Letters to the Editor

Controlling food

I was amazed by Bob Jones’ statement, “I stand with … Monsanto Hawaii” in his column “Awaiting Proof GMOs Are Unsafe.”

Unaware he was angering many people in Hawaii, Mr. Jones boldly plowed ahead, stating that there is “no intellectual rationale” for opposing GMOs, using author Jeffrey Smith as a straw man.

Although his point is that the jury is still out on all the potential risks GMOs pose to our health, Mr. Jones completely ignores the ethical dangers of supporting corporations like Monsanto that, along with several pharmaceutical companies, control such high percentages of America’s food production.

It is unsafe for us to allow unsustainable practices, like those that suck nutrients from rich Waialua lands for generations for the sake of a single generation of seed corn intended for Mainland proliferation.

And it is unsafe for our population to grow complacent with monopolistic tendencies of companies like Monsanto that systematically decrease our option to buy non-GMO foods by seizing farms that have been infected, by natural processes of pollination, with patent-protected genetic strains developed by Monsanto labs.

Condemning these practices isn’t a witch hunt, it’s common sense and rational foresight.

Travis Hancock
Sunset Beach

Wrong on GMOs

It seems that there is a lot of ignorance regarding GMOs these days, about what they are and the potential dangers. I am not surprised about Bob Jones, as when I read his weekly writings, the old Firesign Theater record Everything You Know Is Wrong often comes to mind. But letter writer Lewis Hitchcock, who has studied agriculture, should know the difference between the long-standing practice of hybridizing and genetic modification of an organism, which can modify the plant to produce its own insecticides or to be resistant to herbicides and much more.

And in case anyone missed it, the most extensive studies to date on GMOs have been done in Europe clearly show a link of GMO corn causing cancer, which is why many of us who care about our health and well-being at the very least want labeling of GMO foods so we can make a choice about what we eat.

It is not at all surprising the our politicians, many of whom have received contributions from Monsanto, the biggest GMO-, herbicide- and pesticide-producing corporation, have voted down the GMO labeling law. As an organic farmer, GMOs here on the North Shore are a threat to my farm by way of cross-pollination, which would contaminate my crops.

But big Monsanto money talks, and our politicians who receive their money cannot be trusted to look after our welfare.

Steve Wilson
North Shore