The dogs and I went out walking this morning to find the mountains clear and a breathtaking sky all streaked with orange-red in the east and above that, a pale blue sphere edged on the bottom with the thinnest sliver of gold.
Yes, we're headed toward a new moon tomorrow, another fresh start, and in a similar fashion, the County Council is taking up measures that will be considered by the state Legislature when it reconvenes for a new session in January.
Among them are a resolution calling for a ban on aquarium fish collecting in the state, which the Hawaii County Council approved last month and our Council endorsed last week. And today the Intergovernmental Relations Committee again takes up a resolution proposed by Maui County that would require all genetically engineered foods to be labeled.
It's an issue that's been hotly debated around the world, so it's not surprising that it's generating controversy here, as well as some of the usual bogus arguments spouted by the GMO companies. One of my favorites is that those who produce foods without GMOs are free to label their products as such. Um, yeah, great, except remember how Monsanto, which created the disgusting bovine growth hormone, Prosilac, sued a Maine dairy to prevent it from doing precisely that?
Then there was the perennial claim that requiring such labeling would be burdensome and expensive. I'm sure the same argument was made when food manufacturers had to start disclosing the presence of additives and preservatives, as well as nutritional information. But hasn't that been a good thing?
What it really comes down to is the GMO/chemical companies, like Monsanto, Dow and the rest, are opposed to labeling because they know some consumers won't buy products containing genetically engineered ingredients. If consumers won't buy them, the food industry won't purchase GE crops, which means the farmers won't grow them. And then the chemical companies won't be able to sell their GE seeds and accompanying herbicides and continue to monopolize the world's food supply.
Awww, poor tings dem!
Bottom line: consumers have a right to know what they're eating so they can make a choice.
If the chemical companies think their products are so safe and so great, they should be proud to have that fact disclosed to consumers, instead of fighting labeling tooth and nail.
But even if the Kauai Council joins Maui in passing the resolution, there's still a big battle ahead at the Lege, where the chem companies have a substantial lobbying force and wield a lot of clout, which is why it's been so difficult to get any kind of controls on the GMO seed industry here.
Still, the “neighbor island” counties can have an impact, which is how proposals to protect coffee and taro from genetic engineering have prevailed.