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Seattle Times letters to the editor

October 9, 2013 at 7:05 AM

Consequence of GMOs are not yet fully understood

Corrected version

Initiative 522: Shouldn’t we know what’s in our food?

Contrary to The Times’ Sunday editorial, today’s genetic modification of foods is very different from the selective breeding. [“Vote no on I-522,” opinion, Oct. 6].

GMOs are engineered in laboratories and the consequences of their use are not yet fully understood. One example is Neonicotinoids, the genetically engineered pesticides produced internally within a GMO’s seeds. These may be linked to Colony Collapse Disorder, which is currently decimating our country’s honeybee population. Honeybees and other pollinators are responsible for one-third of all food eaten in this country. Their collapse would have severe repercussions on our food supply.

The Times’ other argument, that food labeling will increase costs, is also untrue. “Contains GMOs” costs no more to print on a box than the words “natural,” “fat free” or “new and improved”.

Many GMOs are designed to withstand pesticides, thereby encouraging pesticide use. It’s no coincidence that companies opposing I-522 (Dow Chemical, DuPont, Bayer and Monsanto) are also the nation’s largest pesticide manufacturers. Why are a handful of out-of-state, multinational chemical companies bankrolling opposition to I-522? Because if consumers know that their food contains GMOs, they may not want to buy it.

Buzz Hofford, Shoreline

Information in this article, originally published at 7:05 a.m. on Oct. 9,  was corrected at 12:30 p.m. on Oct. 9. It clarified the sentence linking Neonicotinoids to Colony Collapse Disorder. A previous version stated Neonicotinoids have been linked to the disorder. The science surrounding this connection is incomplete and often politicized. Forbes reported in April on multiple studies addressing Neonicotinoids and CCD. These studies have had varying results.

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

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