Saturday | November 18, 2017
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Challenging experts on GMO

I must respond to the recent letters from the various scientists and other “specialists” and agriculture experts who have been writing to question the motives and credibility of our Hawaii County Council members regarding their courageous and responsible sponsoring of Bill 113 that seeks a moratorium of all genetically modified organisms experiments and usage on the Big Island making it the only Hawaiian Island that can now be thus protected.

I would, for one, like to challenge these “experts” and here’s why. I have been following this issue for a long time now, making changes in my lifestyle to completely avoid GMOs with positive effects on my health. During this time, I have observed there are two absolute sides in this debate. The pro-Bill 113 advocates who are all about public and personal health, crop and seed sovereignty and the right to choose what we feed ourselves. The anti-bill advocates are all about preserving some kind of financial security, whether it be in supposed heightened crop yields, University grants, outright enticements of power positions in pro-GMO programs primarily within the Monsanto regime and so on.

I ask you, why would anyone believe anything that Monsanto says regarding its studies on the safety of GMOs given the history of this company’s lies and deceit for more than 40 years in outright deception regarding safety of all their products? Remember these? Dioxin, PCB, Pyralene, Agent Orange, Glyphosphate and rRGH growth hormone to name a few? All of these have been proven to be among the most toxic and dangerous substances ever created for the alleged enhancement of our human needs; all proclaimed safe by Monsanto’s own scientists using bad science techniques structured to produce the outcome that they desired to spin the lies. One by one, however, through the years, these deceptions have become public knowledge, discredited and yet they now expect us to believe that their latest creations, GMOs, are safe.

Do you know that in more than 60 countries around the world, including Australia, Japan and all countries in the European Union, there are significant restrictions and outright bans on the production and sale of GMOs? But in our own country, however, the source Monsanto has been able to infiltrate our government agencies to manipulate laws and regulations on their behalf for 30 years now. For example, in spite of Food and Drug Administration scientists warning of probable allergies, toxins, new diseases and nutritional problems caused by GMOs and advising long-term studies, the FDA official in charge of policy, Michael Taylor, Monsanto’s former attorney, later their vice president, and now the US food safety czar, simply discredited and ignored them. This is the proverbial fox guarding the hen house.

Unbelievably and unfortunately, however, this is just the tip of the iceberg in the power play that Monsanto is waging. Almost a distraction, really, to the really dangerous goal of Monsanto to own all major seed stock via their transgenic engineering of seeds. Monsanto is systematically eliminating original, natural seed stock by creating GMO versions of them. More than 50 varieties at this time exist; seeds that are an engineered, owned product, that Monsanto then patents. When the GMO varieties are cross-pollinated with organic or natural varieties (bees don’t know the rules) two things happen. Eventually there will be no natural versions left — only the seed stock that Monsanto owns and farmers who fall prey to this cross-pollination will be subject to lawsuits if they haven’t purchased their crop seed from Monsanto. And that is what is happening right now.

This outrageous and unethical maneuvering can only be stopped if GMOs are. They are Monsanto’s “gateway” entry into virtually controlling our food supply. Please let Hawaii be one of the first to say absolutely “no.” The final hearing for the passage of this bill will be heard by the council in Kona on Tuesday and I urge you to attend and if not to testify, then to lend support.

Linda Raquinio is a resident of Ka‘u.

Viewpoint articles are the opinion of the writer and not necessarily the opinion of West Hawaii Today.