A Feb. 2 letter included some frightening but untrue claims about genetically modified organisms. I'd like to offer some information to help the public discussion.
Let me start by saying that biotech crops are more thoroughly tested than any other agricultural crop, and the scientific consensus is that they are just as safe as conventional crops. Scores of independent studies and extensive scientific reviews by third-party organizations and regulatory agencies in 59 countries affirm the safety of these crops. All of the biotech crops Monsanto grows here have been reviewed in advance by appropriate regulatory authorities and are fully approved for outdoor planting.
The seed industry has been in Hawaii since the 1960s - even before GMOs - and has flourished because our state has a good climate for year-round agriculture and a skilled workforce that's highly competent at managing Monsanto's small breeding plots.
Claims that Monsanto's products or work are dangerous to people's health or the environment are untrue. After all, we live here, raise our families here and eat foods that come from our seeds.
In addition to knowing that our products are safe, I think the seed industry is a good fit for Hawaii, providing good jobs, putting fallow land back into productive use and generating more than $550 million in direct and indirect economic contributions to the state.
As part of Monsanto's commitment to dialogue and transparency, the company recently launched a new website offering more information about what it does in Hawaii. Please visit www.monsantohawaii.com.
Community & Government Affairs Manager, Monsanto