National Editor Tom Karst
National Editor Tom Karst

Just saw Jim Prevor's "modest" proposal to solve the PMA-United Fresh conundrum. I've got to say that he has chutzpah and no lack of self-assurance. Perhaps I envy that in him.

Who has the chops to finally decide this thing, after 18 months of fruitless negotiations between leaders of PMA and United Fresh? Of course, it is Prevor himself, along with two members from the boards of United Fresh and PMA, along with Ed McLaughlin of Cornell and an unspecified "neutral party" to chair the group. To save effort, why not let Prevor make the call all by himself?

As Hall and Oates sang, I can't go for that, no can do.

Even if the fair-mindedness and objectivity of the non-association folk could be assured (what's up with this unnamed "neutral party"?), I don't think PMA and United Fresh would want to cede their "fiduciary responsibilities" to three outsiders. If the best efforts of United Fresh and PMA boards fell short, let the record speak for itself. There is no need for a hastily constructed backroom solution.

Plus, I don't think there is an immediate and great appetite for another ill-fated and secretive run at the merger. Next time make it more inclusive and public; that is, if there is a "next time."

--

Comments are starting to roll in for the Arctic GMO apple, and they are as you suspect. Mostly doubtful. Wary. And against.

Check out the rulemaking page here, which already has recorded more than 640 comments.

 

Here is a quick sampling:

From Kevin:

NO MORE GMOS. Do you understand that? I will be voting in CA to make labeling of GMO food mandatory. Also, why is there even an option to be making suggestions and statements to the US Govt from any country or citizen outside the US? Your world government isn't here yet, fellas.

From Matt:

Stop this insanity! Let an apple be an apple, not an untested science experiment.

From Marie:

USDA should NOT approve GMO apples. In fact, ALL GMOs need to be labeled as such. If we have to know what's in our mattresses and pillows, surely to God we can know what is in our food. Thank you.

From Sherrill:

Please, no more genetically engineered crops. There has to be a reason these have been banned in many other countries.

 

TK: Gee, not a lot of science in these comments. There is palpable emotion, though.

As to the last point about GM food "banned in many other countries," producers in Italy are pleading with their leaders to say yes to GMOs.

From the USDA FAS report:

200 Italian scientists and farmers have written an appeal to President Napolitano and Prime Minister Monti. The letter specifically asks that Italy be given the possibility to compete in agriculture ― both scientifically and economically ― by putting a stop to the anti-GMO policy in Italy.