I'm replying to the posts from this video, here in this Blog instead since my response there would be too long to fit in the video response comment area. Keep in mind the two fundamental points of this video "Islands at Risk - GMO's in Hawai'i" both of which are completely missed by everyone posting comments on it thus far:
A) GMO research in Hawai'i is NOT what is being debated here; the folks in this video are NOT against GMO Research -- what they ARE against in conducting GMO Research in an irresponsible way, which is Not done by having experimental plots in an open air environment. GMO research in Hawai'i should be done in a responsible manner inside a hermetically sealed Laboratory setting, or at the very minimum inside an enclosed/contained Experimental Greenhouse with strict controls, and that Research should/must take place in this strict setting from cradle to grave. If GMO Research can't be contained inside the Lab this way, then it should be done at all. No aspect of the GMO Research should EVER invlove growing GMO Research plots in an outside open air environment on Hawai'ian nor Puerto Rican lands. Safe GMO Research is done this way on the US Mainland, so why isn't conducted in the same way in the Hawai'ian Islands nor in Puerto Rico? Why is it that in Hawai'i & Puerto Rico open air experimental GMO plots abound, moreso than any other location in the USA or on Earth, whereas strict controls against risky GMO open air experimentation exists for the USA mainland?
ANSWER: because BioTech companies from the U.S. mainland prefer to have the much riskier GMO Research done in someone else's backyard, somewhere else where the financial cost of conducting this risky GMO research is minimized by having them done without strict R&D safety controls within a Lab nor a hermetically sealed Greenhouse i.e. instead in an open air environment, somewhere else where the consequences of an altered experimental high risk Genome getting out of control and causing untold unforeseen damage is contained in someone else's backyard that doesn't come back to haunt them, somewhere else where the victims of such a scenario aren't close to home, somewhere else where the high risk experimental GMO research is safely far enough away from home yet close enough to keep under their control, somewhere else where local Governments are so cash strapped for sources of income (other than Tourism and the Military) to support their economies that are easily influenced by the requests and demands of these financially and legally powerful BioTech companies, somewhere else where the ability to impose their agenda and conduct their high risk Genome research meets very little or no resistance at all, somewhere else like the Islands of Puerto Rico and Hawai'i.
B) GMOs should have strict scientific data and sound evidence conclusively proving that there are No Reasonable Health Risks to ingesting them, nor Environmental Risks to using them, and in addition that in fact there are also Benefits to be gained as well from using them in GMO crops, and not just technological benefits but also economic benefits with business common sense for Farmers. Until this is conclusively proven, then and only then can permits and lisenses be granted with Government and public approcal, to allow GMO Research to come out of the Laboratory, for growing on Farming lands and for the sale of "properly labeled" GMO crops to the public.
In addition, I have the following to add to Dan Leuck's posting on this video, WHICH AT THE SAME TIME ANSWERS MANY OF THE OTHER POSTINGS FROM OTHER TECHHUI'IANS AS WELL:
From Dan Leuck: "1. There are no credentials supplied for the people making these sweeping generalizations".
>> My take on this is what do you mean by "credentials"? Does this mean being a so-called 'educated expert' in a specific field backed-up by University degrees: BS, MS, PhD's combined with published papers on a given topic in established journals? If there is one thing I have learned in my Career is that having a formal education and recognized as a so-called 'expert' in a given field doesn't necessarily make someone any "wiser"; likewise, NOT having University degrees doesn't necessarily invalidate someone that is self-educated from being very well versed and quite knowledgeable in a given field. There have been countless examples throughout history of important contributions made by folks that weren't formally 'educated' but that were very inquisitive and taught themselves all about science and the world around them; Anthony van Leeuwenhoek, Joseph Henry, Rita Levi-Montalcini, Alessandro Volta, Thaddeus S. C. Lowe, Johann Wilhelm Ritter, Gottfried Leibniz, Elihu Thompson, Michael Faraday, etc. just to name a few, whom were self-made Scientists, had boundless curiosity and open minds, free of scientific dogma and the limitations of a traditional legacy education.
As technically trained TechHui'ians we shouldn't discount the opinions and contributions of others just because they hadn't gone to college and received a formal education nor a University Degree - which I have observed over my career doesn't necessarily correlate to deducing conclusions based on common sense combined with wisdom. Thankfully this prejudice has softened considerably in recent years, as "teamwork" and collaborative contributions by "all" have become recognized and encouraged. Personally, I was always impressed by the many contributions of talented operators, technicians, secretaries, and other "non degree holding people" I knew and worked with. While formal training can undoubtedly sharpen the mind, ingenuity and common sense are pretty much inborn characteristics, and just as valuable. The 18 folks in this video are not just lay people, they have been advocates in the non-use of GMOs for a reason, based on years of investigations and countless studied reports. I do agree that more data should have been presented to back-up their cliams, but dismising all their concerns outright (especially when it means impacting both the financial health of the Hawaiian farming industry, as well as physical health of the people consuming GMOs grown in Hawaii) is just as troubling, if not moreso.
With that being said, here are some of the Federal & Government Legal cases mentioned in this video, which back-up some of their claims:
And the 18 folks mentioned in this video are:
1. Walter Ritte, Hawaiian Activist
2. Jeri Di Pietro, GMO Free Kaua'i
3. Miliani Trask, Director of Indigenous World Association
4. Nancy Redfeather, Know Your Farmer Alliance; Hawaiian Islands SEED Exchange
5. Mark Query, Arborist
6. Paul Achitoff, Attorney for EarthJustice
7. Isaac Moriwake, Attorney for EarthJustice
8. Hanohano Naehu, Da Hemo Wai Brothers
9. Kalaniua Ritte, Da Hemo Wai Brothers
10. Eloise Engman, GMO Free Mau'i
11. Elisha Goodman, Hawaii Organic Farmers Association
12. Una Greenaway, Coalition to Protect Hawai'ian Coffee
13. Union of Concerned Scientists
14. Melanie Bondera, Mixed Organic Farmer
15. Chris Kobayashi, Organic Farmer
16. Amy Greenwell, EthnoBotanical Garden
17. Dr. Lorrin Pang, MD MPH, Hawaii Dept of Health, Maui District Health Officer; Medical Scientist for the United Nations World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland
18. Puhipau, Joan Lander "Na Maka o ka'Aina"
From Dan Leuck: "2. There are a lot of emotional, fear based statements - "They are making monsters!", "They are putting foreign things in foreign things!"
>> My take on this is that out of the entire 30+ minute video, these two statements "They are making monsters!" and "They are putting foreign things in foreign things!" totals about ~15 seconds of the entire peice. The remaining 29+ minutes of the video offers seriously compelling argumemnts regarding GMOs that should be at the very minimum thouroughly looked into, especially when the negative affects seems to far outweight the positive benefits (if any) for GMOs. In fact, a simple search on Google for "GMOs" yeilds 981,000 hits. Of these 408,096 speak of the positive effects of GMOs, where as 572,904 speak of the negative effects of GMOs. Thats a ratio of Good:Bad of just 2:3! A much worse ratio holds for a Google Video search on "GMOs" with 1,360 GMO videos, practically all speaking of the negative impact of GMOs (less than 100 speak of positive benefits of GMOs).
With ~60% of the information on the WEB devoted to all the negative effects of GMOs, and of this negative information a good portion devoted to the unscrupulous activities of GMO companies in collaboration with the FDA, does all this strike anyone anywehere to be a reasonable risk at all, in ingesting manipulated and altered foreign Genomes into your body, or liberating them into the environment, when not nearly enough studies have been done guaranteeing their reasonable safety in humans nor to the environment, and of the potential consequences of a very high risk of something going drastically wrong? With those odds, Alarm Bells and Sirens should be going off here in most peoples minds.
Granted that GMO BioTechnology has yielded some good benefits to ~90% of the worldwide GMO crop population were resource-poor farmers in developing countries including farmers in China, India, subsistence farmers in South Africa, The Philippines and many other developing countries, in biological and medical research, production of pharmaceutical drugs, experimental medicine (e.g. gene therapy), and agriculture (e.g. golden rice). But keep in mind however that these benefits are the side-effects of GMO BioTechnology thats Patented from R&D in the Lab -- the primary motivation of BioTechnology IS NOT the greater good for all, it is instead to maximize revenues & profits, even if it means doing so at the expense of farmers and others. If BioTech companies were in it for the geater good and benefit for all, they would not engage in "Bio-Piracy" to essentially steal the intellectual knowledge passed-down from generation to generation of many of these same resource-poor farmers' in developing countries, intellectual property accumulated over hundreds of ancestral generations, take this knowledge back to the Lab to Patent, claim the Intellectual Property as their own, then return to sell their newly Patented GMO BioTechnology back to the same farmers where they got their GMO ideas in the first place, essentially handcuffing/forcing farmers into buying GMO crops with no other choice, nor giving them credit/compensation for taking the original knowledge from these farmers in the first place.
The fundamental objective for any 'BioTech' company (or any non-philonthropic business for that matter) and therefore intrinsic problem of creating GMOs, is to turn GMO Patented BioTechnology into a cash cow money-making revenue stream and profit-making corporate business -- the unlimited profit motive -- and the only way to accomplish this is to capitalize to the maximum possible on GMO Patents & BioTechnology even if it means controlling and monopolizing the worldwide food production & supply -- this is an incredible amount of power in the hands of just a few American multinational companies especially when they are given practically 'card banc' by the FDA; there have been many published papers that conclusively establish this. It is quite simply unfettered technological progess without a moral/ethical checks-and-balance, in short "irresponsible technology", inevitably resulting in BioTechnological GMO Patenting by a few, which (in most cases) trumps the greater good and benefit for all.
Lets think about this contructively & critically for a moment shall we? If BioTech companies were truely in it for the greater good in benefiting & assisting the world food supply, in impoversihed continents such as Africa and others, in in biological & medical research, production of pharmaceutical drugs, and experimental medicine they could just as easily taken the moral high ground and alternate "Technological Path B" of developing alternative BioTechnologies that would safely fertilize farming soils and eliminate pests & herbs WITHOUT altering the genomes of plants & our food supply and WITHOUT causing adverse effects to the environment. However, this much friendlier Technological Path B in not nearly as lucrative, not by a long shot.
Hence, by BioTech Companies opt to choose the current "Technological Path A" of developing their own fertlizers/herbacides/pesticides that are coupled with their own GMOs, both of which are legally protected by BioTech GMO Patents, which inevitably will pretty much force the entire worldwide farming population to be permanently locked into using BOTH their Patented fertlizers/herbacides/pesticides and also Patented GMO crops, hence diverting an incredible worldwide revenue stream directly into the coffers of a few multinational BioTech companies. The surreal profits in this case are staggering, and with so much money at stake, they have easily pushed their agenda with minimal oversight or resistance by FDA or Government -- even if it means doing so at the expense of public health and environmental safety, starting with the fact that neither the FDA nor Congress will dare force BioTech companies into adequately label GMO crops, foods, fruits & vegetables distributed into the U.S. (and worldwide) food supply. Because both the US Government & FDA know that if they did, the vast majority of Americans & citizens of the world, ~80% but some accounts, would simply choose NOT to purchase GMO foods when placed on supermarket grocery shelves & food markets -- they wouldn't come near the stuff with a 10 foot pole. This scenario would essentially collapse the entire GMO BioTech business overnight -- since Technological Path A has created a business model where there is just simply way too much money on the line here (for the BioTech multinationals).
Perhaps time will tell and force the Government & BioTech industry to change to the correct ethical alternative Technological Path B, much in the same way that the whole world today is realizing that when the Fossil Fuel Petroleum based internal cumbustion engine of the Ford Model-T, produced in mass on an assembly line resulting in driving down the cost (Technological Path A), beat out the original Electric Car with swappable Electric Battery of the early 1900's (Technological Path B); where now today everyone is now realizing that this Tech Path A business model of burning fossil fuels & internal combustion engines was the wrong irresponsible technological/business choice at that time 100 years ago and is bad for world economies, bad for the environment and bad for our own health leading to ultimate disaster unless something is done; then perhaps in 100 years or so from now in the year 2110 the same will happen with GMO crops & BioTech Industry, but only until AFTER we have all waited till the 11th hour when much of the damage has already been done AND its almost too late to stop & reverse the trend. Then and only then will some serious action be finally done about this, after most of the profits have already been realized at the expense of the greater good after most of the Health & Environmental catastrophes have already occurred and the damage has already been done.
The first main reason why GMO crops are here, is because its based on a deception that occured in the FDA. The FDA was heavily influenced by GMO companies into stating the these altered GMO foods are "not different", using newly generated lexicon & terminology of "Principal of Substantial Equivalency". Under "Sunstantially Equivalency", GMOs were therefore considered to be "not meaningfully different", and "not uniformly different". Ultimately the "Principal of Substantial Equivalency" was transformed into meaning "Generally Recognized as Safe" (GRAS). However, for anything to be GRAS, it needs A LOT of peer reviewed & published scientific studies, combined with overwhelming consensus amongst the scientific community. With GMOs, they had neither from the FDA, nor any other scientific or Government organization. Once a GRAS blessing is granted by the FDA, this means that a company marketing a food or drug has been trusted as acting "on their honor" in having conducted as the necessary through rigorous scientific research & studies necessary for guaranteeing public health and safety of a Food or Drug it wants to introduce to the market. Hence, once the GRAS category was achieved by the BioTech companies for GMO food products, they could then introduce GMOs directly into the market without having it rigorously confirmed and approved by the FDA or even letting the FDA know (because they are on their honor in having it done on their own themselves), and simply need to present nothing more than a summary & conclusion of their efforts to the FDA in guaranteeing GMO products safety, no questions asked. You can Trust Us, the stuff is good! Really! :)
The second main reason why GMOs are here is because the FDA & USPTO have allowed BioTech companies to Patent "living organisims" which were never invented nor created by these BioTech companies in the first place. However, just because they have managed to digitally map these genomes at the DNA, gene & molecular level, this has opened up a "Can Of Worms" in allowing BioTech companies to claim these as their own after the novel "mixing" (wow, what a neat new concept) a few samples of DNA between two species in a petri dish or test tube. The result yields a GMO, a new life from they have supposedly "created" (very loosely stated) -- in my mind nor the mind of most reasonable folks, I hardly think this qualifies as a novel technological breakthrough warranting Patentability, and even less so when it involves a living organisim/species. I don't think they asked permission from Our Creator on this one, to Patent a hybrid life form as as if it were their own, from parent species that God originally created in Nature. However, the BioTechs engaged in GMO creation (with their incredible lobbying & financial power) have convinced the USPTO to allow them to do so. Once GMOs are allowed to be Patented by the USPTO, all foreign Patent Offcies fall in line as well, the BioTech Companies at that point are then are protected by the entire worldwide legal system, allowing them to force the hand of millions of Farmers around the world and in the process ultimately control the Worldwide food supply allowing BioTechs to reap incredible GMO profits.
Hence with both the FDA and USPTO in the back pocket of BioTech companies promoting GMO's, they are able to easily push their self interest agenda through into the worldwide market.
From Dan Leuck: "3. They are asking us to accept genetic manipulation being undesirable as axiomatic. This is a religious argument that leaves no room for real scientific debate."
>> My take on this is I have posted another GMO video on TechHui called "What's Wrong with GMOs?", where serious scientific debate is thoroughly discussed. Now before anyone jumps all over this video as well, I will state up-front that just one scientist is interviewed, and this one scientist presents compelling scientific debate 'against' GMO's. The problem with the "axiomatic" argument is that honestly, I simply cannot find very many compelling arguments "FOR GMO's" either from WEB artciles, news articles, online videos, nor from any other source. If anyone out there does find any compelling arguments "FOR" GMOs, PLEASE by all means post them here on TechHui presenting a balanced opposing view.
From Dan Leuck: "Genetic engineers are working on cures for debilitating diseases and ways of growing crops in poor soil conditions in desperately poor African countries. There is no doubt that some of the seed companies mentioned have been involved in sketchy legal maneuvering, but implying that all genetic engineering is being done toward some great evil plan to control the global food supply is disingenuous at best."
>> Yes of course there are some benefits of the work Genetic Engineers are doing on cures for debilitating diseases and ways of growing crops in poor soil conditions in desperately poor African countries. However, as mentioned earlier, the same technological advances can just as easily be made by alternate friendlier BioTechnologies WITHOUT focing the use of Patented fertlizers/herbacides/pesticides coupled with Patented GMOs to accomplish the same.
God Bless Hawai'i