“Many of them worked on big sugar and pineapple plantations. They saved to buy small plots of land. Those who farm these plots know that the papaya growers have survived thanks to genetically modified varieties that have been safely used since the 1990s.”
Indeed, an article from the Hawaii Tribune-Herald online titled “Papaya: A GMO Success Story” tells the story of the creation of the virus-resistant Rainbow papaya, which is credited with bringing the industry back from the brink of destruction caused by a virus.
Papaya production is nowhere near back to what it used to be but at least there are some Hawaiian papayas being produced. Vicky Boyd, staff writer for The Packer, wrote in April that Hawaiian papaya growers were not shy in support of GMO papayas.
In fact, the trade organization Hawaii Papaya Industry Association, Hilo, took out a two-page advertisement in Hawaiian Airlines magazine to tell travelers about nutritious papayas and how genetic engineering helped save the industry.
She quoted Eric Weinert, general manager of Los Angeles-based Calavo Growers Inc.’s Hawaii operations in Keaau that papaya growers had nothing to hide.
“Everybody knows Hawaiian papayas are GMO and have been for 15 years,” he said.
In early 2012, The Packer reported “after 13 years of negotiations, Japan has approved its first shipment of genetically modified Rainbow papayas from Hawaii.”
Many of us at The Packer support the use of genetically modified crops. Vicky Boyd attests to the tastiness of the Rainbow papaya, but I prefer to try it myself.
That means I need to get to Hawaii, since I think all the product in Japan is already spoken for. If I have to wave a sign saying no to GMOs in order for people to send me, so be it.
I need to set up a website and begin collecting donations.
What's your take? Leave a comment and tell us your opinion.