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In his guest opinion, Ron Bjork says GMO plants are simply the next step in plant breeding, a more efficient form of hybridization. This is factually incorrect, and it is a common tactic used to confuse people about what the true issues are.

In genetically modified crops, artificial gene units are created by joining fragments of DNA from viruses, bacteria, plants and even animals, and then directly inserted into the host plant. This would never happen in nature. It is nothing like plant breeding. There is evidence that there are adverse effects to human health and the environment, and there is no doubt that GMO crops pose a risk to organic farmers by trespassing on their property through GMO pollen drifting in the wind or on bees or birds.

Common sense should teach us that mixing species is a very risky, if not immoral, activity, bound to have negative consequences. Scientific hubris has brought us many human health disasters over the years. Humility, concern for one's neighbors and respect for property rights all seem to be lacking in promoters of GMO crops, which were brought here without our knowledge or consent. I consider them the ultimate invasive species. — Lynn Barton, Medford

"Dude, you need to get out of my house" (Wednesday, June 13) was inspiring! A simple .38-caliber revolver (.38 Special) via an armed citizen aborted an aggressive and potentially dangerous home invasion. This confirms my own Sept. 16, 2009, e-vent entitled "Better than a restraining order."

I wrote, "A .38 in the hand beats a police dispatcher on the phone."

Also, "Dial 911 and Die" by Attorney Richard W. Stevens debunks myths about 911, police protection and restraining orders. Available at www.jpfo.org. "Smith & Wesson Military & Police Revolver: A gun's autobiography" by Jack Burton rightly describes the .38 Special to "be a comfort to the law-abiding citizen and a tool in the hands of those who would protect America."

Finally, my own posted online comment endorsing the classic, historic, and venerable .38-caliber revolver can be read at www.americanrifleman.org/videos/s-w-model-10/. This NRA video alludes to the Smith and Wesson Model 10 (K-Frame) .38 Special Military and Police Revolver. — James A. Farmer, Ashland

Thank you for your editorial regarding my inquiry into the Gold Dust Day Parade. The editorial was balanced, but my original inquiry became a bit skewed in the dust-up that followed.

My inquiry into the nature of the parade is relevant not because I think anyone could be excluded because of their politics; that issue has been resolved countless times on a First Amendment basis, which I fully agree with. However, the city's contribution is purely discretionary.

Let me pose a scenario that is not at all far-fetched. As late as the 1980s, Gold Dust Days sponsored a "Fag Race" which is still fondly remembered by many locals today as the height of hilarity. If that event was still on the agenda, I would object to the city spending any funds or service in kind to that event. I would also object to contributing funding to sponsor a grand marshal who uses racial invective as a routine matter.

However, nothing I suggested came close to creating a liability for the city or violating anyone's rights. Since Mr. Patterson hadn't made a public appearance since 2009, it was unclear which uniform he would be wearing in the parade. — Christine Alford, Gold Hill