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People should know by now that viruses, bacteria and fungus are evolving at rates thousands of times greater than macro-level life. We humans have been trying to fight back with chemicals, pesticides and poisons but it's true "That which does not kill you makes you stronger". Their evolution rate is outpacing traditional methods. The big problem on Hawaii island are the number of people that don't understand the science and end up demonizing that which they do not understand. GMO is now a demonized acronym, when all it stands for is Genetically Modified Organism. Genetic modification is occurring all the time, we know them as mutations. Random mutations are mostly unsuccessful and results in defects. We are at the level now that we have a deep understanding of the mechanisms of mutation and have quite a bit of control, not 100% but getting there. The papaya GMO was just a modification to the skin of the papaya, making the skin more resistant to the ring virus. Don't know anybody that eats the skins of papayas. These genetic scientists are working very hard to combat emerging bacteria, virus and fungus from naturally occurring genetic modification. This superstitious fear of human-engineered GMO is rapidly going to drop by the wayside if naturally occurring GMO spirals beyond traditional treatment methods, like what is happening to coffee and citrus in other places now. There is something seriously wrong with the education system on this island, especially in the Puna area, when so many people seem to be so scientifically illiterate and totally disinterested in further learning.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/10/us/disease-threatens-floridas-citrus-industry.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
Citrus Disease With No Cure Is Ravaging Florida Groves

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2013/04/17/f-roya-coffee-fungus-reddekopp.html
Coffee fungus killing crops, jobs from Mexico to Peru

Thank you, thank you for this post. I've had to defend ‘my life's work’ on more than several occasions. You are absolutely right that farmers are now ‘pitted against one another’. It is painful to have someone with the exact same intentions fighting against one another. As farmers, our main intention is to feed the world, yet view points and opinions seem to tear us apart. Thank you, this article really spoke to me.

Mahalo for sharing Richard. Really grateful to hear from a farmer's perspective.

Politicians like Margret Wille are the most dangerous kind. They are moral busybodies that only care about how well they sleep at night, while taking your rights away.

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