Letters for Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Just trust us? Sorry, can’t do itPesticides might be in backyard • Biotech forum not a lectureWe don’t need 2491

Just trust us?  Sorry, can’t do it

Statements on today’s debate about GMO experimentation were delivered by seed scientists and employees telling us to just trust them. We are not smart enough to understand what they are doing and we really don’t have to know what or when or how they are doing it.

That’s your argument against this bill? Just trust us?

We know better.

This bill is not anti-agriculture. It’s about making informed decisions. To do that, the community needs correct, up-to-date information.

Pony up and keep the community informed.

Wayne Zebzda


Pesticides might be in backyard

I hear the concern of those who are for more regulating/reporting of pesticide use. However, they should not be so “tunnel-visioned” as to look only at the big agri-business operations. 

They should be concerned with their neighborhood backyard users, who may inadvertently be using pesticides in unsafe manners. 

The “anti-GMO” crowd who mainly want more transparency on pesticide use are so focused on these big companies that I feel at times that their real “enemies” are right under their noses … next door to them. 

Have they gone around and surveyed where they live to determine how much home-pesticides are being used? 

They may be surprised to find that more exposure may be coming from small users not the big agri-business they seem to be disgusted with. Just a thought to consider all source points, not just the most visible.

Masa Shirai


Biotech forum not a lecture

I would like to thank Kirby Kester, president-elect of the Hawaii Crop Improvement Association for organizing Monday night’s farmer dialogue meeting in Waimea and Chris D’Angelo for the accurate, in-depth report (TGI, July 31).  

I hope those who were not able to attend will read the article as an understanding of the science of genetic engineering, and the current use and regulation of pesticides and herbicides is essential when considering the merits, or lack thereof, of Bill 2491.

I was sorry to read Rich Goding’s mischaracterization of the forum as a “lecture.” After mercifully brief presentations the floor was opened for Q and A, at which point Goding chose to depart. The ensuing discussions went for several hours and well beyond the announced closing time of 8 p.m.

 As a scientist I wished Goding had remained to further discuss Seralini’s 2012 study in which it was claimed that rats fed GMO corn and/or glyphosphate suffered severe health consequences.  

This study has been widely condemned by numerous academic groups worldwide, including six French Science Academies, and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), as totally lacking in scientific merit.  If Goding has information to the contrary, I am sure the scientific community, including Dr. Folta from the panel, and this writer, would like to hear it.

Robin Clark


We don’t need 2491

I am totally opposed to Bill 2491.

In its present form, it is ill-conceived, irresponsible and over-reaching in its scope. Many provisions are simply knee-jerk reactions that fly in the face of all scientific evidence.

As usual, our council has failed to take the costs to the taxpayers into account. If passed, we face millions of dollars in legal fees from outside consulting lawyers to defend the law over many years.

If the county prevails, these companies will leave Kauai (contrary to Mr. Hooser’s assertions), and as many as 1,000 people face the loss of their jobs and their homes, and tens of millions of dollars of tax revenue will be lost.

Either way, we the taxpayers foot the bill. With hundreds of similar facilities around the world, the Kauai operations are small to these multi-national corporations, important to the people that work there.

The economic impact upon this island of 2491 is too large to be left to the political pandering of a few members of the council.

If councilman Hooser is so convinced that Bill 2491 is right for the people of Kauai, I suggest that he let them decide by putting the bill to an islandwide vote in November. Let’s see if the people of Kauai are willing to put hundreds of their neighbors on the jobless list with no hope of finding a new job.

Come on Gary, let us all decide.

Barry Dittler



Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, send us an email.