Reader Input Online: No vote on Prop. 37 means you won't know what's in your food

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When Ross, a trail ultrarunner friend, quit running at age 76 and promptly came down with Parkinson’s disease, I searched the medical literature and found that vigorous exercise and vitamin D (from all that sun exposure) both impede Parkinson’s, so when he quit running, the brakes came off and the disease progressed. I did an extensive search of what scientists know (but doctors don’t know yet) and came up with a protocol that has allowed Ross to reach the age of 90 without further Parkinson’s progression.

Part of what I found is that pesticides, herbicides and fungicides often cause and promote Parkinson’s, sometimes only when combined. For instance: an herbicide called Paraquat usually doesn’t cause Parkinson’s alone, but readily does so when combined with a fungicide called Maneb. However, it’s much less of a problem for consumers than agricultural workers, because it’s mostly on the surface of plants, and gets washed off.

But let’s say that Monsanto “invents” a rice plant with a gene that produces Maneb, making it immune to rice-paddy fungus, and a bean plant with a gene that produces Paraquat, to keep the weeds from crowding it. Neither can be washed off because they are in all tissues of the plant. Both crops would be proven harmless in rat feeding studies, and human studies too, when eaten individually. But eating that rice and those beans would result in the dual dosage that sets off Parkinson’s in later life.

If Prop. 37 doesn’t pass, we will have no way of knowing what is in our food. Monsanto already has fish genes in tomatoes to make them frost tolerant; so what happens when a person who is deathly allergic to fish eats such a tomato? Monsanto will say, “Oh, he just became allergic to tomatoes.” And when rates of Parkinson’s (and who knows how many other diseases) go up, Monsanto scientists will scratch their heads and say, “No one knows why this is happening.”

We must not only get genetically-engineered foods labeled as such. We must also require them to tell us what they added to those foods so we can know if that will cause us problems.

Gordon Ainsleigh, Meadow Vista