Topic: genetically engineered crops
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August 19, 2013 at 7:04 PM
An imperfect solution to an imperfect dilemma
Initiative 522 is not perfect. [“On voters’ plates: genetically engineered crops,” page one, Aug. 11.]
However, it is not a perfect world. In a perfect world, federal law would not permit Monsanto to sue for patent infringement for the spread of patented genes that they are making no efforts to contain.
In a perfect world, the effects of genetically modified crops on other crops, farm animals and surrounding wildlife would be taken into account before approving them for market.
In a perfect world, safety testing on genetically modified organisms would include all anticipated uses, whether the products are meant for human or animal consumption, or for compost.
In a perfect world, we could anticipate all the ramifications of genetic modifications for generations to come before we bring crops to market.
And yes, in a perfect world, not all genetically engineered foods would be lumped together in the same basket. But, in a perfect world, it would be much easier to separate the safe and ethical products from the unsafe and unethical.
Initiative 522 is a start — and remember, the initiative is about labeling, not prohibiting. It gives both the consumers and the people producing and distributing foods choices about how to go forward, and what Washingtonian can’t support choice?
Monica Zipp, Seattle
August 19, 2013 at 7:08 AM
GMOs are poison
Reporter Melissa Allison missed the most important point regarding foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs): the health risks. [“On voters’ plates: genetically engineered crops,” page one, Aug. 11.]
Independent, long-term feeding trials on laboratory animals fed genetically engineered foods show serious health effects: tumors, low birth weight and shortened life spans.
GMOs are nothing more than slow-acting poisons masquerading as food.
Big, corporate agribusinesses would have these poisons crammed down our throats without our knowledge.
Vote “Yes” on Initiative 522 to label GMOs in food.
Patricia Michl, Lake Tapps
August 15, 2013 at 4:43 PM
We have a right to know
The recent article regarding the labeling of foods that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs) failed to mention that genetically engineered crops require more of Monsanto’s herbicide, Roundup, because the weeds it is supposed to kill have become resistant to it and have turned into super weeds, requiring more of the chemicals that generate huge profits for Monsanto. [“On voters’ plates: genetically engineered crops,” page one, Aug. 11.]
It is beyond me why anyone would think that eating genetically modified foods doused with more chemicals than conventional foods is a healthy thing. The animal studies coming out are proving them to be anything but healthy. The monarch butterfly population has plummeted by 59 percent in the past year, because all that Roundup has killed most of the milkweed, which is their primary food source. If something isn’t done soon, they could be gone forever.
It’s dangerous that the U.S. government and Monsanto have unleashed GMOs into the marketplace without any conclusive long-term studies. They’ve turned the American people into guinea pigs.
Mother Nature exists for our benefit. Monsanto exists solely for its own best interests and profits, so having it control our food supply is scary.
Vote yes on Initiative 522! We have a right to know exactly what we’re eating, and to avoid GMOs if we chose.
Gayle Janzen, Seattle
August 15, 2013 at 7:06 AM
I can’t help thinking, as I read about whether we should label genetically modified foods, that the unacknowledged elephant in the room is trust. [“On voters’ plates: genetically engineered crops,” page one, Aug. 11.]
The scientific community seems frustrated that the public is unwilling to trust the experts about the safety of genetically modified foods. They don’t want to risk letting the public have a voice, or the choice to know the details and decide for themselves.
Ordinary people, the scientists seem to feel, don’t have enough knowledge or intelligence to make intelligent choices.
So we should trust them to do it for us.
Let’s look at the choices food science has made for us in the past:
World War II science gave us widespread hydrogenated fats. Hydrogenated fats have hardened the arteries of millions.
High-fructose corn syrup is still contributing to an increase the number of diabetics.
Cattle were fed feed made from dead animals to save money and grow beef cheaply. Popular theory holds that cows were infected with prions from diseased sheep, which led to transfer of a neurological disease of sheep to cattle — mad-cow disease. That disease was then possibly transferred to humans who ate the beef, leading to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.
These consequences were unknown when the products were introduced to market. Science didn’t have all the answers then, and it doesn’t now.
Ask yourself: What evidence is there, based on past experience, that we can trust science and industry to consider public health above their own financial gain?
Susan Plahn, Seattle
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