To the Editor:
Sara Velardi claims that genetically modified foods, (GMOs) are safe in her letter published in the September 27 issue of The Bee. The foods themselves may or may not be safe. There are concerns regarding GMOs’ unintended harm to other organisms, i.e. monarch caterpillars, and there are still many unknown effects on human health. But above and beyond those issues, GMOs have been developed specifically to produce plants that are immune to insecticides and weed-killers.
This is one of the main goals of GMO producers: to create crops that can be liberally sprayed without affecting yield. Ms Velardi claims that GMOs undergo “rigorous testing and stringent risk-assessment procedures” before hitting the shelf. But the fact is, the testing and risk-assessments are on-going, as new GMOs are developed and introduced constantly.
There are several government agencies regulating GMOs, including the EPA, FDA and USDA. They all have different jurisdictions, and although all are working to establish guidelines, standards and regulations for GMO’s, there is no one agency overseeing this process. If GMOs are so safe, why is it a problem to label them? Ms Velardi is worried that the labeling process is “unnecessary, cumbersome, and expensive”; but I for one, want to know which foods are made with GMOs.
Increases in asthma, autism, lymphoma and other cancers, Parkinson’s disease, reproductive dysfunction, and Alzheimer’s disease may all have links to pesticide exposure. Since GMOs are liberally sprayed, I think it’s important to remember that the danger may not be with the food itself, but with the chemicals used on them. It is our right as consumers to know which foods are made with GMOs. If people feel they’re safe, then they can buy more. If not, we can avoid them. We’re all better off knowing what we are eating, and what we are feeding to our children.
106 Lakeview Terrace, Sandy Hook October 8, 2013