Do The Right Thing Hawaii They Shout!

Once again, Senator Josh Green is the on my radar again.  It’s amazing that a senator no less is joining the ranks of those who want to send us back to an utopian agrarian society.  He’s apparently hell bent on supposedly doing the right thing.

Well, I’m starting to think that these pandering politicians don’t even have a clue of what the right thing is anymore.  At the SB793 hearing, he was cutting off his fellow senators questioning about the extent to which the law was needed.  Instead of letting Senator Thielen and Senator Chun-Oakland finish asking their questions, he rudely stopped them from getting their answers and kept the public from knowing the answers of the quantities really being used by all industries.  

Not only did he cut off questioning, he rudely chastised Tom Matsuda of the pesticide branch of the department of agriculture for not having the figures of the pesticides.  If he sponsored this bill, shouldn’t he have gotten the numbers himself? He also shouted out that they use “gigantic” amounts, which is far from the truth.

As a leader figure, his arrogance and rude behavior is so disappointing for a public figure.  I teach my kids to be humble and respectful and here is a community leader showing how not to be.  I also teach my children to be honest when you speak and here he can’t even be honest. No wonder Hawaii is going down the tubes when leaders who should be held to a higher standard can’t even even be used as a good example.

The more I think about these poorly written laws, I realize that the passage of these aren’t going to do a thing for these activists and they know it.  They already don’t trust government and what they are doing with inspections and licensing.  Who is to say that a law is going to suddenly win their trust? They don’t trust the FDA, EPA, or USDA for that matter so why would they even bother to ask for a label from the FDA, whom they don’t trust.  The truth is obvious.

These people’s actions have shown that they have no second thought about being honest or even willing to come to the table to work with others in the community.  They can cut in line at hearings with bogus claims, exaggerate number figures, cherry pick studies, send death threats, make false accusations all over the social media, create fake websites and buy domain names, graffiti up the community, call for crop destruction, make wanted posters of pro-science folks, and so on. 

While the activists are busy pointing fingers at everyone else not being honest and transparent, they forget that 3 more fingers are pointing at themselves.

Why You Gotta Be So Rude?

We all know that song…

As I was watching the hearing for SB793, at segment 29:25 where Senator Josh Green rudely interrupts fellow Senator Suzanne Chun-Oakland’s question to Tom Matsuda of the Department of Agriculture. Shortly after that at segment 32:08, he rudely interrupts Senator Thielen and berates Matsuda for not having all the figures on the pesticides for each of the islands when she tries to determine the true nature of all of the users.

Let’s back up a second here. One of the primary introducers of this piece of legislation was Senator Green. He had to come up with justification for this law in order to draft it. If he did his homework to really identify the problem of pesticides, shouldn’t he already have had some figures already? If not, how in the world did he come up with such a law? Did he pull stuff out of thin air? Interesting that he cut off key questions that would provide more insight and truth about pesticides.

Senator Green’s rudeness really was uncalled for when he should have had his facts in place. Trying to one up the HDOA representative to bolster his image in front of the activists is weak and down right rude. It seems that some legislators have gotten too big in the head to have civility and respect anymore, which is just like the activists that adore them. Even legislators shunning ag workers is a deplorable tactic and so disrespectful as they are to represent the people who voted for them.

Next time a senator tries to get all high and mighty, hum that song, “Why you gotta be so rude?!” In local speak, “Why you gotta be like dat fo?!”

Mahalo to the House Agriculture Committee

As a kid, my folks always told me to say thank you when someone helps you out.  I am indeed thankful for lawmakers making the hard and unpopular decision to stand with facts and reason.

 Here’s the message I sent the committee:

Aloha Chair Tsuji and Vice Chair Onishi and AGR committee members, 

 I wanted to send out a quick mahalo for supporting farmers like my dad with your deferral of HB1514. For nearly 3 years, there has been what feels like an onslaught of poorly crafted legislation that has brought my dad and brother to the Capitol to defend their work. There are many people in the activist movement that are trying to attack the large corporations not realizing that farmers like my dad becomes the collateral damage. There is a lot of fear being spread by these same people creating a hysteria among a poorly informed population. 

 My dad’s morale has been pretty low the last week upon finding out about all of these anti-farming bills. I have never heard him talk like that. Farmers are ways optimists but get worn down with misinformation attacks. By your decision to stand with facts and reason, it restores hope for my dad to see my brother to take over the farm in the next few years. 

He should be retired by most standards but is a lifelong worker, 7 days a week most times. This is his life and passion and no activist can take that away by being dishonest. 

 Our family appreciates your brave decision to support farmers over the activists. It’s this kind of message that gives us the incentive to continue farming. That’s how we grow Hawaii! 

Mahalo for doing the right thing!



The GMO Free Club Needs To Own Up To The Facts

The GMO Free Club Needs To Own Up To The Facts

After sitting in the anti-pesticide, anti-farming House Bill 1514, I really have to wonder about the things that were being said in there. With the companion bill, Senate Bill 793, still alive, I have to wonder how much of what was being said would be believed by the committee members.

There were some really far out things being said but to someone who may not quite understand all the issues or how to debunk the claims, these things may become truth. I almost felt as if this hearing was not about why Hawaii needed to pass arbitrarily made buffers and onerous disclosures, but how much misinformation can you get in. The things being said ran the entire gamut of everything anti-farming.

One woman talked about the sea turtle study linking pesticide to tumors. She apparently misread the study as it had nothing to do with pesticides but with excessive nitrogen levels which they authors erroneously linked to farms. The study had multiple problems from a small sample size and flawed methodology that the conclusions were based upon.

Then there were worries of being infertile due to living by the farms. One testifier claimed that as a single mother of four, she was worried about not being able to have more kids. It’s likely that she read misinformation that GMOs cause infertility.

I’m pretty skeptical of all of the claims being made because it really seems all too well orchestrated. Joan Conrow blogged about Hawaii SEED’s plan last year after their own pesticide drift tests found nothing alarming. The Department of Health also ran multiple tests and found no cancer clusters or alarming levels of pesticides that would cause harm.

I’m not surprised that the whole thing around the need to protect my keiki bit was front and center. The Center for Food Safety set an entirely new website to coach folks on how to testify. Their goal was to have people attribute their illnesses to pesticides from GM fields primarily. Of course there was no hard evidence but nonetheless, having the claims repeated helps to ingrain the message or so they hoped.

Kauai County Council member, Gary Hooser, also pulled a fast one in the hearing also by interrupting the testimony claiming that the neighbor island folks had planes to catch and needed to testify first. They got in ahead of those who came early to testify. The truth was, they didn’t have flights to catch and they showed up at the labeling bill hearing at 2:30 pm. In fact, they even had enough time to have drinks at Nico’s around dinner time!

Despite the preferential treatment made for the outer island folks even though they didn’t need it, Ashley Lukens of the Center for Food Safety made a public complaint that the hearing was rigged.



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From what witnesses said at the senate hearing for the companion bill to this one, SB793, Lukens was going in and out of the Chair Josh Green’s office. On top of that, during the hearing Green was witnessed making winks at the activists and her in attendance. They appeared to have preferential treatment also but no one openly complained.

It’s pretty sickening to hear of this “it’s not fair” crying. No one from the ag community was going in and out of the Chair’s office of did any backdoor dealings to get a bad law put on the books. In fact, some legislators refuse to speak to the ag workers and some have even leveled their own accusations at them. None of us are photoshopping up memes to scare people. We do speak of fear of losing our farm land with badly written laws. We, as small farmers, are fearful of how much longer we need to keep defending our work from misinformation.

Lukens wants to play the victim card and make false accusations to hide the truth to her followers that their law was flawed to begin with. Never will you see the truth being stated by her or others. The best they can do is continue to misinform and play the “everyone is bought” nonsense. You can continue behind that facade that your intention was only to protect people, which obviously is not the truth when you target a selective group.

People can only stand the smell of bullshit for a short time and after awhile, it’s time to scrape the crap off.

The Tragedy of the Hawaii Anti-GMO Movement Continues

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Today I decided to go down to the State Capitol to testify in opposition of the anti-farming, anti-pesticide HB1514. I parked in downtown with my infant son in tow and was walking near the Liliuokalani statue noticing all the people traversing there.

As I pushed my baby of 8 weeks in his stroller towards the handicap ramp, I noticed a slender, dark haired guy walking up also. He carried his backpack slung over his shoulder and was leisurely puffing on a cigarette as he walked. As I got closer, he stopped at a nearby planter to put out his cigarette. I recognized him as Dustin Barca, the former Kauai Mayoral candidate.

The hearing room was packed to the brim so I sat outside with baby and listened to the early testimony mostly in opposition to this bill. Eventually, I made my way into the room and sat down. As the hearing continued, Chair Tsuji called for all the neighbor island folks to go up.

This was the first time that I have had time off to go to one of these and what I heard really saddened me. There were at least 30 or so ordinary folks testifying of a host of multiple illnesses and a fear that they were being sprayed by pesticides. Klayton Kubo, a Kauai activist brought a dirty paper towel with the dust he wiped off of his louvers. Several of them shed tears because they were fearful of this alleged exposure to toxins.

Then there was good old Kauai County Council member, Gary Hooser, testifying on behalf of the council. He kept stating that small farmers won’t be affected by this bill. Sure, Gary, it won’t hurt small farmers when you don’t even understand what’s wrong with it and why the farming community is up in arms about it. Pushing a bad bill that lacks sufficient justification isn’t going to make some of us mad, it’s gonna make all of us mad. If you can attack one sector of ag, who is to say what’s next?

As I sat in the hearing listening to testimonies, I looked around at the supporters of this badly written bill. They looked like regular folks that were well fed and healthy looking. They all were able to afford plane tickets to fly over and had time off to do so. The common line that was stated over and over again was that they were afraid of being sprayed and toxins all around them. Some testimonies implied that the seed company employees were uneducated because they didn’t speak English well to their standards.

The best part of the hearing was hearing Dustin Barca go on about toxins and the horrible corporations. He even talked about the cigarette companies and their evils. It’s weird because I just saw him smoking some corporate grown tobacco and inhaling toxins. I had to scratch my head thinking about that.

These people mostly had no attachment to agriculture or even understand Hawaii’s roots. They see farms as nuisances and combined with no background in farming, they are ideal pickings by mainland activist groups like the Center for Food Safety and Earthjustice as well as the mainland funded Hawaii Seed. Spread some rumors about cancer, autism, birth defects, allergies and asthma that it’s all caused by living near GMO farms. Repeat that message over and over until they all believe it.

They are experts in manipulation and lots of people will follow and believe despite the data collected. One colorful testifier stated that he’d sic ISIS on the biotech companies! Another mentioned a cosmic vortex that swooped the pesticides up the mountain. A single mom of 4 was worried that she would not be able to have more kids because of the pesticides in the fields. The testimony was indeed interesting.

The sad thing is that if they get their buffer zones and disclosures, it’s obvious that these attacks will not end. It’s just a start. Attempting to divide agriculture with misinformation leads us down a slippery slope. Farmers big or small will not know what other baseless laws will come down and be on the defensive constantly. How will that achieve anything positive?

There full well may be illnesses but that hasn’t even been ascertained yet. That needs to be the starting point of any added regulation. Tests and studies have been done but these people are still not satisfied with the results. These people don’t trust any entity in government from the EPA, FDA, USDA, and state for that matter. It’s obvious that what has been done already is not satisfactory to them and they won’t stop until they get their ultimate goal, GMO Free.

I really feel that these folks would’ve remained level headed if they actually were walked through their issues and possibly educated on the basics of biotech. Instead, leaders like Gary Hooser and Ashley Lukens as well as others took advantage of these folks’ lack of knowledge and instill fear in. You never see their social media sites ever explaining why things did not go their way. They continue to fuel tirades of corporate corruption with no proof to back their claims. People are so afraid of science and technology as well as holding a deep distrust of government now which is perpetuated by these leaders. Ironic that they don’t government but then keep turning right back to them for help. Are they really going to change their feelings when they get their way? I doubt it.

I still await the day the activists’ resources were used to do what they feel needs to be done. History shows that they claim to work for protecting people but in action, they could do something but don’t. That’s the biggest tragedy in the anti-GMO movement here.

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The Hawaii Democratic Party Wants Farmers Out of Business

The Hawaii Democratic Party Wants Farmers Out of Business

Either the legislative caucus of the Hawaii Democratic Party doesn’t read bills properly or are missing a few screws. They apparently have made it clear that they want agriculture out of Hawaii.

Read their testimony below:

Thursday, February 5, 2015
Relating to House Bill 1514 Testifying in Support

Aloha, Chair Lee, Vice-Chair Lowen and Members of the House Committee on Energy and Environmental Protection,

The Democratic Party of Hawaii supports HB1514 Relating to Environmental Protection, which requires disclosure relating to outdoor applications of pesticides by certain commercial agricultural entities, especially in areas that impact Hawaii’s Keiki and Kupuna. The establishment of reasonable buffer zones where regulated pesticides are dispersed and the necessary funding for enforcement by relevant State agencies are imperative. The good agricultural practices that are described in this bill should be commonplace for all of Hawaii’s responsible farming community.
As is evidenced by the many resolutions adopted at numerous State Conventions, the Democratic Party of Hawaii has long been dedicated to the promotion and protection of all of Hawaii’s people, food sustainability and our island environment. Therefore, we encourage the committee to vote favorably on this bill.

Mahalo for the opportunity to testify, The Legislation Committee of the Democratic Party of Hawaii

Well, Democrats, apparently you are wanting food sustainability but then want to make it harder for farmers. You want to protect the keiki and kupuna from pesticides but won’t regulate all others who use it including the state and county. You want to protect the environment without pesticides and let invasive species overrun the aina. You also feel it’s okay for farmers to be sued and have to pay for these lawsuits. Wow.

Well, I guess I can add the Democrats to the list of people who want to put farmers out of business. I guess papaya and produce grown in Mexico is better than the locally produced foods. That’s how we will help our food sustainability goals Democrats!

What Will I Tell My Kids?

What Will I Tell My Kids?

Every Sunday, my dad and I get to talk story about what’s going on in the agricultural scene as well as the latest science research that we’ve heard about. We are avid followers of the latest findings and both follow the politics pretty closely. I’ve been having these chats with him for several years now and it’s usually pretty upbeat and positive.

Today’s one was unlike any other talk story time. He’s usually talking about how my brother is learning the ropes of the farm and loves to reminisce about the way he was when joining the farm with my grandfather. He’d say that young farmers come in with lots of bright ideas about how they are going to change this and that because the new way is better, only to realize that some old ways are good because they are tried and true. Today was different as I heard him mention that with all these additional laws being targeted at ag and farmers, he would not be surprised if my brother decides to throw in the towel.

I have to say that I have never even given thought to seeing the end of my dad farming. This is his passion! It was something that never made him rich but it is what he loves to do. He essentially worked two full time jobs for decades to support the family and keep the farm. My brother also realized my dad’s passion and wanted to continue his legacy. If he gives up, there will be no more Kamiya Papaya.

It seems farming was once a noble profession but in this day and age, it is no longer respected apparently. With all of this targeted legislation being proposed by politicians and activists, of whom have never even had decades of farming experience, one gets tired of defending their work and continuing to reiterate the need to incorporate science into it. It’s easier to read stuff off the Internet as truth and then rile up people for the cause than to produce a crop. The farmers or the 1.5% of the population have a hard time getting their message loud enough over the 99%. Who will step in for us?

I’ve got to say that I really felt saddened after hearing my dad say that today. The days where politicians did research into the issues and sometimes did what was right but against popular opinion is over. They have to listen to the loudest of folks first and foremost. Leaders no longer have the integrity to protect the folks who are doing the right thing but have the lesser number. There are some but they are far and few between because of the attacks by activists upon them.

Ten years down the line, I don’t want to have to tell my kids the story about why they can’t go down to papa’s farm. Nor do I want to tell my youngest daughter that there are no more real tractors to play on because the farm is gone. Least of all, I don’t want to have to tell my youngest why we have pictures of a farm and nothing else. I’m hoping that by doing my part, I can stop that from becoming a reality. The farm is my dad’s legacy and our family’s heritage and no one can take that away from us without a fight for truth.

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