Earth Watch: Dr. Hector Valenzuela

KPFK radio’s Sojourner Truth radio show host Margaret Prescod interviewed Hector Valenzuela, UH Manoa professor and crop specialist. Valenzuela is an expert on the papaya, including the genetically engineered variety, which was recently touted by the CBS Sunday Morning News. Valenzuela provides an alternate perspective. 

Here is an excerpt from a Cascadia Times piece on Valenzuela:

In 1993, Dr. Hector Valenzuela, then a non-tenured professor of tropical plant and soil science at the University of Hawai`i-Manoa, began a long-term research project to determine whether it’s possible to grow crops in the state without synthetic pesticides. Valenzuela, who in 1990 received his Ph.D. in vegetable crops from the University of Florida, established the first long-term organic farming research project in Hawai`i and the Pacific region.

But it all came to an end inexplicably in 1998 when Charles Laughlin, then the dean of CTAHR, shut down the organic farming research project. Valenzuela recalls the dean’s exact words: “You can no longer use those plots.” Laughlin had decided that a Japanese religious group would use them instead.

The interview begins at the 7:05 mark:

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