Letters to the Editor

Food should be returned to natural state

To the editor:

Biotechnology does transform the agri-food industry. We consumers strongly request that at least all biotech (as well as irradiated) foods be labeled as such, so we are free to choose.

Ninety-four per cent of citizens interviewed in a poll by Optima Consultants of Ottawa said, “if a tomato is genetically engineered, the label must indicate so.” Is there a food company we can trust to do so? Canada allows potatoes, onions, wheat, wheat flours and spices to be irradiated (as pharmaceuticals and sterile medical supplies, such as bandages and gloves are).

Canadian or U.S.-grown russet, Atlantic and superior potatoes may be transgenic (containing a gene from another species) and may not be labeled as such. Bacillus thuringiensis (BT), a soil-dwelling bacterium commonly used as a biological pesticide, attacks the digestive tracts of the pesky potato beetle. It should kill them, but how about us, the consumers?

Monsanto’s Roundup Ready soya beans have been genetically altered to withstand higher applications of their own popular herbicide product and are therefore likely to contain unnaturally high levels of estrogens. They are already distributed worldwide in a variety of products such as soya milk and even in baby formulas.

It was estimated that 9.7 million hectares of genetically altered soya beans were planted in 1998 in Canada and the U.S. and 7.7 million hectares of genetically altered corn.

We consumers highly oppose any of our health food or supplements being taken away from us. Rather they should be returned where they belong, including all herbs given by God for our health and healing. The culprits should expect God’s punishment.

Is there not a great powerful organization with a strong backbone to stop this slowly devastating trend? Should it not be our government? It is high time for them to awake or at least keep their noses out of our health food business. What a relief it would be.

Alberte Bosshard,

Kelowna

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