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Thousands of trees felled in attack against Hawaii's genetically engineered papaya groves
HONOLULU (AP) ' The destruction of thousands of papaya trees on the Big Island has some farmers speculating it's the work of activists who are against genetically modified fruit.
Hawaii County police are investigating the vandalism, which appears to have been done with a machete. Papaya farmers are asking if they are targets of eco-terrorism because the majority of papayas grown on Oahu and the Big Island are genetically modified to make them disease resistant.
Biotechnology is credited with saving Hawaii's papaya production industry. Richard Manshardt, one of the University of Hawaii scientists who helped develop the transgenic papaya, said without the science papayas would be more expensive.
The Hawaii Papaya Industry Association has raised a $10,000 reward in the case.