Here in Vermont there’s a big push among the electorate and legislators to mandate

labeling GMOs in food.  Most people seem to support the idea, that is most people except Monsanto and

it’s bought and paid for lobbyists who are employing extortion, the threat of an expensive law suit,

to thwart the public will.  The logic for labeling is irrefutable – after all we label sugar, salt,

fat, carbohydrates and other ingredients we, the public, ingest.  So why not inform the consumer that

the can of beans contains GMOs and allow the freedom of choice?

                         Since we’re on the subject of labeling – there are other products that  

inform the buyer of the conditions and circumstances of their production.  Coffee and chocolate for

instance.  It took a while, but the consumer now has the option to buy Free Trade coffee which, in

theory, gives the small coffee grower a more equitable share of the profits and discourages child

labor.  The same is true of  some chocolate companies who give us the same reassurances – in theory.  

I say in theory because who knows what’s going on since  oversight seems rather slip-shod.

                        In that same vein, the ubiquitous electronic gadgets which now define our

lives – computers, cell phones i-Pads
should be required to indicate if any so-called ‘conflict minerals’ are used in their manufacture.  

These minerals, vital in the production of miniaturized circuit boards, often come from third world

countries like the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda and Rwanda, where bloody battles take

place to control the mines where often those doing the dangerous work are coerced into working for

close to nothing.  These exotic minerals, lithium, dysprosium ,tantalum along with tungsten, tin and

gold mined under these conditions, are in the same category as ‘blood diamonds’ – products of slave-

like conditions.                         

Al Salzman


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