GMO labels let consumers decide

Lauchlin Titus in his Feb. 16 BDN OpEd argued against requiring the labeling of genetically modified crops in Maine, but this told only one part of this story. In fairness, there are many other issues to consider besides the claim that these apple and potato crops are improved and labeling would only cut into the market share of Maine farmers. In fact, many GMO crops are developed to withstand the use of herbicides, such as Roundup, and it is questionable as to whether that is an improvement for food production and safety. Some of these herbicides are considered carcinogenic.

The developers of GMOs have strictly enforced their ownership of patented seeds, suing farmers whom they suspect of using GMO seeds without paying royalties. Many farmers, growers and consumers oppose allowing corporations to claim such a monopoly on seeds. Yet, this is what happens when genetic diversity is controlled by allowing patents on genetic information.

The type of single-crop farming that GMO seeds support through the use of herbicides is not the best practice to support soil or crop health and is actually making farming more expensive by requiring greater use of chemical fertilizers and higher seed costs.

Many companies are already labeling their products as free of GMOs as a selling point. Many consumers prefer to know that herbicides have not been used on their food and that sustainable agricultural practices have been a factor in their food production. If foods are not labeled free of GMOs, many consumers will turn to crops labeled organic. That might not be such a bad idea.

Stephanie Strongin

Machiasport

Questions abound in PERC, Fiberight debate

I am a board member on the Owls Head, South Thomaston and Thomaston Solid Waste Corp. Our transfer station is located in Thomaston and last year 4,286 tons of municipal solid waste were trucked from there to Penobscot Energy Recovery Corp. An additional 200-plus tons of single-stream recyclables were trucked to two recycling facilities. We face the same problem as the 184 other communities of the Municipal Review Committee with the ending of a contract on March 31, 2018, with PERC to take our municipal solid waste.

So far we have heard proposals from the duo of Greg Lounder of the MRC and Craig Stuart-Paul of Fiberight and also from Robert Knudsen and his staff at PERC. Then I happened across a televised Rockland City Council meeting in which Lissa Bitterman from ecomaine gave a presentation of what ecomaine has to offer. I am presently trying to pick a date for a presentation by her. If you have not been in the trash business for years, and most city councilors, selectmen and trash board advisers have not, you would not have picked up on variances between the proposals.

What I would like to see is all competing presenters gather in a suitably sized facility at the same time to give their latest proposals, so that after a presenter spoke, the other presenters could question or correct any statements made by the presenter.

Currently, there is too much conflicting information about each other’s trash companies’ processes and I have yet to read about anyone taking off the famous gloves and questioning statements made in print.

Pete Lammert

Thomaston

Cruz a president for all Americans

Will we elect another wolf in sheep’s clothing? Will we vote again ill-informed and by emotion? Will we ever stop voting by name recognition? Are we lapping up grandiose words instead of seeing red flags? Why are we, without pause, embracing a celebrity for president? Has reason abandoned us?

Donald Trump has spent a lifetime on the left. Only in recent months has he claimed oneness with the right. But his values have not changed. He says how easily he can change to suit himself. With which change might he enter the White House? Might he be the very problem we are so desperate to solve? Our justified anger at both parties solves nothing. It is imperative that we now engage our intellect. Trump still is stuck in his anger and revenge, and his ends still justify his means. Trump is a gamble. Is this gamble wise of us?

Ted Cruz is a man of integrity, wisdom and inner strength. He is the most well-informed candidate. He is the only candidate who has never caved in to the establishment. He stands strong and keeps his word. The constant lies told of him expose the character of the candidates doing the lying. Are we willing to face this? Cruz is not divisive. He will be the president of all Americans.

Elizabeth Hutchins

Bangor