A Lonely Quest for Facts on Genetically Modified Crops
January 18, 2014 4:07 AM Subscribe
From the moment the bill to ban genetically engineered crops on the island of Hawaii was introduced in May 2013, it garnered more vocal support than any the County Council here had ever considered, even the perennially popular bids to decriminalize marijuana. Public hearings were dominated by recitations of the ills often attributed to genetically modified organisms, or G.M.O.s: cancer in rats, a rise in childhood allergies, out-of-control superweeds, genetic contamination, overuse of pesticides, the disappearance of butterflies and bees. Like some others on the nine-member Council, Greggor Ilagan was not even sure at the outset of the debate exactly what genetically modified organisms were: living things whose DNA has been altered, often with the addition of a gene from a distant species, to produce a desired trait. But he could see why almost all of his colleagues had been persuaded of the virtue of turning the island into what the bill’s proponents called a “G.M.O.-free oasis.” “You just type ‘G.M.O.’ and everything you see is negative,” he told his staff. Opposing the ban also seemed likely to ruin anyone’s re-election prospects. Yet doubts nagged at the councilman, who was serving his first two-year term.
This post was deleted for the following reason: Hey, this seems like a pretty general pro-GMO roundup, and we've had an awful lot of GMO discussions that have covered all the issues discussed in this article... if there's something in here we've missed talking about before, maybe make it a part of a wider post that covers the new stuff? -- taz