Russell Ruderman on HNN’s Sunrise Show Refuting Paul Brewbaker,’s GMO Financial Fantasy

HNN’s Sunrise show with Russell Ruderman, State Senator from Puna, refuting the Brewbaker report on economic impacts of Maui GMO initiative.

The Senator said Brewbaker’s basic assumptions are flawed rendering the report meaningless.

To amplify the Senator’s criticisms of Brewbaker’s report:

It’s a false assumption that either company would lay off their entire work force. Both have production and research operations that can be applied to the many NON GMO seeds that each company offers.  Switching to NON-GMO’s would preserve those jobs and is perfectly reasonable to do.(Especially given that the world demand for GMO seeds is declining rapidly.)

One of the unintended consequences of the continued growth of GE and chemical operations on these islands, that’s not factored into Brewbaker’s report, is the negative impact and costs of the reduced heath of the local population, as a result of pesticide exposure.  People are getting sick here because of the GE operations and the cost of that is ignored in Brewbaker’s report.

As well, there’s a significant negative impact that the growing GE operations here are having on Tourism.  Vacationers seeking lifestyle experiences centered around Heath and sustainability (the LOHAS sector)
typically spend 20% more for such things as “Farm to Table” and organic dining and they particularly identify NON GMO as a point of differentiation when making their purchasing decisions. As we get more and more associated with GMO crop production and experimentation it will hurt our tourism, which is a far larger income generating sector than Ag is.

Not spoken of by the Senator is the basic conflict of interest that Brewbaker has on the subject of GMO’s and which should disqualify him as a source for such an economic projection.   Brewbaker’s father was the crop breeder responsible for the developments that allow corn to be grown in our tropical environment year round and it’s he who directly introduced the seed companies to this region. Brewbaker grew up heavily immersed in what became the GMO culture. So much so that in his testimony to Maui’s County Council he stated that he has no understanding of why GMO’s are shunned by over 60 countries world wide. He testified that he himself would never eat Organic produce for his fear of bacteria from manure based fertilizers. So it’s no wonder that he overlooks the entire health and sustainability market sector because it’s beyond his comprehension why people make those choices. As well, he has an obvious bias to support the GMO industry because of his family background and close personal ties to the industry.

The strong focus on Jobs Loss of the report is completely inappropriate when considering the public’s heath risk from exposure to the untested combinations pesticides that GMO field practices bring. When setting public health policy consideration of environmental and health impacts come before any discussion of Jobs. To lure the population into choosing jobs over heath is Enticement and is completely inappropriate and unethical.

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