Re: I love my spotted owl rare.
heh I'll let you go and tele Lanakila and the others up there they are from the mainland :)
Funny you should mention the GMO issue. The papaya is one of the few examples where the use of GMO is pretty justified. The issue we found here is the GMO's were indirectly killing reefs and turtles. You also have to understand this is set against the backdrop of the legacy of the plantations. Our aquifers are still polluted by the fumigants, pesticides and herbicides used by the cane and pineapple industry over the past century. The majority of the 'anti gmo' protesters were against the bribery, the lack of transparency, and the dangers not specifically from the GMO aspect but from the fact the GMO was fone to promote tolerance of high levels of herbicide and or production of pesticides by the plants themselves.
What was found was that certain types of agriculture were resulting in high levels of nitrogen run off due to poor nitrogen fixation by the crops (resulting in higher levels of N fertilizer being used). This was then caused eutrophication of algae, killing reefs and causing an explosion of cancers in the turtle population. A lot of work is still to be done on the mechanisms and ruling out simple correlation rather than an actual cause (which could happen) but given the history here I think caution is understandable. Not everyone had that approach, some just hate gmo's, personally I think they have a place. I do think they have to be used with caution. The irony of it being Hawai'i is palpable. If it wasn't for the diversity provided by the maoli cotton (called Ma'o) the industry would on its knees. Whe mass plantations of cotton were hit by blight and insects it was natural hybridizing with Hawaiian cotton that provided a resistance. Normally Ma'o wouldn't be grown commercially, the spreadsheets say no, but it was the 'crazy hippie' kanakas that grew it for cultural uses that provided the answer. Moving to mono cropping of designed plants leaves you at the mercy of companies who charge crazy money for seeds. We grow up to 60 varieties of tomatoes (just as one example from the farm), save our own seeds at basically zero cost. We are narrowing it down to maybe 20 of the better varieties for sale but will keep rotating the rest through to keep valid seed. When we bought in some corn seeds we paid a fraction of the cost for organic corn as we would have done for GMO corn, we have the freedom to cross breed the corns and we can save the seeds, also no chemicals required. I do worry about the GMO corn crossing with our corn and finding myself on the end of a lawsuit. I'm personally not all that happy about the corn producing bt toxins (not something we use, although some large organic farms do). I'd like the choice and I'd like to know we can keep their stock isolated, something thats' difficult on small islands.
Plus some of it came down to trust. On the one hand you have farmers who pay for independent experts to check on their farming practices, on the other you have seed and chemical companies who pay politicians to pass laws to prevent people finding out what is happening on the farms. Which makes you suspicious?
It's disturbing to see how the world perceived what went on here with that. No doubt helped by news papers remembering which large chemical companies buy adverts in their papers.