GMO Fight Club: Accusations Fly Over Biotech on Kauai

Nick Grube/ Civil Beat

Amid the latest escalations in the battle over genetically modified crops and biotech in Hawaii, Mark Phillipson, president of the Hawaii Crop Improvement Association, suggested that passions simply can't get much more "stoked" up.

His comment came after a colleague at the association — which represents Syngenta, Dow AgroScience, Pioneer Hi-Bred International, BASF and Monsanto — dished out allegations of discrimination and de facto censorship that is preventing the major biotech industries from getting a fair hearing on a contentious bill that could restrict their seed operations on the Garden Isle.

The biotech trade group is accusing Kauai County Councilman Gary Hooser and Kauai’s local community television station of discrimination and shutting it out of public hearings on the legislation.

The accusations came in a pair of letters. Alicia Maluafiti, executive director of the association, sent one to Hooser on Tuesday, accusing him of not giving Kauai’s seed companies proper notice to prepare expert testimony for an Aug. 5 hearing. She sent another letter the same day to J Robertson, the managing director of Hoike: Kauai Community Television, accusing his station of essentially censoring footage of pro-biotech testimony.

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