Letter: Some hybrids cannot breed naturally



I take exception to the misdirection displayed in The Columbian’s Oct. 13 editorial, “Vote no on Initiative 522.” Labeling food which contains GMOs is not about “fear-mongering.” There is an ethical question that we have the right to participate in. Do we have the right to modify the genetic structure of other organisms, just to suit our needs, and introduce such modified organisms into our environments, where we have little control over their influence on existing ecosystems?

The Columbian and those opposing I-522 want to misdirect us with claiming, “The fact is that farmers and scientists have been creating hybrid forms of plants and animals for centuries, and humans have been eating them for centuries without demonstrable problems.” Many of these genetic changes have had huge consequences, either to that species and/or to the eco niche that it once occupied. Some, for example, can no longer live in any ecosystem without our assistance.

Take the widely commercialized hybrid Cornish X Rock chicken, for example. It’s been reported that this poor creature has been bred into an abomination and cannot live long enough to reach sexual maturity and reproduce on its own. Is this ethically a good thing? Don’t we as consumers have a right to know if we are participating in such atrocities?

Marc Chamberlin