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Mighty Monsanto and Biotechs Backdown from GMO Debate

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While Americans on the mainland remain blissfully ignorant of the issues surrounding genetically engineered foods, the people in Hawaii have it literally, shoved in their faces. Hawaii is Ground Zero for the biotechs, who can run four crop rotations per year, in the idal climate for growing. Hawaii has more experimental crops per acre, than any place on the planet. Many of Hawaii's citizens have been converted to gmo free activists, by the devastating aftermath, from the invasion of biotech, into their land and their lives.

Over the past decade they have endured the widespread contamination of their papaya and suffered the ruinous economic effects of the export markets destroyed. They have fought tooth and nail, against the land grant university takeover, turning a long history of agricultural outreach and cooperative farming, into a taxpayer-funded scheme to modify and patent taro, an affront to the highest point of reverence in Hawaiian culture of honoring nature. Last week they endured the evacuation of an elementary school as deadly herbicides sprayed by Sygenta, sickened children in a nearby school.

No one on the mainland hears the stories but the local Kauai Garden Island News carries the reports. Last week, they followed up on the Sygenta event, which doused what the biotechs call non target organisms with a deadly herbicide. In this case the unintended recepients of the killing mist,was the Waimea Canyon School. Sygenta did not come to warn the school, they dragged there feet to measure and record weeks after teachers and parents had the school evacuated and cleaned. It is still not clear to me how Sygenta soaking school children with herbicide, is very different from Saddam threatening chemical WMD's, but that's another article.

What we have here is the point where the schoolyard bully, runs away from the fight. The bully runs when the opponent is a fair match and that is what happened to the biotechs in Hawaii on Sunday. Since most of Hawaii is literally, gagging on the biotechs free reign, from breakfast papayas, picked in their own yards, filled with patent protected, fee based, contaminated gmo seed, to their children at the ER from an experimental, herbicide cocktail, the people of Hawaii are being slammed. They have questions and deserve answers.

Regardless of how much corporate control, remains over the American mainstream media, and the embarrassingly blatant boycott of debate, about genetically engineered foods, the word about gmos is out in Hawaii. Now, the truth is finally, on the table. The biotechs have no defense, no rebuttal, no way to have a debate. The time and place for this show down, of put up or shut up was Sunday, January 14, 2006 on Hawaii's KQNG radio the four big biotechs with a presence on the islands were invited to a debate.

Dr. Lorrin Pang, a Maui-based scientist, medical doctor and World Health Organization consultant, was the voice of the Hawaiian people posing questions about risks to human health and the environment. What happened? The biotechs balked, cluck, cluck, cluck; they chickened out, because there is no way to spin the propaganda that is the cornerstone of the entire history of this fleecing of the taxpayer funded privatization plan.

The biotech tactic of hiding behind the "sound science", political sound-bite wouldn't fare too well in the face of a scientist, with a mind to ask questions, for which they have no good answers. So it was that the show down was a cut and run by biotech and an interview became an interview with Dr. Lorrin Pang. Selected quotes appear in the Island Garden News article. Their summary of additional gmo radio topics are noted here and we are working to see if the shows can be made more widely available.

From the Island Garden News, "Pang will be interviewed by Diana LaBedz of the Kaua'i Surfrider Foundation, following a short talk starting at 11:05 a.m. on GMO chemical runoff by her husband, Dr. Gordon LaBedz.

Disappointed that the seed companies declined to participate, Diana LaBedz hopes that the one-hour show on AM 570 will still be a good opportunity for the public to have some questions answered and issues clarified.

Malia Nob, scheduled to wrap up the hour talking about the cultural impact of GMOs and the events surrounding the Waimea Canyon Elementary School stinkweed episode in November, did not immediately return phone calls yesterday.

Sarah Styan, president of the Hawai'i Crop Improvement Association, a collective of seed companies Dow, Monsanto, Pioneer and Syngenta, was also not immediately available yesterday."

In the interest of full disclosure, and a point of pride, note that Dr. Lorrin Pang is a featured expert in our documentary film, Roundup Ready Nation. Dr. Lorrin Pang's profile and additional CV details are at the film site.

 

http://pameladrew.newsvine.com/

Pamela Drew tracks the legislation, politics, science and spin surrounding the genetically altered foods. She is a freelance researcher, writer and documentary film producer living in New York City, where she works with advocacy groups and small (more...)
 
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