Letters • 09-12-2012 | Print |  E-mail

Says Thomas Confuses Genetic   
Modification with Selective Breeding


Robert Thomas (“Says Concerns Over Genetically Engineered Foods is Unwarranted,” Letters, Sept. 5) exemplifies “head in the sand” reasoning when he suggests that “selecting the biggest and tastiest tubers to replant” creates GE food.  

That is really just selective breeding, not today’s Genetic Modification. In fact, one current lab manipulation of genes in GM foods is literally a shot in the dark technique called “BioBalistics.” They actually take the genetic material of one species, then shoot it with that of another so there is no telling what went where. What they were “aiming” for with GM corn was to cause corn to grow substances poisonous to insects. It works (for now) by destroying their digestive tracts.

One problem with this approach is that every animal on Earth is made up of the same basic protein structures, thus what poisons bugs usually also poisons us, and some believe that is happening.

What’s more, since bugs reproduce much faster than we, there are likely to evolve resistance to these foods far faster than mere Mammals.

I quit eating these foods when I learned that Monsanto influenced our government to exempt them from proper safety testing. Now the companies get to do all their own testing. The ultimate test, however, is on us and that makes us all lab rats for Monsanto. Not exactly what I went to school for.

If these corporations are so sure of their new food, why shouldn’t they label it the way Prop. 37 proposes? What have they got to hide?
—Karl Hodges, Castro Valley

Prop. 37 Asks for Proper Labeling; Doesn’t Argue Science or Ethics


Prop. 37 only asks for all foods to be labeled as to whether or not they contain genetically modified organisms. Prop. 37 does not argue about the science, technology, or ethics regarding GMOs in our foods.

We just want a label so we can know what we are buying for ourselves and our children. Food manufacturers already label the contents and nutritional values of their products, so it is possible for them to place on the label indicating if the food is processed with GMOs.  

The same food manufacturers that claim that they cannot label the GMOs in their products already label them as such for Europe, China, and Japan.

I found Robert Thomas’s letter (see reference above) to be condescending and insulting.  

I propose that we have an honest debate and not resort to name-calling. If you want to educate yourself so that you can make your own choices please go to www.carighttoknow.org.
—Sharon Horgan, Castro Valley


Hopeful that Goodwill’s Efforts in Castro Valley Will Succeed


I was happy to read the front-page article of the Sept. 5 Forum about Goodwill’s appeal to the MAC turn-down. I hope they win the appeal and are able to establish a store in Castro Valley.  

We have many empty buildings and a very real need for a used merchandise store along with its convenient donation station in town. It seems like a no-brainer to me.

I am completely baffled why anyone would not want the service that Goodwill provides to our community; and, support from our community would promote their mission of helping people in need as well as reducing environmental waste concerns.

I personally have shopped Goodwill and other stores like it many times to find interesting and affordable items. Recycling is all the rage and what better way to do it than donate and shop right in our own town.

Thank you, Mr. Souza, for pointing out that Alameda has Goodwill and two other similar stores right in their downtown.  If unfamiliar with Goodwill, please take time to check out their website www.goodwill.org/about-us/our-mission.
—Karen Leach, Castro Valley

An Overwhelming Response to
Festival’s Castro Valley Pride Booth


We at Castro Valley Pride would like to thank the Chamber of Commerce, the Fall Festival and our entire community for your amazing support over the two days of the event.

Our booth was kept so busy making new friends and engaging in wonderful conversations with the many families and couples who stopped by, we truly struggled to keep up. We ran out of almost everything!

We had a continuous stream of people coming to thank us for being there and for helping to make a difference in our little town. Many of their stories shared a common theme: “My sister is gay, my nephew is gay, my son or daughter is gay, I am gay.”

Proud and beaming parents told us stories of their LGBT family, grandparents told us about how much they loved their gay grandkids. There were plenty of hugs and a few tears as we talked out how much better it is now, and how sadly more work needs to be done.

We still face challenges in some parts of the faith community, where we struggle to get them to realize there is nothing wrong with being gay. Happily we were surrounded by several congregations who stand with us and embrace our families just the way they are – no change required!

It was a wonderful two days and we look forward to next year’s Fall Festival. Thank you, Castro Valley.
—Billy Bradford, Castro Valley Pride



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