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Letter: Why food labeling matters

Chris Wood’s letter decrying “genetically modified” food labeling is misguided.

Wood apparently believes that substances that pass through the digestive tract in six to 72 hours without immediately sickening us can be deemed “safe.” Unfortunately, substances that spend mere hours in the gut spend years in our environment. How safe are GM crops when they blow into neighboring farmers’ non-GM-planted fields and ripen there?

Ask the 145 farmers who, without intending to grow GM crops, have been sued by Monsanto for patent infringement.

How safe are GM crops that require (and therefore encourage) monoculture, increasing our food supply’s vulnerability to disease, pests and soil depletion?

How safe are GM crops that, bred to resist specific pests, lead to the development of newly resistant super-pests, just as widespread antibiotic use has led to antibiotic-resistant MRSA?

How safe is our food supply, either from super-pests or from the ongoing application of new, ever-more powerful pesticides?

How safe are GM crops that produce sterile seed, ensuring that our food producers and food supply must increasingly depend on and be controlled by a handful of corporations whose primary mission is distributing profits to shareholders?

Labels change anyway; it’s a normal cost of doing business. Companies update logos, change fonts or colors, reduce weight or volume markings while keeping both package size and price the same, as well as complying with government policies. Labeling GM food enables consumers to choose and support producers who protect our food supply and environment by avoiding GM crops.

Rep. JANE J. HUNT

Concord

Jane...it seems to me that the lobbyists for the rich corporations have been working hard to uneducate and dumb-down the masses for decades. I can remember when most items on the shelves of the hardware stores had extensive lists of chemicals until these rich corporate lobbyists convinced Congress that these chemicals might scare the public and got them removed from the labels. They wouldn't want the general public knowing how dangerous the chemicals were in the items they bought.

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