Letters 11-11-13


Let’s look at the facts in GMO debate

People need to check their “facts” before they develop myths. The case in Carl Merner’s letter about “blowing” GMO soybeans onto the Indiana farmer’s property and getting sued by Monsanto in the Supreme Court is completely untrue. Having been a soybean producer many years, soybeans just do not blow on your property. If Merner would have checked the case on the computer, he would have found the farmer bought the soybeans from a local elevator and planted them. He then probably was bragging about the fact he did not have to pay the high premium for the seed, because it came from a local elevator. He was infringing on the patent Monsanto has on Roundup resistant soybeans and got caught and decided to make it a Supreme Court case and lost big time.

Genetically modified plants have been around for years and years with no ill effects. Many studies have been done here and in Europe. There is no scientific evidence the plants harm people or the environment. If anything, the GMO plants are healthier and more productive. You use less chemicals to fight the weeds and insects, thus protecting the environment and eliminating costs.

Dennis James

Kailua-Kona

Plant breeding results in GMOs

I am visiting Hawaii and have been reading the letters to the editor regarding genetically modified organisms with interest. I am a retired plant pathologist with more than 30 years of experience in crop science.

Plant pathologists, entomologists and geneticists have been improving plant crops for centuries using plant breeding methods that select plants which show resistance to the pests that once destroyed those crops.

Genes that seem to instill fear among some letter writers have existed in plants from time immemorial but often in plants that no one wants to eat. Resistant genes for a variety of things — drought, pests, viruses, fungi — can be transferred to desirable crops to improve their resistance to pests, drought and disease.

Virtually all of our crops have been improved by selective breeding methods which have long proven to be successful. These crops are organic as all life.

Bill Thyr, Ph.D.

Reno, Nev.