy. How do Newsom and Lee propose to create jobs for Californians and Americans when the business contracts they promote involve jobs primarily done in China?

How does this address the ever-increasing trade imbalance between the U.S. and China? And how does it help to address the high unemployment rates in our state and the U.S.?

“Made in the USA” is a label we rarely see nowadays on the products we buy. Yet, how are we going to address the trade imbalance issue?

Our leaders and elected officials should begin not only “talking the talk” but also “walking the talk.” It is really up to us — both as voters in elections and as voters with our pocketbooks — to hold each of them, as well as American businesses and corporations, accountable.

Anh Le
San Francisco

High rents not a surprise

Was the letter writer complaining about San Francisco rents for real? (“Outrageous rents driving people away,” Letters, Tuesday).

First of all, the complainant is renting a small apartment for $1,450. I think that’s a bargain. Second, the complainant said co-workers also couldn’t afford to live in The City, yet all were making more than $100,000 annually.

So, one can only surmise that these are young people with no sense of reality, and they are living way beyond their generous means.

Gordon D. Robertson
San Francisco

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