GMO School

Update on Why Pesticides

Update on Why Pesticides

In the last post I showed several examples of why pesticides are used in Hawaii’s agriculture. At our nursery (in Kula, Maui) we just found another good example – the Croton caterpillar (Achaea janata)  which is was eating its way through the mango blossoms, and just about everything else in its path, including Ohia, Maile […]

The Greatest Risk of Pesticides in Hawaii is Not to Use Them

The Greatest Risk of Pesticides in Hawaii is Not to Use Them

The 2017 session of the Hawaii state legislature saw at least 17 bills introduced that deal with pesticide regulation, with many going far beyond what is federally mandated by the EPA. A majority of the proposed legislation claims that these restrictive measures are necessary because of perceived harm to the public or the environment, though […]

Podcast with Michael Specter on rewriting the code of life

Podcast with Michael Specter on rewriting the code of life

“How can you not be excited about the possibility of getting rid of the worst scourges of humanity?” In a  remarkable podcast on National Public Radio, Michael Specter is interviewed about his recent article in the New Yorker, Rewriting the Code of Life.  His discussion of the gene editing tool CRISPR and gene drives is […]

Mayor scolded for suggesting citizens educate themselves before making important decisions

Mayor scolded for suggesting citizens educate themselves before making important decisions

Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa recently addressed the ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that invalidated the GMO-moratorium that was passed by a slim margin of county voters in November of 2014. He questioned whether the SHAKA group that authored the initiative received competent legal advice, given the fairly obvious and numerous […]

Fear based restrictions on agriculture dismissed by US District Appeals Court

Fear based restrictions on agriculture dismissed by US District Appeals Court

The anti-GMO and pesticide measures that emerged over the past two years in Kauai, Maui and Hawaii counties are now a perfect zero for six in federal courts. Who said you couldn’t find a good bagel in Hawaii? In agreement with earlier US District Court rulings, the Appeals Court found that modern plant varieties and […]

The Future of Agriculture from The Economist

The Future of Agriculture from The Economist

The British agronomist Jethro Tull invented the seed drill, the horse drawn hoe, and an improved plow. These are now recognized as major technological improvements that helped modernize agriculture in the 18th century, though it took over a century for fierce early resistance to fade away. Some 300 years on from his contributions, agriculture has continued […]

The Baloney Detection Kit

The Baloney Detection Kit

Carl Sagan was a pioneering astronomer at Cornell University and a uniquely talented science communicator, probably best known for the original Cosmos television series which he co-wrote and first presented in 1980. He was also a wonderful writer who shared with readers the joys of discovering and understanding how the world and universe around us […]