Where does McLaughlin Stand on Monsanto and GMOs?

Monsanto is a company that receives a lot of negative attention for their use of bio-technology to make Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO). I can understand to a degree. When you hear the word bio-technology, that is certainly something that most people are unfamiliar with. The first time I heard the term genetically modified organism, the first thing that came to my mind was the Incredible Hulk. Therefore, I can certainly understand the initial resistance to something we don’t understand.

When I was first asked by voters on my feelings of Monsanto, I honestly didn’t have an official position. I know it would certainly be easy for me to condemn Monsanto and say all they do is evil. I know that would have got me a lot of votes. However, I like to see things for myself before I pass judgement.

Therefore I visited the site in Kihei. Upon my visit, I went in with an open mind not trying to pass judgement until I had a better idea of what I was dealing with. I really wasn’t completely certain on how the process worked. It is really quite simple. The corn seed is injected with bio-technology to make the GMO. The purpose of the injection is to control pests without having to spray.

That makes farming easier and according to Monsanto, the food is safer to eat. I am not an expert at determining food safety, but one argument that really stood out and cannot be disputed is that GMOs have caused no deaths. Nobody has ever gotten sick from a GMO. That is after 15 years of use. The products have been tested repeatedly for side effects and have passed every time. Opponents of Monsanto claim that they were planting GMOs before they were USDA approved. Whether they were or not, the product appears to have stood the test of time in terms of safety.

Dan Clegg of Monsanto says that all bio-technology is is another farming tool just like natural compost or chemical pesticides. He says that to determine your stance on GMOs, the better question is is bio-technology a tool you would use? “Is it in the tool box?”

One controversy surrounding Monsanto’s products is the issue of food labeling. Clegg says that the reason there is no labels saying a product has GMOs is because that warnings like that are meant when a product has any kind of danger. GMOs aren’t dangerous so there is no need to label it.

Based on my visit to the site, I see no real danger with the use of GMOs. I know that is a hard stance for a potential councilman to take, but I have to go with my integrity. I do know that human nature is to be afraid of something that is new that they don’t understand. I also know it is a lot easier to just be against something rather than look for the truth. In the case of GMOs, I understand when we eat something we want to know it is safe. However, we should also want to know if something is healthy too. That makes it very important for people to educate themselves on the topic, rather that just jump to the quick conclusion.

Unless I see evidence otherwise, I see no danger in what Monsanto does and I support them.


About askmclaughlin

After being a teacher for 11 years, Erin McLaughlin decided to step away and start a new challenge. Politics was the last thing on his mind. McLaughlin knew he wanted to be a business owner. He just wasn't sure what kind of business until one day at the beach a tourist asked him why there were no jet ski rentals in Kihei. Then he realized that was what he would do. Little did he realize just how hard it would be to get a permit and all the obstacles that would prevent him from doing so. He and his partner wrote letters to the newspaper and talked to local and state politicians. After those attempts were unsuccessful, McLaughlin decided to become a candidate for Maui County Council himself. Ask McLaughlin is designed for the voters to ask questions of the candidate. The candidate will then give his position on the issue. Ask McLaughlin anything you want. Ask him anything you want. It can be local, state, or federal politics. Or it doesn't have to be politics at all. If you have a question, send it to AskMcLaughlin@gmail.com.
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8 Responses to Where does McLaughlin Stand on Monsanto and GMOs?

  1. Herpaderp says:

    That was pretty stupid.

    • Can you clarify what you mean?

      • Neil Sorensen says:

        Seriously, Erin, look at this website and you may get a better idea of why Monsanto is not welcome here on Maui

      • Neil, if you will be decent I will be happy to address your concerns. Your last comment was. I did look at the site and I have seen many like it. Here is the problem I have. All these articles just tell us that GMOs are poison.Yet, I haven’t seen any evidence of people getting sick or killed from them. If you have evidence such as that that has actual sick people testifying, I would love to see it.

        Understand, I have no motivation either financial or otherwise to back Monsanto. In fact, it would actually be easier for me just to say what they do is evil. But I can’t compromise my integrity like that.

  2. Neil Sorensen says:

    Erin the problem I have with Monsanto is the patenting of the seed and the resulting monopoly that ensues. they drive farmers out of business because they end up owning the whole crop, and anyone caught with seeds that just happen to contain the GMO gene are prosecuted for patent infringement. You seem to be against monopolies, but yet you support a company who is hellbent on controlling the nations food supply. So there is a big contradiction in your stand. I Are you for big business or small business? You might want to watch “Food, INC.” Start about 1:05 in the film. You will find it very revealing.

    • So the real issue isn’t that they are poisoning food, it is that they are shutting down other farmers. If you are against them for that reason then say that from the start. Don’t try to say that they are poisoning food and use it as a political tool. I hate it when people do that. From what I see, there are plenty of competitors to Monsanto. They gave me a list of them when I was there, so I am not sure how that would be a monopoly. Yes, I am against monopolies and if evidence that this company or any other one becoming one then it should be dealt with.

      I do find it funny that you seem to be against this supposed monopoly yet you don’t care about the jet ski monopoly on the other side of the island. Perhaps you care about your interests.

      As far as am I for big business or small business? That is a great question. Since you asked. That will be my next piece. Stay tuned.

  3. Neil Sorensen says:

    My main issue with your position on jet skis is your desire to operate during winter months in the waters where humpbacks are giving birth and raising their young. It has nothing to do with the jet ski monopoly. Why don’t you write a little bit about that?

    • I have written a lot about that. http://mauih2o.com/

      I love the whales and am all about protecting them. If someone is using a jet ski and following the speed limit and staying the safe distance away from the whales what is the problem.

      Understand that jet skis are not just used for raising hell. They are also great fishing and diving vessels. They can and should also be allowed as whale watching vessels too.

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