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This Week's Editorial
Impacts of Vermont food-labeling law will be felt in Colorado without Congress stepping up PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mark Sponsler, director of Colorado Corn Growers Association   

Colorado agriculture might soon be forced to turn back the clock on decades of progress — thanks to a Vermont law taking effect July 1 — unless the U.S. Senate steps in and acts.

Agriculture contributes $40 billion to our state’s economy every year, and in recent decades, farmers and ranchers have used an advancement called biotechnology, or genetically modified organisms, to help them achieve such levels of beneficial production.

Seeds developed through biotechnology offer a plethora of benefits, such as less irrigation, less pesticide use, reduced greenhouse gas emissions and higher crop yields that make food more affordable.

Unfortunately, as is common in the Internet age, small but committed activists spread misinformation about this technology, working to drive it from the marketplace, using mandatory labeling laws for foods made with GMOs.

In 2014, Colorado residents voted against such a proposal by a wide margin. Yet Vermont is set to implement a mandatory labeling law in July that would impact us here in the Centennial State.

We currently have a national food chain that allows products to move between states. National food-labeling standards enable this system to operate smoothly, keeping commerce flowing and food prices affordable.

Farmers and food companies are not set up to navigate a patchwork of differing state laws, and such changes would lead to price hikes at the grocery store.

Food companies are also concerned that on-pack labeling would mislead consumers, causing them to believe foods bearing a GMO label should be avoided even though there’s no scientific justification warranting that belief.

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Holyoke Enterprise May 26, 2016

Aging with Respect and Dignity PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jonelle Roberts, NE Colorado ombudsman   

The right to eat good food

I love to eat. I dream about the smell of backyard barbecues. We roasted chili peppers from the garden every fall to make chili so spicy that eating it was a rite of passage in my family. Thoughts of spring time and homemade rhubarb pie topped with real whipped cream makes my mouth water. My fondest memories all include good food shared with family and friends.

Now I have to eat whipped potatoes prepared without butter or salt. At the nursing home, they say these texture-less potatoes are good for me. I’m 83 years old, so what if my blood pressure is high? So what if eating butter raises my cholesterol and makes me fat? I want real butter and salt! I miss the kind of food I used to eat.

In long-term care, dietary regulations are specific when it comes to food safety and nutritional value. Rules require an alternative meal on every menu. Even the time between food offerings is regulated, making access to bedtime snacks mandatory. Unfortunately, when it comes to flavor, regulations use words like palatable and attractive to describe food quality.

Have you ever described good food as palatable? One definition of palatable says “sufficiently agreeable to be eaten.”

If a resident is not satisfied with food that is merely palatable, facilities will work with the resident to meet her individual food preferences. If the resident says only butter and salt will suffice, then the resident will be served butter and salt even if it is unhealthy. Regulations infer that facilities must honor reasonable resident food requests at no cost to the resident.

Want more? View the full article in our print or digital editions. Call 970-854-2811 to subscribe.

Editor’s note: The characters in the story are fictional. For more info, contact ombudsman Jonelle Roberts (serving northeast Colorado) at ombudsneco This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or Erin LeBlanc (serving Logan, Phillips and Sedgwick counties) at 970-854-2949.

Holyoke Enterprise May 26, 2016