Thursday, October 10, 2013

Unease in Hawaii's Cornfields

1. Pollack, Andrew. (7 Oct 2013) Unease in Hawaii's Cornfields. The New York Times. B1.

2. Category of Issue: Environment and Food

3. Level of Issue: State

4. What it's about: Hawaii has become an area that grows corn seeds which are shipped to the U.S. to grow corn. This is affecting the natives of Hawaii in a negative way.

5. Who this affects: The people of Hawaii that live near the seed fields.

6. My thoughts: I feel bad for the family that made their dream home in Hawaii only to have it overtaken by dust storms. That's a problem west Texas deals with, not Hawaii. I have a similar dream of moving to Hawaii to live out the rest of my life on top of a green hill with the ocean in my view.  According to a study that was done by the companies fighting to keep the seed lots there, seeds are Hawaii's leading agricultural commodity, but the numbers could be favored in one direction since it's in their best interest to say so. The fact that the hearings on the bills last into the night shows how passionate the community is to have their voice heard and fight the seed companies.I understand that there's a big difference in 13 years versus 7, which is the amount of time that it takes for the seeds to harvest somewhere else versus Hawaii. When time is money, I get why it makes sense for companies like Monsanto to harvest their seeds there to save time. But at what cost? Someday were going to monoculture all our crops to the point of extinction, which is what has almost happened to bananas. Monsanto wants full control over gmos and he's getting it. Part of the Farm Bill that was passed in 2013, allows companies to not distinguish whether something is gmo or not. Seventy one Senators voted against requiring gmo labeling and that's partly because of Monsanto's strong government ties. I love that the committee of the county council voted against allowing gmos to be grown on the main land. That's a win for them! What really blows my mind is that one school that had to be shut down because of complaints of odors and some kids ended up in the hospital. It's reported there are an unusual high amount of asthma, cancer, and birth defects in that area. I don't know what more proof these people need to realize the dangers at stake here. I think no spray zones around schools is a good start but not enough.

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