But the good news is that Washingtonians, and many across the country, have deepened their understanding of what GE crops mean to our food system -- and how they drive up hazardous pesticide use.
Over the past year in Hawaii, County Council bills were drafted in response to community concerns about the planting of GM crops. In response, the agrochemical industry brought a number of 'hired guns' from out-of-state to paint a rosier picture of the GMO industry.
Many will be watching closely as the Big Island continues the fight today, with a bill that would prohibit the production of GE crops. And while GMO seeds haven't been as widely introduced on that island, concerned residents there aren't waiting around.
Keeping politicians on message can sometimes be difficult. That also holds true of corporate chiefs and movie stars. Even the most seasoned, media-savvy folks veer off their talking points on occasion. But that's not the case with the pesticide industry and its clientele.
I proposed to my working group we forget the agrotoxins and address instead the burning social and political issues of how we could make agriculture sustainable once again. I understood "sustainable" to mean friendly to the small family farmers and to the natural world.
Pesticide industry lobbyists and allies tried to divert attention to issues like the pesky Varroa mite and the lack of food or forage for bees. As I've mentioned before, it's a common industry tactic to redirect attention away from pesticides to issues that face less opposition.
Contrary to creepy Halloween images of witches, ghosts and ghouls, one of the traditional icons of the season -- the bat -- deserves to be a star.
Despite the skeptics, there is a rising agreement in the scientific community that small amounts of pesticides and other chemicals have negative effects on health.
We need to have, in the spirit of aloha, a serious discussion about food self-sufficiency for the island. We will need everyone's contribution to this effort. How can we achieve affordable food self-sufficiency? How can we leverage our year-round growing season?
What has happened on Kauai after Bill #2491 was introduced on June 30 has been dramatic. It has opened my eyes to the practices of the biotech industry, and it has angered and saddened me.
"Conventional" farming -- especially with corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton, and sugar beets -- now increasingly means using GMOs, which is the subject of Jeffrey Seifert's documentary GMO OMG.
Yes, this is turning into a mutant species horror movie. We, the people, are being biologically changed, by chemicals that disrupt our endocrine and neural development.
One of the discoveries I made during my 25-year tenure at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was ecology. Of course, I had heard of ecology bef...
While they're designed to harm insects, we also just don't know enough about what they'll do to humans over time. And, since they also end up in our food, we're all likely eating them. Daily.
You are a smart man. You are not up for reelection. This is your big chance to make the right choice and take the right road, the road less traveled. This is your once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to leave a lasting legacy of peace and healing rather than more destruction.
Here in the U.S., we're still waiting for EPA to step up and take the kind of swift action that is needed to protect bees. But as pressure mounts on the agency, retailers have a chance to get ahead of the curve and begin to phase out neonicotinoids now.