BY NOMI CARMONA – These Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) producing companies are not farmers. They are chemical companies which brought us DDT, Agent Orange, Atrazine, PCB’s and rbGH; All condemned, disease causing agents once proclaimed to be safe by their makers. What many have not yet realized is that the use of pesticides is inherent in the use of GMO’s. Interlocked by genetic modification, GMO companies sell seeds designed to resist the brand name pesticides they also manufacture.
The rich soil and generous climate of Hawaii means they can turn 3-4 crops per year versus 1-2 elsewhere, most of which is shipped off island and the majority of field trials are conducted here. Hawaii ships in more than 85% of our food, can we afford to sacrifice agricultural land to experimental crops and seed we cannot eat while US approved versions of GMO’s are banned in thirty countries?
The Food Czar of the FDA is a former GMO giant Monsanto Vice President with biotech colleagues throughout the EPA and USDA.
Kauai residents are suing Pioneer for chemical damages due to GMO pesticide abuse. A Waimea school closed for a four day cleaning after reports of being poisoned by Syngenta GMO related pesticides. A visible puff of chemicals entered classroom windows, (which Syngenta denies) with several keiki fainting upon exposure, many with headaches.
France recently banned a Syngenta pesticide after two studies linked neonicotinoids to bee Colony Collapse Disorder. Resolution 12-138 by Waianae Coast District I Councilman Tom Berg urges UH to research the connection between GMO related neonicotinoid pesticides and CCD and is still not assigned to a committee. Hawaii is the world’s leading exporter of Queen bees, what will happen if we have none?
The Hawaii State Association of Counties (HSAC) package this year includes GMO labeling thanks to the unanimous support of all other neighbor island County Councils. It is likely to be heard in either Safety Economic Development & Government Affairs (SEDGA) or Executive Matters & Legal Affairs (EMLA) on November 27 of course with Chair Ernie Martin’s goodwill.
Berg, who refuses campaign funding from lobbyists and big business, also introduced Resolution 12-130 prohibiting the open air growth of GMO’s on Oahu, allowing them if safely contained in a secure industrial warehouse. Still unassigned, how long will we wait before we comprehend this is a local issue and we are losing time and resources?
In my research as of August 2012, limiting parameters to donations made directly by GMO chemical companies and the most well known, registered GMO lobbyists a review of campaign funding reveals $22,500 of recorded GMO money to City Councilmembers and the Mayor.
At least $135,782 of GMO money has been found in the campaigns our Senate.
An astonishing $208,932 has been poured into the campaign funds of the House of Representatives (Kymberly Pine: $3750. Knowing what you’re voting for: Priceless.) Governor Abercrombie has accepted $24,400, a number that nearly doubles to $45,700 if you include the contributions of family members of the principal GMO lobbyists.
Hawaii permitting the majority of open air GMO experimentation and seed manufacturing is impacting the genetic future of the world and silence is acceptance. While 92% of Americans want GMO’s labeled, 61 countries including Russia and China require the labeling of GMO’s. Millions around the world are resisting the control of our global food supply by chemical corporations who refuse to acknowledge massive amounts of legitimate, peer-reviewed research indicating devastating health and environmental effects. Yet for a minimum, legally, publicly documented, grand total of $391,614, paradise has been had.
Nomi Carmona is the Founder of Babes Against Biotech