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Letter: Importance of Food Labeling

To the Editor:

The May 14 op-ed “Don’t Mandate Labels for Foods With Gene-Altered Ingredients” by Cass R. Sunstein doesn’t mention the great concern of consumers who have severe food allergies. How would anyone know if the corn they eat has been crossed with peanuts, which many people are allergic to, or some kind of exotic insect, which would be a major turn-off for just about everyone? Even if labeled as genetically modified, this information would not appear on genetically modified foods. At least the GM label would be a warning for the concerned consumer.

Many genetically altered organisms were changed to better withstand pesticides. These pesticides may be killing bees that pollinate the very crops farmers are trying to protect. Who doesn’t try to wash these poisons off their fresh fruits and vegetables before eating them?

Sunstein correctly states that the result of labeling GM foods “could be economic damage” to the producers of such foods. Money, and not the needs of consumers, is clearly the driving force behind the push against GM labels. If GM foods are so great, why are they trying to hide them?

Alice McDonald

White River Junction

Related

Column: Don’t Mandate Labels for Foods With Gene-Altered Ingredients

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Should the government require companies to label food that contains genetically modified organisms? Last November, California voters rejected a ballot initiative that would require such labeling, but bills that would do so were recently introduced in both the U.S. House and Senate. Invoking “the right to know,” a lot of people support those bills. In the abstract, the argument for …