GMO Seed Bullshit

SUBHEAD: One-hundred-and-fifty GMO execs meet on Kauai for no reason. Nothing to see here. Just keep on moving.

By Tom LaVenture on 22 May 2013 for the Garden Island News -

[IB Editor's note: In the annuls of non-news stories this is a weird one.The meeting of Hawaii GMO seed growing company execs is scheduled just days before what is expected to be a large state-wide (and world-wide) anti-GMO demonstration. It is difficult to imagine that these GMO honchos are not meeting, at least in part, to talk about blunting the effect of the demonstration and what strategies to use in combating growing resistance to their poisonous operations. Methinks I smell some fear among the life-stealing chemical corporation flaks.]

Image above: Hugh Grant, CEO of Monsanto Corporation displays fearful smile and trembling chin in photo from Bloonberg News. From (

For the first time in its 42-year history, the Hawaii Crop Improvement Association will hold its annual meeting on Kauai.

The HCIA is comprised of five member companies — Syngenta, BASF, DOW, DuPont, and Monsanto. Today’s conference at the Kauai Marriott Resort and Beach Club in Lihue is not open to the public.

The conference is described as an informal meeting for about 150 industry executives and employees based on the Hawaiian Islands, according to HCIA President Mark Phillipson of Syngenta Seeds. It is not a platform to present new science or corporate business.

“This will not be anything new, but more of a reiteration of what we already know,” Phillipson said. “We are excited about it because a large group of our members live on Kauai, and we are glad that we’re able to host them.”

There are no lengthy business meetings, surprises or celebratory events or awards, he said. It’s basically a one-day meeting with nothing new or novel.

“It’s the opportunity for our members to network and get together and just talk to each other about issues that are facing them, the successes that they’ve had and just general social catching up,” Phillipson said. “It’s a chance to find out is someone got a new position, and meet the new family members.”

The keynote speaker is scheduled to be Dennis Gonsalves, who will present on The Rainbow Papaya: Hawaii’s GMO Success Story. The breakout sessions include responsible pesticide use and integrated pest management policies and practices; best agricultural practices; and dispelling myths and fallacies about the seed industry through community engagement.

The conference comes a few days before an anti-GMO rally scheduled on Kuhio Highway in front of the Kapaa shopping center from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

“We rally to protect our food supply, support local farmers, be aware of the harmful effects of gmo foods, promote organic solutions, and expose the cronyism between big business and the government,” according to a press release from GMO Free Kaua’i.

The HCIA was formed in 1971 by Dr. James Brewbaker of the University of Hawaii College of Agriculture’s Corn Research Program on Molokai. It is now a nonprofit trade association representing the seed industry in Hawaii.

For the past 42 years the annual conferences have been a source of camaraderie for people in a shared industry. It is not unlike the hotels getting together for a tourism industry conference, Phillipson said.

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