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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

October 7, 2013 at 7:03 PM

GMOs in I-522 debate

Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, fishmonger Scott Smith tosses a fresh salmon to a colleague at the Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle. Washington state voters will decide next month whether to approve Initiative 522, which would require food and seeds produced entirely or partly through genetic engineering to be labeled as such for retail sale. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, fishmonger Scott Smith tosses a fresh salmon to a colleague at the Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle. Washington state voters will decide next month whether to approve Initiative 522, which would require food and seeds produced entirely or partly through genetic engineering to be labeled as such for retail sale. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Consider the environmental effect

Everyone talks about the safety of GMO foods for human consumption, which I believe is still up for debate, but ignores the damage done to our environment due to the increased use of herbicides. [“GMO labeling ads play fast and loose with costs,” page one, Oct. 2].

An article in Forbes on July 2, “GMO Crops Mean More Herbicide, Not Less” provides details of the increased use herbicides with GMO crops. It is not surprising that Monsanto is a big supporter of the “No on I-522” campaign, since they are the supplier of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup. The Food & Water Watch found that the “total volume of glyphosate applied to the three biggest GE crops — corn, cotton and soybeans — increased tenfold from 15 million pounds in 1996 to 159 million pounds in 2012.”

So it is more than the just the question of the quality of the food we eat. It’s also about the overall cost to the environment.

Elliot Gitten, Bainbridge Island

Comments | More in Food/nutrition | Topics: gmo, I-522, initiative 522

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