I urge voters to contact their legislators in support of L.D. 718, the bill to label genetically engineered food and seeds.

It is a small but important step to give Maine consumers a choice about where their food comes from and how it is grown.

L.D. 718 gives us information to say no to corporations that have used genetic engineering to contaminate fields of farmers who don’t want it, to gain monopoly power and to use that power to do harm to the natural environment.

One example: This past winter’s population of monarch butterflies at their migration grounds in Mexico was at the lowest level ever measured. Monarchs depend on milkweed that used to grow between rows of 150 million acres of corn and soybeans in the American Midwest. But, now the corn and soy is genetically engineered to withstand repeated and widespread herbicide spraying. The herbicide spraying kills the milkweed, and with it, the butterflies’ food supply.

Repeated and widespread herbicide spraying, or crops engineered to continuously spew pesticide toxins, or most of the other current uses of genetic engineering in agriculture today, are not sustainable for agriculture or for human beings.

I have a one-year-old granddaughter. I want her to be able to see monarch butterflies, whole fields of them. I want her to grow up in a world with clean air and water and a rich web of life around her. I want her to be able to eat food grown in a way that doesn’t irrevocably damage the world in which she and all future generations will live.

Let’s make some invisible choices a bit more visible. Pass L.D. 718.

Nancy Ross


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