GMOs in Food

    By on March 21, 2014

    Dear Reader,

    “Farm Bureau Wrong to Oppose GMO Labeling for NYS” was like a breath of fresh sir in blowing away and refuting statements made in the FB e-lobbying method. We could hardly believe that the group would align itself not with small farmers, but with large commercial farmers and agribusiness. Years ago, when the Grange was strong, the Farm Bureau was seen as a shining light, but that seems to have dimmed over the years.

    In line with the statement, “There is a large and growing international market for non-GMO crops,” China recently held back two large containers of GMO food. Considering China’s own problems with its food, it was especially ironic that they rejected our exports. We Americans may soon be in a minority of people eating such modified crops.

    The effects of Round-up, used to treat GMO crops, has only recently been linked for certain to autism, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. The increase in cases of PD locally is consistent with increases predicted by the PD Foundation for the country.

    Connecticut and Maine have passed labeling legislation, but it will go into effect only when five northeastern states that add up to 20 million residents, pass legislation. New Hampshire will take up a similar measure this year and about 30 states have similar legislation pending. New York state should be one of the first if our representatives in Albany know what their constituents want.

    Meanwhile, Round-up should be banned and until it is, no responsible citizen should even consider using it anywhere.

    With the persistence of GMO-foods in spite of consumers’ rejecting them, small organic farms and individual gardens are likely to increase. The Victory Garden signs of World War II days could reappear, to stand for victory over GMO crops.

    For those of us who want to buy organic produce, but have to choose for a budget, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has made its EWG’s 2013 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce (trademarked) available online. It shows photos of the “Dirty Dozen Plus” and “Clean Fifteen” in two columns, making it easy to decide to buy or not to buy.

    With the resistance to GMO labeling thus far, we must assume that any food not labeled GMO-free or non-GMO, may be treated with GMOs. Asking questions to clarify or simply not buying should hasten the passing of legislation.

    — Byrna Weir, Rochester

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