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Napa Letter: "I am Voting YES on Proposition 37"

"If these products are safe then what is the harm in labeling them and letting consumers make their own decisions?" writes Cindy Clark of Napa. Send your letters to the editor to napa@patch.com: Most are published within 12-24 hours.

Dear Editor:

I’m not an activist, and I’m not against “corporate America.” I am, however, someone who likes to know what I’m buying and what I’m eating. There is no mandatory labeling of genetically engineered (GE) foods in the U.S. For this reason, I am voting YES on Proposition 37.

Corporations, such as Monsanto and Dupont, are against this proposition, stating that genetic engineering is fine. Not surprisingly, they either produce GE seeds and/or herbicides that work in conjunction with these seeds. Obviously, the big corporations have a lofty vested interest in protecting their profits.

Unintended effects do occur in life. Who knows what the potential unintended effects may be from genetic manipulation. If these products are safe then what is the harm in labeling them and letting consumers make their own decisions?

Prop. 37 may not be perfect, but its passing will create awareness. Many people do not know about GE food, and people will be shocked to learn how many processed foods contain genetically modified organisms (GMO’s). Labeling gives us a greater opportunity to make informed choices.

For those of you who aren’t against genetically engineered foods, don’t you at least think that others who are concerned have the right to know what they’re buying?  

Cindy Clark, Napa

Napa Patch welcomes letters to the editor at napa@patch.com.

Do you have a comment? We'd like to know what you think. Napa Patch asks that commenters use human names, rather than slogans, when taking part in our community conversation. If you'd rather remain anonymous, feel free to email comments to napa@patch.com.

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Scott Yeager September 20, 2012 at 04:15 PM
Hello "james", are you there?
John Richards September 20, 2012 at 11:23 PM
Bacillus thuringensis.(Bt) works by fissuring the stomach of insects which eat it. Evidence is mounting that it may also affect the GI tract in humans. Is it any wonder that we have seen big increases in the incidence of Chron's Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and Leaky Gut syndrome, For a real eye opener see this movie: http://geneticroulettemovie.com/
vocal-de-local September 21, 2012 at 05:20 AM
Oops! Meant to say 7 BILLION! Typo error from typing in low light. Bad habit!
Ernie Stoddard September 22, 2012 at 12:53 AM
I wonder how many will give up eating when they find out... Do you know that your hamburger can legally contain maggots and rat poop? FDA rules permit an average of 2 or more rodent hairs per 10 grams; an average of 300 or more insect fragments (referred to as insect filth) per 10 grams; an average of 10 or more fly eggs per 500 grams or 5 or more fly eggs and 1 or more maggots per 500 grams. Sound like a witch’s brew? The only thing missing is, “”Eye of newt, and toe of frog, Wool of bat, and tongue of dog, Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting, Lizard’s leg, and howlet’s wing, ….” (Shakespeare’s Macbeth (IV, i, 14-15). Granted it is not a large sum, but any amount of fly eggs, insect hairs, insect filth, maggots and rat poop in our food is too much. The Food Defect Action Levels, last revised November 2005, is a publication of the USDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition detailing acceptable levels of food contamination from sources such as maggots, thrips, insect fragments, “foreign matter”, mold, rodent hairs and insect and mammalian feces. The list also includes “foreign matter”, which includes ‘objectionable’ items like “sticks, stones, burlap bagging, cigarette butts, etc.”
Ernie Stoddard September 22, 2012 at 12:56 AM
A printed version of the publication may be obtained by written request to the FDA. Sadly these levels were determined by industry insiders appointed to the USDA to protect the food industry. Since the FDA and USDA are so remiss in inspecting and testing foods, is there really any way to know how much “maggots, thrips, insect fragments, “foreign matter”, mold, rodent hairs, and insect and mammalian feces” have been ground right up with the rest of the ingredients? While the industry and the FDA claim the food is tested, the number of recalls, Salmonella and E. Coli outbreaks proves otherwise. The publication details the acceptable amounts of contaminants on a per food basis, listing both the defect source (pre-harvest infection, processing infestation, processing contamination, etc.) and significance (aesthetic, potential health hazard, mouth/tooth injury, etc.). For example, the limit of insect contaminants allowed in caned or frozen peaches is specified as, “In 12 one-pound cans or equivalent, one or more larvae and/or larval fragments whose aggregate length exceeds 5 mm.” Another example is Tomato juice which may average “10 or more fly eggs per 100 grams [the equivalent of a small juice glass - 3.5 ounces] or five or more fly eggs and one or more maggots.” Tomato paste and other pizza sauces are allowed a denser infestation — 30 or more fly eggs per 100 grams [3.5 ounces] or 15 or more fly eggs and one or more maggots per 100 grams.

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