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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

November 4, 2013 at 4:27 PM

I-522: GMOs pose no threat

Accept the scientific facts

The I-522 debate is a religion versus science debate, especially when likened to kosher labeling [“Food-label vote may have D.C. impact,” page one, Oct. 30].

Paranoia over GMOs illustrates the growing scientific illiteracy in society. GMO organisms are made through a process. The benefits are numerous, but each product needs to be evaluated on its own merit, not as a group. The evaluation of the usefulness and safety of each product is expensive (which favors multinational corporations).

Marketers have long discovered that we tend to make the least risky choice (not necessarily the best), and the tactic of sowing the seeds of doubt is powerful. What labeling will do is “brand” an element of doubt in consumers’ minds, despite the plethora of science supporting the usefulness and safety of a particular GMO product.

This will limit development and availability of this important advance in food technology and the myriad current and future benefits. So, the initiative, heralded as a “right to know” issue, is actually an edict on a belief in the evils of the process versus the scientific method’s ability to evaluate safety and efficacy. If society continues to reject science, we are on a slippery slope of being at the whims of the best marketers and not the best objective information.

Hugh Mitchell, Kirkland

This initiative is all about choice

We haven’t had enough time to evaluate GMO foods. Remember Thalidomide, the morning sickness pill? It was deemed safe by the researchers: They “couldn’t find a dose large enough to kill a rat.” Yet after it had been in use for a number of years, babies began showing up in obstetrics with deformed and missing limbs.

Thousands of children worldwide were condemned to a handicapped life because researchers weren’t thorough enough in their research.

Give the consumer a choice. Those who wish to buy GMO foods can do so. This initiative is all about choice. Don’t force all of us to be in the dark about what is in the food we consume.

Charles Hodson, Federal Way

 

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

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