People should know what is in their food

After reading the editorial "Voters should send Proposition 37 back for 'modification,' " I was outraged.

Proposition 37 is simple: Do we deserve the right to know what's in the food we eat and feed our children? Or is that choice better left to agrochemical and pesticide companies that make billions of dollars by keeping us unaware that much of the food we eat has been genetically engineered in a lab?

The Food and Drug Administration received more than a million comments from concerned citizens on a petition demanding that genetically engineered foods be labeled, and poll after poll indicate that 90 percent of Americans agree.

In a 10-week period, an army of petitioners in California gathered nearly 1 million signatures, easily qualifying Proposition 37 for the November ballot.

Why? Genetically modified foods have never been proved safe for human consumption -- and California families want to know what's in our food.

Proposition 37 opponents have already spent $25 million to defeat our right to know because it would threaten their stranglehold on consumer choice -- preventing small farmers, the organics industry and truly natural food producers from competing on an equal playing field.

Dig into the truth. Look who is for Proposition 37 and look who is against it.

Rachel Pachivas

Berkeley


Advertisement

Obama waging a nasty campaign

From the 2008 positive campaign of hope and change, President Barack Obama has descended into a negative campaign of attack and smear in 2012.

The Obama campaign attack advertising started in May against Mitt Romney and Bain Capital, causing longtime Obama ally and campaign surrogate, Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker, to deplore as "nauseating" the negative campaign against private equity financing.

Negative attacks on Romney and Bain have only continued and intensified since, coming from a White House-connected super PAC. They have run a series of ads awarded "four Pinocchios" by the Washington Post's fact-checker -- it's the worst rating for truthfulness.

On Obama's behalf, Sen. Harry Reid made a Joe McCarthy-like unsupported slander that Romney didn't pay any income taxes for 10 years, based on a "source" he won't identify.

Finally, there is Vice President Joe Biden telling a largely black audience that Romney is going "to put y'all back in chains."

I can't recall a nastier, dirtier campaign than Obama's re-election so far -- and Election Day is still not until Nov. 6.

Jim Hartman

Berkeley

Story torpedoes OPD's reputation

The story "Hostages at Home" torpedoed an already shaky reputation of the scandal-plagued Oakland Police Department.

The story, if true, is that Oakland police officers who presumably knew about the local drug gang, cavalierly left a citizen trying to do the right thing hanging in the wind under the threat of rape and death.

Over the years, I have read about the police complaining about the reluctance of witnesses to come forward; after this article, there will be a further dramatic drop in cooperation.

You would think that there is a way to report instances of crime anonymously and, in this case, why didn't the $100,000-a-year professional peace officers who picked up the guns take the initiative and report the cache themselves instead of letting an innocent person take the rap.

I would expect (a futile hope) that a future article will report Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan's outrage, disciplining officers for their lack of care, and a commitment by the City Council and mayor to stand by courageous citizen-witnesses. Silly me.

Steve Belcher

Oakland

The oil industry is clearly a monopoly

I find it interesting that the news reports on the Richmond Chevron refinery fire have not answered the most important questions: Why has this accident caused a price increase with every oil company across the entire nation?

They obviously cooperate, so there is no competition in the industry. Isn't that also a monopoly? No wonder the consumer is being gouged. And most important, where are our public servants in Washington?

They are supposed to protect us from being taken advantage of by these enormous corporations. It seems that Congress and corporate America are in a marriage, and we get to pay for the honeymoon. Do we live in a corporate-controlled system of government? What do other people think?

Tim Moreno

San Leandro