The Maui 10
Who's the county's most powerful player?
March 08, 2007
RANK PREVIOUS COMPANY
3 Maui Land &
4 Maui Electric
10 Monsanto Hawai`i
6 Tesoro Hawai`i
8 Wailuku Water
9 7 Alexander & Baldwin
10 9 Hawaiian Telcom
ROUNDUP THE TERMINATOR?
Huge move up the chart this week for Monsanto, which is mostly due
to the rising grassroots wrath directed against it for an impending
merger. "The Center for Food Safety today called on the Justice
Department to 'unconditionally oppose' the 'ill-conceived' merger of
Monsanto and the Delta and Pine Land Company (DPL)," read a Feb. 22
press release from the Center. As things stand now, DPL sells more than
half of the cotton in the U.S. and is, according to the Center, the
"only major cotton seed firm" not yet selling genetically modified
organisms (GMOs). "The proposed merger poses a profound threat to U.S.
cotton farms," Center Executive Director Andrew Kimbrell said in the
release. "It will create a virtual monopoly in biotech cotton, meaning
higher seed prices and fewer seed choices for farmers." Monsanto, of
course, sees things a hair differently. "Delta and Pine Land represents
an excellent fit for our company as we look to bring value-added traits
and high-quality seed to cotton growers around the world," Hugh Grant,
Monsanto's chairman, president and chief executive officer said in an
Aug. 16, 2006 press release. "Delta and Pine Land has strong cotton
genetics, and we believe Monsanto's leadership in providing the best
cotton traits can improve on this already strong base." Man, gotta love
them traits. Anyway, if the merger goes through—and considering the
pro-business types running the relevant federal regulatory agencies,
why shouldn't it?—Monsanto will end up dominating virtually all GMO and
non-GMO cotton in the U.S. Sound like fun to you?
Looks like state lawmakers are finally trying to pass new safety
laws governing dams across Hawaii. And it's ridiculously hard for big
dam owners like A&B to argue against such laws, which will require
them to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in improvements, given
that some of their own dams hold scary "High Hazard" designations.
Still, they're making a go of it. Criticizing the latest bill before
the state House of Representatives, A&B's Paul Oshiro testified
that his own company is already monitoring its dams and doesn't need to
face any more expensive regulation. "Dams and reservoirs that have been
abandoned or are not actively used on a regular basis are more likely
to be of concern than those which are actively used and monitored,"
Oshiro said in his testimony, according to the Feb. 22 Honolulu
Advertiser. True enough, but considering last year's death toll, it's
not likely state lawmakers will sympathize. MTW
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