OPINION

Letter: Views on GMO labels, Rubio

Re: the Feb. 9 op-ed column in The Detroit NewsProtect food consumers’ right to know”: The commentary on food labeling completely misrepresented the use of modern technology in Michigan agriculture, in an attempt to sow fear and muddy an important discussion.

Let’s be clear: Mainstream science has time and again confirmed the safety of genetically modified crops – leaving opponents to “cherry pick” questionable research intentionally meant to derail technology.

Not only is this modern technology safe, it helps family farmers across our state to grow more food, boost our agricultural economy, create jobs in small towns and rural communities and ensure safe food for families.

We’re proud and willing to share more information about this technology – because it doesn’t just matter to farmers’ success.

Modern technology matters for anyone concerned about food safety. GMO’s have been proven safe time and again by independent researchers. Just as important, because GM crops are more resistant to pests, blight and disease, they require fewer chemical and fertilizer treatments than non-GMO crops.

GM technology matters to anyone concerned about the health of our air, land and Great Lakes. By using the latest crop varieties and advanced farm equipment, we’re able to pinpoint exactly how much fertilizer a field needs, and where to apply it. As a result, today’s farmers are able to grow far more healthy food, using fewer chemicals and fertilizer.

And technology matters to anyone who values good jobs right here in Michigan.

When Michigan farms are productive, our economy benefits. Consider: 50 years ago, a Michigan soybean farmer could expect a yield of about 26 bushels per acre farmed. Today, that’s doubled. Other Michigan crops, including corn and sugar beets, have seen similar increases.

Agriculture is the state’s second-largest economic driver – employing one in four Michiganders in small towns and big cities alike. A big part of that success is owed to modern farming practices and proven technology, including GMOs.

Consumers and families deserve to have the facts about genetically modified crops and modern agriculture instead of stoking fear about a proven, safe technology.

Lynna Kaucheck of Food and Water Watch is spot-on that “our state’s history is rooted in agriculture.” It’s a shame that she proceeded to tear down modern technology that has helped build up so many strong, productive family-owned farms across Michigan and created a thriving agricultural sector in our state.

Gail Frahm, Michigan Soybean Association

Rubio’s Obama example

Critics are excoriating U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio for his use of the same response four times during a recent presidential primary debate. When you ask the same question multiple times, when you level the same accusations multiple times, you should expect the same response.

Critics say Rubio doesn’t have the experience to be president. They refuse to hear he was saying in response.

Is Barack Obama a failed president? What has Obama accomplished? Just about everything he promised to his constituency.

I may find accomplishments like auto industry and Wall Street bailouts, Obamacare and climate change regulations abominable, but Democrats, liberals, progressive likely sing their praises.

Obama has demonstrated a first-term senator can be a successful president. Just imagine what a first-term senator with more credentials, a higher sense of morality and a very differnt ideology could accomplish. Lack of experience is not an issue.

Terry Fortier, Wixom