With GMO, how can it be better not to know?
A Sept. 21 letter voicing opposition to labeling genetically modified (GMO) foods failed to take into consideration that, yes, having the "right to know" (the letter writer's quotes) is important to consumers who are aware and intentional.
Polls consistently show that more than 90 percent of consumers want to know if the foods they are eating contain GMO ingredients. You can argue all you want as to whether such ingredients are safe or not (see a recent study showing tumors in rats fed GMO corn), but I want to decide for myself.
Proposition 37 in California doesn't call for a ban on GMOs; it is responding to what consumers want -- to know where our food comes from and what's in it. To everyone who eats: We have the ability to improve our food systems. Please vote wisely with your daily dollars and support real food from real farmers, not overly processed foods from laboratories and factories. The world will be a better place when we do.
STEVE DAVIDSON, EDINA
* * *
GOV. MARK DAYTON
Hopes for the future and for retirement
I'm so glad that we have Mark Dayton as our governor. This is the state where I want to retire -- a state where taxes were raised enough so that the children, who are our future, are supported by decently paid school staff. I want to retire in a place where all public employees are treated with respect and receive raises at the rate of private employees, and so offer great services to all. I want to have state parks to go to. I want roads paved and plowed.
I want the natural beauty of the place I live to be preserved and the environment kept clean. Where I retire, I want to be around people who have a general sense of well-being as they work and play. I don't want to live in a depressed, everyone-for-themselves state where the race to the bottom has taken the nice-and-easy out of living. Being around people who are doing well and supporting one another in life is a priceless legacy of our state. Until Dayton became our governor, this looked almost lost. Now, hopes of a better tomorrow remain.
PAUL ROZYCKI, MINNEAPOLIS
* * *
A sarcastic assessment of a columnist's views
Thanks to Steve Chapman for his insightful analysis of the president's strategy in the Middle East ("The worst foreign-policy president since ... Reagan?" Sept. 18) What appears to be hopeless incompetence and criminal neglect in the deaths of our ambassador to Libya and his staff is actually a brilliant stratagem that will bring the terrorists to their knees in short order.
Citing setbacks in the Reagan foreign policy, Chapman reveals that taking no action after receiving a three-day warning of planned attacks has placed our enemies right where President Obama wants them. It appears that hope and change are still alive with this columnist. Either that or he's still running with his own choom gang.
MIKE MCCARDLE, Brooklyn Park
* * *
Political ads deserve further scrutiny
I would like to suggest that all political ads on television be fact-checked and graded for truthfulness ("But who fact-checks the fact-checkers?" Sept. 17). Even if the ads can't be banned, a score could be displayed for honesty and stretching the truth.
RICHARD GRAY, ST. PAUL
• • •
When readers (especially undecided voters) finish Mickey Edwards' political book, featured in the Sept. 20 commentary "How to wrest politics from insiders," we recommend that they also read "It's Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided with the New Politics of Extremism" by Thomas E. Mann and Norman Ornstein. (Mann is a Democrat & Ornstein is a Republican.) In the first half of the book they outline the causes of our current political situation, and in the second half they offer practical solutions to the dilemma.
LARRY PETERSON AND LOIS STEER, Minneapolis
* * *
Continue research on long-term impact
The article on the death of former Vikings player Wally Hilgenberg and the description of the information yielded because his family donated his brain for research reminds me of a bill I introduced last year ("The truth behind the death of a Vikings legend," Sept. 16).
This bill -- HF366 -- states that all health records are to be released for a patient deceased for more than 50 years, unless the patient's will or health care directive prohibits this. The bill was specifically aimed at the release of Lou Gehrig's records at the Mayo Clinic. What might be of interest, particularly now, is the possibility of multiple concussions leading to his condition.
We held off consideration because the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services was in the process of modifying its rules on protected health information about decedents. These rules have apparently still not been finalized. An eminent researcher at the University of Minnesota suggests that the study of medical records could lead to better decisions about clinical care. The Mayo Clinic should not continue to stand in the way of possible acquisition of useful knowledge.
STATE REP. PHYLLIS KAHN, DFL-Minneapolis
• • •
I love the game of football and played throughout high school, plus a year in the Navy. Recent reports regarding concussions and obesity in our schools suggest that we should abolish football in our schools. The money saved could be used to expand sports to all kids. This approach will encourage more kids to compete in organized sports, and lose weight avoiding disease. I'm sure many mesomorphic hunks of protoplasm will disagree with my idea to end football in high school and college, but the advantages should be obvious to any thinking person.
ALBERT ZAKARIASEN, HOPKINS