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(Re: “Planting a seed,” cover story, Aug. 6.) Good work on your reporting about GMOs, Pamela. I’ve followed the story in the Camera and never gotten the big picture until I read your piece. You didn’t just rant about fankenfoods, nor regurgitate the quotable speakers from a public meeting. You did your homework, and Boulder and I are the smarter for it.
As an avid consumer of science reporting, I don’t fear GM foods and I don’t oppose them outright. Mary Lee Chin was ethically wrong in not disclosing her financial interest in speaking to the committee, but that doesn’t mean her arguments are necessarily wrong. Likewise, I think some of the business practices of Monsanto are immoral, but that doesn’t mean GMOs are going to hurt you.
I agree with Tina Nielsen that GM foods belong in the toolbox. Humanity should try them out and see if they deliver what they promise. If golden rice, for example, can prevent vitamin A deficiency, then let’s grow it.
However, what finally settled my position is the issue you raise in the last section of your article. Steve Demos says that Monsanto would like to use the reputation of my beloved liberal (if sometimes reactionary) Boulder to promote GM foods: “even Boulder...” he imagines them bragging, and I think he’s right.
GM foods have a place in the future of agriculture, but that doesn’t mean we have to try GM crops on Boulder County open space.
They’re already being tried elsewhere, and if they prove to be the wave of the future, then in 50 years we can look back at how foolish and paranoid Boulder was back in 2009.
For now, let some communities ban them, let some communities embrace them, and let some communities allow them with restrictions. If Monsanto targets us because of our reputation, then let’s not hand it over to them. Let Boulder be one of the communities that reject GMOs, and let another community that prides itself on agriculture and technology adopt them, and let’s see how it works out.
Marty Mapes/via Internet
How gratifying to see some very level-headed, non-hysterical info brought out by Mary C. Mulry in her Perspectives piece, “Countering Misinformation,” and in Pamela White’s cover article, “Planting a Seed.” Both of these articles rightfully noted that Monsanto has been very aggressive about funding and promoting “scientific studies” supporting itself, and equally aggressive squelching independent research that counters its pro-GMO propaganda. Thankfully, those corporate tentacles are not as effective outside the United States.
It is crucial that the Boulder County officials deciding on this issue know that there is mounting evidence for some very alarming trends with “Roundup-ready” GMO seeds. A revealing full article is in the English-language edition of France-24 at: http://www.france24.com/en/20090418-superweed-explosion-threatens-monsanto-heartlands-genetically-modified-US-crops.
In a nutshell, farmers in the southern U.S. who had been gung-ho users of Monsanto’s GMO seed program have found that a Roundup-resistant pigweed has mutated and taken over in excess of 100,000 acres of GMO-cropland in Georgia alone. In fact, in 2007, county government records showed that more than 10,000 acres of Macon County, Ga., had to be abandoned because of the virulent infestation of Monsanto herbicide-immune pigweed. Those unfortunate farmers found that once they hopped on the Monsanto bandwagon of GMO seeds paired with Roundup, they had no alternative when things didn’t go as glowingly as Monsanto had promised. It was simply economically impossible to continue farming the infested land.
Our county commissioners must be told that pigweed is probably the biggest weed species problem for sugar beet growers. It is only a matter of time for the herbicide-immune strain to invade Colorado, with similar dire consequences for land devoted to the GMO program. Additionally, the commissioners need to ensure the public hearing process be as truly honest and informative as possible, and at least require each presenter to make a full-disclosure statement of their affiliations and agencies before they make any statement on this issue, whether or not the actual veracity or “science” of the statement can be immediately ascertained.
Robert J. Ferenc/Longmont
(Re: “Countering misinformation,” Perspectives, Aug. 6.) You gave the author of “Sentenced to rape” a whole paragraph describing her connections and achievements, yet you did not provide any information about the author of “Countering misinformation.” I found out that she works for the organic foods industry.
I’m surprised that you printed “Countering misinformation” as an article; it looks to me like a rambling letter.
Ed Roth/via Internet
Editor’s note: The column “Sentenced to rape,” required inclusion of the biographical information as a condition of publication. We do not normally include a bio at the end of guest opinions.
Jeanette leads the way
(Re: “Walk through the wrong door, fall through the cracks,” cover story, July 30.) Many thanks to Dana Logan for sharing Jeanette’s compelling story. I work in human services and was unaware of this appalling loophole in the system. Hopefully by telling her story, Jeanette has prevented other women from slipping through the cracks in the CICP system.
Bray Patrick-Lake/via Internet
Pitting food against meds
(Re: “GMOs and the Boulder County plan,” Danish Plan, July 30.) No one wishes to pit the Boulder organic food economy against the Boulder biotechnology economy. Except, I guess, Danish, who cleverly misses the point by using the Camera’s Top 50 biotech list as some frail diversionary tactic. The one and only issue is organic food purity vs. Monsanto herbicide-saturated food. The Monsanto Roundup Resistant beets, corn, soybeans and cotton won’t die when doused with their own Roundup herbicide, but will become coated and saturated with the poison and served as supper to the public at a lower price than pure organic foods. The trans gene engineered into the seeds so the plants will resist death by herbicide also appears to resist human digestion. GMOs à la Monsanto are totally outlawed in Europe and many other countries.
But, as Danish puts it, “organic food suppliers don’t have a monopoly on corporate morality.” And who would want that, today? True, but they do seem to have a monopoly on food awareness judging from national best-selling books like Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan and Animal Vegetable Miracle by B. Kingsolver —unbeknownst to Danish, who mysteriously pits organic food companies against medicinal pharmaceutical companies in some sort of competition for permission to grow unproven plant clones to save us money. Excuse me, but the Boulder biotechnological industry could only be insulted at being poured into the Roundup bucket with Monsanto.
Let’s keep the Boulder County Brand “organic” and keep the Boulder biotechnology industry producing medicines, not food poisons.
Insulting Jim Hightower
(Re: “The interminable price of war,” The Highroad, July 16.) Hey, braindead Hightower, what did we get for six years in Iraq? We set a country free from a monster that stuffed dissenters into wood-chopping machines. We eliminated a regime bent on nuclear weapons to terrorize the world. We established the start of a democracy in a part of the world without any, thus contributing to world peace. Oh, and we now have a friend who will permit U.S. military bases in a part of the world where we had none, allowing us speedier access to future dangers that threaten the world’s existence, as well as ours.
This is called “preemption,” like preventing serious illness by treating it at its inception. Read your history books and tell me one madman who shouldn’t have been stopped earlier. Also read your history book and you’ll learn that we still have American troops in Germany and Japan 65 years after the end of WWII. They provide stability to the world and our nation, so of course troops will remain in Iraq, you pinhead. I don’t believe for a minute Bilmes and Stiglitz’s estimates of the actual current and future costs of the Iraq war. A piece of paper will take anything written on it. If you want to worry about trillions of dollars, worry about what Obama is spending. While every single American dying on a foreign battlefield is a sad loss, freedom is not free, as most people know. Our 4,300 dead over the course of six years in Iraq, pales by comparison to the 2,499 killed in one day on WWII’s D-day, and the 6,800 killed in one month on Iwo Jima.
Considering everything above, yes, mission accomplished. Your rant is idiotic.
Richard Eggers/via Internet
Deconstruct the vagina
(Re: “Rebuilding the ‘better’ vagina,” cover story, March 24, 2005.) You should post an article about how many women’s lives were ruined by this procedure.
There is a doctor in Michigan (who shall remain nameless) that mutilates women. I know because I have been corresponding with the patients for some time. It makes me sick to know that this country allows unqualified physicians to do this. This article should be erased forever.
Lauren Robinson/Via Internet
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