Royal Hawaiian Colocasias

Went to Kula Nursery and hardware yesterday...On my way out, I saw a Colocasia (kalo) that was newly introduced from Royal Hawaiian Colocasias. They are ornamental kalo, but i had a problem with the "US Patent" on the cover of the accompanying brochure. I went to the Royal Hawaiian Colocasia website, and here it says these are introductions from the Unversity of Hawai`i and plant pathologist/ breeder, John Cho, who works at the Kula Ag Station. He has been very instrumental in preserving the many kalo varieties....BUT I do have a problem with the patent. Your mana`o? Naone Morinaga-Kama

Royal Hawaiian Colocasias.htm

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  • `Ae. My experience with task forces that depending on who is on the task force and alot of times the task force is just a cover up to let the people vent and it does not seem to help. Out of the twenty five Hawaiian bills that went through the legislature, how many passed...I heard "none". So I don't see the legislative process as helpful at all. I agree with your statement fully that we need water. We are on water catchment here, which means we catch the water from our roof and in Kona, it hardly rains...but yes, I believe the Waiahole Valley taro farmers lost production when they valiantly fought for their water rights and the state still diverted their waters to Wai`anae farmers devistating the taro culture and limiting the flow of water...I totally agree with you there. I also agree with you that under the right conditions...kalo is fine the way it is. The land is the bases for the crop and yes, I agree with would be great if we could stop the patenting while in process. but yes, we are always dealing with deaf ears on the side of politics and that is what is a major problem. They have over populated the lands and are diverting water to new towns and people with no regard to the host culture. I know certain patents on things only last so many years. It's frustrating.

    Maybe we should ask Jerry about his take on the cross pollination and stopping it during the patenting process.

    Mahalo Pauahi...good points....good questions...good suggestions and great perception on the politics...You hit it on the kinipopo!
    • Aloha, e Pauahi, Momi a me Pono!

      Rereading the article on the three Maui hybrids. And they have already been patented and are available to the public...if you buy the huli you have to sign a licensing agreement. Don't know if the cultivars are available still yet, will do more research. But in the acknowledgments, it shows that it was field tested in Ke`anae by the Kanoa's. So how much of the Pa`lehua (their spelling) hybrid has now been intergrated into Keanae's huli supply..or is it contained on the Kanoa farm. Are they planting Palehua currently? I totally agree with Pauahi, Water is everything!!! And the diseases are preventable with clean, flowing water.

      I wonder if UH backed off on supplying hybid huli, since the GMO issue came out. Since they have the patent, they are selling them as ornamentals? Will research more and let everyone know...Mahalo for all the mana`o.. Please ask `Anakala Jerry his mana`o on this. Field trials were also done at Hakalau, Big Island.

      Talk to you, later.
      • Yah, I think Pauahi may have been refering to stopping anymore patenting of native foods during the patenting process.

        I hope we get more information and I'll try to email Jerry. Maybe I'll see if we can invite him in on the conversation.
  • It looks like he is breeding them somehow, I don't know if it is gmo's but yah, hewa all the way on the patenting of native foods. Even if he did breed them.

    Mahalo for giving us a heads up on this...


    • Aloha kakou, e Pono a me Momi-

      I thought this issue might be of interest to all, because of the patent. In a CTAHR published paper written by John Cho and others, his research indicates he is crossbreeding Hawaiian kalo cultivars with other cultivars from India, SE Asia and Micronesia, Papua New Guinea, Thailand and Nepal to counter the taro leaf blight. "The technique uses traditional cross pollination between a Hawaiian cultivar and intrduced cultivars." I have a problem with this. what happens when the pure Hawaiian cultivars are bred out of existence - can this happen? It just made me think of how much we need to keep the purity and survival of the Hawaiian cultivars, since they are struggling already.
      And according to his article the purpose is to increase production, which is noble but at what expense?
      Some of these Hawaiian varieties were used for medicine, for certain ceremonies, and pani for treatments. Here is the article he wrote with others. I read in other articles that CTAHR has done field trials of three Maui Lehua hybrids. Here are the articles--
      I think that since that UH would cause much controversy if hybrids were introduced as food kalo, they are now introducing hybrids as ornamentals. If you webvisit Greenhaven Gardens - the middleman-these kalo hybrids will be available for only a year, through selected suppliers. So how much does UH get? Haloanakalaukapalili is not for patenting. Keep Hawaiian kalo, Hawaiian!!!

      Hope you will spread the word to others---`Ae, the patent is hewa...And mahalo for your mana'o.

      `O au no me ka ha`aha`a,



      • Aloha e Naone,

        I agree with you. The taro and other native foods should not be patented. Our people need to be maka`ala on these issues. If these false (I'm saying that because there was probably no ceremony to the process of the breeding method) kalo cross pollinate with our native kalo, the farmers who's kalo gets contaminated, can change the integrity of the variety of kalo. If this happened in the future and Cho's false kalo genes are found on other farmers property, Cho can force them to give him royaltys from having, farming and selling these kalo. I heard that kalo hardly flowers which is integral for cross pollination to occur but my dryland kalo has flowered several times and just that fact places "all" the kalo varieties at risk.

        So it is sort of like the gmo situation but not gmo. He did patent it though and that is hewa. I actually don't know exactly how he bred them. Whether he hand crossed pollinated them or not but if he did hand cross pollinate them, that is another issue that validates our point. He seems real secretive about his method. These people who do this claim to be doing us a favor by so called "saving" the kalo because they are claiming their varities are blight resistant, and sometimes I wonder if these diseases which attack our food are introduced into our environement by these companies or individuals who would like to make people dependant on their varieties at the same time not thinking about the integrity of our Haloanakalaukapalili. I agree with you, this is hewa and important conversation to have.

        The names sound hokey to me and the fact that he uses "royal hawaiian" is quite offensive.
  • Were They a Bi~ Product of G.M.O ? & Yes Hewa with da Patent !
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