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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 […]

Future could be bright for diversified ag on Maui

Future could be bright for diversified ag on Maui

Agriculture in Hawaii has changed dramatically over the last four decades. This year will see the final harvest from Hawaii’s largest farm and last sugar plantation, Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company on Maui. The planned transition from 36,000 acres of sugarcane to diversified crop and animal production, if successful, would be the biggest change in […]

Natural GMOs here, there and everywhere

Natural GMOs here, there and everywhere

Besides our DNA being the result of billions of years of modification of our ancestral lineage, we also have ‘foreign’ DNA that came from insertion through horizontal gene transfer (HGT).  And so do a lot of other animals and creatures. A couple of years ago, the finding that a quarter of the cow genome came […]

Five Excellent Reports on Kauai Pesticide Issues

Five Excellent Reports on Kauai Pesticide Issues

Later this week a Joint Fact Finding Study Group from Kauai will release their report on pesticide use by large agricultural operations (seed corn and coffee), including any impacts to environmental and human health from such usage. If justified by evidence, they will also make recommendations. The study group was created after passage of Bill […]

Six Years of Field Data in Hawaii Show Pollen Drift from GE Papaya is Very Low

Six Years of Field Data in Hawaii Show Pollen Drift from GE Papaya is Very Low

Between 2004 and 2010, pollen drift from GE papaya to non-GE papaya was examined in commercial plantings and replicated field trials by Dennis Gonsalves and co-investigators. Results showed very low levels of transgene flow to non-GE papaya, most likely due to the self-pollinating characteristic of commercial varieties. The results also suggest that organic farmers could […]

Pesticides in Perspective: The Agricultural Health Study

Pesticides in Perspective: The Agricultural Health Study

Pesticides are risky; they are designed to kill organisms that share many biochemical pathways and physiological processes with non-target species, including humans in some cases (National Academy of Sciences). While it is difficult to develop pesticides with large margins of safety, there has been much improvement in this area. The public generally is not familiar […]