Letters to the Editor

Don’t ignore science behind GMOs

After activist attempts failed to legislate laws in California with a labeling food campaign to promote fear of certain types of food, the debate has now moved on to our state. Often a common link with the protests is the anti-corporate and free-market beliefs accompanied with the attacks.

Reading about pasteurization and the science that saved so many lives perfecting that process I believe is relevant to the debate about the attempt to force food suppliers to label their products to promote fear. What difference does it make if Louis Pasteur helped corporations produce more products in regards to the scientific basis of his findings? The science behind it is the same regardless. Interesting enough, recently scientists have been able to scientifically alter cow milk to address allergies in infants; this helps 3 percent of our children.

The American Medical Association is opposed because “there is no scientific justification for special labeling of bioengineered foods.” Every major scientific and regulatory agency — including the National Academy of Sciences, the World Health Organization, EPA, FDA, and USDA — recognizes the importance of genetic modification.

In Africa, a bacterium causes diseases to the banana crops that is needed for millions of people for food and as a means of making a living. Uganda lifted its ban on GMOs for the sake of lives. Making GMOs available to the developing world is not only humanitarian, it is scientifically supported by the best scientific and medical minds.

Scientists are even devising crops to deal with global challenges such as climate change. For example, researchers are developing drought-resistant corn, and other scientists have proposed engineering plants to become more proficient at sequestering carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas. Our environment has been cleaned up by the lack of need for insecticides. Science is even developing plants that sequester carbon dioxide emissions, better fighting the possible ill effects of global warming. So when organizations like Greenpeace come out with theories and scare tactics that support a belief, I choose to trust science.

Science is not progressive or conservative. It should not be ignored.

Mick Sheldon


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