U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson says: “My constituents, like most Americans, have no idea what a GMO is.” (“Consumer angst drives GMO label debate,” July 26). What an insult. Does he think we’re just a bunch of bumpkins sittin’ ‘round watchin’ crops grow, chewin’ on a straw?

I know what a GMO is, as do most of the people I converse with. I’m sure most of Peterson’s farmer/ag business constituents (and there are many) also know what a GMO is. Perhaps Peterson needs to talk to his constituents more often.

Cynthia Jorstad, Thief River Falls, Minn.

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I’m a staunch supporter of Peterson’s exceptional work to protect family farms in the face of considerable pressure from opponents on the House Agriculture Committee. Yet, if what he says is true — that his constituents have “no idea what a GMO is,” even living amid the fields where 90 percent of our corn, soybeans, sugar beets and canola are grown as GMOs — it would seem that we need to ensure that genetically modified crops are labeled in each field where they are planted, not just at the grocer’s.

Ken Meter, Richfield


One man’s actions lead to a lot of unfortunate impact

To say about Cecil the lion that “an animal has been poached, nothing more, nothing less” (Readers Write, July 30) belies what trophy hunting does to lion society. Lion populations throughout Africa are decreasing for three main reasons: habitat loss, disease and trophy hunting. Trophy hunting has an immediate impact by causing instability among lion populations. When an adult male lion in his prime is removed from a territory that includes prides of females and their young, a void will open for neighboring males. Those males may be adults with a neighboring territory or a coalition of roaming subadult males. Either way, the result will be about the same. They will move in quickly and chase off or kill any subadult male offspring and outright kill any cubs that are younger. Lionesses may also be killed if not submissive.

Where you have one lion killed by a hunter, several more will die as a result. Lion society is violent, but it has evolved to ensure genetic diversity by “natural selection.” There is nothing natural about trophy hunting when the strongest of a species is eliminated. Natural selection is designed to remove the weakest and strengthen the gene pool, thus creating a healthy, stable population.

Joanne Barr, San Tan Valley, Ariz.

The writer is a retired wildlife biologist.

• • •

I first heard of the killing of Cecil not through one of our local news outlets but through the BBC news website. Since then, I have seen the story headline in the Guardian, Le Monde, the Japan Times, the Shanghai Daily and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, among others. All of them have identified Walter Palmer as living in either Bloomington or Minneapolis.

As someone who has traveled extensively to other continents, I can say that saying “I’m from Minnesota” does not bring much clarity to people from Europe or Asia. Now the chances of them recognizing where I’m from are greatly increased, for all the wrong reasons. The perception among other countries that our state is one that enjoys poaching endangered animals will take much effort to correct, if that is even possible. The Explore Minnesota endeavor should perhaps begin budgeting to repair the damage that Mr. Palmer has caused to our entire state.

Benjamin Stansbury-O’Donnell, St. Paul



Oh, come on, Rep. Ellison — people won’t vote for this

In response to U.S. Rep. Ellison’s assertion that if Jesse Ventura could win Minnesota’s governorship, Donald Trump could win the presidency (July 27): For president, I want someone who is intelligent, has tact and people skills, and is sober enough to realize the great onus such a position begs for. I don’t see those qualities exhibited in Trump. I fear the reality-show mania currently inundating TV has lured many into finding their excitement and meaning there. And Trump is a glaring example of reality shows in general. He’s less about substance than about titillating the audience.

What we’ve already seen is Trump’s glee and eagerness to trash anyone whom he deems undeserving of his consideration. A president will be dealing with international relations and often with leaders whose stand he may not agree with. He will be dealing with people of all races, religions and nationalities. He will have the responsibility for people’s lives (think military action, drone attacks, etc.), and for decisions that could affect our country and population as well as others. I, for one, don’t want a glib clown who has already shown us his mettle by insulting and showboating to be representing the United States as our president.

Margaret DeHarpporte, Eden Prairie



We’re not all so charmed by his presidential potential

It would seem that D.J. Tice, in his zeal to laud Ohio Gov. John Kasich as a presidential candidate (“A ‘get-it-done’ choice,” July 26) forgot to list a few salient details. The first is that Kasich, when he was in Congress, is the one who orchestrated the disastrous shutdown of the government in the 1990s. The second is that Kasich proposed the Republican plan to shift the entire U.S. tax burden onto the bottom 60 percent of taxpayers.

And the third is that Kasich, when he worked at Lehman Brothers, said that he was having a fantastic time — in the middle of the economic collapse that Lehman Brothers, in no small part, caused.

James Kessler, St. Michael

• • •

I am astonished at Tice’s column portraying Kasich as a moderate Republican and, even worse, implying that Kasich is not under the thumbs of the Koch brothers. His initial passage of a labor law was identical to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s law in that state, and was written by the Koch group ALEC.

Meanwhile, Kasich’s anti-woman stance makes no exceptions. He has approved legislation that has closed half of Ohio’s abortion clinics, supported bills to allow no abortions after 20 weeks and is trying to defund Planned Parenthood. The women on his staff make 48 percent of what his male staffers do. Oh, yeah — we definitely want to consider Kasich for president, because, as former U.S. Rep. Tim Penny states, “The more you know him, the more you love him.” Unless you are a woman, that is.

Janet Berry, Golden Valley



Participation is stable, so why should the harvests be poor?

Regarding Peter Blake’s July 26 commentary on increased fishing pressure on our Minnesota lakes (“We just can’t fish like we used to”): According to a 2014 report by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Alliance, “[a]bout 28 percent of Minnesotans age 16 and older fish; 12 percent hunt. Since 2000, Minnesota has experienced a 12 percent decline in hunting and fishing license rates as the population has grown from 4.9 to 5.3 million. Actual license sales have stayed relatively stable at 1.5 million anglers and 570,000 hunters.” Can someone tell me from where this fishing pressure on our lakes is coming from?

Richard Loken, Bloomington