January 24

Letter to the editor: Column on GMO benefits expands knowledge of topic

Thank you for publishing such a cogent and rational explanation of the benefits and safety of genetically modified foods (“Maine Voices: GMOs’ benefits to world’s hungry belie claims by crops’ critics,” Jan. 21).

Dr. Shoa L. Clarke’s presentation of the science of GMOs and the technology that creates them is long overdue in the public media.

Even if consumers in the U.S. continue to want a selection of foods produced with different methods, the value of GMOs to parts of the world suffering from hunger and malnutrition is undeniable, and GMO use there must be supported.

I also applaud Clarke’s willingness to re-examine his previous opinions in light of his education. This kind of re-evaluation is a hallmark of science and one that is often overlooked and avoided in public debate.

Understanding the history of a technology helps place it in both a scientific and a public context. I particularly appreciated Clarke’s connection of the GMO technology to the age-old agricultural practices of selective breeding. Perhaps we ought to label foods produced with traditional agricultural practices “heritage GMOs.”

Barbara D. Snapp, Ph.D.


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