Reader Responds to NYT Cover Story on GMOs

May 25, 2012

Today’s New York Times cover story, Battle Brewing Over Labeling of Genetically Modified Food, is encouraging evidence that the mainstream is taking note of this critical issue. But did the story get the facts straight? We agree with Bill Keefe of Glastonbury, CT, who sent the comments below to the NYT. Full disclosure: Bill happens to be the father of our Outreach Coordinator, Chris Keefe, but the Project was not in any way involved in drafting these comments. The Keefes are just a family full of critical thinkers who care about basic rights, like knowing what’s in our food.

Bill wrote:

Great to see this topic on the front page of the NYT. But disheartening to see the writers position the industry view as the more fact-based perspective, while portraying those supporting transparency in labeling Oprah-watching protesters.

A “national science advisory commission” says GMOs are great, while “an Iowa farmer,” shows concern. Industry groups express opinions on the positive impact of GMOs while “protesters” fight for labeling.

Nowhere does the article mention the established scientific bodies that have urged caution in the race to the next genetically modified food product. Nowhere does it mention that there are few to no examples in practice of the increased yields promised by Monsanto. And nowhere does the article mention that the great majority of countries in the developed world have already established labeling requirements for GMO products and, in some cases, further cautions against widespread use.

The US is, in fact, lagging behind the rest of the developed world in establishing a policy on GMOs that recognizes that the benefits are as yet unproven and the long-term health, environmental and biodiversity impacts are as yet unknown.

Of all countries, how could the United States not support transparency of ingredients? Think of how absurd that is. No one is proposing a ban. No one is asking for restrictions. Just let the consumer know what they’re eating.

If you’re afraid that will stop them from purchasing, well…