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Letter: America should require labeling on GMO foods

America should require labeling on GMO foods

In the May 1 Viewpoints section, Dr. Henry Miller, defender of nicotine, glyphosate and industry interests, states that there is “plenty wrong” with “empowering consumers with knowledge about their food.” What? He states labels don’t give enough information, therefore, we shouldn’t label at all. A right to know what’s in our food is unconstitutional, distracting and, since people didn’t pay attention previously to what is happening to our food, we shouldn’t pay attention now.

Perhaps the push for labels on genetically engineered foods sounds impeachable because it is. The foods we eat provide the building blocks from which we build and maintain all our internal bodily functions. People need not just calories but nutritional diversity. Luckily our bodies are resilient, so a bit of fiddling with genetics may be tolerated, but at what point is it too much? Do we need to wait 50 years, as with the cigarette industry?

I would agree with Miller that we have been far too complacent about our food. This is reason to sit up and take notice; not to close our eyes tighter. The fight about labeling is distracting. Label GMOs, as 64 other countries already do, so we can turn our attention to the serious issues of soil degradation, climate change and hunger. These are not solved with genetic engineering. These are solved with developing sustainable food systems that sequester carbon back into the soil, place agriculture in the hands of small farmers and take into account existing social and ecological systems.

Eveline Hartz, R.N. CHHC

Clarence Center