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Opinion pieces, analyses and letters are intended to provide a diverse range of views from our community. They are not intended to represent the views of Big Island Now.

ANALYSIS: GMO Ban a Poorly-Crafted Invitation to Lawsuits

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Councilwoman Margaret Wille. Courtesy photo.
Councilwoman Margaret Wille. Courtesy photo.

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COMMENTS
  • Dave Sansone

    In 1992, under the Bush I administration, the FDA proclaimed a “Doctrine of Substantial Equivalence” saying that GMO’s are substantially equivalent to the foods they are replacing, therefore are subject to the same oversight as conventional foods.
    What does that mean? No mandatory medical testing on humans or rodents. No short term no long term. None. The optional industry funded 28-90 day rodent studies are PR, not sound science. It is becoming apparrent that GMO advocates have become idealogogues spouting misinformation and claiming they have the science–it is obvious they didn’t do their homework because I have spent days going through the extremely lengthy and bunk sources provided by biotech advocates If you buy food in the US, you are part of the world’s largest experiment. There is a control–a number of countries never gave the green light for GMO’s, many require labelling..but not in the land of the fee…were we ever free?

    Michael Taylor, the revolving door between Monsanto, the FDA, and USDA is credited for drafting the doctrine. Since the feds have proven to be incapable of appropriate oversight and seem to have no real interest in protecting us from the toxins they permit into the food supply (they just doubled the allowable amount of RoundUp on oil crops GMO corn/soy), we the people must create govern’t for the people and by the people, not for the corporations and by the corporations.

    They let the geenie out of the bottle, now farmers are hooked and cannot imagine giving up GMO’s. This is unfortunate since most GMO farmers and researchers seem to believe that GMO’s are proven safe and the studies that say otherwise are junk. If you look close at the biotech pr machine, their PR Memes are repeated over and over like a mantra. to bad just about all of their claims are untrue.

    For the latest info about GMO’s and roundup from an agronomist of 50 years/researcher at USDA, check out this site: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/10/06/dr-huber-gmo-foods.aspx
    or check out my site for lots more info including unapproved GMO contamination of the world food supply at http://www.agroforestrydesign.net/links.html

    • First Officer

      Every single GMO has undergone testing for toxicity, allergies and animal testing, regardless of any technical voluntary rules or not. The tests and animals used don’t know they were technically voluntary.

      • Cindy Trautmeyer

        Of course cross references to other papers who cross refer to yet other papers are counted as ‘testing’.

  • carla

    If the Mayor vetoes, it will be the end of his political career. He will smear himself. The FDA Michael Taylor was the Pres of Monsanto. The FDA holds no standing whatsoever.

  • shantee

    dozens of countries have banned GMO’s…are they also the walking dead? the county is the closest mic to the people. its about time we spoke up for our rights. the state and federal governments are inundated with big ag’s money and employees.

    • First Officer

      Dozens more still outlaw homosexuality. A few have even increased the penalties for it. Does your jump off the Brooklyn Bridge logic hold for that too ?

      • Cindy Trautmeyer

        One pain in the butt compared to another.

  • Jack Weber

    This article is the same fear-mongering nonsense that was propagandized in California and in Washington. The world is late for sustainable practices in every sector of our lives. This is a first, and well belated, step towards a model for saving our sorry species from total annihilation. And, at that, it is too late in the game.

    the bill needs to pass, The USA needs to catch up with the much of the rest of the world in banning GMO and restoring the integrity of the natural world, now….YESTERDAY, actually.

    If you want to see real problems, continue to allow GMO and their poison industry to expand unto total collapse of the environment. It will make legal battles seem like a picnic, when they are but fantasy propaganda to begin with.

    Kudos to Margaret Wille and to Brenda Ford and all the other council members who are standing courageously for a bit of sanity in a messed up world. May Billy Kenoi be wise and courageous and protect the people unlike his sheepish cohort on Kauai, Carvalho, a disgrace to Hawai’i nei.

    • reasonandlogicplease

      How can you make that claim? Poison, really? What source do you have for that? What study was done and by what university?
      Maybe these claims and conspiracies come from the Big Organic, trying to force people to buy their more expensive, inferior products.

      • Reason and logic

        No, these claims come from many doctors and from the local people that live here and want to be free from the invasion of GMO’s.
        Did you know that you cannot grow organic food next to gmo food because the gmo pollen will contaminate your crops? To me, that’s poison.

        We, local organic farmers, can claim its poison because GMO’s have been proven to cause cancer and tumors and use more chemical herbicides and pesticides than non GMO crops. These herbicides and pesticides are usually marked POISON, and require training to use them, adequate training that most users don’t get!
        You don’t need a study from a university to figure that out, its obvious to anyone with half a brain, and who isn’t bought by the agro industries that GMO’s are harmful to the health of our future generations!
        Just look at what has been happening on Kauai.
        GMO’s are banned in many countries, did the people that banned them do it because some study told them to? No, most did it because it would put an end to their lively hood, because they wouldn’t be able to save their seeds and feed their children.
        Please wake up and realize, thru reason and logic, that you cannot eat money.

        Thank You Jack for studying the science and putting it out there for those who need it.

        • Jack Weber

          Welcome!

        • Jon

          I do not see any reason and logic in your first paragraph, BTW. Just because it is possible to lose organic certification from not taking typical precautions for cross-pollination prevention does not mean you magically create poison. The same precautions are common practice to prevent one variety (heirloom) from contaminating another variety from a neighbor farm. Those of us who actually understand and follow proper farming practices don’t want any contamination if it can affect our yield or seed.

          As for the terms and use of the term ‘poison’… Caffeine is also labelled as poison (and is quite toxic) when you buy it as the sole ingredient… caffeine is a poison that plants make…

          Would the gene from coffee that makes caffeine be any more toxic if that gene was added to Tea plants to give them an extra ‘kick’ (and confirmed that the gene placement was stable, and expression was consistent as is done with all GM plants)?

          Would I be bought and sold by Monsanto if I spent ~$3million of my own money (or a group of investors) to make Tea that expresses caffeine in quantities similar to Coffee, then sold it for a profit with full transparency about contents and toxicity?

          • Jack Weber

            I invite you then to drink a cup of round-up or a brew of bt-toxin each morning before work and then tell me what is poison and what is not. I have to wonder what is the average intelligence of the hired hands who come here and make such nonsense comments?

          • Jon

            Come on, Jack :) You know that’s not where I was going with that line of inquiry. And we do drink Round-up brew and bt-toxin brew on a daily basis when eating non-organic foods. That still does not mean all GMO crops should be illegal. If the toxins are a problem, make GM crops whose express purpose is to allow pesticide use illegal. Not a blanket GMO ban, that is false equivalence.

            I did the math on toxic effects of Bt toxin expression in corn last month, and the calculations turned out to be ~ 1 acre of Bt corn consumed by one person in one sitting (stems, leaves, roots, ears and all) for LD50 (granted, that is extreme). The typical corn harvest is about 6.3 tons of corn per acre, and many more tons would be needed to consume enough corn at one sitting to get a 50% chance of a lethal dose of Bt toxin. BTW – you would only need to eat ~320 bananas at one time to die of potassium overdose (the cancer from all that radioactive potassium is a different story, just kidding! that gets excreted, too).

            I would be comfortable drinking a round-up or Bt toxin brew at safe levels deemed so by our current standards of application on edible crops (pre-harvest period). As I do… probably every day. Because I eat food.

            Finally, I shop by the credo… Local first, pesticide free second, organic third (not because it’s safer for my health, but because organic principles of agriculture were traditionally created to be more in balance with ecosystems, thus having less broad ecosystem effects), then for cost/taste/convenience.

      • Jack Weber

        I replied to you “reasonandlogicplease” a couple days ago, twice, but my comments did not post. Don’t know why. I posted a bunch of links for you. Have you tried Google? Try Google it. Or begin here at “gmoevidence dot com.”

        Anyway, yes, poison, really. That’s what pesticides are, poison; that is reasonable and logical, no?

        Conspiracies? Nah. That’s not logical and reasonable, and I am not a conspiracy-pusher.

        Do a search for “Glyphosate toxicity studies.”

        I like teaching people how to fish. :) Cheers…

        • Guest

          That’s a pretty wild claim to call them poison. I’ve seen no studies by any universities or institutes that even remotely suggest gmo’s are harmful, Just links to other anti-GMO websites making the same wild claims you are with absolutely zero proof.
          If I was growing GMO crops that I paid good money for, I wouldn’t want your inferior “organic” crops pollinating mine.
          You’re welcome to grow and buy whatever you want, stop trying to take away others choice to do the same.

          • Jack Weber

            Pesticides are by definition “poison.” So, it’s wild to call them what they are? It’s like saying it’s pretty wild to call a Chinese person or an German a human. By definition, that is what they are.

            GMO crops take away the choice to grow organically. Organic crops do not take away the opportunity to grow GMO. Do you homework please. And did you follow my iinks I offered you? You wanted evidence; did you go look at it?

          • Guest

            We’re not talking pesticides, were talking gmo’s. But nice try with the word games

          • Jack Weber

            I was the one who brought up the pesticides used on GMO crops, so yes, we are talking pesticides. Furthermore, the GMO crops that this bill is aimed at banning all entail the use of pesticides, so we cannot talk GMO in this context without talking pesticides. Even if we were just talking GMO foodstuffs, there is also a preponderance of evidence showing harm to humans.

          • Jon

            If this bill is aiming at banning GMO crops that are engineered for glyphosate resistance (or any applied chemical that would otherwise damage the crop) then it is completely off target. The legislation bans all new GMO crops, not only the ones created for chemical resistance.

          • First Officer

            And RR GMO’s don’t produce any pesticides, they are merely resistant to glyphosate. No one is actually required to apply glyphosate to them.

          • Jack Weber

            Not required, then why use them? Silly argument. It’s like saying, for example, these mashed potatoes taste best with that gravy; they were created to work together. but, you don;t have to eat the mashed potatoes with that gravy. Well of course not, but what’s the sense of that? RoundUp and RoundUp Ready GMOs are a team. Split up the team and why use the RoundUp ready GMO? Nonsensical logic! You guys can do better than this, geez.

          • First Officer

            While it doesn’t make much sense to use RR crops if you don’t anticipate the need to spray herbicides, there are people who believe that RR GMO’s won’t grow without Roundup. That is not the case. IF it turns out, that after planting your RR GMO crop, the weeds don’t materialize much, then you can still forego actual spraying without affecting the RR GMO’s.

          • First Officer

            Funny, Bill 113 takes away the right to choose to grow GMO. No Organic farmer has yet to lose certification from pollen drift. Certification, by the way, whose critieria were entirely designed by the organic community. Hence any troubles caused trying to meet that criteria is self inflcted.

          • https://twitter.com/#!/zerses Moirrainefortruth

            You are a shill or just WILL NOT do any research at all. There are many studies on glyphosate.
            .
            Can’t fix blind, lazy and acting like an ostrich.

          • First Officer

            Yet another case of SAS, Shill Accusation Syndrome. It strikes those who just can’t believe others can honestly differ in opinion from themselves.

          • Jack Weber

            No, first Officer, it’s that none of us can believe that someone like you cannot seem to post one bit of reason here. You simply come here to spew nonsense just to muck up the comments.

          • Jack Weber

            And your grammar sucks, more evidence of your lack of erudition.

          • First Officer

            Ad homina, homina, hominem !

          • Jack Weber

            Correct, ad hom, and appropriate. But not without debunking your nonsense at the same time.

            And in a strange twist of fate, notice that you only respond to my ad hominem comment and not to the debunking logic I present, so you are in error again, “First Officer.” Now, cheers…

          • First Officer

            Comments with links are pre-moderated.

          • Jack Weber

            He’s an idiot, just ignore him. He is here to waste our time, nothing more.

          • https://twitter.com/#!/zerses Moirrainefortruth

            Too bad we can’t get this or other websites to give us a block feature.

          • https://twitter.com/#!/zerses Moirrainefortruth

            You are a person who can’t think for himself/herself. Studies are all you believe about chemicals?
            .
            When you get cancer, MS, lupus, or one of the diseases that many of us are fighting from chemical damage maybe you will have your eyes opened somewhat.
            .
            I am sorry for you AND for those who count on you to be healthy and informed.

    • Guest

      Why on earth would any sane person ban something when they have no evidence that there’s anything wrong with it?

      • Jack Weber

        Hmmmm, let’s think real hard on this question. Hmmmmm.
        Ok, I thought of something!

        Imagine you invent a machine that can make it rain anywhere you want. But you don’t realize that the machine also makes everyone within a fifty mile radius sterile. But, no tests have yet been done to discover this hidden sterility fact. Can you now tell me why the machine should be banned when there is yet no evidence that anything is wrong with it?

      • https://twitter.com/#!/zerses Moirrainefortruth

        You really can’t do chemistry at all can you? So go soak your foods in Roundup Ready and then eat it, SAME thing!

        • Jon

          Of course I soak my foods in Roundup Ready (soymilk). Crops are called Roundup Ready, since that’s the Trademarked name of the crop (the gene inserted makes EPSPS, which is a protein needed to make tyrosine and other amino acids).

          RoundUp, however, is the glyphosate chemical and surfactant combo that Monsanto makes, and I would not soak my food in RoundUp. That would be silly.

    • https://twitter.com/#!/zerses Moirrainefortruth

      Thank you. We in Washington state were outspent, that’s all, the dumb, REALLY dumb voters who voted against this were duped by slick lies and fear about costs rising. I know they would go DOWN. Sad.

    • https://twitter.com/#!/zerses Moirrainefortruth

      Mahalo!

  • Wake up

    I’m really disappointed in this article. I wanted to throw up after I read it. It is the same bs that the agro companies have been using for years, distract, discredit, and use the legal system against the people its supposed to be protecting.

    The state constitution also says that people have the right to clean water, and that any person has the right to enforce this. GMO’s use massive amounts of chemicals that have been proven to take away our right to have clean water, because those chemicals pollute the water, and once they are sprayed, there is no way to keep them out of the water as the rain washes them into the ground and the chemicals percolate their way into the groundwater and then into the ocean water. The proof is all around us already. Trying drinking the river water in Hilo, its filled with chemicals from the farmlands upstream.

    Hawai’i will once again be a garden paradise with clean land air and water!
    Its only a matter of time before your money is worthless. Then the ability to grow food in your yard will be all that will matter to everyone one of us.

    • Guest

      That’s BS! Your non GMO crops require more chemicals because they don’t have any immunity to diseases and bugs. No one wants dirty water or dirty air, you’re not special in that regard. The truth is, you’re making an emotional appeal to ban gmo’s because you don’t have any tangible proof that there is anything wrong with them.

      • https://twitter.com/#!/zerses Moirrainefortruth

        Wow are you wrong. Go look up what Roundup Ready can do to living tissue – that an the OTHER cancer causing chemicals they are using on/in your foods can’t be washed out either and it’s ALL ***accumulative***.
        .
        Guest, you apparently work for the GMO side – scary that you can’t even make a name to track your blatantly wrong comments.

        • Guest

          How lazy are you, you can’t even be bothered to source your own rebuttal. FAIL

          • https://twitter.com/#!/zerses Moirrainefortruth

            You’re incredibly moronic – no one has tested that a chemical that they pour into the plant and soil is IN the fibers of the plants growing in the SLUDGE – yes, I FORGOT to add the SLUDGE that contains heavy metals AND OTHER chemicals that is “bought” by farmers for almost nothing and they use THAT as fertilizer. SO, my SAYING that NO ONE HAS TESTED it needs a SOURCE??????
            .
            NO ONE has done the testing – but ANYONE knows if you SOAK in a BATHTUB of CLOROX daily, you WILL get sick from CHOLRINE poisoning. Roundup Ready is FAR worse than simple chlorine and you ARE eating FIBERS that can’t be WASHED in CANS that are lined with petroleum.
            .
            BE clueless and unable to use logic on ANY level, you won’t be healthy much longer.

  • Guest

    Inotherwords, no you haven’t any evidence, zip, zero, nada.
    Hey everyone, let’s ban things we don’t understand. I don’t know how a computer writes data on a memory card, so let’s ban it, it must be magic.

    • https://twitter.com/#!/zerses Moirrainefortruth

      Apparently you don’t get that the chemical LEFT in those plant and animal fibers are transferred to YOUR liver and brain – geeze, flat earth much?

  • https://twitter.com/#!/zerses Moirrainefortruth

    This person seems not to want a ban on GMOs which are full of Roundup Ready poisons that accumulate and destroy living tissue.
    .
    I’d want the ban and then to expand it if I were the Mayor.

  • Cindy Trautmeyer

    “Shall conserve and protect agricultural lands, promote diversified agriculture, increase agricultural self-sufficiency…”,

    This is to be interpreted as making sure GMOs don’t get a foothold on this island. There is no market for properly labeled GMO products. Plus a loss for conventional and organic farmers when their crops image is attached physically or psychologically to GMO agriculture.

    • Guest

      Sure, everyone is just chomping at the bit to pay double for their “organic” non-GMO food. GMO food is about 90% of the market, so I don’t know where you get the idea there’s no market for it. You don’t need a label because it’s all GMO unless otherwise stated

      • Cindy Trautmeyer

        No market for PROPERLY LABELED GMO foods, I said. And that labeling law will surely come. FArmers who bet on GMO crops will be left belly up, as the food processors have to switch and follow consumer demands. Which are GMO free products.

        Resentment towards GMO food is at an all time high, and furthered even more with the insane dollar amounts the GMA spends to block voter initiatives.

        Hawaii county positions itself correctly by blocking the economically dead end street of GMO crops.

        • First Officer

          If it’s so economically dead end, why does it bring 400 million dollars worth of business to Hawaii in seed production alone, not to mention saving the papaya.

          • Cindy Trautmeyer

            Because the final product is not PROPERLY LABELED. See what happened with the Puna GMO papayas, once now that the word is out of what they really are: You can’t give them away! Calavo Produce which buys nearly all of them only advertises the Solo ( non GMO ) variety. The GMO business build on lies, deception and political manipulation: The science is not the issue–the crooks who are running it are.

          • Cindy Trautmeyer

            The free sampling or heavy tax dollar financed promotion has not worked as Japanese grocery stores will not stock HAwaii GMO papayas. There’s no Japanese demand as customers can identify their legally required GMO labels.

            Proofs my point as properly labeled GMO products fail to work out in the free market.

  • First Officer

    Non-gmo papaya requires insecticides to control the Ringspot virus spreading aphids. The GM papaya trees don’t need such protection.

    • Jack Weber

      Come enjoy an organic, aphidless papaya at my place one day, First Officer.

      • First Officer

        Aphidless and Ringspot-less, courtesy of the herd immunity afforded by your GM papaya neighbors.

        • Jack Weber

          Have you been to my farm, First Officer? Do you know who may neighbors are? Have you seen my papayas?

          I have debated you elsewhere a few months back and your logic is still as poor and you are still as full of BS as you were then.

          You are simply wrong. Now, stop making stuff up and get a real job. :)

      • https://twitter.com/#!/zerses Moirrainefortruth

        I love it. They cite places OBVIOUSLY not OPTIMAL for growing papaya and GMO is the answer. How BACKWARDS!

  • https://twitter.com/#!/zerses Moirrainefortruth

    As the acts of men are recorded, this is a blessing in every way to anyone who voted and supported this ban.
    .
    God grant that we can ban all chemicals, they cost us our very lives and they give nothing.

    • First Officer

      Chemicals? Like things made from atoms?