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Your Views for June 23

Seeds and GMO

The Tribune-Herald danced around the issue of seed-saving, which is the crux of being an independent farmer whether you are organic or not. Most small farmers, especially if going the organic route, like to be self-sustaining and would save seed from season to season to replant their crops. The plants adapt to the particular area through subsequent plantings, and heirloom varieties are perpetuated for future generations.

It would be one thing if Monsanto, Aventis, etc., had a product that was self-contained and easily accounted for, like your can of soda. Corn is wind-pollinated and canola is pollinated by bees. Can either be controlled?

Soda can spill and make a mess, but it can be wiped up, and the ants will take care of the rest. You will NOT be able to “clean” your corn of the Roundup Ready gene. Another important aspect is that you have a choice. Soda is clearly labeled: You want Coke or Pepsi? The corn you eat may have the Roundup gene or Aventis’ StarLink Bt gene, or none. Wouldn’t you want that choice?

With a Roundup Ready corn or StarLink Bt corn nearby, your organic corn farm is literally at their mercy. Now the seed of your papaya, or if you kept your corn as seed, they are no longer organic. If you replant using your seeds, the resulting crop is NOT organic. Monsanto can now sue you for patent-infringement because your corn contains “their” gene. So, they ruin you as a farmer and financially shut you down with a lawsuit.

“No way!” you say? Well, the U.S. Court of Appeals in New York just ruled against the organic growers, saying they had no reason to block Monsanto from suing them. Check out Monsanto vs. Maurice Parr, a seed cleaner, or Monsanto vs. Dave Runyon, a soybean farmer.

Presently, Idaho farmers filed a lawsuit against Monsanto after discovery of GMO wheat in nearby Oregon. This is despite the fact that GMO wheat is not approved for use in the U.S. No doubt Monsanto will launch a major defense to protect themselves.

As a side note, buried in the front-page story (June 10), “Papaya: A GMO success story,” was the quick mention that “the non-transgenic Kapoho Solo is slightly more tolerant of the fungus than Rainbow … though both are hit hard.” A question mark in the title would be more appropriate.

Arman Wiggins


Medical marijuana

Regarding the new medical pot laws: Doesn’t the state Legislature realize that if a primary care physician refuses to recommend “med-pot,” that patient has no choice but to resort to buying and/or secretly growing, and thus becoming a criminal?! Unless there is incentive for doctors to go through the mounds of paperwork the state requires for each patient, why would they possibly want the extra hassle and the risk that the feds could go after them? I can’t believe there is no uproar from patients about this law.

Josh Green’s small-minded meanness (in the guise of being a right-thinking, compassionate doctor) and the legislators’ lack of critical thinking could effectively gut this program and bring back the high prices and return to the gross proliferation of cheap “ice” that happened before. Hello, is anyone out there thinking about consequences?

Don’t forget: Josh Green has been trying to shut down this program for years. But then maybe the whole state Legislature is patting itself on the back for this end-run around a 13-year-program that has been successful and a life-saver to so many sick people.

Natec Harijan


We’re all immigrants

I have been appalled by ignorant remarks made by people many times, but never so much as the those on Twitter regarding the young Latino boy who sang a beautiful rendition of the “Star-Spangled Banner” at the NBA Finals.

Unless your ancestors were Native Americans I suggest you look up your heritage and then start packing your bags and go back to wherever it is you are from!

This young man was born in the U.S.A. in San Antonio, Texas, and based on his remarks made since being attacked, I think he is going to be a very intelligent and proud American.

Nancy Pearson


Some ‘service’

First the taxpayers are hit with a 10 percent property tax hike (has property values gone up 10 percent? NO!) to fund “services.” Apparently “services” is giving every county Tom, Dick and Harry a raise.

Union employees get a raise. The department heads and the mayor are “forced” to take a raise for “parity.” Then the council votes themselves a re-election slush fund (they take our tax money to tell us what a good job they’re doing spending our money.) Now the council aides get a raise because “we’re basically being fair and consistent on how we handle salaries.” In other words: “We think anything we give ourselves and our flunkies is fair.”

Shouldn’t the taxpayer decide what’s fair? Obviously not.

What other employees decide they deserve a salary increase? Usually the people supplying the money do, but not with government. They tell us how much we, the taxpayers, will pay them. Arrogance at its finest!

Nor can it be performance-based; they would owe us.

I guess ripping off the taxpayer is a “service” — one of the few our county government is good at.

William Wade

Kehena Beach


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