Letters 9-28-13


GMO ‘expert’ is not who he seems

Jeffrey Smith, whom your Sept. 24 article “Experts tackle GMO” called “the most authoritative GMO critic” to speak at the Sept. 23 Hawaii County Council meeting, is fairly universally discredited by scientists.

The independent, nonprofit organization Academics Review says: “The ‘scientific studies’ that Smith says support his theories are thoroughly contradicted by a vast body of data and scientific experience; they are wholly irresponsible …. Smith has shown an amazing capacity to ignore the scientific literature on almost every topic he discusses.”

Forbes, the New Yorker and others quote experts who say the same. Discover magazine writes: “When the definitive history of the GMO debate is written, Jeffrey Smith is going to figure prominently in the section on pseudoscience.”

It is distressing to realize that we have a County Council member with such an agenda to ban biotech here on the Big Island as to invite this particular person as “expert,” thus ignoring science and completely disrespecting the intelligence of our people.

This is high-stakes stuff and we need to get serious.

If we ban GMOs on the Big Island, farmers on the other islands will have tools available to them that we don’t. Food prices on this island will go up, and eventually our farmers will be forced out of business altogether.

It would also mean an enormous step away from food security for this island. It would take us in the exact opposite direction of what we are trying to accomplish.

“So what if food costs rise for the rubbah slippah folks?” — Is that the message from the County Council?

We’ve got to do better than this.

Richard Ha

farmer, Pepeekeo

Sunny Honokaa days great for solar power

In this present-day reality, solar power has caught on in a big-time manner. Being a newcomer to Honokaa, it seems to me that the climate has changed and temperatures are hot at the present time with a lot of sun on any given day. Why not have solar farms around Honokaa to supply energy needs since it is a clean and unlimited source of energy.

Tied into solar power, education in the nuts and bolts of solar technology in Honokaa would also be great. People would be able to educate themselves in this dominant industry and get well-paying jobs. In the minds of many, it would be a win-win scenario for Honokaa providing great jobs and a clean source of energy.

For the rest of the Big Island, why not have some aloha for solar power? We could supply an adequate energy supply to get the air conditioners running in urban Honolulu.

Dean Nagasako

Honokaa