Letters for Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013

Visitor responsible for his vacationDivision on our Ohana islandSweet corn healthy, has limited impact

Visitor responsible for his vacation

Concerning the disappointment suffered by the Stone family (TGI, Oct. 7) on their recent visit to our Garden Island, I must say I sympathize. Yet, There was not one word in Mr. Stone’s letter to the island community about taking responsibility for his own actions. Since he was the one who forgot the camera he agreed to be responsible for, he cannot attempt to be like Congress and hold all of us under financial blackmail.

Certainly, no one condones the actions of whomever took the camera, but we are not responsible to assure that your vacation must be perfect in every way.

This is life, things happen and you had the choice to view the rest of your visit optimistically or retain your disdain. That was your decision solely. As far as your decision to opt out of a great day of golf and snorkeling … that is your loss.

Eduardo Valenciana

Lihue

Division on our Ohana island

It is so sad to see us all divided. Our schools are in need for help and other important projects. No matter what side you are on, do you know that our County Council is using our taxpayers’ money for all of this?

Do me a favor, come together and all of us ask them how much money has this cost us all. Consultants paid by council members for this bill, police to mandate these activities and more. It is education for all, where is our state of Hawaii government?

The County Council is not the place to go here. If you start a small fire, make sure it does not grow into a bon fire. We better know how to put it out. If you make a company mandate, these laws that you want, then all have to do it, even organic. They use chemicals, too. Either all or none. Taxpayers are paying for all of this, call your councilmen, ask what the bill is today.

Let’s all have aloha together.

Red and blue together since the 1800s. Ag has been our community on the entire island. We need to educate on this bill and not take taxpayers’ money while the council decides to fight a battle we might have no end to.

Bon fires are hard to put out, especially if you have no money. Much aloha to all, let’s work as a team.

Jill Faye Papworth

Waimea

Sweet corn healthy, has limited impact

The present battle over GE crop in Hawaii has both sides talking past each other. It is unlikely that many opinions have changed with this situation. Perhaps some new research will change a few minds.  

A new report in the Journal of Economic Entomology demonstrates the utility of one particular GE crop, Bt corn. Bt stands for Bacillus thuringiensis, a common soil bacteria. Organic agriculture has been using this natural bacteria-insecticide for decades. Bt bacteria produce a variety of proteins that are toxic to selected pest species. Some Bt proteins target beetles, some moths and in the case of this story, corn earworm.  

In GE crops only, the desired protein is transferred to give pest resistance to the crop. Researchers in the U.S. looked at Bt sweet corn and found it had far less corn earworm damage that non-GE sweet corn that was sprayed with broad spectrum insecticides.  

This multi-year, multi-state examination of Bt sweet corn clearly demonstrates the improved yields (with reduced insect damage) and reduced insecticide use with this GE crop.  

One further point is the health benefits of reduced insect damage found in Bt corn. When corn is damaged by insect pests it often also becomes infected with fungi that produce some very nasty toxins.  

Research has also demonstrated Bt corn has greatly reduced levels of fumonisin B1 (cause fetal neural tube defects by blocking the folic acid metabolism). This type of healthier corn with less environmental impact is the direct result of the research efforts in Hawaii.  

It is very difficult to understand how anyone can be fighting to ban this type of win-win outcome from GE crop research.

Robert Wager

Vancouver Island University

Canada

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