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GMO Labeling is a hot topic right now

April 13, 2012 - Carla Tracy

People seem to sit on one side of the fence or the other when it comes to GMOs or “genetically modified organisms.” It’s a big fence, too, and the neighbors are not very friendly. GMO’s benefits and/or its alleged detriments to health have been heatedly debated for years.

Now, the hot topic du jour is GMO Labeling. Should items of food that we eat be labeled as containing GMOs, or do they remain status quo without any labels?

The left side of the fence says “I want to know what I’m buying.” If a company is using GMOs in its products, it should be proud of it, right? They shouldn’t have to hide the fact in tiny print innuendos that only savvy consumers can understand.

Of course, more and more consumers are becoming aware that anything with “high fructose corn syrup” and other ingredients such as non organic soybeans, canola oil, cottonseed and corn are genetically modified. But it’s not listed on the front of the package.

On Maui, demonstrators have been rallying in front of a particular corporation’s branch headquarters in Kihei dressed in colorful costumes such as ears of corn, or pesticide-spraying gardeners, waving signs in protest of GMOs. I watched some of it this morning on AKAKU-Community television before I left for work and found it to be informative.

Do you want to learn more about the topic?

Seeds of Truth and Down to Earth health food store will present a talk on Oahu on “GMO Labeling — Our right to Know vs. Public Policy” on Saturday, April 14, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Hawaii State Capitol Auditorium on 615 South Beretania. Use the basement parking entrance from Punchbowl across from Queen's Medical Center

The speakers will be Phil Bereano, lawyer and activist, from the University of Washington; and Danny Bishop, taro farmer.

“Mr. Bereano was present at the 1992 Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit, is the co-founder of the Council for Responsible Genetics and represents the Washington Biotechnology Action Council,” says Dr. Melissa Yee, author of “Seeds of Truth.” He was involved in creating legislation for the GMO labeling bills in Washington State.”

“Danny Bishop, former employee for the Honolulu fire department and taro farmer. Mr. Bishop will share his involvement in the GMO taro legislation and his concern for the future of our 'aina and food sources,” says Yee.

The introduction will be by Dr. Hector Valenzuela, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, University of Hawaii. Yee will moderate.

If you can’t make that talk, there will be another one on “GMO Labeling, Technology and Public Policy” on Monday, April 16 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Hawaiian Studies Department Kamakakuolani Center, University of Hawaii, 2645 Dole Street. Use the university parking lot or street parking.

"Speakers will include the above-mentioned Phil Bereano, who will talk about GMO corporate public relations, the involvement of the Bill Gates Foundation in promoting GMO, and his support for GMO trade and international issues. Another speaker is Dr. Noelani Goodyear-Kaopua, Indigenous Politics, Political Science Dept., University of Hawaii. Dr. Goodyear-Kaopua was involved in the GMO taro issue and will give updates on genetic engineering from a Hawaiian perspective."

For further information, contact Dr. Melissa Yee, at Seeds of Truth on Facebook; or phone her at (808) 292-1179. Or call Mary Lacques at (808) 783-8400


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