Editor:

We the people, have the right to know what we are consuming through our food and beverages. It is estimated that 80 percent of packaged, processed foods in the United States contain some genetically modified ingredients and the long term effects of ingesting these GMOs has not been adequately studied.

Anti-labeling groups rely heavily on the claim that "trillions of (genetically engineered) meals have been eaten without side effect." This claim relies on the faulty logic that "if I can't see it, it's not there." Long term side effects, such as allergies and cancer, haven't been adequately studied to evaluate the safety of genetically engineered foods. In fact, research has shown a bevy of potential ill side effects of genetically engineered crops in rats without adequate follow up testing.

With the safety of GMOs in question, it only makes sense to be able to make an informed decision regarding eating genetically engineered foods. Multiple labeling laws, including the recent I-522 in Washington, have failed against massive opposition by Big Ag. It's time we stand up to Big Ag and let them know their money will not extinguish our right to know what is in our food and beverages. Passing a law to label products containing GMOs, the same way we list nutrition and ingredient information, would be the best way. This would allow the American people to make healthy, responsible, and informed decisions regarding what we consume.

JESSIE J. HERNANDEZ

NMPirg (New Mexico Public Interest Research Group)

Albuquerque