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Philippine Seaweed Story Omits Downside

October 06, 1991

The harvesting of seaweed to produce carrageen, the extract used in formulating low-fat beef hamburgers, has the Philippines predicting windfall export profits and employment for 1 million seaweed farmers ("Seaweed a Godsend for the Filipinos," Sept. 9).

This is a protein swap that has the potential to create ecological disaster for that country of islands. In trading seaweed so that fat-conscious Americans can eat MacDonald's McLean, they will destroy the life support system for their primary source of protein: fish.

The kelp beds provide a nurturing environment for myriad fish and crustaceans elemental to the food chain.

Buy fish futures now on the Philippine commodities market; with 1 million seaweed farmers running amok, the price of fish there will skyrocket.

BROOKS MORRIS

Dana Point

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