Labeling our food

This letter is in response to Anthony Dick’s, Nov. 14 column “Oregon’s loony labeling scheme”, in which he discusses an Oregon proposal that would require food companies to put labels on products containing genetically modified ingredients.

I don’t see anything loony about wanting to know what you’re consuming. I followed the link to the World Health Organization and did not find its information about genetically modified foods all that reassuring. A “risk assessment” saying the risk is low is not the same as a long-term study showing that a food is safe.

There have been instances of allergic reactions from implanted genes (i.e. Brazil nut genes in soybeans), though I’m sure scientists are doing their best to avoid these now. I’m reserving judgment on how safe these foods are to eat, but I think people do have a right to know when they are eating them.

For now, I have some reassurance a large portion of my food is free of genetically modified organisms because I mostly buy organic foods. But even excluding these organisms to be labeled “organic” was a close call, brought about by a letter-writing campaign. No, I do not think the Food and Drug Administration is a friend of the political left.

I do not propose banning genetically modified foods, but let both sides of the issue do their “education,” and let’s have the labeling in place so consumers can then decide what they want in their bodies.

Nicole Masika, University staff