Hawaii is a state known for its pristine beaches and beautiful views. However, it is also home to the GMO seed industry. GMO stands for genetically modified organism. The modifications allow the seeds to become resistant to things that can damage them, such as a virus. There are many people and big businesses that support the GMO industry. Supporters believe that food shortages due to crop damage can be drastically reduced. More crops means more food – and we need enough food for all the people on the planet. Supporters believe this technology could be beneficial for farmers. However, not everyone agrees with the GMO industry.
Residents of Kauai have decided to go through the legal system to make their voices heard. There’s a bill being processed through the court system that calls for making the seed companies more accountable – meaning they would have to open up about certain practices, including the use of pesticides. They are hoping for a veto of the bill, but residents are rallying for its passage. Residents are also calling for modifications what can and can’t be used on farms that are near waterways and schools. Many of the residents are citing health problems they believe are caused by the use of pesticides.
The big seed companies have threatened to leave Hawaii – taking a away a multi-million dollar industry that has supplied thousands of people with jobs. If that happens, it could leave a huge hole in Hawaii’s already dwindling economy. The popularity of Kauai and the other islands is due to the fact that there are actually three growing seasons per year due to the weather. Most other places only have one growing season per year. Residents say that the multiple growing seasons leads to multiple use of pesticides – many of which are considered to be dangerous to humans.
There’s little doubt that genetically modified food has become a hot topic during recent years. However, more research on side effects is definitely needed. Detractors believe they might cause more harm than good and are calling for more transparency from the seed companies. Lawmakers are just hoping to find a common ground that both parties will agree on.