I’m voting yes on Proposition 37 for reasons that will likely surprise Tribune readers. For 30 years, as a scientist for one of those big companies that commercialized GMO seeds, I witnessed some of the first products introduced nearly 20 years ago.
Therefore K. Volkov’s Sept. 28 Viewpoint statement: “Numerous peer-reviewed animal studies link GMOs to allergies and other health risks,” didn’t surprise me.
But, a 2004 National Academy of Sciences report, “Safety of Genetically Engineered Foods” says: “In contrast to adverse health effects that have been associated with some traditional food production methods, similar serious health effects have not been identified as a result of genetic engineering techniques used in food production.” Still, how can people not be concerned by statements such as Volkov’s?
I support labeling foods from GMO crops because over-the-top activism directed at these crops from the beginning has virtually halted the introduction of new GMO traits. Just imagine for a minute, growing a crop without herbicides, pesticides or fertilizer by the simple expedient of planting a seed. This promise will not be possible given the current environment.
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My hope is that labeling will clear the air. Many people will continue to consume foods containing GMO ingredients; some won’t. After reasonable time, we will find no differences between the two groups. We can then move forward with the agricultural technology of our future.