Colorado voters will determine whether to “mandate labeling of genetically modified food products that are sold in the state.” Those who favor the proposition believe it is needed to protect consumers. As one advocate wrote in a letter to the editors of the Denver Post, “Because GMOs are not natural, we simply don’t know what the long-term health consequences might be, and therefore consumers should have the right to know where their food comes from, so that they can decide whether they want to accept those risks.” Another supporter writes, “The GMO debate boils down to freedom—the freedom to chose what I eat. That freedom simply does not exist if food producers are allowed to deny me the information I need to make my choices.”
Those opinions are in opposition to an editorial by Don Ament, former Commissioner of the Colorado Department of Agriculture. He writes that approval of the proposal would “…give Colorado consumers inaccurate, unreliable and misleading information.” What sways my opinion so far is his further statements that “Consumers already have reliable options to choose foods made without GE (Genetically Engineered) ingredients. They can select from thousands of food products labeled ‘organic’ or ‘non-GMO’ under existing federal labeling standards.”
I continue to watch and read about the GMO debate, but at this point I agree with Mr. Ament that food costs would increase “..as consumers either avoid products with special labels or manufacturers eliminate items containing GMOs…” The FDA has approved the GMO foods that the labeling would identify, and ,if that agency knows what they are doing, the labeling would result in higher costs without improvement in food safety. I intend to vote no on Proposition 105 absent any rational argument that would change my mind. Dissenters better hurry because the mail-in ballot will be in my hands in about a week, and I intend to vote as soon as possible so I can turn off all the political ads on television.