POSTED: 17 MAY 2005 - 8:00pm

GMO-Free Kauai newsletter

Close-up of corn.

We would like to thank you for your continued support and commitment to creating a GMO-Free Kauai. This is an exciting time for GMO-free Kauai, and we would like to share you some of the latest information on how we are all making the island gmo-free. In this newsletter....

1) Upcoming showings of the Future of Food.
Waimea , Higashi Hongwanji. Wednesday, May 18th, 7:00pm.
Kapaa, public library. Tuesday, May 24th, 7:00pm

2) Opportunities to volunteer part - time, with no meetings!
This is a very exciting time to join GMO-Free Kauai, as we have made many inroads, and the time is right to take it to the next level with help from you our supporters. We believe these tasks can be done on your own time, with minimal interaction and oversight from the main group, in other words, no big meetings for these volunteers! Please do not hesitate to call us if you are interested in any of these opportunities at 651 - 9603, as each of volunteer positions getting filled would help us a great deal.

One of the most exciting and fun opportunities we have for volunteers is art creation. Flynn Ford has offered to head a art group to create presentation materials, puppets, signs, etc. Please call her directly at 821 - 9695 if you are interested.

Volunteer coordinator - organize and update the volunteer database, create a phone tree system.

Event coordinator - coordinate events like movie showings, fund raising concerts, etc. Handle getting event space reserved, making sure materials are present as needed, and set up properly.

Grant writing group coordinator - organize a group of volunteers to do grant writing, facilitate the process of getting together and discussing grant proposals.

Outreach coordinator - collect information of island groups that would
be open to learning more about GMO's, and set up presentation times.

3) Upcoming training opportunity
Our friend Dave Henson from the Occidental Arts College, co-founder and the Director of the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center, will be with us on July 16, do do a one day training on the county initiative process.

If you would like to help spearhead and organize this very important effort to pass a county initiative regarding GMO's, we think it would be a good idea to attend this training. We are still discussing the exact location of the training, but we are thinking of reserving it to 5, or maybe 10 volunteers. Please call us a t 651-9603 if you are interested.

4) A new , shorter, wish list
Laptop computer, capable of displaying a powerpoint presentation.
Legal consultation.
Office space.
Office equipment , if we receive office space.

5) A few links to recent articles covering the latest in GMO news
Human Gene Gets Put Into Rice
Tillamook Votes to ban rBGH in its cheese - despite pressure from Monsanto

6) last meeting of the GMO-Free Kauai steering committee 5/10/2005

Our Future of Food public showings. discussed Kapaa , May 24, and May
18, Waimea.

Noted, Future of Food on Hoike , Friday and Saturday.

Initiative process: Discussion of ongoing draft work.* Update on PEW conveners and stakeholder selection, and ongoing analysis of issues involved at conference.

Voted on topic to be covered in Dave Henson's one day training, July 16, Initiative process and collecting signatures, the campaign to run the process.

Covered ongoing organizational supply levels (movies, books, etc), and technical needs (we can use a laptop).

Data base organization, of volunteers.

Discussion of presence at county fair.

Discussed level of openness of steering committee.

As always , have hope and do what you can.



Yes, the madness continues!

25 April 2005 - 9:00am

Human genes placed in rice crop
by Geoffrey Lean published in The Independent 24 April 2005

Scientists have begun putting genes from human beings into food crops in a dramatic extension of genetic modification. The move, which is causing disgust and revulsion among critics, is bound to strengthen accusations that GM technology is creating "Frankenstein foods" and drive the controversy surrounding it to new heights.

Even before this development, many people, including Prince Charles, have opposed the technology on the grounds that it is playing God by creating unnatural combinations of living things.

Environmentalists say that no one will want to eat the partially human-derived food because it will smack of cannibalism.

But supporters say that the controversial new departure presents no ethical problems and could bring environmental benefits.

In the first modification of its kind, Japanese researchers have inserted a gene from the human liver into rice to enable it to digest pesticides and industrial chemicals. The gene makes an enzyme, code-named CPY2B6, which is particularly good at breaking down harmful chemicals in the body.
Present GM crops are modified with genes from bacteria to make them tolerate herbicides, so that they are not harmed when fields are sprayed to kill weeds.

But most of them are only able to deal with a single herbicide, which means that it has to be used over and over again, allowing weeds to build up resistance to it.

But the researchers at the National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences in Tsukuba, north of Tokyo, have found that adding the human touch gave the rice immunity to 13 different herbicides. This would mean that weeds could be kept down by constantly changing the chemicals used.

Supporting scientists say that the gene could also help to beat pollution.
Professor Richard Meilan of Purdue University in Indiana, who has worked with a similar gene from rabbits, says that plants modified with it could "clean up toxins" from contaminated land. They might even destroy them so effectively that crops grown on the polluted soil could be fit to eat.

But he and other scientists caution that if the gene were to escape to wild relatives of the rice it could create particularly vicious superweeds that were resistant to a wide range of herbicides.

He adds: "I do not have any ethical issue with using human genes to engineer plants", dismissing talk of "Frankenstein foods" as "rubbish". He believes that that European opposition to GM crops and food is fuelled by
agricultural protectionism.

But Sue Mayer, director of GeneWatch UK, said yesterday:

"I don't think that anyone will want to buy this rice. People have already expressed disgust about using human genes, and already feel that their concerns are being ignored by the biotech industry.This will just undermine their confidence even more."

Pete Riley, director of the anti-GM pressure group Five Year Freeze, said: "I am not surprised by this.

"The industry is capable of anything and this development certainly smacks of Frankenstein."

see also:

Island Breath: GMO Free Kauai