Testimony supporting Bill 361

Aloha Council members:
     I am an organic taro farmer.  I have been farming in Kurtistown for 28 years and growing taro in Hawaii for more than 35 years.  At our Malu `Aina farm we have more than 20 varieties of taro.  I presented oral and written testimony in support of Bill 361 on Sept. 9, 2008.  No need to repeat what I said then.  But I do wish to add a few points.
1.  Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) should be viewed as dangerous invasive species that pose great risks and threaten sustainable agriculture in Hawaii and around the world.
2.  We need legislation and regulation at all levels of goverment to control this threat.
Bill 361 to protect the taro and coffee is a first step.  But it is not enough.
3.  Hawaii is ground zero for the GMO corporations.  Our people and aina are being treated as lab rats by the new global biotech plantation industry.  We are expendable.
    It was a lack of government  legislation and regulation that allowed the greed and corruption on Wall Street to grow like a cancer that now threatens global financial collapse.  And if allowed to similarly go unregulated, unchecked, GMOs, instead of preserving food crops, may end up destroying food sustainability for the planet.  GMOs are a crap shoot for corportate profit and gain, and concentrating power and control of food production.  GMOs have nothing to do with feeding hungry people.  Like Wall Street, it's all about privatizing profits, and socializing the risks and loss.  In my judgement, that's the terrorism we need to be addressing.
    Take a stand for the life of the land.  Protect the coffee and the kalo.  It's a start.
Jim Albertini
Malu `Aina Center For Non-violent Education & Action
P.O. Box AB
`Ola`a (Kurtistown), Hawaii 96760
Phone 808-966-7622
email ja@interpac.net


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