GMO papayas continue to be protected in Hawaii

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Last December, Hawaii County passed a bill that banned biotech companies from the Big Island and prohibited all new genetically modified crops.

GMO AgLast December, Hawaii County passed a bill that banned biotech companies from the Big Island and prohibited all new genetically modified crops. The papaya industry was exempted from this bill, which was clearly not based on science, but rather on baseless claims voiced by anti-biotech advocates. W

Now, Hawaiian papayas are back in the news, as they continue to be protected by the government. A judge ruled last week that farmers growing genetically-modified papayas which comprise the majority of the papaya farmers in Hawaii would not have to disclose the location or identity of their farms. The growers of GMO papaya argued that the bill, if passed, would subject them to vandalism or economic harm. At the same time, a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Honolulu is challenging the ban on GMO crops in Hawaii.

And for good reason. There is no scientific basis for banning GMO crops in Hawaii or anywhere else. As Dr. Gil Ross said when the GMO debate first began regarding papayas in Hawaii, They [anti-biotech activists] seemed to have bent over backwards to ignore and downplay the science, that is the facts or the truth of this technology, not even bothering to give it lip service while rushing to put their own superstitions into effect.

If you need more scientific validation regarding the safety and benefit of GMO foods, look no further than a column written by Brooke Borel, science writer and journalist, on Popular Science. She debunks common myths pointing to the fact that GMOs have been studied intensively and have been around for years. And, as Pedro Sanchez, director of the Agriculture and Food Security Center at Columbia University s Earth Institute, GMOs are just one tool to make sure the world is food-secure when we add two billion more people by 2050. Read the full story here!