Genetically Modified Foods Are Safe

To the Editor:

This past June the state of Connecticut passed a genetically modified organism (GMO) labeling bill that would require all food manufacturers to label any food that contained genetically modified or engineered ingredients. Proponents of the bill, led by the grassroots organization GMO Free CT, claim that GM foods are harmful to our health and the environment. However there is currently no scientific evidence that GM foods are dangerous to one’s health. In fact evidence shows that GM foods benefit our health and decrease environmental impacts by improving the nutritional content of food and allowing farmers to use less land and pesticides to grow more crops.

Furthermore, GM foods undergo rigorous testing and stringent risk-assessment procedures before hitting the shelves, overseen by the Food and Agriculture Organization and World Health Organization. They test for toxicity, allergenicity, and possible secondary health effects from an introduced gene. Furthermore they test for potential effects on biodiversity in an ecosystem from unintended gene transfer. Presently no major dangers have been identified in the process of genetically engineering foods.

This labeling law is an unnecessary, cumbersome, and expensive regulation for food manufacturers, who will now be dissuaded to sell their products in Connecticut businesses. Instead of invoking a law based on irrational fear and distrust in our food system, let’s educate the consumer on the scientific facts behind GM foods and the benefits they provide to our community and our world.

Sara Velardi

38 Indian Hill Road, Monroe                                  September 23, 2013

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