For Chris Kobayashi and her husband, Dimi Rivera, it all started with Japanese cucumbers. "In 1997 we said, 'OK, let's grow Japanese cucumbers, but let's grow it organically,'" Kobayashi tells me as we walk around her farm in Hanalei Bay on Kaua'i's North Shore. "You know, because they are crispy, crunchy, and yummy and you can eat the skin and everything."
Hawai'i has become "ground zero" in the controversy over genetically modified (GMO) crops and pesticides. The out-of-state pesticide and GMO firms Syngenta, Monsanto, DuPont Pioneer, Dow Chemical, BASF, and Bayer CropScience have brought substantial sums of corporate cash into the state's relatively small political arena.
A coalition of genetically modified organism (GMO), pesticide, and Big Food corporate trade groups are fighting mandatory labeling efforts at the state and local level by pushing preemption measures in Congress and at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Three years ago, the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) reported on Karden, an adorable puppet used in part to convince kids that gardening with sewage sludge was a fun activity for all ages. (Karden, of course, failed to explain that sewage sludge contains toxic and hazardous materials.) Well, move over Karden the sludge puppet, there's a new kid in town: Frank N. Foode, "your friendly neighborhood genetically modified organism," who "help[s] make the science of biotechnology fun and approachable."
Congress passed a nearly trillion-dollar omnibus Farm Bill Tuesday after almost three years of debate that one analyst called "fairly epic." This major piece of legislation, which is generally under-covered by the mainstream media, sets farm and food policy for the next five years.
Despite a full-court press defending the supposed benefits of genetically engineered "golden rice," it has never entered production. According to Jonathan Latham of Independent Science News, the science media has utterly failed to report accurately on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) -- on their failures and criticisms rather than just their potential successes. A transgenic high-protein cassava, a type of starchy edible root, was lauded in the scientific press but fizzled not long after. So did a supposedly virus-resistant sweet potato that was widely hailed in the media. According to Jonathan Latham of Independent Science News, these and others are just a few examples of what he says is the utter failure of the science media to report accurately and critically on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) -- on their failures rather than just their touted successes.
Prions -- the infectious, deformed proteins that cause chronic wasting disease in deer -- can be taken up by plants such as alfalfa, corn and tomatoes, according to new research from the National Wildlife Health Center in Madison.