Letters 8-7-13


Bike MS Hawaii says mahalo

Bike MS Hawaii on the Big Island was completed Aug. 3 and 4 with more than 100 riders signed up to ride 115 miles over two days. The course was the Ironman bike course, and as we all know it is a challenge for anyone who does it — even in two days.

As a person who has multiple sclerosis, I would personally like to thank all who rode the course and raised more than $56,000 for research for this disease.

The many volunteers who worked the bike course for the two days also deserve a big mahalo.

Additionally, I would to thank island drivers who helped make this a safe ride for all participants.

Susan T. Wehren

Kailua-Kona

GMO solution lives right here at home

GMO proponents are missing a very important and precious public resource held at Hawaii Foundation Seeds — corn and other seeds that are immune to tropical diseases and thrive in local soils. For 50 years, Dr. James Brewbaker at University of Hawaii at Manoa has hybridized these plants for all of us. If these seeds are not grown out and reproduced, spread to all growers here who want superb field or sweet corn, they will be lost.

Island Dairy in Ookala, before it became Big Island Dairy in 2011, had been growing Dr. Brewbaker’s field corn for silage for the cows, and were happy with the crops produced. The new owners from Idaho planted 700 acres of 100 percent GMO corn extending to Pepeekeo, as most of the mainland farmers have done, and will be expanding that for the nearly 3000 cows they are planning to have within five years with the help of Hawaii’s Department of Agriculture.

Hawaii cattlemen want to plant GMO corn to finish their grass-fed cattle shipped to other places, but what about the consumers who believe they are buying purely grass-fed beef? There are plans to build a feed mill in Hilo to supply GMO corn for animal feed island wide. What if Dr. Brewbaker’s excellent corn is grown instead, to provide feed for all who raise chickens, pigs and other animals for meat, eggs and milk? There are more people desiring GMO-free grain for animals in this state than growers in local industries. Research has shown that Roundup Ready GMO corn is substantially less nutritious because the herbicide prevents the plant from absorbing essential minerals. Without the threat of GMOs creating superweeds insect resistance, or contaminating other growers, we would have a win-win situation with lots of aloha all around. The solution lies right here at home.

Merle Hayward

Hilo