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Not Succumbed to Corporate Propaganda

Dennis M. Karpiak’s scathing opinion piece, “GMO, a Powerful Technology,” on activists in general and in particular Mr. Walter Ritte, deserves a response. In addition, his criticism of industrial agribusiness regulation shows disregard for the health and safety of adjacent property owners, consumers, and agribusiness workers. His assault on activism and its intimidation on politicians is trite and self-serving.

His description of activists as anti-science know-nothing nincompoops is inappropriate and egregious. However, I have bad news for our dear doctor. The Maui County Council, those pesky activist politicians, has an ordinance before it, introduced by Councilwoman Elle Cochran on Dec. 6. The bill in question follows the legislation passed in November by Kauai County Council and that of Hawaii County earlier this month.

Karpiak’s anecdotal statement regarding genetic modification in golden rice and its subsequent response to Vitamin A deficiency is simply that. He offers no citation as to the truth of his statement, no evidence that this is the case. I would advise Dr. Karpiak to research current soy bean industrial agribusiness practices in Argentina and his tune may change. In that country, where Monsanto encouraged a shift to industrial farming, changes in farming practices has had negative results, which can be found at organicconsumers.org.

Argentina, once a rich diverse agriculture, has been replaced by a monoculture in the past 20 years, resulting in social disruption and flooding due to deforestation for planting Monsanto’s patented seeds. Also, previously unknown illnesses are appearing as herbicides and pesticides including Agent Orange (dioxin), paraquat, which corrodes metal and glyphosphate are applied in greater quantities. Samples analyzed by Testbiotech demonstrate almost 70 percent showed much higher content than the international maximum residue level (MRL) of 20 mg/kg.

Dr. Karpiak would have us believe in his exultation of Monsanto that the corporate goal is to feed the world. Sir, you must be either incredibly naïve or disingenuous in such a conclusion. You are wrong! Monsanto’s goals as a global corporation are to maximize profits for its share and bond holders while cornering as large a share of the grain and legume patented seed market as possible. While you may have succumbed to its corporate propaganda, thankfully many of us have not.

Sincerely,

Magnus G. Mowatt

Kaunakakai

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