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<b>GMO dangers</b>

EDITOR: Mounting scientific evidence indeed tells us that at least some genetically modified organisms are unsafe for consumption, do not increase yields and have led to a nationwide explosion in the use of pesticides and herbicides and associated superweeds and superbugs. Unfortunately, you wouldn't know any of that by reading yet another ill-researched, pro-GMO piece in The Press Democrat ("States considering labels for GMOs," Thursday).

It's disappointing that instead of supporting local organic farmers providing us with delicious, naturally-grown food, The Press Democrat chooses to regularly defend GMOs and the handful of global pesticide industry giants that benefit from the sale of their unlabeled products.

TOM FENDLEY

Santa Rosa

<b>Peacekeeper in action</b>

EDITOR: Have you seen the story of the Rosenberg, Texas police officer who, while driving through an apartment complex, saw a disconsolate boy with a football and no one to play with? The officer stopped and made the universal "throw the ball" sign, the youth brightened up, and they had several tosses until the officer had to continue his patrol. That attitude -#8212; being part of the peacekeeping forces rather than being out amongst the enemy -#8212; is what we need in our peace officers.

WEEDY TUHTANJOSEPH

Sebastopol

<b>Pets, not meals</b>

EDITOR: Michele Anna Jordan wants people to get past their aversion to eating bunnies so the Osman family can breed, kill and sell more rabbits ("OZ Farm good source for rabbit," Wednesday). But it is natural to feel revulsion at animals being killed -#8212; especially when rabbits, like cats and dogs, are home companions to many people.

Feeling squeamish in the face of cruelty is a sign of evolving consciousness. Rabbits are adorable, sociable, friendly and affectionate. It is good to feel bad when someone bashes in their heads or suffocates them or snaps their necks and sells them for "calorie-saving meat."

In green Sonoma County, rabbits are the greenest companions. They have vegan diets. You can grow their lettuces and herbs in pots and recycle all of the litter, hay and poop right back onto the veggies for closed-loop gardening.

Bunnies are peaceful, quiet indoor pets, ideal for apartments, condos and small homes. Sitting with a big bunny on your lap will warm you so much you can turn down the thermostat and shrink your PG-E bill. Finally, petting a bunny lowers blood pressure and reduces stress: the perfect Zen for Sonoma County.

Raise your empathy level. Rabbits are companion animals, not food.

LORRAINE BAZAN

and CHRIS STOVER

Sebastopol

<b>Avoiding conflicts</b>

EDITOR: Regarding your Wednesday editorial addressing the Andy Lopez shooting ("Three months on, hard work just beginning"), the problem with the deputy's actions is not that he was too quick to shoot or that he wasn't justified in shooting. The problem is that he unnecessarily put himself in a position of danger, which necessitated his subsequent decision to shoot.

Police training needs to be changed not in terms of how and when to use deadly force but rather how and when to confront a potential threat. Clearly, Deputy Erick Gelhaus' gung-ho approach isn't the right way. Why put yourself in the position of having to make a split-second decision that might be wrong?

If officers truly are devastated by these types of tragic mistakes, why wouldn't they want to learn viable alternative methods of engaging suspects that would prevent mistakes? The problem is that law enforcement training, tactics, policy and procedures are flawed when it comes to dealing with suspects who pose a threat to others. Let's do something to change that.