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10 January 2014 - Think Globally, Not Selfishly

There are some things that will just not go away. One of them is the controversy over horse slaughter or what to do with unwanted horses, and I still have not heard from anti-slaughter people with a solution to that problem that will not cost taxpayers money. Another is the controversy over the labeling of foods containing GMO’s. I wrote about that last week because of the labeling initiative that will be on the ballot in Oregon in November 2014.

This week I need to write about GMO’s again because of what is happening in our 50th state. In Hawaii, they have now voted to ban production of any crop containing a GMO. So why is that a concern? Hawaii is not a big producer of grains and other products that contain GMO’s, but it is where many of the seed companies headquartered on the Mainland go in the winter time to grow crops and continue their research. It givers them the ability to research plant growing conditions in the field the year around; here on the Mainland in our summer time, and in Hawaii and South America in the winter time. That ability cuts research time in half.

Apparently, that will no longer be the case. Kauai has passed a ban on GMO production. The Big Island has passed a ban on GMO production, but that will have little or no impact because companies such as Monsanto, Syngenta and Pioneer, who all conduct research in Hawaii, do not operate on the Big Island. But they do on Maui, and that island is now considering a ban on GMO’s.

I’ve said this before, it angers some people, but I will say it again…If you are against GMO’s, you are selfish and not concerned about starvation and malnutrition in many countries on the planet because you are against technology that is vitally needed to feed a hungry world.

Thanks to the use of technology in this country, we are producing a lot more food on less land, and at the same time, producing food without GMO’s to give you a choice. But in many countries the choice is not conventional or organic food, the choice is food or starvation. As the world population continues to grow, we are in a race against time and that is why the decisions being made by a few people in Hawaii is so short-sighted. I would urge them to re-think their actions, so research can continue year-round.

I am not “in the pockets” of seed or chemical companies as some of you have charged; they do not pay me. They do advertise on my radio and TV programs, but I have never let advertisers dictate what I say or how I say it. I have seen too much hunger and malnutrition in the many countries I have visited to be against research and technology that will take the look of hunger from the eyes of a child. They struggle to find enough food on a daily basis.

So put your selfishness aside and let us conduct the research and use the technology to feed a growing world.

The First Lady’s White House Garden is a fine example for people in this country to produce their own food without GMO’s, if they so desire, but it will not feed the world. And it is selfish of us to ban research to find technology that will enable us to keep up with the growing population. I hope the people of Hawaii will change their mind and allow research to continue.

My thoughts on Samuelson Sez.