Stop those who would destroy Maui agriculture

I have spent 60 years of my life as a farmer on the Mainland and Oahu, and 40 years on Maui. That’s why I am very alarmed over recent attacks on Maui agriculture by a group of naive, misinformed, fearmongers who seem intent on crippling Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co., Monsanto and even small family farms like mine. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you.

If people don’t want to eat GMO food or food grown with pesticides, then don’t. But don’t try to force everyone else to pay the resulting exorbitant food prices or even suffer starvation.

In 1970, when I studied tropical agriculture at UH-Manoa, I was a fanatical “organic only” advocate – until I tried growing it on a commercial scale. Reality slapped me hard, right across my self-righteous face.

In case you haven’t noticed, we are on an island that is 2,500 miles away from a major land mass. In these troubled times we are extremely vulnerable to natural disasters, wars, shipping strikes, etc.

We should all be supporting Maui agriculture, not trying to destroy it.

I say to all the pie-in-the-sky, starry-eyed idealists demanding an end to cane smoke, fugitive dust, pesticides or GMOs: Stop being led around like a flock of sheep. They remind me of a bunch of whiny, spoiled brats who are sucking their thumbs. And, if they get their way, that will be about the only thing left that they can put in their mouths.

Stu Nicholls