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Readers write: Opposition to GMOs, important verbs

Letters to the editor for the July 11, 2016-July 18, 2016 weekly magazine.

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    A farmer plows a field with a tractor outside town, on May 25, 2016 in Montpelier, Vermont.
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Opposition to GMOs

While I was glad to see the June 27 cover story, “The great food fight,” I was disappointed that some of the major issues of genetically modified crops were not included. Glyphosate, a key ingredient in these herbicides, is controversial, and very serious health concerns have been raised over its presence in our food. I also understand that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are banned in about 60 countries, including those in the European Union, and that at least one specifically bans glyphosate. I have read that glyphosate has even been found in our air and water. 

It would seem that the degree of influence corporations have over government agencies and our elected officials is enormous, and that suggests corruption. It certainly would seem that the profit motive is the main driver behind the push for GMOs, as I understand that sales of these herbicides have skyrocketed along with corporate profits. If GMOs are good and harmless, then why do these corporations expend millions of dollars and exert extensive pressure on politicians to defeat GMO labeling? And why does government ignore the will of the people, 90 percent of whom, as your article pointed out, support GMO labeling? What kind of democracy seeks to subvert the will of its people? I think the answers are obvious to any thinking person.

Jason Mcguire

San Ramon, Calif.

Important verbs

The May 16 column “A new crash program on safety” reminded me of when I was a victim of vague semantics in my late teens. While working at my job as a delivery driver, I was broadsided by a driver who had run a stop sign, causing my van to flip over. The next day, our newspaper carried a photo of the wrecked van, with a caption stating that it had “collided” with another car. I went to the paper’s office and voiced my opposition to the word “collide” – I felt it implied fault on my part. The editor explained that the word meant that two objects had violently come together. Although correct, I always felt anyone reading the article would assume that I had caused the accident.

Rick Soule

South Lake Tahoe, Calif. 

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