LETTER TO THE EDITOR: GMO labeling all about marketing

In response to the Letter to the Editor “Shame on Carney for GMO food vote” [Public Forum, July 29], I would like to set the record straight regarding genetically modified organism food and labeling.

First of all, there are only eight crops commercially available from genetically modified organism seed in the United States. They are corn, soybeans, cotton, canola, alfalfa, sugar beets, papaya, and squash (www.gmoanswers.com).

I have seen many non-GMO labels in the grocery store already, such as on blueberries. This is unnecessary and confusing because blueberries have never been a GMO food. The same goes for canned pineapple and popcorn.

Furthermore, leading scientists and world health organizations agree that GMO foods are safe to eat. Before GM crops can be released to the market, they are tested in ways that conventional and organic crops are not.

If a study were ever to yield a result that raised any food-safety concern, it is required by law that the information to be presented to the Food and Drug Administration. Not a single case of ill health has originated from the consumption of these products for the past 20 years (www.who.org).

In reality, GMO labeling isn’t about a nutrition, health, or food safety issue. It’s about marketing. It’s a ploy where food companies try to capture your attention and separate their product from competitors on grocery shelves. It’s about capturing “fad” food preferences, as well.

For example, only 1 percent of the United States population suffers from celiac disease, which requires a gluten-free diet (www.celiaccentral.org). However, “gluten-free” labels are everywhere. Food marketers have a history of taking advantage of consumer confusion.

Last but not least, it’s important to know that, for every dollar we spend on food, only about 16 cents goes to the farmer. Requiring labeling would pass a huge expense down to the farmer and even the consumer (www.biotech-now.org). So, THANK YOU, Rep. Carney, for standing for science and Delaware’s No. 1 industry … Agriculture!

Christy Vanderwende Wright
Wright’s Stock Farm

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