Failing to Prioritize People’s Needs Fails Us All

IMG_1236

In this week’s Civil Beat, there was an article about the public housing situation. It’s not a new story at all. It is getting funding cut to it and is deteriorating or dilapidated in some cases. Many people depend on this and without it, these folks would be on the streets.

Many legislators have been in office for quite sometime and I’m sure are well aware of this problem. According to CB, some of the units shoot out black water from the plumbing or are pest infested causing allergies and asthma. If a private landlord allowed people to live in these conditions, they’d be investigated and fined. However, because this is the state, there is no such urgency or accountability for these issues. The keiki and kupuna who call these units homes must just tolerate it.

Shouldn’t this be an urgent priority for our lawmakers? There is a really high probability of someone getting ill or hurt living in substandard conditions. Isn’t this something that the health committee should consider a priority?

Sadly, the needs of the most vulnerable of folks will not likely be heard. Instead, our politicians like Senator Josh Green and Representative Chris Lee turn their heads to the loudest of people. These activists have more than enough food and have enough free time to get on a plane to protest island to island. They have enough disposable income to be able to buy more expensive food. Ironically, these people’s needs are the priority.

There may indeed be illnesses as claimed but it has not been ascertained. All of these illnesses seem to be based in speculation and politicians want to base their laws upon a guess. This actually fails to find the real causes before it turned into law. How does this help anyone? It doesn’t.

Instead of really looking at all sides of the issue and only listening to the squeaky wheels, our leaders fail the ones who need their support the most. Where’s the true leader who can say what is needed the most to the loudest? Are they willing to step up to address the real priorities? Where is that person for these folks who are the 1 in 5 who live in poverty and have to worry about stretching their dollar each month?

Leaders sometimes have to make unpopular decisions at time and not duck from what is right. Yes, GMOs and pesticides are the hot topic now, however the data collected shows otherwise.

Photo Credit

GMO Papaya Princess (pictured) Joni Kamiya: She is something else so send that woman some aloha and an organic gift basket!

GMO Papaya Princess (pictured) Joni Kamiya: She is something else so send that woman some aloha and an organic gift basket!

Who has no aloha? This proves my point! Thanks Naomi for this! You did well!

Please send some love to the agrochemical industry profiteers attacking community members standing up to Monsanto, they need it most of all.

Aloha Reader,

My name is Nomi Carmona, and I am an environmental advocate, community lobbyist and organizer in Hawaii. I represent the 99% or at least our 13,500 community members in Hawaii who have joined my community group against the world’s largest chemical companies in Hawaii, which are poisoning us. I am here to provide my comments regarding the public figure, Joni Kamiya who has spent an enormous amount of time writing about me. By the end of this post, you will understand why.

Right now, there are some very concerning, very toxic genetic engineering and pesticide operations occurring in Hawaii. I know you think of Hawaii as pristine and know how much everyone loves the islands, which is why you should know the truth, we are at risk every day and getting poisoned every day by the world’s largest chemical companies experimenting with GE crops and growing GMO seeds to ship…

View original post 3,449 more words

Why Politicians Hear From Very Few People in the Anti-GMO Debacle



It was reported yesterday on HPR that some 600 pieces of testimony came in regarding the anti-pesticide bill.  Rep. Chris Lee and the rest of his committee felt very confident in passing it through because of it.  Just because it appears to have a lot of support doesn’t make it the right thing to do.  Why did few people speak up to begin with?

For one thing, speaking up against these activists makes one an immediate target to very ugly actions.  No one wants to subjected to being accused of crimes against humanity.

Screenshot 2015-02-06 11.32.51

So it’s not surprising why the politicians don’t hear much from people on the issue when you’ll be subjected to these kinds of tactics.

Well, for continuing to speak for our family farm, the latest thing these activists are doing is attempting to smear those who speak out.  It turns out that Naomi Carmona of the Babes Against Biotech has gone on a domain fishing hunt by buying up anyone’s name who doesn’t support them.  Take a look at what she has purchased.

2

babesagainstbiotech@gmail.com-3

Yes, why would anyone bother to speak up when you’ll get cyber squatted and possibly bullied that way? Oh, yes, and she has gone even further by actually purchasing a blog post and posting something on me!

Screenshot 2015-02-06 11.42.11

 

It really doesn’t bother me that these activists do this type of thing.  It’s only a reflection of the kind of people they truly are.  They continue to claim that I have no aloha and I don’t do what is pono but the evidence shows otherwise. Posting what you and your followers state is called holding you accountable. You said it and should be responsible for it, if not, don’t say it. Honestly, what normal person goes out and buys domains of people whom disagrees with you and puts a website under it? Isn’t that an attempt to cyber bully to send people at me? Sure appears that way.

The bottom line is that when you speak up in Hawaii, these anti-aloha folks prove themselves over and over again.  They may be numerous and loud but it doesn’t make them right.  Instead of debating on facts, they resort to personal attacks.  It just validates that facts are useless in these issues. While the politicians heard from just 18 opposers and some 600 supporters, it’s doesn’t add to any justifications.

How did Ashley Lukens of the Center for Food Safety and folks get so many to send testimony in? Easy. Align with Naomi and her Babes Against Biotech. These anti-aloha groups are one in the same. Let’s give them a little rope and see if they can do what is pono.

IMG_1099

Thanks Center for Food Safety for Helping Hawaii Farmers!

Thanks Center for Food Safety for Helping Hawaii Farmers!

IMG_1067-0

Right now, a whole bunch of politicians and activists are packing a conference room to dictate laws that will be placed against farmers under the disguise of “protecting keiki, kupuna, and others.” That’s the intent of the expressed law but the real intent is just targeting agriculture irregardless of the size of the farm.

Unlike activists, the farmers don’t have the luxury cruising around the Capitol and socializing with other activists while waiting to give testimony. My dad and brother have deliveries to make for their customers who keep them farming. I’d be there right with them except I have an unvaccinated newborn to care for. Setting aside 3 hours to defend themselves means unnecessary inconveniencing of stores and waiting customers.

In lieu of testifying in person, my dad and brother sent in their thoughts to the legislators.

Here’s what my dad had to say:

My name is Kenneth Kamiya and I am a papaya farmer on Oahu with over 40 years of experience in growing papayas. I strongly oppose HB 1514.

This bill as written is anti-farming. It purports to protect children, kupuna, and the general citizenry but in actuality it hurts everyone. We talk about food sustainability in Hawaii, yet this bill will discourage farming all together.

There is talk of a dock strike on the west coast and food may become in short supply, and yet we are trying to discourage farmers from producing the food that we eat.

Pesticides are tools for the farmer to utilize in agriculture. A mechanic without tool is not a mechanic. A farmer without the proper tools cannot be a farmer in Hawaii. As it stands, we are already highly regulated and another level of regulation will be the last shovel of dirt on our graves.

My brother also sent his testimony:

My name is Michael Kamiya and I am a 3rd Generation Papaya Farmer. My grandfather started papaya farming in the 1940’s and my father continued to grow the farm and produce the Kamiya Papaya which is sold throughout the island.

As a new farmer just learning the business and slated to take over in the next few years, I strongly opposed HB 1514. This is an attack on local small agriculture. Though it may not be written for small farms, it will still affect us. In fact, it DIRECTLY affects us because our farm borders the Brigham Young Hawaii Campus. We have 6 acres that are bordering the mens and womens dormitories along our farm. If this law were to come into effect, we would lose that prime agricultural land that our farm has cultivated for over 25 years. To add to that, in those 25 years, we have not had a single complaint from any students, staff or faculty member from the campus. The fields that border the dormitories have infrastructure that we have personally invested in, they include roads, irrigation, soil amendments and swales to prevent flooding or run off. If we were not allowed to continue farming in those fields, it would severely impact our production and ultimately our business.

Another reason I oppose this bill is because it contains redundancy from the Worker Protection Standards. As a certified and licensed pesticide applicator in the State of Hawaii, we already comply with much of the requirements listed in the proposed bill. Postings, record keeping and disclosure are all required and thoroughly reviewed with the USDA Food Safety Audit that we must comply with every year in order to sell and market our products.

The exemption for the Pest and Termite Companies is very discriminatory towards farmers. They spray and use far more dangerous chemicals than we as farmers ever use. If we are to regulate and manage pesticide usage in Hawaii, it should be for everyone including businesses, golf courses, schools, government, even homeowners, not just farmers.

Lastly, as a new and hopeful farmer looking to the future, instead of making laws to stifle farmers, we should work together as a community to promote proper pesticide usage.

Laws are good when its intentions are fulfilled and this bill does not do due diligence to the perceived need for legislation. If we as a community and the political leaders truly want to protect people, then apply the regulations across the board for each and every user who potentially can harm others with misuse. That includes the state and county agencies who use the same substances. It’s also disturbing to see that this law also subjects farms to lawsuits but does of clearly spell out what the course of action or processes that will be applied. It fuels more attacks and places more uncertainty as to what’s the next thing they are going to burden farms with.

The worst issue about this proposed law is that it continually subjects farmers to more attacks based in misinformation. The accusations that farmers “douse their crops in toxins” and “spray people” or “poison the aina” will only be perpetuated given the language of the bill as written. Is that going to encourage others to farm or even want to continue farming? Furthermore, these activists preach doing what is pono (righteous) and can’t even walk the talk.

So Rep. Lee and Rep. Lowen as well as other committee members, really consider all the consequences of any law you are proposing. The backers of this bill, the Center for Food Safety, stated that they are here to grow the local food movement but in reality are out to break it. If we as a state want to have more local foods, we’d better support the people, big or small, that make this happen.

Hawaii Seed’s Walter Ritte expressed in his Star Advertiser commentary yesterday that it’s big corporations that is blocking farming. Sorry, but it’s not them. It’s you and all of your associations from Vandana Shiva, Babes Against Biotech’s Naomi Carmona, Dr. Hector Valenzuela, and SHAKA’s Lorrin Pang, armchair farmers, and Center for Food Safety’s Ashley Lukens who are killing people’s desire to continue their tireless work. Pointing fingers and making false accusations against the 1.5% that feed you isn’t inspiring anyone to grow Hawaii. Keep it up activists and Hawaii can be proud to say that ALL of our food will be imported and there will be no need to keep the country country anymore. You’ll appreciate it more if that dock strike hits and we get to thank the activists for their accomplishments!

IMG_1067-0

Farmers Ain’t Farming If They Have to Defend Their Work

Farmers Ain’t Farming If They Have to Defend Their Work

IMG_1057

However…

No sooner did Representative Chris Lee state that the anti-pesticide laws he was proposing would not affect the small farmer, he flip flops and proposes this vague bill that indeed does affects all farms. That is extremely disappointing.

Here we had the Washington, D.C. based Center for Food Safety in town throwing chat sessions and dinners proposing increasing our local food supply. Instead of going into the agricultural community to learn about Hawaii’s ag systems and stakeholders, they show their true colors by going straight for the legislature. They want direct conflict instead of collaboration apparently. The same applies to their request to join Earthjustice to defend the Big Island county lawsuit also. Their actions clearly show that they aren’t about working together but about creating constant conflict.

If these activists groups, not advocacy groups, really want to get more people on the farms, adding vague legislation with no parameters based upon data only makes reaching that goal even more difficult. Farmers are already subject to Federal and state laws in every single aspect of their work. No one wants added legislation without due cause and should be justifiable with data.

If anything, legislators really need to consider all the consequences of adding more burdens upon farmers and considering all aspects of any and all proposed laws. If CFS and Rep. Lee are really worried about pesticides, it’s only just if they consider all of the data available.

I suggest starting by looking at the whole picture, specifically at who are the users of pesticides and its impacts. It’s not just to only pinpoint a single user if the initial defined issue is clear. In this case, the state would be essentially having another Kauai Bill 2491 episode on their hands. Do we really want that again? Did it help our communities with their real concerns or just drive another stake of divisiveness rooted in fear and misinformation? Is the goal to kill ag in Hawaii?

If the CFS were really sincere about people’s health and issues with agricultural pesticides, also know as crop protection products, they would’ve had fundraisers to conduct studies to collect data to back up their cause. Instead, this group used a whole lot of money, likely over $100k or more, to bring in Vandana Shiva to our communities. She doesn’t speak with facts and only indoctrinated people with her ideology. CFS also would have invested more wisely in having a true scientist work for them to get the facts across to protect people as they claim. If they aren’t happy with what the state is doing, use those resources and actually collect the data and work with others to fulfill those promises.

The sad fact is being pointed out that Hawaii is being used as a pawn in all of this. The attorneys for these groups claim that they are being “smeared,” but fail to look at their own websites and associations and the smearing they have funded over the course of their existence. These people thrive on divided communities and creating conflict. Is that really pono?

My dad and brother are that 1.5% that want to farm. They work long hours and come home achy, tired, and sore, but they go back to it everyday, year after year. It is their passion and appreciation from their long time customers that reinvigorates their drive to farm. It keeps them going and sustains them.

Farmers don’t complain about their work and have a deep love for what they do. They don’t have the luxury of flexible hours like 10-4 or have to guard their yoga Continue reading

The Real Bullies: Earthjustice and the Center for Food Safety Attack the Local Farmers

8705800_s

Will justice ever be served for the Hawaii County farmers?

It’s interesting that the activists’ groups like Earthjustice and the Center for Food Safety always claim that the agribusinesses are liars and bullies. I guess they forgot the rule that when you point fingers at others, 3 more point back at oneself. “We want honesty,” is their followers’ rallying cry. The problem is that these groups can’t even be honest and don’t recognize the bullying they do themselves when they attack Big Island farmers in the courtroom.

Case in point is how CFS is ramping up its efforts with the Vandana Shiva blitz and garnering the attention of the media this past month. This group picks the most fraudulent of speakers to “educate” others, when in reality all she does is indoctrinate in ideology with very little evidence based information. She also is an extremist who supported Natural News’ Mike Adams’ call to murder scientists and journalists who supported biotechnology! It’s no wonder the local activists here do exactly the same thing in their commentaries but then are called the extremists of the movement.

The Center for Food Safety isn’t even honest in what they tell the media with their interviews. Many news stations were reporting that they are Honolulu based last week. This group is nothing close to being locally based and is essentially a satellite office of their Washington, D.C. one which started up last year. There were no corrections being made to these stories either so many people think that this is a local grassroots movement. They are clearly here to work on their financial sustainability if anything.

Like other activists, Ashley Lukens, CFS director, loves to play up the doctor bit too and neglects to mention that she’s holds a political science degree, not an ag one and has no experience or related education. She of course flaunts around the Dr. title as if it gives her added credibility. It’s no different than how they use Dr. Stephanie Seneff, aka RoundUp causes all diseases in the world fame artificial intelligence engineer, to tout their “education.”

The politicians are also jumping on the CFS dishonesty train too. Senator Josh Green brought in activists to “educate” political leaders on the issue of pesticides. Forget the fact that there are millions of acres of GM crops grown in the Midwest and these same crop protection products have been used for 40 years with no documented evidence that it causes autism, activists’ science is what our politicians prefer to use to make laws here.  On top of that, I just read the other week in an interview with Rep. Chris Lee that what they are attempting to enact in Hawaii will not affect small farmers regarding the pesticide issue. He’s been wined and dined and apparently repeating the rhetoric of CFS. Today, the Senate ag chair, Russell Ruderman, too is lobbying for his activists’s friends to defend Hawaii County.  Ruderman has his nose stuck in anti-Monsanto conspiracy theories and no sense of fairness or accountability and chooses to meddle in a level of government that is not in his scope.  These groups and the politicians they use don’t care who they attack seem to enjoy catering to the factless fear feast.

It’s no surprise that these groups always say one thing and do another. Center for Food Safety expressed to politicians that they aren’t going after the small farmers. Earthjustice attorney, Paul Achitoff, also stated that he fights for farming communities but is fighting against it now. Turns out that it’s not true because they are joining with the San Francisco based Earthjustice to appeal Judge Kurren’s ruling on the Big Island GMO ban. The agribusinesses aren’t affected by this ordinance in Hawaii county because they have no operations there at all. It’s the small papaya farmers and other local farmers who are having to defend their livelihoods! Of course they are going to state that Monsanto mantra against the organization who is helping to defend these farmers.

To fuel the fire, CFS loves to smother it’s news posts with the same old corporate hate. Instead of actually naming the true plaintiffs in the Big Island case, they title their post with, “Chemical Companies Undermine the Will of the People of Hawaii County.” There is no mention of the real local farm groups involved in the case at all and it closes the post with the same chemophobic messages used to take advantage of people’s ignorance on agriculture.

There are no links or documentation outlining any of the pertinent filings or details of the case also. It’s the typical cherry picking of information that these groups thrive on because they know most activists believe without questioning. A true skeptic would want to see the filings and other court or county documents also but these groups condemn any questioning of their motives or facts for that matter.  Questioning this movement will get you shunned and isn’t tolerated.  Hawaii is definitely a great place for Earthjustice and the Center for Food Safety to establish due to the many industries available for them to sue and pad their coffers and a host of people that they can use as pawns.

These groups are so willing to use taxpayer dollars and farmers’ time play this conspiracy laden game with no consideration of how scare county resources really are. It’s like a game with no forethought as to the real consequences and impacts. Since when has it been a practice for activists to be held to a higher standard and code of ethics to be able to defend the county? These people show that they essentially have no ethics but can be trusted to do the right thing? With 3 bad bills passed due to the influence of these groups, it’s pretty sad that Hawaii County wants to use them to defend such a bad law. It’s pretty shameful that leaders can even consider using these people to represent them.

Then again, if these groups proceed with an appeal and follow suit with their bad track record, it many really blow up in their faces. Many of our laws are made by case law and a victory for the farmers in this case will set a huge precedent across the nation. A loss to the activists will only further strengthen the farmers’ rights to technology and even uphold scientists access to use biotech research. This would apply across the nation because of the precedent it sets for other lawsuits. Heck, it may even jeopardize their prior laws made to ban GM coffee and taro! What will they cry about that?

It’s sad that Hawaii County can actually consider using activists’ lawyer in these cases that shouldn’t have even made it this far. Politicians have a responsibility to the public to use facts and evidence to make fair and just laws. They all took an oath to act as such. When bad laws are made because of dishonest efforts, resources are wasted and everyone loses. Have we become any closer to reaching those goals of food security and sustainability when it’s taken to the courtroom? How much do we have to lose to realize it’s time to start listening to rational stakeholders who stand with facts?

If you’d like to express your opinion on this matter and get farmers back on track, please send the Hawaii County Council an email at: counciltestimony@hawaiicounty.gov

Read the Hawaii County Council Agenda here:  Hawaii County COUNCIL 02.04.2015 Agenda

Center for Food Safety & Earthjustice’s request can be read here: CFS.EarthJustice COM to Hawaii County

CFS Andrew Kimbrell’s disturbing anti-technology anti-science essay, Cold Evil.