Local Connection: Pesticide Debate

Local Connection: Pesticide Debate

Hawaii's GMO seed industry is once again on the defensive – this time at the state capitol.

Because of court rulings, the state government is the last hope for GMO critics who want more regulation.

There's two sides to this issue of course. Production of pesticide-resistant seed is important to Hawaii's economy. And many local farmers say the seed companies create economies of scale and infrastructure that help small farms survive.

There is also almost zero evidence that the GMO products themselves are dangerous for people to eat.

But critics of the industry have cleverly dropped their scary warnings about "franken-foods". They are now focusing on the pesticides the industry depends on.

An impartial study of pesticide use on Kauai didn't find a link between chemical use and health issues, but it also said the situation needed more study.

In the meantime it recommends disclosure of pesticide use and buffer zones to prevent public exposure.

Given the unlikelihood of compromise, lawmakers should take those recommendations very seriously.

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