Letters 3-28-2013


Labels

Considering meanings

With regard to Annette LaBonte’s letter about haole and kanaka and their original meanings, I would like to offer this:

In Mary Kawena Pukui’s book of Hawaiian proverbs, “Olelo Noeau,” she says; “He alii no mai ka paa a ke alii; he kanaka no mai ka paa a ke kanaka.” Which means: “A chief from the foundation of chiefs; a commoner from the foundation of commoners.”

This was used to warn young people of chiefly heritage to be careful about marrying beneath their status.

Based on this, the original meaning of kanaka does not sound very complimentary to me, and can only suppose that it might be somewhat equated with the term“red- neck” used on the mainland.

Carl Merner

Holualoa

GMO foods

Correct past mistakes

Our legislators are voting to lock us into a system of agriculture where the stakes will only get higher and more dangerous to the environment and humans.

As more insects become immune to the pesticides built into genetically engineered seeds, and superweeds develop that need stronger poisons and die-off of farm animals fed genetically modified organism corn or soy increases, the spiral will collapse. It’s a new technology, but history is repeating itself.

Those of us old enough remember when the major U.S. waterways were polluted from farm chemicals, songbirds were disappearing and birds of prey could not reproduce as a result of poisons that worked up the food chain. Organic farming took off as a backlash to toxic, industrial agriculture.

The effect of GMO technology is similar. Molokai and Kauai residents are suffering airborne pesticides carried on the trade winds and even ill effects during intensive spraying of nearby fields. Runoff from these fields is harming the ocean environment.

Other effects are not as obvious. Environmental health physicians are taking their ailing patients off GMO food, pediatricians restrict GMO for autistic children, allergy specialists are doing the same and reintroducing non-GMO food, all with good results.

This is a U.S. consumer uprising where 30 states now have some form of GMO labeling moving forward. Retail chains want federal GMO labeling to avoid the chaos of 50 labeling bills. Sixty-two nations label GMO food to protect their citizens: Cameroon, El Salvador, Latvia, Russia, Turkey, Vietnam and most developed nations, except the U.S. and Canada.

Legislators please note: Individuals and families need more protection than corporations or businesses.

Whenever change has occurred in the business environment, it has always been a time of great opportunity to do new things and to do things differently to correct past mistakes.

Merle Inouye

Hilo