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Group opens isle office to push GMO labeling

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 07:08 a.m. HST, May 09, 2014

A national organization promoting the labeling of genetically modified food has opened an office in Honolulu.

The Center for Food Safety has also established a local political action committee and will get involved in state elections this summer, Hawaii News Now reported.

The Center for Food Safety helped draft a new law in Vermont requiring labeling.

Many in Hawaii have questioned how labeling would be implemented at a state level, said Ashley Lukens, the Center for Food Safety's Honolulu program director. Vermont is going to start answering some of those questions, she said.

Lukens believes increased awareness means Hawaii could follow Vermont's lead, perhaps as soon as next year.

"With that community energy here in Hawaii, it is inevitable that we will see labeling," Lukens said.

Hawaii lawmakers have failed to pass labeling legislation in the past. Opponents say labeling would be hard to enforce, cost more for consumers and isn't necessary.

"Targeting genetically modified foods with mandatory labeling gives the impression that they are more harmful then non-GM foods, which there is no scientific evidence to support," said Kirby Kester, president-elect of the Hawaii Crop Improvement Association.

The Center for Food Safety, which is based in the District of Columbia, isn't a stranger to the islands. It has supported a new Kauai County law regulating pesticides and genetically modified crops.

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wiliki wrote:
This is a scientific question and not politics. Labeling is a misuse of the political system.
on May 9,2014 | 08:46AM
Skyler wrote:
People have a right to know what's in their food - science & politics, notwithstanding.
on May 9,2014 | 11:15AM
kuroiwaj wrote:
Skyler, all, all plants and animals are GM, including you and me. GM has been going on for millions of years, from the first DNA. Therefore, all foods are GM.
on May 9,2014 | 11:57AM
Skyler wrote:
(roll eyes)
on May 9,2014 | 04:59PM
leino wrote:
Yes ... genes morph .... sometimes in pleasant &/or subtle ways ... like why all dogs and people look a little different from one another or in more significant ways that can produce death, or impaired reproductive ability or some biochemical metabolic dysfunction that can disrupt an organisms life. Humans have lots of genetic diseases. As we start bypassing Darwinian winnowing and add in gene sequences that man has not had to deal with before we need to utilize extreme cautionary principle. What is happening in GMO laboratories are not natural mutations. Today it is a marketing scheme to sell more pesticides. I read that " ... An estimated 1.1 billion pounds of pesticides are used in the U.S. every year ..." ... a dangerous trend. There is so much related to this GMO situation that is risky and not sustainable.
on May 9,2014 | 05:07PM
DowntownGreen wrote:
No, they are not. You are confusing 2 very different processes.
on May 9,2014 | 05:32PM
kuroiwaj wrote:
Hi DowntownGreen, so we are drawing a line between natural or normal gene mutation and manual or technical gene manipulation for plants and animals. Can we say it's okay for natural gene mutation and it's not okay for manual gene manipulation for plants and animals? Where do we place human stem cell DNA manipulation that creates red blood cells to attack blood cancer cells? Or, how do we classify polyploidy plants that exist normally in nature? The process is the same, only one happens because of science and technology advancements.
on May 9,2014 | 08:32PM
DowntownGreen wrote:
Yes, we can draw the line. Yes, we can say it's OK for natural gene mutation and it's not OK for manual gene manipulation... at least until we have more conclusive evidence that it will do no harm. And I would especially not trust a science that is shoved down our throats by interests whose only goal is profit.
on May 9,2014 | 09:14PM
lee1957 wrote:
Let's also advocate for mandatory labelling of organic food.
on May 9,2014 | 03:14PM
eleu808 wrote:
GMO technology is new. The scientist use a gene gun to inject genes from one species to another. The earliest custom manufactured gene guns (fabricated by Nelson Allen) used a 22 caliber nail gun cartridge to propel an extruded polyethylene cylinder (bullet) down a 22 cal. Douglas barrel. A droplet of the tungsten powder and genetic material was placed on the bullet and shot down the barrel at a lexan "stopping" disk with a petri dish below. The bullet welded to the disk and the genetic information blasted into the sample in the dish with a doughnut effect (devastation in the middle, a ring of good transformation and little around the edge).
on May 9,2014 | 04:29PM
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