Other concerns are more important

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

Thank you for your balanced report of the upcoming publicity on genetically modified crops in Costa Rica.

Sincere people can be wrong. Many are wrong about the risks of vaccination, and many others are completely wrong about the potential impact of modified crops. The key to these types of media campaigns is the fear on which they are based. The formula includes “THEY are hiding the facts from us” and ends with “If we don’t stop this, the world will be destroyed.”

THEY are always some sort of conspiracy, most often government and industry. We need not be naive — government and industry have been in collusion for as long as either has existed, but the answer to their abusive excess of power is to be armed with facts and to use them wisely.

Of course Monsanto and other corporations operate in the interests of their vested power base not the shareholders, but the select few who control their corporate policy. Of course government acts in the interests of those who fund it not the taxpayers, but the political action committees and lobbyists that directly feed money from industry to the politicians.

But the question here is not the existence of these forces, but whether they are inappropriately applied in the case of crop modification. Your closing paragraph bears repeating:

“At University of California-Davis, renowned genetics researcher Pamela Ronald says ‘After 20 years of careful study and rigorous peer review by thousands of independent scientists, every major scientific organization in the world has concluded that the process of genetic engineering is as safe or safer as older methods of genetic modification.”’

The energy spent on this issue should be directed toward other concerns that will produce results beneficial to humankind, like stopping the militarization of Costa Rica. The United States is pouring millions into our country under the guise of protecting us against terrorism and drugs. One of their generals even recently announced that ISIS is moving terrorists into Latin America. Facts, folks. Where are the facts!
John French

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