USDA Approving Dangerous Foods? Stop GMOs! (by Addie Stowell)

foodbankMy research question for the Culminating Project is “Why is it so important to label GMOs?”  I am writing to the USDA to try to persuade them that Genetically Modified Organisms are dangerous and need to be addressed.

Research Collection:

Bittman, Mark. “The True Deservers of a Food Prize.” The New York Times. 25 June 2013. Web. 20 Nov. 2013.  This article is about a man named Zeyaur Khan who developed a system to keep crops such as corn safe from pests without using pesticides and other Genetically Modified Organisms.  He used a certain legume that repels dangerous organisms to keep them away and used other plants to attract the dangerous beings.  He has been very successful in doing this at a low cost and with often more than doubled usable crops.

The more people strive toward these practices the better off our families will be, eating safer foods.

Baden-Mayer, Alexis. Organic Consumers Association, 11 Sept. 2013, Web. 20 Nov. 2013.  This article says that a only about a quarter of our population even knows about GMOs and the FDA allows Genetically Modified foods to slip through without safety testing even though many people see benefits to their children’s health as well as their own after ridding their diets of GMOs.

This needs to change! People need to be educated to sufficiently care for their families! Labelling GMOs will make people wonder what they are and potentially make them research.

Dr. Mercola., 6 Oct 2013. Web. 20 Nov. 2013.  This is about Dr. Don Huber whom is considered by many one of the top experts in the world on the subject of GMOs. He states that there are 0 actual peer-reviewed scientific papers saying that GMOS’s are in fact safe. He also points out that evidence shows rises in certain diseases in correlation with the rising use of Roundup.

People need to stand up and fight for their families. And those who are more educated need to fight harder to educate so other families can catch on and join the team!

Weiss, Elizabeth. USA TODAY. Gannett Company, 6 Nov. 2013. Web. 20 Nov. 2013.  USA TODAY talks about Washington State ruling against the labelling of GMOs recently.  It also, however, shows numbers showing how close it was to passing. Just over half of the voters made this law not pass.

This is so important to me because it looks like a step in the right direction. This is also so close to us that this gives me hope that soon in Oregon this may be a possibility.

Author’s Note:

One major thing I have learned in my research for this project is that we have a long way to go in the fight for non-GMO, Organic foods.  While California and Washington have begun to fight and even come close to winning, these are just 2 battles (yet to be one) in a very big war.  To wipe GMOs out of the country is a task that I would call daunting at best.  This doesn’t mean, however, that my personal fight is over.  I will continue to push for the labelling, and hopefully banning someday, of Genetically Modified and non-Organic foods.


The Public Writing 

Adelyn Stowell

November 27, 2013

Tom Vilsack

Secretary of Agriculture
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Washington, D.C. 20250

Dear Secretary Vilsack:

It is time to start watching out for the people of the U.S.  Genetically Modified Organisms are a danger to us and our children.  I feel that it crucial that we start working toward getting GMOs out of grocery stores.  The first step in doing that is to demand that companies label their products adequately by stating if they contain GMOs.  This will provide United States citizens with a choice in what they are purchasing.  If we follow through on the first step we may get rid of them entirely.

I am a student at Portland Community College and I have been doing extensive research on the effects of Genetically Modified Organisms.  I am learning more about the dangers of GMOs, including the actually altering the human genome and the possibility of a connection with Sudden Death Syndrome.

I have read articles and studies and even some research from a man named Dr. Huber.  Dr. Huber wrote to you in 2011 to try and inform you of these dangers in hopes that you would climb on board and try to protect the American People.  Even with all of his astounding research there is still yet to be progress in this area of the USDA.

Another man I have researched is a man named Zeyaur Khan who developed a system called the “push-pull” system to safely drive out dangerous pests.  He does this by planting a specific type of legume with his crops and plants another crop nearby that is used to attract the pests.  It is not only a cheap and effective method but also yields very high volumes of crops.

With the ballots in California and Washington State nearly passing over the last two years, it appears as though this may happen soon.  Why not hop on board now and start fighting what may be an inevitable fight?

Thank you for taking the time to read my letter as this is an extremely important issue to me.


Adelyn Stowell



  1. I find this topic to be a very important one. I have just recently been made aware of GMOs and their negative affects on everything. And I literally mean everything. I like your sources. I think you picked a good range of easy to recognize sources, like USA Today.
    I think your choice of writing a letter was a wise one. I feel like most people that know anything about GMOs, don’t like them and think that we shouldn’t use them. It makes me very sad to know that just because it makes money, our government is forcing us to eat them without any warning and no real proof that its a safe method.
    While reading through your work I would have liked to see what I could do differently to help get rid of GMOs. Also the affect of GMOs on the environment, like the bee population, would be an interesting topic to research a little further.
    Over all, I really enjoyed reading through your work. I’m glad you chose such an important topic. Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Addie:
    You are passionate and focused in your public writing and your research. The research collection would give any reader good context for your argument. Please let us know (by posting back) when your letter gets a response and what kind of response it is!

  3. Thanks ladies! And yes, I will get back to the blog and let you know what I get for a response.

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