A Passion for Papaya is Not Propaganda

A Passion for Papaya is Not Propaganda

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Dr. Marion Nestle referred to the film Food Evolution as “propaganda” and the other activists like Zen Honeycutt and the Food Babe are jumping onboard.  This implies that the content was misleading, and meant to affect opinions using less-than-honest means. I was really shocked when 45 academic signatories wrote the letter calling the film propaganda from the agrochemical industry.

I’m glad to offer you a taste of that propaganda, or should I say, papaya.

The film’s first part shows a horrible battle that happened here in my home state of Hawaii.  Non-farmers and well-financed mainland activists wanted my family to abandon a technology, the virus-resistant papaya.  The papaya was made resistant by genetic engineering, and it was done by universities and government to help the local papaya farmers. It was not the “agrochemical industry”.

Mainland activists riled up local agitators by carefully crafting a massive fear campaign in our communities and manipulated a vote against the papaya. Claims were made that it was poison, it caused tumors, it was increasing pesticide use and more diseases in the industry.  None of this was true, but in fear of retaliation, the majority of the council voted to ban it anyway.

The Food Evolution film crew was in Hawaii because it was the important national story at the time. They covered the story in great detail and presented it as it unfolded, giving plenty of time to the papaya’s opposition.

It also shows how farmers pushed back, and Margaret Wille and the County Council then grandfathered the papaya in, even though they believed (the propaganda) that it was carcinogenic and harmful.

They were caught in a hypocrisy when one tells the public improved fruits are dangerous but then exempt them with pressure.  This is fact.  This is hardly propaganda. The papaya works, it saved an industry, and is outstanding technology.

So it is very disappointing to me that Nestle, Pollan and 45 others go on record calling this story agrochemical industry propaganda, when it is a far cry from the truth.

It is especially disturbing because many of the people that refer to my family’s livelihood as propaganda are graduate students and professors. It seems like a bad career move to call the chronicling political resistance to successful technology agrochemical industry propaganda.

It is even more troubling that these are students and professors that claim to be in favor of small-holder family farms and sustainability.  The papaya allows my family to sustainably produce a local staple that would be gone if it was not for the technology.

If I was a student or faculty member I would think carefully before signing my name to a movement laden with false claims. It seems like the academic road is very difficult today, and when a search of your name shows you standing up against technology and small family farmers, it seems like a short-sighted career move. Your name on that letter symbolizes the rejection of science and the benefits it can have for small family farms globally, who face climate change and it’s consequences.  Do you really stand against that reality?

If you ever are over in the islands please let me know and I’ll personally introduce you to our “giant agrochemical industry”, which is me, my family and two dedicated farm workers, growing a delicious and valued fruit. The movie Food Evolution told our story, our fight, and our ongoing success very accurately.  I would think very carefully before calling my family’s reality throwaway propaganda.

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Joni Kamiya–The Hawaii Farmer’s Daughter

Instead of Protesting, How About Paying Attention?

In today’s Civil Beat, a former “anti-GMO crackpot” as he calls himself, Bronson Kaahui, published a great article about the biotech issue in Hawaii. He calls it out for what it is and it’s hitting a nerve with the antis again.

I just happened to open up my Instagram account home page and came upon an angry looking Manaai Anthony calling out Bronson about the article.  

  
In the comments he writes this so called “challenge,” which almost sounds like a threat.

  
This kind of stuff is nothing new to this guy at all.  When the Civil Beat articles were hot on the biotech issue, he’d tell people to do illogical things like this.

 
I have to wonder how this really is going to create any productive discussion about biotech.  

Using this kind of logic, any anti should also consider doing this to match the challenge they offer.

  
The anti-GMO activists like Manaai Anthony make claims about the dangers of GMOs but then post their pizzas with GMO cheese! (90% of cheeses are made with GMOs.)

 
You know that if you argue with these people on GMOs, the argument will then shift to the “evil corporations.” He then sells his product to a corporation by the name of Whole Foods Kahala, and not to Whole Foods Kalihi.

 
I have to shake my head at this kind of stuff.  The sad thing is he preaches this stuff to thousands of followers.

It’s the same with the Thirty Meter Telescope protesters.  A commenter placed this photo in response to Richard Ha’s blog post on my page.

  
I sat there and read this, then remembered the protests at UH.

   

 This is what was on the news a few weeks ago.  I clearly see the disturbing of rocks and terrain happening and I know those posters and signs are likely landing up in the trash cans.  

I responded to the commenter with these photos and he made this statement.

  
Something just doesn’t make sense here. If you’re going to say something, you’d better walk the talk.  You can’t be making accusations against others and then get upset when you’re called out on it.  If you truly want to be credible, then pay attention to the world around you and quit calling everything that challenges your faulty views as propaganda.

Louis accused me of mocking the culture which isn’t what my point is.  People get swept up into the emotional highs of these “movements,” then don’t even bother to think logically about the world around them.  The Hawaiian culture is one that can aspire to the highest height if more of them stop following bad leadership and catchy slogans being pushed on them by people like the Babes Against Biotech and the Center for Food Safety.  These people lead with no aloha and their followers reflect it. They yell to others to wake up.  Yes, wake up and think before you blast yourself on the internet.

Don’t cry out against corpotations and wave your nylon flags. Dupont created that material back in 1935.

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

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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.

 

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 California Based Sierra Club Wants a Piece of Kaneohe

***No campaign has asked me to write this post and I’m writing it from my own perspective.  I’m tired of dirty politics against a local Kaneohe guy by activist groups that have rooted in Hawaii.  I don’t want history repeating itself.***

First it was the Washington, D.C. based Center for Food Safety sending out junk mail to Kaneohe residents supporting Robert Harris, the director of the Sierra Club in Hawaii.  Well, no sooner did that fill thousands of residents’ mailboxes did another mailer come out from the Sierra Club’s Super PAC.  The most ironic thing about both of these so called environmental groups, is that they are using a lot of resources, cutting down trees, and burning a lot of gas, as well as using toxic chemicals to send out these laminated, glossy mailers to people.  At the time same time, these folks are claiming to save the earth.  Something just ain’t right here.

Here’s the mailer that got sent out recently to support their candidate of choice, while also trying to vilify the opponent, Jarrett Keohokalole, a long time, local born Kaneohe boy who likely knows more about my hometown than the Sierra Club or the Center for Food Safety.

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Note that the Sierra Club’s logo is that of a pine tree.  How many pine trees we have in Kaneohe growing like that?  Note how he also lists all the developer’s donations on this flyer.  So this must mean it’s a huge red flag that Robert Harris isn’t going to support development at all in Hawaii.  So for all of our family and friends who work in the construction industry and other related businesses, he’s not looking out for you.  These folks don’t even want agriculture on land or homes but seem to want it fallow, for environmental purposes.  If you are planning on wanting to buy and affordable home, he’s not looking out for you either.  Is the Sierra Club planning on making affordable homes for you and your families?  Hmm…  Seeing this tells me no way.

This is just a prime example of big mainland money under the guise of the “green movement” trying to influence politics in little old Kaneohe.  First is was Jessica Wooley and the San Francisco based Earthjustice (formerly known as the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund) backing her up and now it’s Robert Harris and the California based Sierra Club.  Are these groups looking out for the rubbah slippah locals?  No way!

Fear: The Deconstruction of Local Culture

Fear: The Deconstruction of Local Culture

The Maui County Moratorium is now the forefront of the anti-GMO movement once again and I’m seeing the typical pattern of comments from the anti-GMO activists being spewed all over the internet again.  Here’s some of the latest ones being posted from a recent Civil Beat article.

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Why is fear filled statements so prevalent in the conversations lately?  Why are so many people feeling as if they are being sprayed or poisoned but continue to stay within the area despite the so called danger?  They know the truth but are willing to bend the truth to their advantage in the name of hobby activism and it’s bad news.

I’ve decided to look further about why fear is so prevalent in the conversations in Hawaii to get a better understanding of why it has taken root here.

The Anatomy of Fear

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This is the definition of fear from Wikipedia.  Note the keyword here is “belief.”  Fear is the the belief that someone or something is dangerous or bad for you.  It doesn’t necessarily mean that it indeed is bad but one is believing that it is.

A good example of this is my grandmother’s fear of worms.  As a young girl, she was always afraid of it and it remained a part of her belief system well into her old age.  She had neither been harmed by them and nor could they really harm her but it was an entrenched belief that she had.  Even if the worm was made of Play Doh and fake, it still sent shivers down her spine and sent her screaming.  So why do people persistently maintain fears like this even if it is completely unfounded?

From the website HowStuffWorks, fear is really our brain’s chain reaction of events also known as the fight or flight response.  The article goes into full detail on how fear is created in our minds.  It is really an unconscious series of events that occur in our brains.  One is the low road which is the “quick and messy” response and the other is the high road where more time is taken with a more calculated precise response of the interpretation.

Translating this into the current issue at hand, we can see that fear is clearly being used by the activists here.  Lots of internet posts are being touted and the immediate response is to be afraid of the this technology after reading an article or seeing a scary memes on Facebook.

From the Center for Food Safety website.  Clearly fear peddlers and not supporters of farmers at all.

From the Center for Food Safety website of a well suited lawyer in a gas mask.  Scary imagery indeed.

More gas mask imagery from the Kauai Bill 2491 fiasco.

More gas mask imagery from the Kauai Bill 2491 fiasco.

Homemade gas masks from the Babes Against Biotech page.

Homemade gas masks from the Babes Against Biotech page.

People are being made afraid at every single encounter they are hit with, whether it be the media or at a march, fear is the predominant theme of the anti-GMO movement.  Their immediate reaction is the maintain the low road of avoid it at all costs because it is believed to be dangerous and harmful.  Note that they “believe” that it is a danger and when reinforced over and over by politicians like Gary Hooser and his tirades, it becomes a reality to many of them.  When the majority of people lack a good understanding of the history of agriculture and have a little to know science knowledge, this makes for a large population to be susceptible to this kind of tactic.

Two years ago, the target issue was that GMOs were dangerous.  When study after study got debunked, the activists had a hard time using that argument and it shifted to GMOs are pesticides are dangerous.  Ashley Lukens of the Hawaii Center for Food Safety was quoted in a recent Civil Beat article stating, “In Hawaii, the issue of genetic engineering is an issue about pesticides.”  So does Ms. Lukens think that it means something else is other parts of the world when they are also engineering plants to fight bugs for the same reason?  Of course, she’s a PhD in political science trying to tell the agricultural community how to farm and what to use.  (It’s no different than the carpenter telling a nurse what to do in a bigger sense.)

When fear has become deeply entrenched the into the brains of many of the activists, it’s no longer about reason and logic.  It’s about protecting themselves from this perceived harm.  Presenting any type of evidence such as water tests, residue tests, and other data will not change the primitive neurological paths of fear developed in their minds.  The Department of Health can do a million of tests and still not find any data to support their beliefs, but they will continue to believe in this danger.  It’s ingrained into their minds already and no logic or reasonable discussion can change that, ever.  Fear has been an effective emotion that binds so many people together in this “movement.”

Their high road response this created fear is to now become activists and fight it within their GMO free groups and rallies.  This is the calculated, supposedly well thought of response to combatting this belief that they are being harmed.  These activists will easily use conspiracy theories, chemtrail beliefs, a misunderstanding of medical conditions and illnesses, and bumble up correlation and causation to justify their actions.  When put to the test in the court of law however, there must be proof beyond a reasonable doubt presented in order to support the reasoning, which the activists’ facts will falter when scrutinized.  Fear also turns people into ugly emotional people, who are unable to see the consequences of their actions as there are made to feel as if there is not other choice in the matter.  You can’t reason or bring these people out of the swimming pool of fear that they are stuck in.

 

Decontructioning Fear To Save Our Communities

I’ve been in a many discussions online with others and have seen a clear pattern among the anti-GMO activists.  When presenting factual information and questioning their links, if they are not able to refute it, one will get blocked and banned by them.  I’ve been banned from the Babes Against Biotech page for pointing out that organic pesticides can be dangerous to bees, and from the Hawaii GMO Justice Coalition page for asking the death threats to stop.  I was even blocked and banned by a politician wannabe, Kent Fonoimoana, for pointing out how environmentalist groups are trying to block farmers from farming.  Challenging an anti-GMO activist to look further about the issue gets most people instant, “I don’t want to talk to you anymore.”  It shows how unreasonable they are about discussions and dialogue which is not what we need in Hawaii.  I’ve never posted anything heinous or threatened anything, and just simply questioned their logic and reasoning for their stances and bam, I get blocked or called a bully.  Forget the fact that I get nasty emails or comments on this blog which I refuse to allow.  It’s clear that people who align with this “movement” are not about discussions or are ready to be questioned on some of their stances.  They want one thing alone and that is all their seeking.

These outside activists have even gone as far as trying to infiltrate our agricultural communities by bringing in their fellow Filipinos to try and split them apart.  Here’s a flier that was posted around the internet to demonstrate this.

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Note the funding on the flyer indicates that it’s all mainland funded groups like the Ceres Trust, PANNA, PANAP, and the Hawaii Center for Food Safety, who provide more outside non-profit money to the local sounding, Hawaii SEED.  Their goal? Tear communities apart and take apart agriculture in Hawaii!

The same motives apply to the SHAKA movement, who disingenuously claims they want safety studies before the agribusinesses can farm.  Why do so many of these members also belong to GMO free groups?!  Their true intent is clear when you research it further and it is unacceptable to me to use fear, false intentions, and misinformation to tear apart our Hawaii communities.  None of these groups are about living together as they don’t care and nor do the funders of these people care because they are living off in Washington, D.C. and the San Francisco having a ball seeing our communities being torn apart. That may be the mainland way, but it sure isn’t the Hawaii way.

What’s even more disturbing about the SHAKA movement is how many of these people said that they will replace the lost jobs with “organic, sustainable farm jobs.” When it’s pointed out that organic farming only provides 1% of Hawaii’s food, the response changes so quickly.  The activists cover themselves up with, well, these people can go on welfare, which is an acceptable solution for our communities to them.  People with real jobs and families do not want to live on welfare and why is an outside person dictating that to our local folks?!

Maui County Council member, Stacey Crivello, pointed out a sad fact in a recent news article on Maui News of what happens when activism succeeds in our islands.  When Walter Ritte’s antics managed to get Molokai Ranch closed, hundreds of people lost their jobs and their homes to foreclosure.  Others came in and bought up these homes at foreclosure prices and the original owners became tenants in their own homes.  That definitely is the breaking of the human spirit that Stacy Crivello mentioned in her commentary.  People dream of one day owning a home that comes through handwork and dedication and it will all be lost when a bad law is passed.

The anti-GMO movement in Hawaii has become one of manipulation of people’s fear and repetitive misinformation campaigns to tear apart “the companies.”  However, upon deeper inspection, it’s not tearing their intended target apart, the reality is that it’s tearing our families and communities apart.  It’s not about facts, logic, or reasoning either.  We are slowly eroding at the very essence of Hawaii that brought us together to begin with, bit by bit, piece by piece.

I see it the issue like a haku lei that has so many distinct component in it that put all together make it beautiful.  If we keep picking it apart and try to put only one item in it, is it going to be as beautiful and diverse as when it was first put together?  No.  We need all parts of the lei, from the big dendrobium, to the ti leaves, ferns, baby breaths, lokelani blossoms, and the very core of raffia that it sits on to be that beautiful lei.  If we remove the core that supports the pieces, we will have nothing left to work with and our lei will just sit in pieces.

That’s exactly what is happening to our Hawaii communities with outside activism attempting to rip out the very base of agriculture in our state.  If we as the public allow this to happen, we will not be able to have a working and functioning system to build upon.  Like the haku lei with no raffia or ti leaf as its binder, the whole lei will be nothing but bit and pieces of flowers and greenery that is now wearable or as beautiful.  That is not a reflection of the diversity of our Hawaii agricultural communities.  Mainland based activism isn’t able to see the very foundation of our heritage of this “local style” and are ready and willing to destroy it in any form and fashion.  I will not standby and let this happen and nor should anyone else.

Why Hawaii People Should be Wary of the Center for Food Safety

I was browsing through some environmental groups here in Hawaii and noticed how there is an irony about them.  There’s one group that claims to want  to “empowers people to build more environmentally sustainable, compassionate, and resilient communities rooted in personal commitments to change.”  They support alternative energy, reducing waste, locally grown food, composting, and so on.

Their stance on energy is interesting because it focuses on a using high tech advances to harness the energy.  They have people committing on wanting to use LED bulbs, solar, wind, and electric cars.  All of these things require advanced technology to convert these renewable sources of energy.  Much of the research done to create this was done by corporations too!  The future for energy looks to high technology to minimize our impact on the earth which is definitely a good thing.

Then a few days ago, I saw their Facebook page with this posted that made my jaw drop…

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Original post on Kanu Hawaii’s Facebook page a few days ago.

So when I saw Kanu posting this message with the activist group, The Center for Food Safety Action Fund, I was extremely disappointed and upset.  This is a Washington, D.C. based group that is run by organic food activists and not about food sustainability or security.  They operate by bringing lawsuits to court to block agricultural technology and keep it from getting to farmers to use.  They aren’t here to HELP Hawaii agriculture or the environment as they claim.  No one ever researches these groups out either to learn who and what they really do.

The Center for Food Safety wants no technological advances allowed to agriculture.  They use a lot a fear and misinformation about the technology to promote their message also which is all emotion based.  This group also fights aquaculture and nanotechnology as listed on their website.  They also have a long history of lawsuits against companies and the government also.  Their MO is to sue and then win or lose, collect back court costs and fees from the Equal Access to Justice Act, through loopholes that they have found.  None of this money goes towards helping the farmers or the environment for that matter.  Hence, the likely reason why they went to Federal court to be added as defendants on the Ordinance 960 lawsuit.

The way this group operates is very much like the Sierra Club’s legal arm, Earthjustice, where they claim to help the environment through lawsuits.  Here’s a case where they were paid $2.6 million from the EAJA from a lawsuit that they won.  These groups have figured out how to funnel monies out of the Federal government and get paid exorbitant amounts.  Note that the lead attorney, Andrew Kimbrell, was paid $650 per hour for his work on this case and other attorneys got paid $250 to $450 an hour too!

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Just an example of how CFS operates and the take advantage of the EAJA.

The ringleader of CFS is Andrew Kimbrell, the person that former Representative Jessica Wooley brought in via Hawaii SEED as a expert for her labeling issue.  They both claim in public that it is about the so called “right to know.”  The truth of it is far from it.

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Andrew Kimbrell, who Jessica Wooley fondly refers to as Andy, is also very much against technology, but calls herself a progressive.  Here’s his rambling thoughts on this “cold evil,” as he calls it.  He also is against anything corporate as he considers it evil.  Here’s some telling quotes made in that lecture.

I have been in many corporate law firms and boardrooms and have yet to see any “high fives” or hear shouts of satisfaction at the deaths, injuries, or crimes against nature these organizations often perpetrate.

 

Whether it’s a hammer or a nuclear bomb or a piano or genetic engineering, technology always represents power, an extension of human power. And the question always arises, Is that power appropriate. Simply put, when power is inappropriate, evil results.

 

The tragic result of this failure is that cold evil flourishes, causing ever greater ecocide and genocide even as it remains unnamed and unaddressed.

 

There is absolutely no doubt that we cannot be a democratic nation, we cannot be a democratic people, and we cannot free ourselves from the cold evil of technological control that now has spread even to our genetic core until we stop allowing technology to control human choices and instead see to it that our human choices control technology.

 

To face cold evil we must become creators, not consumers. We must break out of our techno-cocoons and recognize that the actions we take in deciding which products to buy or which services to use or render will create a better future for ourselves and the earth. We must take responsibility for the consequences of how we fulfill our basic human needs. Further, we must become true citizens, asserting our sovereignty over corporations and not allowing ourselves to be mere consumers of what they provide us.

 

He even wants to charge Galileo for a crime for creating this “cult of objectivity.”  This really is a key indicator that this movement really is the anti-science.

One of the epochal moments in the history of Western science occurred on June 22, 1633, when Galileo, under extreme pressure from Church inquisitors, “abjured” his heresy that the earth revolves around the sun. Since that time Galileo has remained an ultimate symbol of modern enlightenment martyred by the forces of superstition and prejudice. Yet if we consider the nature of the cold evil so prevalent today, we can bring charges against Galileo anew. For his real crime was not his understanding of the nature of the heavens but rather his seminal role in creating what could be called “the cult of objectivity”—resulting in a science and science community that have largely been purged of subjectivity and qualitative human thought.

 

Kimbrell doesn’t stop there with his corporate hate but continues his tirade against any technology including computers in schools.

I’ll use the question to say that computers in the early grades are extremely dangerous. I cannot tell you how strongly I feel about this. It is the most destructive trend I can imagine. Television is already omnipresent for these children. Now computers in school lure their young minds away from wonder and into calculation, and in so doing eliminate arts, sports, and social interaction. Computer programs in school are a frightening incarnation in the early grades of the cold-evil ideologies. To be sure, the ideologies of efficiency, competition, and reductionist science have existed since the days of Horace Mann and John Dewey, but to actually take these young minds and enclose them in the technological milieu, shutting out wonder and substituting computer programs, is tragic.

 

I find it great that Kanu Hawaii and its funder, Ulupono Initiatives are about a cleaner world while promoting technology to achieve that.  There are lots of high technology advances being used to improve the environment from solar technology to wind technology.  The founder of Ulupono, Pierre Omidyar, also profited from his own corporation, Ebay to help fund these investments in Hawaii.  To have some of Kanu’s former members like Kasha Ho join the Center for Food Safety is quite an odd match in that they perpetuate the complete opposite message.

Ulupono is also interesting in that they tout high tech for energy sources but then support and fund old ways of farming like Mao Organic.  I find this message pretty contradictory at many levels.  Many of the same activists all love their organic farms and are the same ones fueling animosity and controversy towards Ulupono’s other project, the Kauai Dairy.  Many activists think that because Mao Organics is a successful organic farm that anyone can do it, which is farm from the truth.  How many farmers get to have the backing of a billionaire to run their business?  Hmm…

What bothers me even more is that on Kanu’s FB page they also tout things like the Seed Exchange event.  The world of agriculture has evolved and changed with technology just the same as the energy sector and yet they still cling to the old ways.  Where’s any discovery and innovation presented on how biotechnology is making crops more sustainable and environmentally friendly?  We no longer have to use old, more dangerous pesticides to grow food which is a great thing to have.  None of these aspects on how agriculture is being more “green” is ever presented and it’s sad because that is what’s where ag has advanced in leaps and bounds, and yet it is never acknowledged and an opposite message is presented.

I would like to see Kanu and Ulupono stay as far away as possible from anti-progress groups like the Center for Food Safety at all costs.  This group will only block the progress needed to achieve their goals of a cleaner, more sustainable Hawaii.  They don’t give anything to making Hawaii better, but take away tools that could.  A better Hawaii can only come from education and research, not pure activism based in fear and misinformation.  And who’s to say if this group will start to block renewable energy options in the future that could help everyone with their anti-technology bent?

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Visit the Center for Food Safety webpage and you’ll be treated to fear mongering! It works and they know it.

Why should an activist group have a say in who gets access to technology?  They provide no evidence or options for the people of Hawaii and are out to block progress and line their own pockets.  They are not about working together with different sectors or collaborating with anyone who disagrees with their stance.  That’s now how we move forward in Hawaii!  We all have to work together to reach goals or remain stuck in the ideological muck.  The evidence must move us forward for the future.

The more I read about the Center for Food Safety, the more I feel like being despise this movement.  This is such a hypocrisy of the environmental movement that makes me lose faith in it.  They hate greed but are greedy themselves.  They hate corporations but support corporations that agree with them.  These groups take away taxpayer funds that really should be used for making our planet better and not for lining their own pockets.  They block a technology that could help farmers in developing countries have less reliance on highly toxic pesticides and provide no alternative.

Technology for all sectors are good and why are we getting picky about who gets access to it?  It’s a tool that we have to use and let it do its work.  Isn’t the goal to make our world better and cleaner?!

Based on the stance of this group, they have a lot to go after here in Hawaii.  They can help block or make aquaculture projects more difficult like the Kona deep sea fish farm, the abalone farm, or even the shrimp farm on Kauai.  They must want more depletion of wild fish populations and less research on how to protect it.  They might even try to ban people from fishing like their linked group Earthjustice has succeeded doing in California.  They might even block other companies from coming to our islands for high tech research in nanotechnology.  Who knows what these groups will take on next but I’m not waiting to not speak up.

No where on their website is there any humanitarian efforts made other than to “protect people and environment,” with no real evidence that they are actually doing such thing.  They want to block any corporation who may be heading such efforts also but offer nothing in return.  These groups are takers, plain and simple.

Everyone should be worried when an anti-progress, regressive activist group takes stake here.  From the scientists and researchers at UH working on solving plant diseases, the UH cancer center who might be researching nanotechnology, to the shrimp farms on Kauai, this should worry all of us.  This group might even block genetic engineering that could solve so many human illnesses because they are against this technology completely.  The new dairy should be worried too because they might block a genetically altered grass or feed that can be fed to their cows.  Ranchers should be worried that this might affect their ability to feed their herds with GE feed or other technology available to them.  Every consumer and Department of Ag inspector should be worried because they are out to block irradiation and other technology from bringing in pests to our islands that could decimate our food security.  They are also seeking out to label GMO foods and don’t care if the exorbitant costs will be spread to our people already struggling with high costs of food, all over their deceitful “right to know.”  These activists are a real threat to everyone with what they propose for our islands.

It is even more disturbing to see legislators participating in talks with the Center for Food Safety.  Some of those include Jessica Wooley, Lauren Matsumoto Cheape, Chris Lee, Russell Ruderman, Gary Hooser, Elle Cochran, and others who align with them.  They want extremist groups to run the roost here in Hawaii?!  It’s like letting Greenpeace have decisions over what our farmers can farm and I abhor that completely.  I can’t understand why these leaders have chosen such a route for Hawaii despite calling themselves progressives!

I want to save our land like others but there are better ways of doing it other than activism.  I applaud groups like the Nature Conservancy in Hawaii ,who are actually out there cleaning our waters of invasive species, or ridding the forests of miconia or controlling the feral pigs out from our precious rain forests to protect the native plants from extinction.  They aren’t paying for protests or websites that make people feel like their being poisoned or use fear mongering to get their message across.  You will never see a fear mongering picture out there either because that’s not their goal.  They work with the different sectors of private and public agencies to take care of Hawaii, which is a great thing.  They actually DO something for Hawaii and those are the kind of environmentalists that GIVE to our a’ina and exactly what we need!

When I did point out that I had a problem with Kanu posting the Center for Food Safety on their page, I’m glad that the director edited the post that they do not support or endorse them.  I really do hope that it stays that way for the future.  That’s another step in the right direction for that sustainable and compassionate Hawaii that we are all seeking.