It was nice for sometime to have some reprieve when the legislature ended its session a few months ago. No more bad laws and activists to fight against and some peace and tranquility for at least a little while. Little did I forget that this year was an election year and of course, a lot of anti-GMO activists have decided to run for office. The same old statement keep coming out again and again in various Civil Beat articles on the issue, which is not surprising yet again. My post for today centers around, “What they say, and what the evidence says.” I also challenge folks to question the sources of these claims as I’d love to see where it’s coming from.
“They are spraying schools, homes, and hospitals.”
I know that this is being repeated by the Center for Food Safety on their mailers. When we look at the evidence, we see a different story here, which actually started in 2008. Here’s some articles detailing that claim.
Odor that kids sick debated by the Star Advertiser (Note who is mentioned there, Gary Hooser.)
The actual paper can be downloaded here: Final_Report_Kauai_Air__3_15_2013_submitted-2
Results of Air Sampling Study Released from Waimea, Kauai by Hawaii Reporter
If you try to Google “Waimea Canyon Middle School Pesticide Study,” and you take a look at the links, you get an interesting timeline of articles listed that start at 2008 then all of the anti-GMO claims of companies “dousing pesticides” dating from 2013 and 2014.
Notice how the activists websites that blew up the story in just a 2 year period and attempted to overwhelm the real story behind this issue. The findings of the study gives the facts and the activists sites change the story as if it had just happened.
“There’s cancer clusters in our state because of GMOs!”
This is once again being repeated over and over by the activists again. Let’s see what the evidence shows us.
The Hawaii Department of Health Cancer Study conducted by the Hawaii Tumor Registry shows that there is no cancer clusters as claimed. There is actually a decline in the numbers of cancers being found on Kauai and that the incidence is much lower than across the entire state. There is however a higher incidence of melanomas in the North Shore area of Kauai. Hmm… More sun, more fair skinned folks likely means more skin cancer.
“There’s more birth defects here!”
I’ve seen so many claims that autism, polydactly, and gastroschisis are on the rise from living on Kauai near the GMO farms. It’s pretty interesting because when you ask these folks where their claims come from, you get nothing. Taking a look further at the data and one will find that in many cases, Hawaii’s incidence is somewhat lower that the national average in several areas. It’s sad to me that babies are born with birth defects but to blame a single thing for it sounds very suspicious to me, when the research says otherwise.
There is also the issue of teenage pregnancy across our state and especially in Kauai. Here’s some data and statistics complied on the state. Note that the island of Kauai, specifically the town of Waimea, has the highest rates of teen pregnancies in the state. Approximately 36.8% of high school students reported having sex with some 22% had drank or used drugs before they last had sex. This can’t be a good combination for the resulting babies as we know these chemicals are also implicated in increased birth defects. There are also several studies that have been done indicating a higher risk of gastroschisis being higher in babies of teen mothers.
If one tries to Google, “causes of gastroschisis,” this is what your search will come up with. If you click and read and those links from the CDC to various children’s hospitals, you’ll see that the causes are unknown.
However, if one wants to confirm their biases and do an alternative search, you’ll see a completely different picture presented. This is what one will see if they Google, “gastroschisis and pesticides.” The top site for stating this is the bogus one, Natural News as well as environmental sites also! Such a different picture presented depending on your searches.
In summary, to just blame all birth defects on the GMO fields and farms takes a bit of deeper investigation into the claims being circulated. There are many issues that can contribute to the problem at hand and it’s not simply one of correlation equals causation. But once again, if this statement is repeated over and over again, how many activists bother to question what’s being told to them? It’s easier to just recite what’s being said instead of checking their “facts.” Also remember that if one is not the professional speaking on the issue and it’s coming from solely the internet, you might want to cross check your facts.
As for the claim that polydactly is caused by GMOs, all I can say is that my grandpa was born with it back in 1919 and there weren’t no GMOs back then. How could that possibly be??? Polydactly is a condition that has affected people for a very long time and to once again try to blame pesticides or GMOs on it is faulty logic in play.
“There’s more asthma because I live by a toxic GMO field that blows dust!”
I’ve heard this repeated over and over again by the activists blaming GMO field dust as their cause of asthma. What’s interesting to note that that when you look at asthma rates across the nation, yes, it has been rising. But, hey, not everyone is living right next to GMO fields! So what’s causing it? To just say that it’s dust from fields is misleading as fewer and fewer people actually live near farms for that reason. Of course one could go and read Natural News, Green Med Info, Dr. Oz, and Dr. Mercola and they will tell you by golly, it’s the consumption of GMOs! Their typical fall back of bumbling on correlation and causation. I’d have to change it around and say there’s a correlation that more people reading those sites will cause them to have asthma. It’s ridiculous to make claims like that but these snake oil salespeople love it and know there’s money to be made with some miracle supplement that someone will buy. Whatever the case, the evidence is still not clear on what’s causing more asthma but scientists, not snake oil salespeople, are working on figuring it out.
“Our water and a’ina are being poisoned!”
This is the one that makes me the most irritated when I see this comment, once again, I shake my head. Why? What does the evidence reflect?
Hawaii Department of Health Finds Low Levels of Pesticides–The highest levels were found around urban areas!
Board of Water Supply Water Quality Report
Draft Final 2013-14 State Wide Pesticide Sampling Pilot Project Water Quality Findings 5-21-14 0305
Not breaking news is that Maui water was found to have NO traces of glyphosate in it either.
The evidence just doesn’t reflect their claims that the waters are being poisoned. If you read it from their sites and sources, then yes, you’ll believe it. Research it and you’ll see a different story.
The Evidence is There But Why Don’t They Accept or Trust it?
Simply put, this is why…
“In Kauai, chemical companies Dow, BASF, Syngenta and DuPont spray 17 times more restricted-use insecticides per acre than on ordinary cornfields in the US mainland, according to the most detailed study of the sector, by the Center for Food Safety.” Now some parts of Kauai have 10 times the national rate of gastroschisis? It looks like someone is propagandizing….
Where’s your actual data for this claim other than CFS? Also, if you’re familiar with Hawaii Seed, please ask them to disclose the results of that $19,000 pesticide drift study they paid for. They aren’t being transparent about that for some reason.