Date: Tue, 18 May 1999
An Open letter to John Ashcroft:
I am greatly distressed that you seek to use the G-8 summit to bully our European allies into opening their markets to genetically engineered (ge) agricultural products. I remind you that in a free market economy, consumers have a right to choose which products they want and do not want.
Your remarks seem to imply that the European countries that have banned or restricted the import of ge foods are either overreacting or just plain stupid. The truth is that the people and government officials in these countries are intelligent people that are not willing to accept the risks to human health and the environment that ge foods pose.
As for your remarks that these restrictions pose a "substantial and immediate threat" to U.S. and specifically Missouri farmers: If consumers will not accept these foods, then farmers can choose to grow the conventional (or organic) crops they have exported to Europe for many years now.
Your real motives are quite obvious: You are shamelessly promoting the interests of Monsanto, the corporation that has staked its future on ge foods. In a free market economy, government is supposed to stay out of private enterprise. Have you become a socialist, Mr. Ashcroft?
Your remarks show an arrogant hypocrisy that are totally inappropriate for a national leader.
St. Louis, MO