Sunday, September 28, 2014

Should Colorado voters approve Proposition 105 (GMO food labeling measure)? No - The Denver Post

Should Colorado voters approve Proposition 105 (GMO food labeling measure)? No - The Denver Post:

Colorado voters are faced with an important decision on the November 2014 ballot. As a former Colorado commissioner of agriculture, I strongly oppose Proposition 105 and hope you will join me in voting "no."
Proposition 105 is a complex and poorly written food-labeling proposal that would give Colorado consumers inaccurate, unreliable and misleading information about foods we buy due to the arbitrary labeling requirements and multitude of exemptions written into the proposition. It would severely harm Colorado's vital agricultural economy, put our state's farmers and food producers at a competitive disadvantage in the national marketplace, and increase food costs for Colorado families.
To begin with, humans have been selectively breeding and modifying crops for thousands of years, but we are now using science to produce the traits we want in our crops in a much more accurate and safe way. Modern crop varieties developed through genetic modification techniques have been crucial to advances in agriculture in Colorado and around the world. These genetically engineered (GE) crops, or so-called "GMOs," allow our farmers to produce higher yields with less water while using fewer pesticides and less fuel to produce enough food for an ever-growing population. These crops are beneficial for our environment, for our economy and for consumers.
Lastly, Proposition 105 would increase state government costs for implementation and enforcement of its requirements with no designated funding source to pay for it. These extra expenses would ultimately cost Colorado taxpayers millions of dollars.
Proposition 105's misguided labeling requirements would mislead consumers, increase costs for farmers, and impose higher food costs on Colorado families, especially hurting those who can least afford it. Food labeling standards should be set at the federal level so that farmers, food producers and consumers in all states are treated equally.
As former head of the department that regulates food production and labeling, I oppose this costly and ill-conceived proposition, and urge voters to look into the facts and vote "no" on Proposition 105.
Don Ament is the former commissioner of agriculture for the Colorado Department of Agriculture and also served for 12 years as a member of the Colorado General Assembly.

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