Vail Daily letter: ‘Yes’ on Proposition 105
Proposition 105 will appear on your ballots in Colorado this November. It is a sensible approach to transparency in food labeling allowing us to know what foods and food products have been genetically modified.
In order to make an informed decision about Proposition 105, we need to clear up a few points about genetically modified foods.
• The process of genetic modification is a far cry from the processes farmers have been using for centuries called hybridization. In hybridization, two comparable plants are crossed to create a plant with the characteristics of both parent plants, usually to create desirable traits. Genetically modified foods are derived from organisms whose genetic material (DNA) has been modified in a way that doesn’t occur naturally (GMOs).
• Questions remain about the safety of genetically modified foods. GM foods have not been proven safe, and no long-term human health studies have been conducted. U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not require safety studies for genetically engineered foods. The United Nations/World Health Organization food standards group and the American Medical Association have called for mandatory safety testing of genetically engineered foods — a standard the U.S. currently fails to meet.
• Food manufacturers using genetically modified ingredients in their products and the Grocery Manufacturers Association are pouring money into Colorado to defeat Proposition 105 thereby keeping us as consumers in the dark about what is in our food. They will tell you that GMO labeling will cause the price of food will go up. Any estimation is a speculation and there could be no rise in costs at all. However, a study by Cornell University professors estimates a maximum rise of $1.42 per person per month.
Food labels already contain nutritional information. Consumers can check how many calories and how much salt, fat and sugar our foods contain. Why shouldn’t we also know whether our food has been genetically modified? Could it be possible that the food companies worry that their profits will sag as a result of letting us know our food has been genetically alatered? If you are want transparency in food labeling so you can be sure of what you are serving your family, please vote “yes” on Proposition 105.
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