Farmers on the Hawaiian island of Kauai recently took out an ad in the local newspaper to answer questions about the genetically engineered crops they raise. “We want to set the record straight about how we farm on the Garden Island,” the ad says.
The farmers address concerns over the use of pesticides, the impact on the local environment, the regulation of genetically engineered crops, and former practice of saving seeds.
See the ad on this page for the facts about modern farming in Hawaii and other areas.
Hawai’i is on the wrong track in trying to require state-level labeling of food products to indicate if any ingredients were derived from plants produced with genetic engineering, according to the state’s attorney general. The bill runs afoul of federal law and policy and would “very likely be found unconstitutional” if challenged in court, the opinion said.
“There is no basis in fact or in the federal misbranding laws to require what would amount to a GMO ‘warning’ label,” said an opinion approved by Attorney General David M. Louie. The bill has passed the House and is pending in the Senate. The legislature failed to state “any purpose at all” for the bill, which makes it almost impossible to defend in federal court, he warned. The opinion added that food labeling is basically preempted by the FDA, which specifically opposes mandatory GMO labeling. Precedent from other cases shows that the bill would likely fail in the courts, the opinion added.
“Any state effort (regardless of how well-intentioned) to require labeling that is inconsistent with federal law, particularly where the veracity and relevance of the information sought to be mandated remain a matter of contention at the federal level, will be met with great skepticism in federal court,” Louie warned. Read the letter here.
Hawaii News Now reports on Hawaii’s first Biotech Summit and the success of the Rainbow Papaya, a genetically engineered papaya that can withstand the ringspot virus and saved the Hawaii papaya industry from devastation.
Hawaii Crop Improvement Association’s annual meeting
The annual meeting of the Hawaii Crop Improvement Association (a CBI partner) brought together “more than 150 members, allies and stakeholders of Hawaii’s agriculture industry.” In addition to policymakers and local reporters, this year’s meeting featured Douglas Jones, Executive Director of Growers for Biotechnology, who gave the keynote address on Food, Fiber and Fuel for the Future: Embracing Biotechnology.
Many thanks to our friends Karl Haro von Mogel and Frank N. Foode (everyone’s favorite biotech buddy) of Biofortified fame for posting some great photos from our time at BIO 2010 in Chicago. We especially love and appreciate the photos featuring the CBI panel and CBI experts/panelists. View the photos.
CBI Managing Director Ariel Gruswitz poses with Frank N. Foode
Frank N. Foode makes friends (and a photo album) at BIO 2010
Thanks again to Karl and our favorite biotech buddy, Frank N. Foode!
CBI panelists from L to R: Sally Squires, moderator, Dr. Bruce Chassy, Dr. Margaret Zeigler, Michael Specter, Kenneth Kamiya and Maywa Montenegro
On Wednesday we hosted a panel about public perceptions and the impact misperceptions can have on the adoption of ag biotechnology. In a crowded conference room, Sally Squires moderated a lively discussion about some of the common misperceptions of ag biotechnology and how scientists, journalists and third party hunger advocates can help correct those misperceptions for the benefit of all. READ MORE »