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MailTribune.com
  • ELECTION LETTERS

  • I use a genetically engineered product daily. My life depends on it. Yet, I am voting yes on Measure 15-119.
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  • I use a genetically engineered product daily. My life depends on it. Yet, I am voting yes on Measure 15-119.
    The product I use is insulin. In the USA, only genetically engineered insulin is sold. E-coli is used in producing my insulin. I have come to terms with the fact that what is saving my life may be slowly killing me. I have no other options.
    Because of consumer demand, we have a choice of conventional, GMO and organic foods, yet GMOs continue to silently be introduced to our food supply.
    Our government is pro-GMO. If we, the people, are silent or complacent, our choice will be null. Measure 15-119 is our opportunity to stop them from limiting our choices. Do we want future generations looking at their food and having to accept what is saving their lives is slowly killing them? Vote yes on Measure 15-119! — Ginger Bull, Medford
    In this upcoming election, I would like to recommend that all voters consider Colleen Roberts for Jackson County commissioner.
    She is a strong conservative and actively pro-life. She has participated in the county commissioner meetings and advocates transparency at every level. She is a common-sense citizen who will stand for the people she represents. — Ethan Hill, Eagle Point
    Serious problems associated with the production and consumption of genetically modified foods are well-documented and seem endless. Ask yourselves, if GMOs are safe, why did Japan, New Zealand, Ireland, Austria, Hungary, Greece, France, Switzerland, and many other countries ban them?
    Fact: GMO crops are impossible to control as plants cross-pollinate, like an epidemic out of control. I believe the only guaranteed benefits associated with GMOs are the huge profits realized by the greedy Big Agriculture and Big Chemical companies that produce and sell, to unsuspecting/misinformed farmers, their seeds (with strict contractual obligations) and ever-increasing and stronger pesticides. The industry claims of "super yields" ending poverty and famine have proven to be dangerously false. A good friend of mine reminds me of what Einstein said: "The world is a dangerous place, not because of the presence of evil, but because of good people who look on and do nothing." — David Hopf, Central Point
    A study I ran across in the last month or so shows why we should vote no on any measures that add to our already too-high property taxes. The study was for those about to retire and rated Oregon as the 50th (as in last) best state to retire in, largely because of its high state and local taxes.
    Most people have a library in their pocket (smartphones), or on their desk at home. Brick-and- mortar libraries are a thing of the past. Orchardists and farmers can and should hire their own people for farming advice, and those needing advice on gardening, pest control, canning, etc., can find it on their aforementioned cellphone or at a garden center or farm store. No need for the Extension office. Join me in voting no on measures that "only cost pennies per thousand dollars" on your next property tax bill. — K. Cockrell, Medford
    Years ago, Medford placed a fee on a utility bill. Today, there are eight fees at a cost of $474.72 a year. In 2000, a $188.9 million school bond was passed. In 2006, a $38.9 million levy was passed to build 15 libraries without a hint of future operational funding issues.
    Now, the proposal is a service district which is forever taxation at a cost of approximately $120 a year. The current library budget is $6.2 million. The proposed funding is $9 million — a 45 percent increase in operating costs.
    Funding 15 brick-and-mortar libraries in an electronic information era is impractical. The library director stated that 800,000 people access the libraries each year. If accurate, the libraries should be an enterprise fund that operates through user fees. The never-ending measures are taxing elderly citizens on fixed incomes out of their homes. — L. Wilcox, Medford
    In your recent articles about the candidates for sheriff in the May 20 election, you did not mention that Mike Winters said at one time that if a federal order came down that he didn't like, he would refuse to act on it. I think this reflected a "posse comitatus" attitude, and I do not want us to have anyone in a position so powerful as the sheriff who has that attitude.
    We have seen such as this, belief that county and state have authority over the federal government, in the recent and ongoing dispute between Cliven Bundy, the Nevada rancher, and the federal BLM. I read Winters' statement that he would not enforce a federal order in the Mail Tribune some time ago, so you have access to that information. I think voters need to know such information about any candidate. Please explain this. — Mary A. Delsman, Ashland
    The Tribune's editorial board's assertion that the GMO debate is a matter of science over ideology is too simplistic.
    Dow Chemical (funding the TV ads against the ban), developed Agent Orange and assured us it was safe. Now veterans who were exposed to it live with cancer and diseases too numerous to list here.
    Let's not forget that DDT, which led to the near extinction of the bald eagle, was also heralded for its "scientific" benefits fighting cholera and malaria.
    Similarly, GMO Roundup Ready seeds allow universal application of herbicides. However, such application is now linked to groundwater contamination, honey bee die-off and eradication of milkweed, resulting in the decimation of monarch butterfly populations. Set aside the health risks of drinking water laced with herbicides in rural parts of Jackson County and try to imagine agriculture anywhere without the benefit of honey bee pollination.
    Human exposure to herbicides is a health issue, not an ideological stand. Desire to carpet bomb agriculture fields with herbicides is an economic decision, not a scientific one. There's a difference. — Cathy Shaw, Ashland
    The pro-GMO side is obviously hoping to scare voters by claiming a high cost of "enforcement." Twelve of 15 voters' pamphlet arguments against measure 15-119 quote a figure of over $200,000, as "projected" by the county administrator. A pro-GMO telephone push-poll falsely says that this money would be snatched away from libraries.
    Obviously, if you view the administrator's presentation on Jackson County's website, this "projection" is a worst-case scenario, prefaced by the statement, "frankly, what I am going to present here to you today certainly will be information that is likely arguable ..." Even so, the amount imagined is only about a dollar per county resident. It's trivial.
    Also, it's ridiculous. To plant GMO seeds, a farmer must sign his/her name on a contract. Who is going to incriminate himself or herself by signing up for GMO seeds if the ban passes?
    Vote yes on 15-119. — Shoshanah Dubiner, Ashland
    The Measure 15-119 debate has given us an opportunity to become well-educated in a short time. I wasn't that aware of the issue until I started hearing about problems organic farmers were having with GE pollen. I'm certain the pollen factor was well known to Syngenta and the other GE companies a very long time ago.
    The Mail Tribune editorial (April 27) supports GE farming but ignores important factors. A proliferation of GE crops will surely have negative impacts on the bee population. With less pollination and increased bee die-offs, there is serious cause for concern. To spell it out; no bees, no pollination and eventually no food.
    It's also impossible to ignore the GE money pouring into the campaign, despite the Mail Tribune's wishes that we do otherwise. Attempting to buy an election with out-of-state and foreign money does not instill a public trust. — Shaun Anscombe, Rogue River
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