The risks are too high to go ahead

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

The process of creating genetically modified organisms has been declared safe, and it seems to be quite safe. The problem is the materials used and the results. Some genes useful to achieve a desired result (such as resistance to a pesticide) are not beneficial for people or animals — in fact some have been shown to be harmful. In addition, modifying a corn or soybean plant’s genetics to instill resistance to Roundup, a weed herbicide, ensures that the food derived from that plant is exposed, probably heavily so, to the chemical.

Your Monday, March 23, edition carried stories and letters and editorials about the controversy surrounding the GMO technology and products, You also reported on a study that reveals that Roundup contains an active ingredient that is reported to cause cancer. Thus, the GMO foods made Roundup-ready stand a good chance of also being possible causes of cancer.

Is this a risk we should be forcing on our citizens just so that farmers can be more extravagant in their use of pesticides? Is it also fair to farmers who would prefer to raise GMO-free crops organically to have their neighbors raising GMO corn or soybeans or rice which will not only spread their GMO pollen across boundaries but will be sprayed with pesticides that are forbidden to organic farmers yet will probably be carried by the wind to reach their crops?

I believe the answers are not all in yet, and the risks are too high to go ahead and spread GMO around the world before getting all the answers.


Bob Oldham
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