Re: ‘Take a kinder look at good old-fashioned GMOs’ (Metro, Sept. 16)
Letter writers Matt Brosnan and Kelton Barnsley miss the point and are trying to confuse the issue by claiming that natural selection and selective breeding are the same as genetic engineering. They are not!
Selective breeding has been used in history to enhance vegetable and fruit quality (flavor, taste, productivity) over many generations. Genetic engineering only serves the interest of the producer to minimize losses, not the interest of the consumer, who gets less quality.
While I understand the need to produce more food for an increasing population, GMO food should be clearly labeled to give consumers who prefer quality over quantity a choice.
This should also reward producers who use non-modified foods. Some genetic modifications may be OK.
However, bigger, less flavorful apples are sure to also contain less vitamins, flavones, antioxidants, etc.
The non-browning Arctic apple was engineered to contain less polyphenols, which give the apple its antioxidant qualities, robbing the consumer of the healthy benefits of the apple.
Tomatoes engineered or selected to delay ripening are a disaster, they become black inside in a few days instead of becoming soft and flavorful. I stopped buying tomatoes long time ago.
Toxins not usually consumed by humans, introduced in plants for resistance, although they seem safe, may have serious consequences in the long term, which we don’t yet understand (e.g. allergies, changes in intestinal flora, etc).
Gabriel Rossa, via email