Does your Body Know GMO Papayas Ms. Amato?

Several months ago, I received a message from a Terez Amato in my Facebook message box.

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I’m not sure what she is referring to by “Thalidomide babies” and “flipper kids” and epidemiology.  Quite a bizarre email indeed because I don’t know what Thalidomide has to do with papayas.  Maybe she read it on some Natural News website and got that idea.

When I read this, I got the impressions that she was kind of bragging that she buys non-GMO certified organic papayas.   I suspect that she must not know that most of the non-GMO stuff is already virus infected.  Nature actually GMO’d these fruits already.  Little does she know that she is actually eating more virus particles in her fruit than she would in a transgenic GMO one.  Of course, your body can’t tell the difference either way.  Only an anti-GMO activist would be freaked out to know this.  Our stomach’s hydrochloric acid and enzymes would destroy those DNA molecules up like nothing and we wouldn’t know the difference.

I did write her back to ask her about her expertise on this issue and she didn’t reply to me.  It would be interesting to learn where she read about this because I can’t seem to find how the two issues are related.

It’s also interesting to note that she is running as a Senator for the Hawaii Legislature.  Good to know where she stands on the issues.

Just Because You’re Mad… Don’t Take it Out an Everyone!

As a parent of young children, there are simple lessons that instill in my kids as they grow up and learn to interact with others.  Just a few lessons I teach them include being respectful, don’t hit each other, be honest and don’t lie, and just because you’re mad, you don’t take it out on everyone else.  Like many things I do with my kids, I’ve learned it through my mom and dad.

The more I reflect on what I teach my kids, the more I realize that those same lessons apply throughout life if you really think about it.  Then as I look more at what’s happening in Hawaii, I am starting to see that many adults have forgotten some of those basic lessons we learned as kids now.  That is very saddening to me that we teach our kids one thing and totally forget it in our own actions.

What is even more bothersome to me is that elected officials, who have a higher standard to uphold, are also forgetting those small kid time lessons.  If our own leaders can’t instill the right values and behaviors, how can their constituents follow their example?  It’s no wonder politics has become so ugly.

I was reading the Star Advertiser yesterday and was left shaking my head once again.  I wrote a few days ago about the proposed law that removes the exemption for farmers to get permits for grading their land.  If a farmer were to move more than 50 cubic yards of material, it would require a permit now.  It means more costs and time lost to yet another level of regulation.  Less time on the farm means less productivity and lost income.

The amount proposed may be big beans for small farmers but for the ones with bigger fields, 50 cubic yards is really not a whole lot to be moving around.  Due to the abuses of some ag land owners on the Westside, lawmakers have decided to add yet another burden to law abiding farmers.  Kimberly Pine, a city council woman, she stated…

Pine acknowledged the concerns about potential unintended effects but said that “the consequences for our community is that our land has been dumped on and destroyed for far too long, and we’ve had enough.”

I can’t understand why these council members acknowledge problems but still proceed with these half-baked laws.  The catch phrase is that many of them see the “bigger picture” but in actions show that they have no clue what that concept really means.  The bigger picture is not looking at the goal of the law but who and how it affects everyone.  What’s the real impact this will have if actually enacted?

It would be great if they stood in the shoes of those people who would be a target of those “unintended” consequences.  That might make lawmaking a bit more thoughtful and better planned out.  It’s easier to pass a quick bandaid fix to make some people happy but then throw the rest into the fire along the way.  That bandaid isn’t going to fix anything in reality other than mask the real problems.  It’s like being my older daughter, who is reading her book minding her own business, then finds herself whacked in the head by her sister out of the blue.

There indeed is a real problem out there in Waianae with the issues going on, but couldn’t there be more forethought into addressing the real problem, irresponsible land owners?  Is the dumping issue because there aren’t enough landfills?  What really is the reason why it is happening out there?  More questions have to be asked to really help to pinpoint what and how this issue can be remedied before a solution can be put forth.

The actions of the city council and some of the statements made that they don’t care about the consequences really shows two things.  First of all, Pine and others are mad and are rightfully so.  She is willing to take her anger and frustration out on everyone to solve this issue and it doesn’t matter what collateral damage is caused along the way.  That’s what is going to make her feel better and “fix” the problem, as she and other council members perceive.

What she and the Honolulu City Council are doing is something very typical in what young kids do.  Something might be upsetting them and they feel compelled to take out their frustrations on emotions on whoever is around and they don’t care who it is.  It’s like my older daughter having a bad day at school and deciding to kick her sister for no good reason other than her being mad from the day.  My younger daughter will cry out not knowing why she was kicked.  As my older daughter calms down and hears her sister’s crying, and only then she feels remorseful for what she did.  The injury was inflicted and there’s no taking it away and feelings are permanently hurt.

These same lessons apply to all politicians and adults if you really think about it.  Hawaii County Council members, Margaret Wille and Brenda Ford, were both mad at Monsanto so they insisted on passing a bill that hurt the papaya farmers.  They didn’t do any further research like their fellow County Council member, Greggor Illagan, did to address why they felt they way they did.  They lashed out on farmers and damaged their reputations and led them to be piled upon by many activists.  Greggor Illagan was also left to be a target of the activists despite doing his due diligence to truly look at the perceived problem.

Representative Jessica Wooley, as a mom, was mad to find out that GMOs were being fed to her children and she was going to protect them for this perceived harm learned by her associations with Earthjustice.  She clearly believed in an agenda based on the false fact that, “There are no regulations on biotechnology.” (She made this statement publicly at a Neighborhood Board meeting earlier in the year and later recanted when shown the truth.)  She went out and put out the labeling law twice in two years in her attempt to attack the seed farmers here.  She not only fueled the misinformation campaign against these companies and their workers, but once again focused on the papaya farmers as a result.  She ran on the platform that she was going to help farmers, but only her approved types unfortunately.

Then we cannot forget the actions of Kauai County Council member Gary Hooser and the other members like Jay Furfaro, Joanne Yukimura, and Tim Bynum, when they voted to pass Bill 2491.  None of these members did their due diligence to find out the facts about the seed farmers and passed a law on the emotions and misinformation of a crowd being manipulated by outside interests using scare tactics.  Not only did the heavy handed fear campaign succeed in convincing the leaders to pass such a law, it created another attack against the papaya farmers along the way.  These members were mad and lashed out by passing the contentious law causing permanent collateral damage across the board in the Kauai communities.

My kids know that they aren’t allowed to use their emotions to lash out at others or each other.  It’s a big “no-no” in our house.  I too have to remember that even if I’m mad or tired, lashing out only means I’ll have to apologize later but the damage has been done.  My dad always drilled it into my head as a kid that, “You’d better think first before you do something you might regret.”  He was my example of what I was expected to be like and he’d correct me along the way.  I know that I’m the example to them because that is what I expect of my children to be like.

I only wish our elected officials would get a clue and be the true leaders in our communities and not like my 3 year old toddler, who’s still learning those lessons.

 

T

And They Cry, “Let the People Decide!”

Once again, there is an upcoming anti-GMO concert party going to happen on Kauai.  This poster is going around the social media right now touting this event.  This is the hip thing to do in our islands, have a big old shin dig.

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Once again the lack of awareness of these activists are glaring.  There’s Makana with his GMO cotton overalls and cotton GMO aloha shirt with a guitar that is coated with chemicals.  He tries to look as if he is a farmer that is speaking for farmers but in reality, is just a musician.  He’s the idol of the GMO Free crowd right now so its time to keep the iron hot!

This concert will likely have high tech devices like speakers and instruments that were made by a multinational corporation but they will scream in horror of their alleged atrocities.

 They flying in people like Vandana Shiva from around the world who’s job it is to scare and outrightly disinform people.  Forget the fact that she’s not coming here on a home made wooden boat from India.  She’s a jet setter traveling all around the world and corporate made high tech planes that guzzle tons of synthetic, earth polluting jet fuels.  She wants to save the world with her message of being green is good and use lots of GMO guzzling cars to get to these concerts.  She’s out to save the world while polluting the earth.

The concert attendees are earth lovers who wave their hands with peace and love for they are doing the aina a favor.  All the meanwhile they are using oil burning power to dance, sing, and party.  They eat and drink from corporate made beers or foods that were brought in on gas powered ships to feed the people for that day.  The majority of what they consume likely is GMO and they aren’t choking on it that day.

Tens of thousands of dollars and hundreds of human energy are joined in that one spot for several hours socializing and reinforcing their beliefs about this Hawaiian sounding movement.  They are bonded by this need to save the earth from the poisoners of the world but then don’t even realize their own poisoning of the world.

Tons of trash created by food containers, beverages, and posters fill up the dumpsters that fill our landfills on the island.  It piles on the same trash that was created from all the Bill 2491 hearings and the labeling bills.  The multiple marches held throughout the year is also buried in the trash mound too, and leeching into the aina.

The sewage created by this gathering is also enormous.  It all goes into that fossil fuel powered sewer systems to be processed to save the land from toxic human waste.  These people are worried about their water systems but don’t worry about their own impacts on water either when they gather together.

The concert will eventually end and lots of photos and videos of this momentous event will fill the corporate owned social media sites like Facebook and YouTube.  These people yearn for the “old days” where things were so much better but will never forget to bring their latest corporate made IPhones or smartphones.  Without this high technology, these activists are lost but they still refuse to accept the “evil” ways of modern day farming.

After all is said and done and all the human energy is expended, was there truly a positive impact from what they did?  Was there a piece of the aina cleaned that day to keep sea life healthy?  Were human lives saved by spending half a day at a concert? Will people be fed sustainably by this day? Did they work towards making Hawaii more food secure?  Was the money spent going to last towards a greater cause to actually help farmers keep farming?

Like the transient nature of a concert, so are the actions of these activists.  The current fad is to be anti-GMO right now.  Forget about the long term consequences of what they re asking for because they can’t see beyond the next concert.  They will still go on wearing the textiles that they protest and buy the food and fuel that they fear but acknowledge consuming.  They cry, “Let the people decide,” and don’t even realize what they reap the rewards of in their own lives once again.

Sustainable Agriculture Doesn’t Mean Only Organic

Thanks to the disinformation campaign of the organic lobby, people have really started to bumble up what the word sustainable means.  There are a lot of people who think that being environmentally friendly automatically means organic and that it also means “sustainable.”  What does sustainable really mean to begin with?

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This definition clearly shows that we can’t equate sustainability to mean organic.  I would have to say that working the lands for 40 years and still growing fruit is definitely sustainable.  Farmers that grow know this.  They use all methods of farming to keep them going.  Being able to farm year after year is indeed sustainable.  It would have to be my dad and all the other multi generation papaya farmers across our state are definitely doing something sustainable!

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Honolulu City Council Wants to Burden the Farmers

I was really disappointed to learn that there is yet another proposed bill on the books that is going to affect Oahu farmers.  The West Oahu Soil & Water Conservation District met a couple of days ago and discussed that the Committee on Zoning & Planning.  Honolulu City Council will hold a hearing on Thursday April 24, 2014 at 9 a.m. to hear Bill 34, introduced by Ikaika Anderson.  This bill will have a devastating effect on farmers and soil conservation efforts.

Bill 34 will remove the exclusion from the County grading ordinance, grading by farmers under approved Soil Conservation plans with a Soil & Water Conservation District for any project of more than 50 cubic yards of material.

If this bill becomes law, for any project of more than 50 cubic yards of material, farmers will need permits, will need to pay fee and will need to bond the project.

Let’s put some perspective into this law that puts yet another burden on farmers.  What does 50 cubic yards of material look like?

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If you take a look at the above picture, 50 cubic yards is basically one large container and a small one.  The law is seeking to remove the exemption from farmers for moving material.  Is that really a whole lot of material being moved?  I don’t think so and the number is so arbitrary.  What really is the purpose of removing the exclusion of farmers?  Is it to make farming a more attractive business for others to go into?

It’s just really disappointing that our lawmakers come up with this kind of shortsighted laws with no real rationale or idea of the consequences of such actions.  It’s funny how the state is talking about how Hawaii supports agriculture and yet propose these kind of actions.

The truth is that we must prefer importing foods because we are going to essentially tie the hands of the people who feed us.  If you love local food, say goodbye because it is going to get that much harder for farmers to get it on our tables.

 

Farewell RoundUp, We’ve Found a New Love, Atrazine

If go on the social media and visit some of Hawaii anti-GMO activist pages, here’s some of the typical things you see on there…

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What does all of these images share?  It’s all about fear mongering.  There is no evidence that goes along with many of these pictures and memes, but just the image alone is powerful enough to convince activists of some horrible outcome as the result of any farm other than organic ones.  No one ever seems to crosscheck these statements either and thousands of people just believe without a hint of skepticism.

My grandfather was one of those folks that saw things and just believed it.  He loved to watch wrestling and was convinced that it was real.  My dad would tell him that the stuff he was watching was faked and scripted, to which he’d say, “No way, it’s real!”  The funniest thing was that when there was news of Neil Armstrong landing on the moon, he refused to believe it and said that it was fake.

The old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words still applies to this day as we are seeing with our anti-GMO activists.  These pictures that are constantly being put out there on the social media to people who lack that ability to scratch their heads and say, “Now is that for real or what?”  Neither to many of these folks even know how Google operates to pull up the fear laden sites too when they do a search.

It is of no surprise that the fear lovers are going to start up once again by bringing in Tyrone Hayes in May.  They have lost their love our RoundUp and didn’t succeed in getting Senator Josh Green to ban it.  Their newest love affair is now with Atrazine and Tyrone Hayes.

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Before the anti-GMO club goes berserk on this year’s chemical, Atrazine, let me show you how to do the head scratch bit before you just believe it all.  You can read more about the selective reporting done by the author of the article posted by the Babes Against Biotech too.

I’m no Google search expert by no means but I am always asking to debunk things because I don’t straight out believe it.  If you enter into Google “debunk Tyrone Hayes” this is what you’ll get in this search.

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If you do another Google search, with Tyrone Hayes and Atrazine, you get a slightly different picture with a bit more of the activist sites like Democracy Now and his own page, Atrazine Lovers.  His academic papers also come up on the top of the search.

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If you’re afraid of reading too many words on Google, like most activists, then you’d scurry on over to their next best research site, YouTube.  What do we find on YouTube when we search for Tyrone Hayes?  Let’s see.

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Holy Atrazine-ites!  All you get is activist videos that are full of fear mongering.  Typical anti-GMO ways again.

When Tyrone Hayes shows up in Hawaii in May, you know what to expect.  You’ll get the same kind of message that came along with Dr. Huber, Stephanie Seneff, Andrew Kimbrell, Vandana Shiva, Hector Valenzuela, and others.  I also start to wonder, who’s funding these folks to have nice Hawaiian vacations on many of the islands.  Are they doing this out of the kindness of their hearts?  Hmmm…

GMOs Does Not Mean God Move Over and Here’s Why

Here’s another thing that I hear frequently being stated by many of the anti-GMO activists, “Stop messing with the DNA in our food!”  Mark Fergusson, the CEO of the very much anti-GMO Down to Earth Markets also called it, “God Move Over.”  I just hate the fear mongering that’s being said about a technology that can do so much for growing food and decreasing our impact to do so.

The goal of the anti-GMO supporters really is to take advantage of the fact that most people have little to no clue as to what GMO really is.  When there is a huge number of people who are not literate in biology, chemistry, and basic genetics, you have a nice market of people to target with fear and doubt about this technology.

The activists from the Food Babe, Babes Against Biotech, Hawaii GMO Justice Coalition, Earthjustice, and the Center for Food Safety, will also go on to state that genetic modification of our food stuffs is going to mess up people in some form or fashion.  They love to use emotion evoking phrases like, “it’s being shoved down your throats,” to “it’s killing our keiki and kupuna,”  We also can’t forget those syringes stuck in food and skull in crossbones bit that they want on this GMO label.

Why are these people so afraid of this thing called DNA?  It’s probably because they don’t understand what it is to begin with.

I know that videos are great ways to teach people a thing or two about what DNA really is.

Then when you get a better understanding DNA, let’s talk more about genetics.

I hope you kind of got a general idea of DNA and basic genetics.  Now here’s a great video on the story of biotech papayas and how it all comes together.

Note that even with this modification of the genetics, the composition of the papaya is not significantly different than the conventional type.  Also note that the transgenic papayas have disease resistance built into it.  It is developed to resist the papaya ringspot virus that is spread by an aphid.  Even though Gary Hooser has told so many people that GMO means pesticides, it does not at all.  It is a technology that can be applied in many different ways.

If you’re still feeling afraid of genetic modification in our food, let’s talk about the food we eat today.  Here’s a great example of two different types of tomatoes that have altered genetics done through selective breeding.

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These clearly have different genetics to result in these two forms of tomatoes.  We can eat both of them and do you think our body can tell the difference?  No.  The compositions might be slightly different, and the DNA is different but our body can’t tell.

Of course, the next line that a typical anti-GMO activist might say is that these tomatoes don’t have fish genes in it.

The dreaded fish genes!

That’s a funny thought because if you were to eat fish, you are eating fish genes and have you turned into something awful?  Ummm…  No.  So even if a tomato might have genes of a fish, a common blunder quoted by many antis that is not true at all, would your body know this?  Nope.  Genes are not species specific!

If you watched the videos above, you might figure out that you can’t say that the genes is what’s making you allergic to something either.  If you think that there’s a new allergen that’s created by the genetic modification, you’d be wrong too because it is tested and tested for these potential issues.  Allergenic proteins are pretty well known and if detected, the trials are abandoned and destroyed.

The same anti-GMO activists decry biotech testing but then listen to Dr. Oz touting those exotic miracle cures.  He went from touting goji berries and now garcinia cambogia, which has no allergenic tests done ever but assumed safe.  Wouldn’t that worry you more to be consuming these untested things?  Nope.  Where’s the precautionary principle applied here?

The DNA fearing God Move Over crowd continues to cry about the evil of genetic modification and the need for the precautionary principle, but always misses a key point about this technology.  They are worried about what happens when they consume this GMO derived food product because of the unknown genetics.  If that is the case, why aren’t they worried about what happens when they consume banana genes or GMO free noni genes?  If one is afraid of messed up genes, then they should really fear things like heirloom tomatoes that have really altered genetics.

There’s a lot of DNA in many GMO free products that they should be worried about but don’t even realize it.  I’m more afraid of the bacterial genetics of what’s on some organic foods than I am of GMO corn or papaya any day.