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Seattle Times letters to the editor

November 4, 2013 at 6:35 AM

Past historical mistakes should be remembered in I-522 debate

Don’t let the greed of companies dictate what you eat

In response to the letter by Ryland Bydalek [“I-522: draw conclusions from evidence,” Opinion, Oct. 30], this controversy over GMOs is still in its infancy.

Present knowledge is still too incomplete to make a definitive decision about the true effects of it on the human system. I’m no biologist, but the past should give anyone pause.

A couple of things I remember: DDT, sold for many years as an insecticide all over the world; “Silent Spring” by Rachael Carson; Agent Orange in the Vietnam War; the use of fire retardants in children’s clothing; etc.

Pay particular attention that in the roughly five years of heavy use of Roundup Ready crops, the weeds are becoming immune to it and heavier doses are needed. I wonder if Bydalek’s studies of microbiology have given him any indication of how Roundup is initiating changes in the DNA structure of weeds; or will affect humans given another decade.

The only reason for the crop DNA to be modified is to resist Roundup. There is a strong case to be made for long-term studies in medicine to ensure we’re not doing severe harm to our children’s children. What’s the hurry? It’s only the greed of the companies making this stuff.

For the time being — in my case, the rest of my life — let’s at least label it so you enthusiasts can gobble food all you want. Make sure you’re getting an adequate dose, and the rest of us will make up our own minds.

Randall Schwab, Langley

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

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