The decision to eat or not eat GMOs is only a small reason behind why I vehemently support the labeling of genetically modified foods and hold deep contempt for the biotech industry as a whole.
Monsanto and the rest of the land rapers have desecrated the islands of Oahu and Molokai so far. I recently spoke with friends on the island of Kauai who have expressed grave concern.
People there are getting sick and many believe that their sickness is being caused by impacts of growing GMOs.
Yet, when asking Monsanto and the like to disclose what chemicals and in what quantities they are spraying, their answers are vague, if at all.
That alone, aside from their inherent evilness and desire to control all plantable food seeds, is enough to keep me from buying their products or supporting their industry, and to die trying to insure mandatory labeling of their heavily poisoned, if you will pardon the expression, food.
Sixty-three countries around the world, including all of Europe, Russia, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand, require mandatory labeling of GMO products and some countries have banned these products completely.
Many questions exist and many doubts persist. There are valid health concerns ranging from allergen sensitivities to hormonal disruption to cancer, related to the GMOs and to the pesticide spraying that accompanies them.
There are concerns about the globalization and corporate ownership of the world’s food supply.
There are ethical and moral questions pertaining to the concept of corporations owning patents on living organisms, both plant and animal, and to the increased diminishment of bio-diversity. All valid reasons consumers may not want to buy these products and thus the essential need to require labeling.
For me – it’s personal!
God created seeds to be used to grow food. Rich or poor, everyone has the right to save seeds for the next planting cycle and not be coerced into buying seeds for every crop. The rich, under this scenario survive. The poor die.
On Kauai, the agrochemical operations dominate the landscape of Kauai’s pristine west side and are now moving into the southern and eastern land areas as well.
The fields of mostly GM corn, not intended for human consumption, grow on approximately 12,000 acres of prime farmland stretching from the base of the mountains down to within just a few feet of the pristine ocean waters.
These crops are being sprayed with toxic pesticides up to six days a week.
Over 200 residents of an incredibly beautiful valley have filed a lawsuit claiming negative impacts from pesticide dust blowing into their homes and onto their bodies. Biologists estimate that over 50,000 sea urchins died last year in near shore waters on that side of the island.
People in all parts of Kauai are growing increasingly concerned about the impacts that result from these companies spraying their fields with toxic and experimental chemicals that then flow into streams and near shore waters and cling to the dust which blows daily into neighborhoods and schools.
Yet, these agrochemical companies, who are required by law to keep records of their pesticide use, tell me to go somewhere else for the data.
About half the land used for GMO production on Kauai is public land upon which zero property taxes are paid. Yet, they refuse to disclose to the public what they are growing or what they are spraying on these public lands.
Then these large transnational corporations transfer their end products to related subsidiaries, benefit from Enterprise Zone and other General Excise Tax exemptions and consequently pay zero General Excise Tax on the products they produce.
State law and terms of the public lands lease/license require compliance with Hawaii environmental laws, yet no documentation demonstrating compliance exists, no exemption declaration, no environmental assessment and no environmental impact statement.
Growing GM organisms, using experimental pesticides and spraying a wide array of restricted and non-restricted pesticides on a mass scale have impacts on our islands, our health, and our environment.
There are direct impacts, secondary impacts and cumulative impacts but we don’t know what those impacts are because they have never been properly evaluated, and the companies in question will not even give us the information needed to make a proper evaluation.
To make matters far worse, our Governor, our Senator in charge of the Hawaii Senate Ag Committee, our Representative that Chairs the House Ag Committee, many of the Committee’s members, and the Honolulu City Council all liberally accept financial handouts from Monsanto, et al.
That old saying rings home quite truly in Hawaii – “In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash”!
Labeling, mandatory disclosure and a permitting process that requires a comprehensive review of the significant environmental and health impacts to our islands and our communities caused by this industry is an absolute must – because as you can see, it’s about time we should bring this environmental and health pollution and endless corruption to an end.
By Hesh Goldstein, Guest author