Letter to Lake County Record-Bee

Here’s a letter to the editor of the Lake County Record-Bee:

I noted in the article, “GE crops hot topic at Board of Supervisors,” Lake County’s BOS were in “consensus in support of drafting letters to state legislators and federal regulators indicating Lake County’s support of requiring the identification of GE [Genetically Engineered] ingredients on food labels.”

Such a call implies that GE food should be avoided because the food is “unnatural.” Then let’s toss in traditional selection breeding methods using chemical or radiation mutagenesis whereby hundreds of the foods we consume were developed. Is irradiating species to produce mutations safer than the selection and insertion of a specific trait? If one points out that we know that they are because we have been eating them, the same can be said then for GE crops.

“After 14 years of cultivation and a cumulative total of 2 billion acres planted, GE crops have not caused a single instance of harm to human health or the environment.” – Pamela Ronald, Professor of plant pathology at University of California, Davis.

We humans have been modifying our food supply for 10,000 years. “Except for wild game, wild mushrooms, wild berries and fish and shellfish, virtually all the food in European and American diets is already derived from genetically modified organisms,” notes biologist Henry Miller, a research fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. “Yogurt, beer, tofu, and bread, for example, are made with microorganisms that have been painstakingly modified and optimized over many years or even centuries.”

To be scientifically correct, the BOS should amend their letter to support requiring the identification of all food as genetically modified with the exception of wild game, wild mushrooms, and wild berries.

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