Did you Thank a Farmer?

Apparently, the archive post I posted back in January is causing a stir again with the anti-GMO crowd and must be hitting nerve.  I’m still getting those “just label it comments,” “you go live by a field and die,” and so on.  These people have a wonderful knack of being so lovely and have no problem throwing out insults after insults but honestly, doing stuff like that is childish and just shows me that you’re validating what I’ve been saying all a long about people’s lack of awareness of how biotech is all around us.

What exactly is biotech derived in our lives?  Let’s see…

IMG_1508 IMG_1509 IMG_1510 IMG_1511 IMG_1512 IMG_1513

That’s just a small cross section of a few things that have it’s origins in biotechnology.  Most people have a lot of these items in their homes and use it daily.  The sad thing is that there are still many people who don’t realize the extent to which biotechnology is in our lives and yet continue to protest it.

The activists want to take Hawaii completely out of the future advances in biotechnology using loads of fear and misinformation.  They will take away a huge tool that so many farmers across the US and world are using to help conserve resources and inputs to maximize productivity while having the lowest environmental impact.  Farmers are embracing this tool to grow our food, fiber, and fuel products and opinionated activists want to tie their hands.  These people are using what they read on the internet to change our entire food and farm system based in ideology.

What is GE Seatle Times

 So many people just dismiss the fact that many companies are growing seeds and that’s why they shouldn’t be here in Hawaii.  Hawaii is vital for growing the seeds that turn into the daily food, fuel, and fiber products that we consume and use daily.  These large farms help make farming more economically sustainable by bringing in lots of the inputs and supplies that the small farmers rely on at a more affordable price.  Take away the seed farms and we won’t have an economically sustainable farming community.

Lots of long time farmers know this.  Many new transplant farmers who have made their millions and can farm as a hobby are quick to criticize but don’t know the true nature of sustainability of farming.  These neo-farmers are quick to tout organic farming because they have the financial backing to survive loss and less productivity because they operate from a different model.  The old timers know the facts and are the ones speaking out.

Did you eat today?  Did you drive your car or catch a bus? Did you get dressed and showered? Did you read the paper? I’m sure you did and it’s a great reminder to thank that farmer!

Someone grew those seeds that other farmers grow, and let’s not forget that Hawaii played that role!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AMpZ0TGjbWE

Succumbing to Fear: The Mexican Limbless Baby Born Near GMO Crops

There’s only a few weeks more until the vote in Maui County to place a “moratorium” on the biotech crops.  So it shouldn’t be surprising that the activists are going strong with the fear mongering.  Here’s the latest scare image that passing around again to spook parents to buy into the ideology.

mexico GMO

Yes, it is indeed scary and refers to a mother in Mexico who lived by GMO corn crops.  Note that Mexico has NO crops approved for commercial cultivation to begin with!  And of course on the meme, there’s no source of where this photo comes from and any other details about it.  It just is terrifying for the unsuspecting person!

However, when you do a bit of searching on this image you’ll see a completely different story of the source.  The actual source of the image comes from a well-known anti-GMO website.  The story is completely different from the one being told by the poster.  It has NOTHING to do with GMO corn fields!

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Note that they defects that the baby pictured has is called tetra amelia syndrome is genetic in nature.  There is nothing to show that it has anything to do with pesticides and is extremely rare.  With GMO crops being grown globally and for the majority of farms in the US, shouldn’t this be more common.  It’s not.  It’s clear that this is fear mongering at best when you did further for the truth!

Here’s a corrected meme that should be passed around the social media so that more people don’t get freaked out by the outright lies that these activists have no problem spreading around.

tetraamelia2

Fear Mongering: The SHAKA Movement Insults Our Intelligence and Admits to a BAN!

mauiban

This is the latest “scare the crap out of you” meme going around the social media once again to try to convince people to vote for the Maui County Moratorium in November.  Seriously, there are people that actually believe these memes unfortunately and they do vote.  This meme clearly spells out the intent of the moratorium as it the finally admit that it indeed is a ban to stop any biotech farming there on Maui and Molokai.  Eventually, the anti-GMO crowd will admit the truth and publish it outright too.

Well, I can’t just sit back and let this kind of fairy tale idea about biotech flood the social media.  I decided to make my own correction to it to bring us back to reality and away from the Galactic Connection aliens that have abducted the minds of those in the Shaka Movement.  Here’s my take on this meme…

mauiban2

Even better yet, here’s one with a bit more information too!

mauiban1

If you ever stop and notice the Shaka Movement site, not once will you ever see the word “akamai” on there.  I’ve figured out that these people don’t want anyone to be akamai, or smart apparently.

September is Hunger Action Month: Who’s Helping the Hungry?

Yes, this is a month to take action to stop hunger. Actually, we should remember this every single month because there are a lot of people who go hungry in our communities.  It goes well beyond a single month and must be something we continue all year round. I try to do this every month myself since I have a co-worker who is a regular volunteer at the Hawaii Food Bank.  Whenever there’s a good sale on some canned or dried goods, I buy a bunch at Costco or Longs and share the extra stuff with whom ever may need it.  If I just hang on to it, it will likely go bad so sharing it with others is a worth cause to me.  It’s something small that I can do hopefully to help others.

I also want to be that example to my children to look beyond their own noses and help others if they can.  I remind them how lucky they are to have food every single night and never have to go hungry.  A good sense of appreciation needs to be instilled in kids nowadays who have everything but still complain of not having what they want.  We forget that once our needs are met, it’s easy to overlook it and take it for granted.

I have to say that I was really disappointed a few weeks ago when I read that a well-know chef, Ed Kenney, has decided to align with the Hawaii Center for Food Safety and help them fundraise for their Chef Action Network.  I think it’s great that he supports local and sustainable food and don’t we all support that?! However, the Center for Food Safety is not about making food affordable but rather making people fearful of food and looking at ways of actually making it more expensive.  You’d think that with a name like that, they are about making food safe but really, they are about pushing organic food and labeling under the assumption that biotech foods is not safe.  It’s elitist kind of thinking that is being pushed here once again.

One thing interesting to note is that speaking of food safety, it is a law that any food handling must be done with gloves to prevent the spread of potential contamination.  If the Center for Food Safety were truly about safe practices, they would have told Chef Kenney about this potential violation of his handling of food.

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If the Center for Food Safety were successful, they would have gotten GM foods labeled.  That GMO label will not only increase prices on food but also require a complete overhaul of our food processing all together that will definitely cause increased costs across the board.  Not only will the consumer have to pay more for food but so will the chefs who own businesses in our communities.  Will these small business owners be able to handle such extra costs?  I highly doubt it.  It is no wonder why restaurants are some of the most difficult businesses to run with the costs of supplies and labor constantly going up.  When a business closes shop, it means less employment opportunities also.

These activists group aren’t about helping Hawaii folks as they claim either.  They succeeded in getting the flawed Bill 2491 passed only to have it overturned in court as expected.  This in turn has taken some $210K to defend the bad law which doesn’t include any of the other costs of other staff and resources used in all of the proceedings.  No sooner than it was deemed invalid, did they immediately start to look for cash for more flawed bills.  Couldn’t all that money have been used to helped the needy in the community instead on bad advice of activists? Why are they fundraising for themselves and not others who could really use some help right now?  You will never see a Center for Food Safety feed the hungry food drive or affordable food coalition from these people because that is not what they are about.

I can’t help but be very disappointed that well known chefs like Kenney have not looked into this group further before deciding to support them.  When local people are depending more and more upon food banks and food supplement programs and a greater percentage is living in poverty, he wants to support a mainland based group who’s main goal is increasing food costs using fear and misinformation.  This group is also about demonizing our local papaya growers who have survived the papaya ring spot disease and are still farming as a result.

How does supporting the Center for Food Safety help our rubbah slippah folks?  Basically, it’s not about the locals but about a new bunch of mainland folks telling locals how to farm and what’s good for them.  You can bet they don’t have a pair of these at their door steps!

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**Update! In today’s Star Advertiser, Kenney is featured there again and he’s wearing gloves while preparing food.  Good.  And once again, Ashley Lukens of the Center for Food Safety is touting their disingenuous message again to the public.  No surprise! Note that they aren’t about helping the hungry!

The Machine Continues: How Minds Unleashed Annihilated Rational Thought

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This is the latest piece of anti-biotech articles being passed around the internet again.  It should not be of any surprise that the internet is once again being filled with these kind of sites.  Why? The vote on the Maui County Moratorium is only a few months away and the pushers of the “you’re dying and the earth is being killed” folks want to make sure they keep their momentum up.  Data or evidence just doesn’t matter to them, only the mantras are of what is important.

It’s the typical tactic of these groups to gain more unsuspecting folks to believe in this ideological movement.  The evidence will say otherwise but none will ever be considered by people moved by fear, misinformation, and and constant barraging of the same message over and over.  Little do most people realize that the source of the site, Mind Unleashed is yet another site full of half truths and disinformation and it shouldn’t be surprising that the sources used (Organic Prepper, Nation of Change, and Natural Revolution) are also questionable.

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Like a friend of my mentioned a few days ago, if it really was big news, then why isn’t it being reported on CNN, ABC, KHON2, Hawaii News Now and others? It’s always found on obscure websites that lean towards conspiracy theories and the naturalistic fallacy once again.  The anti-GMO crowd will never research their links or sources and just believe without needing any proof.  It’s complete confirmation bias for people who just don’t know where to start to question this stuff to begin with.  The correction for this piece should look like this…

mindsunleashed

A Canoe Paddled by One Can’t Get Very Far

A day after the Federal court struck down the infamous anti-GMO/anti-pesticide Bill 2491, I was surprised to see content of the author’s blog today. It was titled, “I am determined to win, and they are determined to beat me.”

Just yesterday I did a post about the fracturing of the communities by poor leadership. When this issue becomes an “I” focus that he is being persecuted, how can one lead the community through repairing the damage done? Will a war still be waged by “your” crusade or it is about the community as a whole? It apparently sounds as if this pseudo-leader is not about coming to the table to talk and more about his own agenda and not for the sake of the community. That is extremely disappointing but not surprising.

The ironic thing about his post today is that he not only expresses persecutory ideations but he wants your money to keep him in his position. If we want farmers to farm and grow our agricultural industry, putting money in his kitty doesn’t help at all. What war will he wage next if it’s not this issue? How much more damage do we want this person to enact on our daily lives? It has to stop already.

County Councilman Hooser has shown his true colors when he tried to use my dad to get on another segment of PBS Insights and failed to do so. He’s about himself and not the community. From his involvement with the Hawaii Organic Farmers’ Association to his newly formed non-profit, Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action, it’s all about him.  He chooses to align with activists groups like the Center for Food Safety and Earthjustice, who clearly are not about working together about any issue other than their own agenda.

His true nature was witnessed this weekend at the Kauai County Farm Fair by just showing up. He has supported activists that rudely attacked and disparaged any farmer who spoke up for the Kauai Farm Bureau and sat back and said nothing.  He had to gall to show up there despite all the harm he has done to the reputation of the farm bureau in general.  How does one show ones face at that event?

He never did step up to condemning threats of violence and vandalism either against farmers either.  What kind of leader stands aside and allows the mob to overtake the conversations and any attempt at collaboration?  Is that the leader we want in our community?  Has he shown any attempt to educate people about case law and what happened with the whole legal proceeding?  Nope.  Total inaction on his part completely.

Is our communities tired of fighting and ready to work together towards a common goal or do we remain fractured and dysfunctional? We need good leaders to do this that can use facts and education to do so. Those who choose to only use repetitive messaging and fail to educate people on the law and actions behind it will fail us all as a community.  They are clearly saying that they do not wish to collaborate.  A single toxic leader can only paddle his canoe alone so far in all of this.

A Cautionary Saga: Judge Kurren Invalidates the Anti-GMO Ordinance 960

wieldpaddles

It’s breaking news that the Kauai anti-GMO law has been invalidated by Judge Kurren today.  The law is pre-empted by the state law and cannot be enforced at the county level.  Joan Conrow and Richard Ha both did great blogs today on the news.

As I followed some of the news links posted on the various Facebook pages from Hawaii News Now, Civil Beat, KITV4, and KHON2, the commentaries are so disheartening once again.  I don’t consider this ruling a win in any case.  The damage has been done towards Hawaii agriculture, farmers, scientists, and our communities.  Our communities are not healed by this ruling that was started with a huge disinformation campaign by mainland based activists.  We are still divided and people are still not well informed about the issues revolving around agriculture here.

There has been so much fear mongering and misinformation that the public has been made to be so afraid of things they just don’t understand.  Bringing up they issue of biotechnology or even mentioning genetics or basic science turns people off as they have been indoctrinated to the belief that it’s “propaganda.”  How can we move forward when the largest and loudest voices are the least informed and still trying to dictate law? These are the same people who don’t understand how laws are made with to begin with or how the legal system works and now are asking for the judge to be impeached or even harmed?!

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Screenshot from the Babes Against Biotech Facebook page. Note the disturbing commentary below.

These activists aren’t about working together towards a common goal unfortunately.  Just last week at a farmer’s rally on the Big Island, a long time GMO Free activist named Courtney Larson, was arrested and is being charged for disorderly conduct and other various charges.  When farmers are trying to figure out how to move forward after this devastation, and are at their most vulnerable state, the activists show their true colors and it isn’t pretty or full of aloha.  Is that what we need in Hawaii at a time when we have so many other issues to deal with and work through?

The activists politicians are also another group of people who are feeding this unaloha spirit in our islands.  From the likes of Russell Ruderman and his fear mongering GMO articles, to Mike Gabbard sending me links to the debunked Seralini study, to Kaniela Ing and his associations with “home rule” and the SHAKA Movement, to Gary Hooser and his alliances with environmental activists, our leadership is failing us as a state.  I’ve always been taught as a leader to check out your sources and do your research about the issue to base your decisions up and that you must use facts and evidence to move forward, not emotions or trends of the moment.  The leaders’ jobs are to keep the community together and cohesive so that it can operate properly.  When leaders like these choose to side with the loudest of the bunch but refuse to use facts or come to the table to discuss issues, it does no one any favors.  They should also be doing the work of educating others with good information so fear doesn’t dominate the conversations.  It’s pretty clear poor leadership has done a lot of damage in these recent years.

Judge Kurren has made his ruling and that has set the law today.  Do we choose to accept this decision or continue fighting and completely wasting our time and energy on this issue that further divides the communities? Or do we move on and work on the actual problems that we face like our high poverty rate, education, traffic, the increasing elderly population, homelessness, food security, and so on?  I hope that we move forward and actually set out to do something meaningful for the people in our communities and use our resources wisely to make it happen.  That’s my hope and expectation!