Confessions of an Anti-GMO Politician

This is something that several of our Hawaii legislators will never confess to but willingly do it.  These politicians are quick to criticize GMOs and state that we must use the precautionary principle to protect the public from dangers.  They will give their “expertise” on GMOs even though they have no clue as to the changes of technology and the testing of it.  They will tell the public over and over that you have to buy GMO free if you want better health.  They will fight the seed companies and state that the counties need to have home rule for governing over the creators of these GMOs that eventually become food products.

They even play traditional Hawaiian games with Walter Ritte and photograph themselves doing so with smartphones and use the high tech social media to spread it.  They will then claim that it’s the public’s right to know what they are eating when really, it only helps a certain industry and increases profits in their side businesses.

The bottom line is that these politicians want the public to know is that they are in danger of these GMOs that we are consuming.  The public must believe them and fight the evil cause.

All the meanwhile, these same politicians go out to other’s fundraisers and happily consume these GMOs without and question of what they are eating and drinking.  The liquor they drank and the dim sum they ate were far from being organic, but they still ate.  They are alive without a single issue after years of fundraisers and free food and drink even though they will tell constituents otherwise.

Those two anti-GMO politicians tonight were Senator Russell Ruderman and Representative Kaniela Ing at the Freshman Fundraiser at the GMO serving restaurant, The Mandalay.  These two were consuming foods derived from the products of biotechnology that they are fiercely criticizing yet willingly consume without a label.

I sure hope that deep inside, Senator Ruderman and Representative Ing thank those conventional and biotech farmers who grew the food they consumed tonight!  It really looked like you enjoyed consuming it without any worry or care.

There Is Real Harm in Misinformation

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It is good that there is an effort to teach people how to grow food in their own gardens and possibly start up their own farms.  What is quite disturbing to me to hear that the Hawaii Organic Farming Association in alignment with Representative Jessica Wooley are touting that only organic is the way to go to doing this.  There is a major problem with this and papayas.

As much as people would like to think that there is no papaya ringspot virus around and that organic methods will prevent this, they are far from the truth.  No amount of dirt that Senator Russell Rudeman proposed as  a solution to this problem is going to solve it.  Nor is Jeffrey Smith coming up with any solutions either to deal with this.

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It’s even sadder when a senator continues to perpetuate myths that harm his very own constituents on his own island.  He doesn’t even support his own papaya farmers in Puna!

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What he fails to realize is that every single thing we eat is a result of some form of modification.  We humans have been tampering with nature since the beginning of civilization.  Genetic modification is just another form of plant breeding.  So technically, yes, Senator Ruderman, we are all eating a form of genetically modified food for thousands of years, regardless of how it was grown.

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While Ruderman and Wooley, both of whom are not farmers, keeping harping their organic wheels of misinformation, there are those who believe this campaign.  Those are the people who have the learn things the hard way.  You can ask any long time farmer, not yardener, if one can grown GMO free papayas here on Oahu.  Most will tell you that it is hard because the virus is still around.  Piling soil on the roots isn’t going to prevent the papaya from getting a disease spread by aphids.  Learning the hard way doesn’t hurt the yardeners much but it could do harm to those investing in growing the fruit for an income.

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Example of a non-GMO papaya tree infected by the virus next to a transgenic variety that remains unaffected. Trees were grown on the Windward side of Oahu.

Why would you knowingly grow a crop that is known to be at high risk for disease?  No farmer would ever risk their livelihoods for that, which is why they are fortunate to have the choice to grow such crops, and provide fruits to their customers year after year.  Misinformation against this choice hurts every farmer and every farmer to be.  Of course, it isn’t Jessica Wooley’s or Russell Ruderman’s investments that are being harmed, so they really don’t care and it’s glaringly obvious.