How to Differ Genetically Engineered Fruits from Organic Ones at Stores

Found this interesting statement that might help when in the Produce section:

Look at the code printed on the tiny sticker stuck on the produce. If the PLU (Price Look Up) code begins with the number 9, it’s organic. Conventionally grown fruits and vegetables bear a code beginning with 4. If the code begins with an 8, the produce is genetically engineered—making this the only genetic engineering label in the United States.

Help Support the GMO Veto Override

KAHEA has made a quick and simple template for people to write a letter to the council in support of the Bill 361, and to override Harry Kims recent veto of the Bill which all 9 council members voted in favor for.

Please support this by visiting this site and filling out the template at the bottom (20 seconds of your time):

OVERRIDE HARRY KIM

(Fill out box on bottom)

Council looking to Override Mayor Kim’s GMO Veto and Looking for Advisory Commission

Hawaii County Council members will hold a Hilo special meeting at 10 a.m. Nov. 13 to consider overriding the veto. Based upon comments from some council members on Wednesday, it appears the override will be successful…

More Here

A resolution to establish a genetically modified organism advisory commission for the Big Island is slated for discussion during Thursday’s Hawaii County Council committee meetings.

North Kona Councilman Angel Pilago, acting on a suggestion made by Mayor Harry Kim, penned the resolution requesting the administration form a commission that would further “research and discussion of genetic engineering to determine the appropriateness of the use of transgenic crops…”

More Here

Mayor Kim Vetoes GMO Ban, Council Looking to Override

Mayor Kim vetoed Bill 361 the GMO ban on Taro and Coffee despite the council voting 9-0 in favor of it.

The council does have the power to override the Mayor and I hope that’s what happens in this case.

Is GMO Bill 361 Official Now???

It has been more then 10 days since the County Council approved Bill 361.

If memory serves me correct, the mayor only has 10 days to sign the bill or veto the bill otherwise it becomes law regardless of what Harry Kim says after that 10 days.

Does anyone know if it is now official?

Engineered Plant Ban Debated

The Hawaii Council already voted to approve the Banning of GMO Coffee and Taro and the law is just waiting to be signed into law by Harry Kim.

The Starbulletin has more on possibly banning other Genetically Engineered Plants in todays Bulletin here.

…Dennis Gonsalves, the head of the federal Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center in Hilo, says a pending county law banning genetic engineering of coffee and taro is so poorly written that it would ban conventional plant breeding…

Would Harry Kim Veto Bill 361: Taro/Coffee GMO Bill?

Bill 361 Passed unanimously with all 9 Council members voting to pass it into law.  I would hope that Harry Kim would not veto what the council members voted on unanimously as their constituents have spoken.

I’ve gotten wind that Harry might not pass this bill:

He seems unconcerned about “contamination.” Now that is concerning. I felt that we had not taken proper time with him to discuss these basic problems. We had done so 5 years earlier, many times, and thought he understood.

He gave us every indication that he was going to veto the Bill, but he did not directly say that. I think it takes 6 votes to override the veto. Perhaps the community can persuade him to support the Bill.

If you have not yet called to thank your Council Member for their support of Bill #361, it would be an excellent time to do so. Please call tomorrow or the next day, and give your mahalos and appreciation for listening to the voice of the people and especially holding the farmers needs in such high esteem. For daring to think of all the possibilities that could happen. For being ethical. For being excellent listeners for 8 hours. For keeping their sense of humor, for asking intelligent questions, and for thinking deeply and wanting to know who folks worked for, and where the conflict of interest lay. Please ask them to continue to support Bill 361.

Please also take time to call Mayor Kim’s office and leave your message to support Bill 361. His number is 961-8211. If Harry vetoes the bill, it will come before the Council one more time, hopefully before the next Council takes their seats. There will be another round of testimony.

Bill 361 is not finished yet, please hold the highest outcome for the taro and coffee families and all their ohana. Please send this communication on to everyone who supported this bill.

Despite GMO Testing on Papayas in Indonesia… Mealy Bug Discovered

GMO testing on Papaya has been happening in Indonesia.

Field Trials with GM Papaya 1991- 2008:

Probably in several Asian countries (China, Thailand, Japan, Indonesia, the Philippines). Here work is in progress on developing GM papayas that are resistant to the viruses prevalent in the region.

Hawaii has the Mealy bug already.

Thanks to efforts by scientists in a Virginia Tech-led program, the papaya mealybug – an emerging threat from India to Indonesia – is being identified and contained. Attacks by the papaya mealybug are a serious threat. In Indonesia, India, countries in the Caribbean and South America, the Hawaiian Islands, and Florida, papaya means millions of dollars for farmers, middlemen, and processors. In West Java, the scourge has wiped out most of the papaya plantations…

Wiped out forest of Papaya trees in Indonesia

Wiped out forest of Papaya trees in Indonesia

…The papaya mealybug is a particularly devastating pest because it is polyphagous – it feeds on many things. The insect’s host range includes more than 60 species of plants: cassava, papaya, beans, eggplant, melons, hisbiscus, plumeria, pepper, sweet potato, tomato, citrus, mango, and sour sop…

More Here

From the Department of Agricultures website:

After a while, the host plants for rearing the mealybug was switched from potato sprouts and sweet potato plants, used by the USDA lab, to papaya plants in an attempt to increase host density and parasitoid production.

So I say that even with GMO Papayas are still just as vulnerable as Non-GMO Papayas to at least the Mealy Bug.  GMO in Hawaii was to help with Ring-Spot disease…what is going to happen when the GMO Papayas here on the island start getting attacked by the Mealy Bugs?

GMO BILL 361 Passes 9-0 Heads to Mayor for Signature

Just got word that Bill 361 Passed 9-0 and will be moving on to get the Mayor’s Signature to pass it into law.

More on the Bill here

Hawaii County Council to Decide on GMO Bill Today

The Hawaii County Council will be deciding whether to pass Angel Pilago’s Bill 361 today in Hilo.

The Bill can be seen here and if it passes today’s meeting, it will await the Mayors signature to become law.

Na Ono o Ka Aina

Those that know me… know why this is special to me.

National Geographic will be doing some further stuff on this project soon:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uv1q-qh4AU&hl=en&fs=1]

Islands at Risk

Part I

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_Ya5PZSjNA&hl=en&fs=1]

Part II

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IoFcSNv8bus&hl=en&fs=1]

Part III

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FqbtLlLVEDk&hl=en&fs=1]

GMO Taro/Coffee Video Online with Clips from the Council Meeting

Great Video DAVID!

Thanks to Big Island Video News for getting this video online.

Higa Steps Out, GMO Coffee-Taro Bill 361 Passes 8-0 at Council Meeting

The GMO Coffee/Taro Bill 361, that Councilman Pilago introduced, passed 8-0 at the council meeting today in Kona.

Higa stepped away from the meeting when the vote was being placed.  It would have passed no matter which way Higa would have voted.

You can view the bill here.

Pilago’s Bill 361 Before the Council Tomorrow: Taro and Coffee

I mentioned on Wednesday that Pilago would be going before the council with his bill to protect Taro and Coffee tomorrow, September 9th on the Kona side.

The bill can be seen here.

BILL NO. – 361
ORDINANCE NO.
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 14, GENERAL WELFARE, HAWAII
COUNTY CODE 1983 (2005 EDITION, AS AMENDED),
RELATING TO THE
RESTRICTION OF GENETICALLY ENGINEERED TARO (KALO) AND COFFEE

Section 14- Purpose.
The purpose of this article is to protect the taro (kalo) and coffee industry from
genetic engineering and preserve agriculturally-based practices and cultural traditions associated with taro (kalo) and coffee within the County of Hawaii.

More here

2008 Aotearoa Film Festival Features Hawaiian Film Na Ono O Ka Aina (Delicacies of the Land)

My Mother and Father-in-Law recently spent the last two weeks as part of a small Hawaii Delegation for the 2008 Aotearoa Film Festival down in New Zealand.

The film Na Ono O Ka Aina (Delicacies of the Land), a production of Na Maka o ka Aina was featured there and my father-in-law was in it.  The video will be screening locally here in Hawaii soon enough.

In 2006, Na Maka O Ka Aina also produced the excellent video called Islands at Risk: Genetic Engineering in Hawaii:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQDOdnRBLqc&hl=en&fs=1]

Thursday morning KGMB featured a story on Na Maka o Ka Aina and the GMO Controversy.

Pilago Bill on GMO Taro in Hawaii County to go Before Council on September 9th

I just got word from the Hawaii Seed Organization, that Angel Pilago’s bill on GMO Taro Ordinance will be going before the Council next Tuesday,  September 9th @10:30 on the Kona Side.

*Update* I deleted the quote that was here previously, I will post the actual bill when I receive it.

OHA Seeking Taro Farmers for Task Force

Just noticed OHA is seeking Taro Farmers for a Task Force:

I just emailed my Father-In-Law who is in New Zealand for a film festival.  Many people know him as the “Taro Man” here on the Big Island.

Applicants must fulfill the following qualifications:
1)    be a farmer actively growing kalo;
2)    have at least three years of kalo farming experience;
3)    be growing kalo on the island they seek to represent;
4)    and be capable of participating in task force activities, including traveling to other islands to attend meetings.

The Dirty Dozen… Pesticides in Produce

Here is a list of the top 12 Produce items that should be bought organically and a list of the 12 produce items that typically have less pesticides then other produce items according to the Environmental Working Group.