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Thread: GMO Labeling in Hawai'i

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    Post GMO Labeling in Hawai'i

    The Hawaii State Association of Counties - 4 counties comprise the State of Hawaii- and three of the four counties want the State Legislature to advance GMO labeling - we have the right to know initiative. Honolulu's City Council is the only county entity in the entire state refusing to defend its people....this video is a compilation of public testimony - three hours crammed into 10 minutes....Honolulu Hale, November 27, 2012, City and County of Honolulu's City Council.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sm8SoHykRYo

    There will be another public testimony council meeting held at 10am on Dec. 5th, 2012 at Honolulu Hale concerning the labeling of GMO foods. Go if you can!
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    Default Re: GMO Labeling in Hawai'i

    It's good to know what you're eating.

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    Default Re: GMO Labeling in Hawai'i

    Regardless of labeling or not, at this stage of the game it might be next to impossible to avoid GMO foods. Still, we deserve and should DEMAND the right to know via labeling. For starters, approximately 80% of all papaya grown in Hawaii are genetically modified.

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    Post Re: GMO Labeling in Hawai'i

    LABEL GMO INITIATIVE FOR THE HAWAII STATE ASSOCIATION OF COUNTIES LEGISLATIVE PACKAGE CANCELLED

    Honolulu City Council Chair Ernie Martin has decided that resolution 12-319 will not be placed on the December 5 council agenda.

    Reso 12-319 was heard earlier this week by the Executive Matters and Legal Affairs Committee. At that hearing, dozens of testifiers came in person and some two hundred testimonies were sent in by email all wanting their right to know what is in their food. Not one testimony was submitted to oppose that - yet, the majority of the council did not honor the will of the people and now has shut down all discussion by not putting it on the agenda for a hearing.

    The council may take it up next year . . .

    We really should have the right to know/choose whether we eat GMO foods or not!
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    Post Re: GMO Labeling in Hawai'i

    I just now emailed Council Chair Ernest Martin: emartin@honolulu.gov

    Hello Council Chair Ernie Martin,
    Please explain why you feel that we the people don't have the right to know if what foods we buy are GMO or not.

    I do not believe GMO foods are the right way to go and don't wish to ingest them. I only want to purchase non-GMO products.

    So please reconsider resolution 12-319.

    Thank you,
    **** *****
    (phone # & email address)
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    Default Re: GMO Labeling in Hawai'i

    Everyone should be free to refuse to buy foods which cannot be certified GM free. And they are free to refuse. But I don't understand the rationale for requiring me and other consumers-taxpayers to pay the costs of pandering to new age flakiness in the absence of evidence there is any relevance to human nutrition. Opinion is not all that matters -- the truth is also important.
    Greg

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    Default Re: GMO Labeling in Hawai'i

    I'm with Greg on this issue. If you want to know what's in the food and drink you purchase, only purchase the items which provide that information or grow your own or test the food and drink you buy yourself for any sort of thing you don't care to ingest or start a distribution/testing system to provide the sort of information you desire, but don't make everyone else pay for your personal self-indulgence - most of us realize that every living thing is a genetically modified organism and distinguishing between natural and artificial modification is a matter of opinion, not fact. No GMO means no grains, no fruit, no meat, no vegetables, no milk, no eggs - we've artificially modified the genes of all those producing organisms to suit our fancies, through a variety of techniques of artificial selection. So get off it, you want to reverse the history of man's improvement of his food supply and it just ain't gonna happen. No GMO means living off the land, eating only naturally selected (wild) organisms. I'll leave you the wild honey and locust.
    Last edited by salmoned; November 30th, 2012 at 04:23 PM.
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    Post Re: GMO Labeling in Hawai'i

    If it's not labeled we don't know. Why would non-GMO products have to be labeled in order for us to know, when they are the 'natural' ones?

    There has been a growing concern for many years now about GMOs.
    Don't just act like it's just 'me'!

    Here's a few links to check out. In order to educate yourselves...
    http://www.twnside.org.sg/title/terje-cn.htm
    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/ar...s-hazards.aspx
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/potenti...red-foods/8148
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    Post Re: GMO Labeling in Hawai'i

    Quote Originally Posted by tutusue View Post
    Regardless of labeling or not, at this stage of the game it might be next to impossible to avoid GMO foods. Still, we deserve and should DEMAND the right to know via labeling. For starters, approximately 80% of all papaya grown in Hawaii are genetically modified.
    Yes day by day it's getting harder but as you said 80% of papayas but not all so I'd like to get the non-GMOs. Thanks tutusue!
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    Default Re: GMO Labeling in Hawai'i

    Quote Originally Posted by Menehune Man View Post
    The Traavik article argues that the results of using GMOs are not entirely understood, are therefore risky, and that we should never take any risks, therefore we should not use GMOs. But he does not claim to have any evidence that GMOs are harmful.

    I've already encountered Mercola's stuff previously and decided it's not worth reading. I'm not going to bother with it.

    The Lendman article simply repeats a long series of charges against GMOs made by someone else named Smith (that's actually what Lendman says he's doing), but without giving any references or substantiation. Maybe references were given by Smith in the original work -- who knows?

    So, I looked over two of the references. Nothing there.

    Here is the LA Times editorial explaining the paper's recommendation to vote no on California's recent Prop 37 measure to label genetically engineered food (which was voted down): http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/...,2668604.story.
    Greg

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    Default Re: GMO Labeling in Hawai'i

    IMHO it could be similar to cancer. Nobody knows the long term side effects and cannot know because it is a recent item and "Long Term" will not be known until sometime in the future. Therefore, I do not believe the people that just want to know which foods are GMO and which isn't so they could make their own decisions based on what they feel, is being unrealistic. On the other hand, people often go in the other direction and state that products that are not GMO should just simply label itself so and you would get the same result. However, if they have a supplier and the supplier does not disclose if his/her product is GMO, then it gets difficult to ascertain if it is truly non-GMO or not. Don't like to sound like a conspiracy theorist, however, this issue like our pharmaceutical industry has the $$$ and have bought our politicians out and therefore, our politicians are not willing to look out for us. Then again, we have the power and if these politicians do not vote for what we want, we should vote them out of office. Unfortunately, the way politicians get peoples vote does is not always based on logic.
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    Post Re: GMO Labeling in Hawai'i

    Just some facts along with conjecture info for your perusal:
    "It is a statistic that is hard to deny: industrial forms of agriculture, with emphasis on large-scale monoculture crop production, have a negative impact on biodiversity. The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, referring to the scale of the loss as “extensive,” found that some 75 percent of plant genetic diversity has been lost since 1900 as farmers turn to genetically uniform, mass-produced crop varieties.

    The term “biodiversity” was derived from “biological” and “diversity,” and refers to the total diversity of all life in a given locale — one as small as a backyard (or smaller) or as large as the entire planet Earth. 1
    Since genetically modified crops (a.k.a. GMOs) reinforce genetic homogeneity and promote large scale monocultures, they contribute to the decline in biodiversity and increase vulnerability of crops to climate change, pests and diseases.

    Genetically modified crops grow in a dynamic environment and interact with other species of the agro-ecosystem and surrounding environment. As “biological novelties to the ecosystems,”2 GM crops may potentially affect the “fitness of other species, population dynamics, ecological roles, and interactions, promoting local extinctions, population explosions, and changes in community structure and function inside and outside agroecosystems.”3

    The recent concerns raised by Dr. Don Huber, who noted a link between GM crops, engineered to withstand continued applications of glyphosate, plant diseases and spontaneous abortions and infertility in pigs, horses, cattle and other livestock, further underscore the troubling fact that GM crops may likely have a larger negative impact on the agroecosystem and the surrounding environment. More importantly, Huber’s revelations further point to the inaccurate assumptions made by this nation’s regulators. GM crops are not substantially equivalent to their conventional counterparts, they interact in novel ways to impact the plant, the soil and the animals that consume them and government agencies should think twice before deregulating GMOs.

    Independent scientists studying the affects of GMOs have also raised other concerns regarding the impact of GMOs on biodiversity. The spread of transgenes to wild or weedy relatives, the impact of GMOs on nontarget organisms (especially weeds or local varieties) through the acquisition of transgenic traits via hybridization, the evolution of resistance to pests (in case of Bt crops), accumulation of Bt toxins, which remain active in the soil after the crop is plowed under and bind tightly to clays and humic acids and the unanticipated effects of the Bt toxin on nontarget herbivorous insects,4 are areas of concern as are increasing concerns about the adverse impact of GMOs on insects (such as bees, for example), nematodes, and birds, all of whom either consume GMOs seeds or their by-products or are present in glyphosate saturated soils. “[T]he vast majority of soybeans and cotton, and 70% of our corn, is Roundup Ready, leading to over 230 million lbs of glyphosate being sprayed each year,” noted Bill Freese, the Science Policy Analyst at the Center For Food Safety.

    Furthermore, the impact of GMOs on biodiversity is also seen in the development of superweeds and superbugs since over-reliance on and the abundant use of single herbicide and pesticide lead to resistance in the pest community. The “unregulated use of glyphosate-resistant crop systems has triggered an epidemic of glyphosate-resistant weeds infesting 10 million acres or more,” in this country alone.

    GMOs contribute to a decline in biodiversity in one other way. According to Bill Freese, the Science Policy Analyst with the Center For Food Safety, as biotech companies acquire conventional seed companies, conventional and organic seeds are pushed out. Freese states that:

    When Monsanto buys up seed firms, it discontinues the conventional lines, and offers only biotech versions. … So from Monsanto’s perspective, it makes no sense to sell a high-quality conventional variety when you can charge higher prices and make more money selling that exact same seed, only with a Roundup Ready or other biotech trait(s) stuck into it.

    It’s not just Monsanto. Bayer and other biotech firms don’t want to sell conventional varieties anymore. [They are] [n]ot as profitable. And since the biotech trait is patented, you get the bonus of patent protection when you insert the trait into a seed. That allows the likes of Monsanto to sue farmers for the “crime” (patent infringement) of saving seed, … .
    While additional studies are needed to gain a fuller understanding of the impact of GMOs on biodiversity, the currently available information begs the question of whether GMOs bring more harm than good, especially when small-scale farmers, using ecological methods, can address the pressing agricultural concerns."

    http://gmo-journal.com/2011/06/17/lo...odified-crops/
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    Default Re: GMO Labeling in Hawai'i

    Maybe a reduction of planetary biodiversity is a bad thing. And maybe development and use of GMOs will cause a reduction of biodiversity. But what does this have to do with GMO labeling? Is labeling an underhanded way of banning GMOs? You figure that when GM products are explicitly designated as such, people will avoid them, under the mistaken impression that they are unwholesome, this will reduce their sales, then producers will no longer be able to profit by marketing GM products, so they will stop producing GMOs, so the planet will survive?

    This is my best effort to make sense of the argument, and I find it distressingly dishonest. If you can show that GMOs should be banned in order to save the planet, then just show that, and forget the labeling issue.
    Greg

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    Post Re: GMO Labeling in Hawai'i

    There are sooo many reasons to be wary of GMO foods with some studies suggesting real problems. Everything from possible human, animal, insects, and plant health.
    Not only the eating of GMO foods. Having GMO labelled gives consumers the opportunity to make their choice. We can agree to disagree, many folks do.
    Please read: Independent Animal Studies Showing GMO Harm
    From this link: http://www.globalresearch.ca/potenti...red-foods/8148
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    Default Re: GMO Labeling in Hawai'i

    Quote Originally Posted by Menehune Man View Post
    We can agree to disagree, many folks do.
    I don't "agree to disagree". That would mean that I thought you had made a plausible case for your view. But you haven't, and I'm not willing to pretend that you have for the sake of seeming agreeable.
    Greg

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    Post Re: GMO Labeling in Hawai'i

    Haha! Okay whatever.
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    Default Re: GMO Labeling in Hawai'i

    Quote Originally Posted by Menehune Man View Post
    While additional studies are needed to gain a fuller understanding of the impact of GMOs on biodiversity, the currently available information begs the question of whether GMOs bring more harm than good, especially when small-scale farmers, using ecological methods, can address the pressing agricultural concerns."
    So, GMOs may be creating increased biodiversity (additional studies are needed because researchers need work) and no one can point to any proof whatsoever that GMOs cause any harm at all (that's why the question is begged, i.e., taken for granted without basis or justification).

    However, I don't understand the final clause, "... especially when small-scale farmers, using ecological methods, can address the pressing agricultural concerns." What pressing agricultural concerns can they address? Can they feed our growing human population more efficiently?

    Why did you believe this quote advances your argument?
    Last edited by salmoned; December 3rd, 2012 at 12:31 PM.
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    Default Re: GMO Labeling in Hawai'i

    Double post.
    Last edited by salmoned; December 3rd, 2012 at 12:37 PM. Reason: Please delete - double post
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    Post Re: GMO Labeling in Hawai'i

    Why do you want GMOs labeled?
    The main reason we want them labeled is that we see enough independent data to suggest possible health risks. We don’t want to eat them but we can’t know which foods they are in if they aren’t labeled. It’s a basic consumer right we are asking for- given the conflicting data and our mistrust in an industry that has been proven to hide negative findings, we have the right to know what we are buying and putting in our children’s mouths.

    Much of the World Already Requires Labeling for Genetically Engineered Foods.

    50 countries with over 40% of the world’s population already label genetically engineered foods, including the entire European Union. Even China labels genetically engineered foods. What do these countries know that we don’t?

    What’s the issue? If they are so great, why not advertise them? Why does the industry that profits from them fight labeling so vehemently and put so many of their resources into keeping their presence in our foods a secret? Why are corporate rights continually given precedence over consumer rights?

    Check out the resources page for links to places that can educate you on the issues. A google search will give thousands more.
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    Default Re: GMO Labeling in Hawai'i

    As for me, I would like to have the labeling, so I am able to make my own choices. Do I believe GMO is bad? Don't know, the jury is out as far as long term effects. However, if the product is labeled, I can choose to avoid it and pay the higher prices for the Non-GMO products. But without labeling, I am not given the opportunity to make my own choices. Someone else has made my choice for me, because, I don't know what is and what isn't GMO. By not wanting to label GMO products as GMO, it just raises suspicion.

    Look at trans fat for example. Only recently are we finding out that it is bad for our health. We grew up eating margarine instead of butter. Now we are being told that Butter is actually healthier than consuming margarine, because now we know the long term effects of trans fat and have linked some serious problems with its use.

    It would be nice to have the information available to make my own choices. If a product is labeled at GMO and you do not believe it is a problem, then you can choose to continue to purchase it.

    Please don't confuse this as any type of warning label, like tobacco, this is just an informative stamp to let people know that this is a GMO product. I don't think that, that is asking too much.
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    Default Re: GMO Labeling in Hawai'i

    Quote Originally Posted by Menehune Man View Post
    What’s the issue? If they are so great, why not advertise them?
    Who said they were great? As I understand the majority position, GM techniques are neither great nor awful. They accomplish more efficiently what humans have been doing, anyway, for thousands of years, by selective breeding (and, by the way, reducing biodiversity). Whether a GM technique was used to make a species more convenient for us to cultivate, market, distribute, is just irrelevant to wholesomeness. Even if you are a luddite who would prefer that we all go back to foraging nuts and berries as the Amerindians of California did, it just seems irrational to fix your attention on a particular technique of developing artificial varieties or species.
    Greg

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    Default Re: GMO Labeling in Hawai'i

    Okay MM, name a food that you eat that isn't a Genetically Modified Organism. Just one food that hasn't been selectively bred for increased yield, sweetness, flavor or ease of production. One. We've been genetically modifying our food (and our environment) for over 10,000 years. Even culling wild animals results in genetic modification. We are genetically modified by our own reproduction selection - is that a bad thing? Should we not allow self-selection of our reproductive mates? Exactly where does this process become 'bad'? Does genetic manipulation become 'bad' when it's done in a laboratory, but it's okay when done by a farmer's selection of 'naturally mutated' seed or livestock breeding partners?

    Here's the bottom line - you're just bitchin' about green eggs and ham while enjoying them, along with a slew of others.

    Sam I am.

    Biodiversity is not reduced by GMOs, it's reduced by increasing human exploitation of the world's finite resources.

    "GMOs = Biodiversity" If that ain't true, nothing's true.
    Last edited by salmoned; December 4th, 2012 at 04:46 PM.
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  23. #23

    Default Re: GMO Labeling in Hawai'i

    Posters here keep accusing MM of wanting to ban GMOs, when his initial posts were about the desire for a law that would require said foods to be labeled as such, so as to provide consumers with additional information that they may desire when they make their food shopping choices. He speaks often of being "wary" of such food products, but (unless I missed something) he has not called for an outright ban - just legislation requiring labeling.

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    Default Re: GMO Labeling in Hawai'i

    Quote Originally Posted by Leo Lakio View Post
    Posters here keep accusing MM of wanting to ban GMOs, when his initial posts were about the desire for a law that would require said foods to be labeled as such, ...
    There is some cause for confusion here, which I complained about above. What reason has been given for labeling that isn't a reason for banning? MM's longest post was about a supposed reduction in biodiversity caused by GMOs. Can you explain to me why this reduction, if true, means we should label GMO products? How would labeling them prevent reduction of biodiversity?
    Last edited by GregLee; December 4th, 2012 at 10:11 PM.
    Greg

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    Default Re: GMO Labeling in Hawai'i

    Exactly. Labeling (in this case) is only a means of discriminating between two products that are, in practice, indistinguishable on their own merits. It's equivalent to 'organic' labels - and no one has mandated that organic products be labeled as such or that 'non-organic' products be so labeled. So what exactly makes GMOs a special case? Who has sued for damages due to GMO consumption and won? Where is the smoking gun that provides a compelling case for mandatory GMO labeling? Why aren't you pushing for labeling of all herbicides and pesticides used on fruits and vegetables or more diligent testing of fish for mercury and other toxins? There are thousands of other causes that may actually effect a beneficial result, unlike meaningless GMO/NonGMO labeling.

    Let those few who wish to exercise their 'right-to-know' assume the responsibility of paying for that knowledge - with every right comes a responsibility.
    Last edited by salmoned; December 4th, 2012 at 10:55 PM.
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