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Genetically Modified Food

March 12, 2000

Re "Bioengineered Crops on Shaky Ground," March 5: Why should the American public fall prey to large corporations like Monsanto that employ PR firms to protect their reputation and advocate their products? I believe that as citizens of this country we should be allowed to choose whether or not we are purchasing genetically modified foods, simply because long-term scientific studies have not proven them safe.

I call for independent, long-term studies to decide the safety and fate of GM foods (not only in terms of human health, but the environment), not propaganda from an agency paid to do as it is told.

ABE KARAM

Mammoth Lakes

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Genetically modified crop plants may offer the promise of increased yields and greater resistance to plant diseases and pests, but that does not mean we should rush headlong to embrace this technology. Virtually every new technology also brings with it a downside, and the more powerful the technology, the more powerful the unintended side effects are likely to be.

While the foods produced by these methods may well be virtually indistinguishable from existing foods, there are potential dangers from the migration of genes from the crop plants to other plants.

I, for one, am not sure I want to see herbicide-resistant genes turning up all over the landscape.

DAVID SALAHI

Laguna Niguel

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