Huge step in the right direction

This is regarding the Times editorial against Proposition 37, "Prop. 37 needs 'modification' before passage."

The editorial says, "This is not some sort of weird science stuff. It is common." It is "weird scientific stuff." Fish don't crossbreed with plants, for example; Monsanto handles that.

It is common -- because the FDA has rubber-stamped its approval of genetically modified food for decades, ignoring its own scientists and never conducting the rigorous testing mandated in its own laws. This makes GMO products illegal and risky.

It's true there's no labeling in Vermont -- because Monsanto threatened to sue the state if a labeling bill passed.

The federal government hasn't promoted labeling because former Monsanto officials have positions of power in the FDA and USDA.

The editorial concluded with "no scientific evidence that genetically modified food carries any risk to human health." A recent two-year study revealed alarming possibilities of risks from GMOs. Monsanto has ruthlessly discredited scientists whose testing showed negative aspects of GMOs; only positive, short-term studies (too brief to show significant results) were published.

Proposition 37, though imperfect, is a huge step in the right direction.

Wendy Caesar

Berkeley

Vote for slate to beat corporate money

Chevron has already spent more than $1.2 million thus far to try to defeat Marilyn Langlois and Eduardo Martinez for Richmond City Council.

Why would it do that? Is it afraid these two independent-minded people will try to hold it to a higher safety standard?

The American Beverage Association has already spent more than $2 million thus far to defeat Measure N, a business license fee of a penny-per-ounce on sugary beverages (such as soda), to fund recreational opportunities for local kids. Why would it do that? Is it afraid of a healthy Richmond?

Will corporate money buy Richmond's elections?

In 2010, Chevron and casino interests spent $2 million in an effort to try to buy the election. But the intelligent people of Richmond saw through the lies and defeated their candidates.

We, the people of Richmond, need to flex our voter power and defeat this corruption of the democratic process.

I urge you to vote for Marilyn Langlois and Eduardo Martinez for Richmond City Council and yes on Measure N.

Tarnel Abbott

Richmond

Proper blame for Benghazi tragedy

With reference to Bob Rickman's Oct. 12 letter, "President should be hounded out of office," let me inform Rickman that the president does not control budgets for embassies.

This is the purview of the House of Representatives' Budget Committee. Paul Ryan is the chairman of that committee. Ryan also voted against increasing the budget for protecting our embassies.

Now, tell me who is to blame for the tragedy in Benghazi?

Arlene Kaluski

Walnut Creek

Romney gives us back our country

In a recent, excellent letter, the writer stated, "The America I grew up in is gone." This is true for me, too. America's glory has faded so that now we have only empty promises and drowning debt.

Regarding Mitt Romney: He is not perfect -- none of us are -- but he loves our country and wants to save it. Was it John F. Kennedy who said, "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country"?

Ida Kempel

Alameda

Don't keep giving to school money grab

Just like in every election, we as citizens are being asked to increase funding for schools. And, once again, those in favor of these massive tax hikes are misleading the public.

California public schools are 31st in classroom size and have a per-student spending ratio of $9,509 per year. Two points to consider, as most experts will confirm, students in Japan are better educated yet their student-teacher ratio is 33:1, while California's is 28:1. Japan spends less money per student as well.

As for teachers, we once again hear the false accusations of massive teacher layoffs without ever hearing that 99 percent of those laid off for summer vacation are rehired when the school year begins.

We also hear no mention despite California ranking 49th in math achievement and 48th in reading achievement, California teachers are the highest paid in the U.S., averaging more than $66,000 per year.

It is time to tell the CTA no more money grabs. Study the facts and vote no on both Propositions 30 and 38.

Emmett Simmons

San Leandro