The letter below was in the Minneapolis Star Tribune today. As a person with many food intolerances labeling is important, and I applaud the many that are asking for better transparency. My shortened version of this letter:
To the editor: Whether genetically modified foods are safe or not, is beside the point. Consumers should have all of the information they need to make a decision. That is an aspect of the free market that many sellers tend to forget.
Many people are allergic to peanuts. Should products that contain peanuts as a minor ingredient be labeled with that information? Many people don’t wish to eat certain foods for the variety of health or ethical reasons. If they are opposed to factory farming, should farmers who engage in sustainable practices be prevented from labeling their products?
Sellers want to know all they can about their buyers, but don’t want buyers to know much about them other than their brand name. Melvyn Magree
One more thing I have to add. Organic products do NOT have GMOs
Bees have been a worry to me all summer. They haven’t been feeding on the plants that are usually loaded with bees. Wild geranium, Culver’s Root, chives and a flowering maple they usually are passionate about have been lacking bees.
In August with the blooming hyssop, cone flowers and golden rod the bees are here, but not in the typical numbers for this time of year.
We must do better to make sure our yards have flowers pollinators love and avoid all chemicals. It frightens me that some of the plants we purchase are still laden with heavy chemicals and neonicotinoids. I wonder how all these chemicals are going to affect human health? How is neonicotinoid farm run-off going to affect aquatic life?
Have you ever thought of how strange it is that businesses, that dislike government, also depend on government to pick up their waste? Plastic bottles and packaging are a perfect example of this. Businesses should be responsible for all the waste they generate. I was thrilled to be at a park in Michigan this weekend to see these recycling containers. We need more of this! Coca-Cola also has recycle containers, but they are stingy with them. I have tried to place them in quick stop convenience stores and gas stations without much luck! All convenience stores in Duluth, Minnesota offer recycle containers because of a government program. It is a fabulous program, but it should be the responsibility of business.
Minnesota is home to over 10,000 lakes. We love our lakes. Unfortunately, we don’t take personal responsibility for protecting the beauty and health of our precious lakes. One of the most popular lakes is covered with trash, and it has become impossible to educate anglers (Are they listening?) of the invasive species their boats carry from lake to lake.
In late June, I was biking through southern Minnesota and was appalled to see algae and milfoil covered lakes. Sometimes they look weedy in August, but this was June?
The largest Minnesota newspaper published an opinion piece about what is happening to our lakes. The authors think the lakes of southern Minnesota are a lost cause, but they think more should be done to keep northern lakes clean. I think with tougher rules and strict enforcement all lakes can be kept healthy and usable. It is a matter of political will and setting priorities. With tougher rules and strict enforcement all lakes can be kept healthy and usable. At the bottom of this post there is a list of things I do on my lake property to protect water quality.
Unfortunately, agriculture was given a pass on the Clean Water Act and they should be better regulated. Agricultural run off is a real problem, but everyone needs to do better. This is the only water we will ever have and we should respect and value every water body.
Brian Peterson • Star Tribune If 75 percent of lakeshore remains mainly forested, the chance of maintaining lake quality is good, said Peter Jacobson of the state’s Department of Natural Resources. But when natural cover falls below 60 percent, lakes begin to deteriorate.