EDITORIAL LETTERS

By , Boyd Anderson, and Ted E. Foulke

Trade Agreement May Threaten Marine Life

The front-page article ''Analysts Praise Year-Old WTO, But Give It Incomplete Grade,'' Jan. 17, omits a couple of important examples of the way in which this so-called trade agreement can be used to weaken wise legislation.

Fearing another trade challenge by Mexico, Venezuela, and others, (similar to past GATT tuna-dolphin disputes lost by the United States), the US Congress is considering implementing a series of harmful provisions contained in the Panama Declaration, signed last October.

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This deal would weaken America's marine-mammal protection laws, which protect dolphins from harmful tuna-fishing practices and enable American consumers to purchase accurately labeled ''dolphin safe'' tuna.

Further, US Trade Representative Mickey Kantor has pledged to cooperate with Canada in a challenge to the European Union's compassionate regulation banning the importation of certain furs from countries that allow the use of barbaric steel-jaw leghold traps. Both dolphin-safe fishing and abandonment of the use of cruel traps are measures supported by an overwhelming majority of citizens in the United States, Canada, and Europe.

Losing a dispute before the WTO, or even the threat of a challenge, can negate popular support and national sovereignty, reversing years of diligent work to enact praiseworthy laws.

Adam M. Roberts Washington

Research Associate, Animal Welfare Institute

Don't forget Turkey's invasion of Cyprus

In the opinion-page article ''Turkey and Islamic Politics,'' Jan. 10, there is one glaring omission.

In discussing the implications of the Welfare Party's recent electoral victory, the author presents several dilemmas faced by the United States in its dealings with Turkey. He lists the Greek and Armenian lobbies, as well as human rights advocates for the Kurdish minority, as the parties opposing American support for Turkey. He neglects to mention the brutal 1974 invasion and subsequent occupation of Cyprus by Turkey. In omitting such an important consideration as the Cyprus problem, the author reinforces the status quo and, consciously or unconsciously, participates in a more generalized effort to cast the Cyprus problem into the ''oubliettes'' of history, thus legitimizing, over time, this illegal and reprehensible Turkish action.

Boyd Anderson St. Louis

Beware of dangerous waters in Hawaii

The author of the article ''Hawaii's Waters Welcome at the End of Hard Hike,'' Jan. 10, describes his euphoric dip in Hawaii's tumultuous waters. Having visited Kauais Kalalau Trail too, I can empathize with his vivid descriptions. Hanakapi'ai beach is a jewel to behold, but many unsuspecting visitors, even strong swimmers, have drowned at Hanakapi'ai.

A sharp and steep drop-off at water's edge and strong tides create a remarkably dangerous situation. Twenty years ago I trekked the Kalalau trail. There were then, as there are now, signs warning against swimming. My good Kauaian friend, an excellent swimmer, hearing about this article, confirmed my concern and added ''the locals don't swim there.''

Unfortunately, articles like these, he affirms, encourage visitors to test the waters despite signs warning of the dangers.

Ted E. Foulke Corvallis, Ore.

Your letters are welcome. For publication they must be signed and include your address and telephone number. Only a selection can be published and none acknowledged. Letters should be addressed to ''Readers Write'' and may be sent by mail to One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, by fax to 617-450-2317, or by Internet e-mail (200 words maximum) to OPED@RACHEL.CSPS.COM.

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