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Your Views for July 13

Stop Bill 79

Whether you think GMO technology is good or bad is not the issue. Free choice is.

Bill 79 takes away the legal agricultural tools for our farmers and ranchers approved by the federal agencies responsible for our health and safety.

There is no clear and present danger, only fear and speculation of what might happen in the future. Meanwhile, more than 70 percent of our food contains GMO ingredients. Americans enjoy inexpensive food because of modern conventional farming practices with only 2 percent of the population farming. I’m not saying who is right. I am only advocating everyone being able to choose for themselves.

Bill 79 picks winners and losers and divides our community. It is the wrong conversation for our island and distracts us from working together to promote food self-reliance and sustainability.

In my 30-plus-year career in agriculture on Hawaii Island, I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with folks on both sides of this issue. I understand the passion and fear the anti-GMO folks have about our current food supply chain. At my day job, I manage the largest papaya export business in Hawaii. In my free time, I am developing a model natural farm on my personal property to demonstrate food self-reliance and sustainability. For one month in 2011, my wife and I only ate what we personally grew using Korean natural farming methods. Far from a romantic fantasy, it requires a lot of time and hard work. I have tried and failed to grow a small commercial non-GMO papaya orchard, but continue ti seek the knowledge and experience to some day make that happen.

Why limit the options of conventional commercial farmers to be competitive in the market place? Currently, nothing is preventing organic farmers from farming organically. We can co-exist. Let the marker determining if organic, GMO or conventional is what consumers want. My guess is there is room for all.

Let consumers and farmers choose what is best for them. Defeat Bill 79.

Eric Weinert


A true leader

Dear Sen. Russell Ruderman, I am very grateful that you took time out from your busy schedule to thank me for my support.

The fact is that you have far exceeded my expectations with your performance during the short time that you have been in office.

My utmost respect for the out front positions that you have taken on pot and the entire genuie effort to stop the continued denial of Roger Christie’s “Constitional rights.”

You are outstanding in guts and true leadership and I predict you will do a lot of good for the people. Hele on!

Henry Collins



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