Letter To The Editor: In response to Vol. 18, Iss. 4 “High Fructose Corn Syrup vs.Table Sugar”

Hello to whomever this may concern,

I am writing to you today because I would like to share a letter addressed to New Mexicans about the upcoming new legislature being proposed on GMO labeling in New Mexico, and I would like to share this letter in some capacity with the CNM Chronicle. I was going to try the Daily Lobo, but I believe my letter does not fit their extensive requirements to be published on their site. So I figured I would try and at least get you to read what I have to say, and maybe if you happen to like it; you might be willing to put it up on the new Chronicle WordPress Blog-site?

Please let me know if you would be interested in doing so? I know I am not the best writer, but this is a subject everyone should be educated on to make a good decision with this upcoming proposal from Senator Peter Wirth. Whether it is with my letter or someone else’s writing people need to get educated about this issue. So without further ado here is my letter addressed to New Mexico.

Dear Fellow New Mexican,

I am writing to you today in hopes that you will read and listen to what it is I have to say to you specifically about labeling genetically modified foods here in New Mexico. This year in 2013, Senator Peter Wirth (Democrat-Santa Fe) will propose an amendment to the New Mexico Food Act to start labeling GMO products, which he calls a “common sense consumer information” issue and concern. For the first time ever, New Mexico and you, will have the opportunity to set the bar on what information is more accessible for consumers, in order to make better decisions with consumer products, because honestly most of us don’t even know what GMO’s are, or that they can be bad for us to consume.
First off, please don’t think that I am going to babble on to you about what foods YOU should be eating (because I like meats and sweets just like anyone else) and I’m not going to indulge into some hippie conspiracy propaganda about how the government might be poisoning us, okay.
I just want you to know the straight facts about GMO labeling!
What GMO’s are, why they need labeling, and also that we as a state and country need to start acknowledging our American freedoms and rights again; and to simply know, or to be able to easily access accurate information about consumer products, especially regarding the food that is consumed by everyone in this country, including you and me.
To tell you the truth, a few years ago I had no idea what GMO’s were, or that GMO’s had been in the food I had been eating since I was a kid. And up until a few years ago I had no issues with the food that I ate; but then I started to get debilitating stomach aches and problems, and was constantly in discomfort after every single time I ate a meal. Unfortunately I, along with most other poor college students in New Mexico, cannot afford health insurance, and I was sick of feeling sick every day, so I started to research different diets. And I came to find one of the most shocking revelations I have ever had; and that is how most food is produced and made today, but especially how food is regulated here in America. I’ve always had the usual vegan friends try to explain why meat is bad and why organic is good, but no one had ever explained to me what GMO’s were and why they are in our food in the first place, so I had to find out for myself.
GMO’s are technically called Genetically Modified Organisms which are defined as “An organism whose genetic characteristics have been altered by the insertion of a modified gene, or a gene from another organism using the techniques of genetic engineering. Organisms that have been genetically modified include micro-organisms such as bacteria and yeast, insects, plants, fish, and mammals.” A Closer Look explains a little better that “Scientists today have the ability to modify the genetic makeup of plants and animals, and even to transfer genes from one species to another. Not since nuclear power, has a technology been so controversial, with opponents concerned about the creation of so-called Franken-foods, and proponents promising a better tomorrow through science”. But are GMO’s and Bio-technology companies giving us, this better tomorrow that was promised now, or are they ruining the agricultural and food markets, as well as the eco-system throughout the world with modified foods that can harm us?
One thing I would like to get across to you more than anything; is that it has been ingrained into all of us, that the current-day food laws here exist to protect us from getting sick or making sure food is not bad for us to consume, is a completely false impression of how things actually work. This is a misconception that we all need to snap out of, and see that the information about food produced in America is polluted, because of the demand for easier and cheaper food products, at times without regard for human or environmental health. I had assumed as many people have, that the FDA tests each product at least once before it goes out for people to buy, and that is not the case at all. The FDA actually doesn’t work like that, and by law, companies only have to submit VOLUNTARY safety studies to the FDA for approval; furthermore the FDA does not conduct any studies on genetically modified foods, and approves foods based on in company studies only. Also there have never been any long term studies done on humans consuming Genetically Modified foods (Scientists under Attack).
I’m sure you are wondering by now why they’re putting this crazy stuff in our food? The reasons why GMO crops have become the world’s major source of food in the last two decades are simple, because of mass yield and profit. But other reasons why GMO crops were apparently better were because they are made to be herbicide, pesticide, and weather or environment tolerant, as well as pest resistant, disease resistant, and could potentially feed the billions of people living on the planet. These are really admirable changes and advances to the technology of bio agriculture. But at the same time there are many things in this world that are being affected by these changes, including people, animals, and insects, in addition to our seemingly untainted food, water, and soil sources, as well as how our environment is affected by these radical alterations in agriculture throughout America and the world.
In many other countries right now, GMO crops have been banned, and the world’s largest food producers, have been and are now being sued by entire countries for the devastation that their populations, regions, and crops have suffered, since being forced and or coerced to use GMO seeds and pesticides. Not to mention the health concerns of messing with the genetic code of food that we eat without the proper study and testing.
I could go on all day about the effects and newer studies that have occurred since GMO crops began, because there really are so many things affected by this technology including all of our health and well-being, but I am sure you don’t have the kind of time to hear me go on, so instead I will just ask you this; Don’t you think that we all deserve to know what is being put in our food and crops without our knowledge?
Labeling these new technologies in food, beginning in New Mexico, is a great common sense idea and is a good start to educating ourselves about our food. I hope that you please take the time for yourself, and find out why we need to care about what is being manufactured into the foods we all consume. We as free Americans and New Mexicans should have access to all the information, to make our own choices, to decide what food is good for us and what isn’t, and as far as right now, we don’t really know what is safe to eat anymore. Let’s change the way these foods are labeled in New Mexico, to show the rest of the country what is really going on, and so we can gain some knowledge as to how these foods are really being made now, in our state and everywhere else. I thank you for taking the time to read my letter, and I really do hope you find out for yourself how conventional foods are processed and how it affects you, as well as what we can all do to change the way food is labeled for our families, our children, our health, and our home.
Sincerely and Respectfully,
Rene Thompson
Avid Sweets/Meats Eater, and Proud Burqueno Consumer Knowledge Activist.

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