Agricultural scientist Steve Savage has written about his experiences on Kauai dealing with the anti-GMO hysteria surrounding the debate over Bill 2491, which would put strangling restrictions on biotech agriculture in Hawaii. He has previously written about why he was going to Hawaii to address this issue for the GLP.
I’ve just returned from a week on Kauai. It is known as “The Garden Isle” of the Hawaiian chain, but recently that garden has been heavily sown with seeds of fear, suspicion, and conspiratorial narratives. On Wednesday, the 31st, there was a marathon session of the County Council during which hundreds of people lined up to give testimony about Bill 2491 from 1 pm until midnight. Angst was a common theme. The activist speakers made hyperbolic assertions about heartless corporations perfectly willing to sicken the entire population of the island and destroy the environment. Many non-agricultural residents expressed their palpable fear for the safety of their families. Some of the employees of the seed or coffee companies tried to explain to their fellow islanders that they and their families also live there, and so they would never want to put either their families or neighbors at risk. These people have good reason to worry about the future of their jobs.
Read the full, original story here: A Week On An Island Of Angst
- “Hawaii science ‘Swat Team’ engages public fears fanned by anti-GMO activists,” Genetic Literacy Project
- “Hawaii science ‘Swat Team’ part 2: Hawaii must resist anti-GMO scare, defend maize nurseries,” Genetic Literacy Project
- “Kauai’s biotech battle: A field report from geneticist Kevin Folta,” Illumination blog