To the Editor,
Re: Breakfast beverage choices complicated, Opinion, April 7.
I always enjoy reading Marjorie Stewart’s articles. Her latest shows some of the hidden complexity of food choices we face every day. However I take exception to one statement: “The only reason to oppose [GE] labelling is the intention to use ingredients that consumers might not want to buy.”
There are actually many good reasons to not label food specifically for ingredients derived from genetically engineered crops.
In North America we label the content of food for health and safety reasons. GE is not an ingredient. It is a breeding method. If one breeding method is a ‘right to know’ issue then all must be. Organic food manufacturers would not agree to food labels ‘made with ionizing radiation mutagenesis,’ nor should they. Such labels would only serve to confuse and most likely scare the public.
All breeding methods produce safe crops. There are no documented health or safety reasons for singling out one breeding method on food labels.
People already have the choice to avoid food derived from GE crops. All organic food is grown without GE crops and there are more than 25,000 non-GMO-labelled food products in the store today. The catch is those who want to avoid one modern breeding method must pay for that right.
The columnist is correct food choices are complicated. Food derived from GE crops has an impeccable safety record. This has not stopped groups from generating fear in the public towards GE crops and derived foods. GE-specific food labelling is part of the fear campaign.
Robert Wagervia e-mail