地方官員應該立法要求出售基因工程食物的商店掛牌子說明，並極力建議商店提供有關於基因工程食物的資訊。各地教育局（School Board ）應該考慮在學校的午餐計劃中給基因工程牛奶及其他食物上標籤，或者禁止購買這些食物。
〔編按〕上期本文中兩處之「DNA（染色體）」句中之「染色體」字樣，為「染色體之化學組成」之誤，特此向讀者致歉。 DNA 之中文譯名為「脫氧核醣核酸」。
The main environmental problem with genetically engineered food plants and animals is that, when they escape into the wild, they permanently disrupt ecosystems which are the products of billions of years of evolution (or, if you prefer, of God's perfect creation). For example, the most recent conservative scientific estimates indicate that genetically engineered plants will probably cross-pollinate with wild relatives, thereby escaping into the wild and permanently disrupting ecosystems at about one percent a year. That means they will probably cause major environmental problems in about ten years.
Another potential problem area is viruses. By their very nature, viruses invade the genetic material of their hosts and often break apart and recombine using part of the host's genetic material to create new viruses. When this happens with genetically engineered plants and animals outside of the laboratory, new viruses will be created that incorporate genetically engineered genetic material. The viruses will then spread and, because they could not have been naturally produced, there may be no natural defenses against them. Depending upon the kind of virus, they may then cause widespread death of certain plants or animals, or even of humans.
Genetic engineering is a totally new kind of science. Previously science concerned itself with understanding how Nature works. For the first time in human history, through genetic engineering techniques, science is changing Nature on the most fundamental level. Rather than considering whether it should be done at all or what kind of wisdom should govern the process, most of the efforts in the field are fueled not by concern for the short or long term benefits for human beings or the planet, but in most cases by corporate pressures for short term profits at almost any cost. Certainly some short-term and rather spectacular benefits will probably occur, particularly in the medical field; however, the long term problems may far outweigh them.
Genetically engineered foods create specific ethical problems for those of various faiths. Religious vegetarians, such as Seventh Day Adventists, Hindus, and Buddhists, want to be able to avoid fruits and vegetables with insect, animal, or human genes in them. Jews and Muslims, who have special religious dietary laws, want to be able to make sure that genetically engineered foods do not violate their restrictions; for instance, they won't want pig genes in their carrots. Religious leaders from a broad spectrum of faiths, in this country and throughout the world, object to genetically engineered food because they have serious doctrinal objections to the kind of tampering with the basic patterns of life that occurs in most genetic engineering. Many others who are not formally religious wish to avoid genetically engineered foods because they also have serious ethical objections. Under our current laws, meats, vegetables, and fruits can even contain human genes without our knowing it. This kind of cannibalism is repulsive to most people.
Labeling Should Be a Right of Citizens in a Free Society
Current regulations against the labeling of genetically engineered foods blatantly abridge the rights of citizens in a free society to choose what they want to eat and what they do not. You usually cannot rely on looking, tasting, or feeling to identify genetically engineered food. Labeling is necessary for its clear identification. Therefore, because labeling is not now required, citizens are effectively denied their fundamental right of free choice. Labeling genetically engineered foods would in no way restrict the rights of those people who do wish to purchase and consume them
What Can We Do?
We can educate ourselves, our families, friends, and community about current and potential problems with genetically engineered foods. On the local level, we can talk to the grocers and store managers where we shop. Most of them have little awareness of the issues involved. We can ask them to label them clearly so that those who wish to avoid them can. On the national level we can let our elected representatives know that we want both stricter government oversight of research and development and also required labeling.
Local officials should enact legislation both to require stores that sell genetically engineered food to post signs to that effect and to recommend strongly that those stores make information available to their customers about which foods are genetically engineered. Local school boards should consider either labeling genetically engineered milk and other foods used in school lunch programs or banning their purchase.
Our natural defense systems against danger are inadequate to warn us of the subtle, technologically produced hazards of genetically engineered foods. Nevertheless, their potential for doing serious and irreversible harm, both to us and our environment, should be taken very seriously. I personally look forward to working with all of you who are interested in requiring both their mandatory labeling and better safeguards for their research and development.