Letters for Oct. 21, 2015

Letters for Oct. 21, 2015

Questions about GM technology remain

I congratulate The Garden Island for publishing Brittany Lyte’s article “A Day at Syngenta” on Aug. 13. Brittany noted the controversial nature of genetic modification (GM) technology. Controversy is not going away as long as this technology is applied outside tightly controlled laboratory environments, pollutes the environment with poisons, spreads GM pollen to the detriment of conventional and organic farmers and consumers, and generates food that has not been adequately tested for safety. I will comment on some of the industry whitewash noted in the article that may mislead the public.

Mr. Phillipson implied that GM technology is precise, when nothing could be further from the truth. The “gene gun” used to insert foreign genes into existing cells is more akin to a sawed-off shotgun than a laser beam. That is why independent experts are so concerned about the proteins created by GM organisms. With this technology there is no control over where in a chromosome the new genes are inserted, or even on how many foreign genes are inserted into a single chromosome. Such matters are significant because they have an impact on the proteins that are generated by the modified cells. When I say proteins, think potential allergens and toxins.

GM supporters also like to mention how the technology will create drought tolerance. Note that this claim is for an unlikely future benefit. GM technology has little if anything to offer in terms of creating organisms than can better tolerate drought, simply because drought resistance involves a number of genes on different chromosomes — and existing procedures simply cannot deal with such complexity. Industry has been only successful in inserting single genes into target cells — for example, the genes that produce tolerance to the herbicide manufactured by that company.

I urge people to read “Altered Genes, Twisted Truth” by Steven Druker, which provides a very well researched history of how we reached this current sad state of affairs regarding GM techology. Steve also offers an alternative, sustainable and healthy approach to food production.

Michael Coon, M. Sc. Marine biologist

Koloa

Rescued by guardian angel on Kauai

So sad to hear about ABC news, Dr. Jamie Zimmerman drowning at Lumahai.

I had a similar experience at Kalihiwai Beach where I became stuck in a rip current. Fortunately for me, a very nice Hawaiian man noticed from the beach and came running into the water to my rescue. He was my guardian angel that day.

We miss Kauai and its people so much, especially our friends at St. Sylvester’s. We will be back.

Cecelia Kennelly-Waeschle

Beverly Hills, Calif.

Truth must be told about Kingdom of Hawaii

After due diligence and years of investigation, I have found generous amounts of historical falsehoods worldwide and in textbooks. Polynesian-Chumash are one of a host of cultures that arrived in West America, Nordics, East America, long before Columbus was born. Falsehoods must be removed and upgrades to education on the reality, embraced.

American plaques/statues/names should be removed that are unrelated to Hawaii. What has occurred in Hawaii-nei up to and including the current fake state/citizenship fiasco is the belligerent prolonged U.S. military occupation, far more disturbing than a holiday name change.

Acknowledgment of “Indigenous” peoples, finally. Educational textbooks must begin to reflect corrected information, as it relates to Hawaii “integrating as a federal domestic state.”

At the Universal Periodic Review of America, United Nations Human Rights Council Geneva on May 11, Pakistan member state clearly posed a question requiring an answer, to American representatives suggestion that Hawaii, Alaska, North and South Dakotas have never voted to be U.S. federal domestic states. In fact, Russia, China, inquired “by what means did America acquire Hawaii?”

In 1959, the U.S. misled the United Nations General Assembly, submitting false documents, Hawaii and Alaska had voted to integrate as federal domestic states.” Unbeknownst to the General Assembly, the document was accepted. This worldwide false depiction and finding documented evidence that annexation also did not occur.

The Hawaiian Kingdom has never been extinguished, nor has our international law status. Total independence and decolonization are the goals of kanaka maoli. Truth and integrity will prevail.

Debra Kekaualua

Kapaa

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