Thursday, December 10, 2009
KHON Reporter Andrew Pereira traces polluted ogo from Ala Moana canal to Chinatown market
by Larry Geller
Ugh. I thought the rat/Chinatown thing was winding down. Tonight KHON News reporter Andrew Pereira has added to Chinatown’s disgrace by following an ogo picker and his harvest from a filthy canal to a Chinatown shop in Maunakea Marketplace where a vendor purchased a bag of the noxious stuff from him for $30.
Like to eat poke? That ogo (seaweed) could be part of your dinner.
As with the rat infestation (which may affect Maunakea Marketplace as well), our Department of Health seems unprepared to protect our food supply. Despite Pereira’s documentation of the man picking the ogo and finally selling it, KHON notes that the DOH will do nothing:
DOH spokeswoman Janice Okubo said Dela Cruz, the vendor who purchased the ogo from the beach park canal, could be cited if evidence shows she knew the product came from an unlicensed vendor. Okubo noted however that gathering such evidence is often difficult.
KHON has not only uncovered another Chinatown problem, but raises issues about whether we need to examine the performance of the Department of Health.
Here’s one state department that won’t be hurt by the furloughs because it doesn’t seem they are on the job anyway.
I think a lot of these problems are the result in the same shift in mindset that shut down the UH School of Public Health in favor of dumping millions into rebuilding the School of Medicine. This shift started before Lingle came into office and she has simply amplified its effects to the extreme.