Hooser’s Regime has a Semantics Problem

Hooser’s Regime has a Semantics Problem

I’ve been called a shill already by politicians like Mike Gabbard and Russell Ruderman.  Mike Gabbard is the state senator who sent me his proof of GMO dangers with the debunked Seralini link and Russell Ruderman is another state senator who owns 4 natural food stores and proudly boasts that the led the charge to ban fracking in Hawaii.  Yes, we have some stellar folks in office here.  Today, officially, I’ve been called a shill by none other than Gary Hooser for speaking out about biotech and farmers.  The shill gambit is just another ad hominen attack at the person when you don’t have facts or evidence to support your claim. Here’s his quote on his blog and guest column on the Star Advertiser:

They hired prominent community leaders, conducted unethical “push polls”, and employ an army of industry bloggers and social media experts that attack the credibility and integrity of their opponents at every step.

Gary Hooser is so dumbfounded and blinded by his broken record statements that he can’t fathom that anyone would speak out for farmers could actually do it for free! Yes, Mr. Hooser and your fellow anti-GMO followers, I have not received a cent let alone any kind of payment to write this blog let alone pay for its existence.  None.  What is true is that I’m sick and tired of you and your activists doing nasty stuff towards anyone who speaks up for agriculture in Hawaii and acting as if you speak for the local people.  No, you are just taking advantage of local people not speaking up, plain and simple.  I find it pretty amazing that your title for today’s blog mentions bullying because you seem to have chosen the wrong word.

Let’s see what the definition of what a bullying actually is:

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Who decided to enact this kind of legislation in the first place Mr. Hooser? Let’s meet the folks that have asked for this kind of laws to be made.  Note some key terms in the definition of bullying: intimidation, harassment, threat, imbalance, coercion, repeated acts, mobbing, targets.  **Note parental discretion due to threats of harm and foul language or gestures.**

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If you read these kinds of comments, would you actually feel safe trying to testify for your cause? Common sense tells you no way.  Does it look like a mob targeting people? Are there forms of intimidation in the comments? Do you actually think that real homeless people would stay there and risk their own safety against people who say and think stuff like this?  I’d have to say I don’t think so.  Real people know the truth of what happened and why.

He himself doesn’t like to see the disrespect, rather any criticism, on his own page also but it must be fine for his mob to do it towards others.

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Hooser’s statement shows the total denial that he’s in and says a lot about the blind eye about what his mob does:

Residents supporting the Bill slept overnight on the hard and wet cement in front of the County building in order to garner a coveted seat inside the Council chambers, while the chemical companies hired the homeless and down-and-out to hold seats for their executives.

Then there is that supposedly “clueless” guy Tyler who claims to no nothing of the issue wearing a Hui O Kauai hat and taking $100 right on camera.  The anti-GMO mob taped the whole thing themselves.  Then there is the admission by Mr. Hooser himself that Tyler is his son’s friend.  Who’s telling the truth?

The biggest discrepancy in his latest blog is this statement:

Bill 2491 does not ban pesticides nor does it ban GMO’s, it simply requires disclosure.

If that really is the case, then why are you a part of this:

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Then there is yet another claim in his blog too about the meeting that the County Council was to vote on the bill.  Had they outright voted on the bill as intended with the 6 members, according to the Sunshine Law, the meeting would have ended.  The had polled for the vote and discovered that there would not be a quorum that set off the motion to get that 7th person in to reach quorum to finally pass the law.

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And Mr. Hooser, as well as Mr. Atchitoff, if you are so determined to be aligned with these GMO Free groups, why were you eating it products that your mob members love to hate at a restaurant that isn’t GMO Free?! Did you thank a GMO farmer that day?

hooserrestaurant

Of course people are going to say that Mr. Hooser was being spied upon at his dinner but the plain truth is he walked in after this person was having dinner that night. Get your facts straight.  Never mind, there are no straight facts with followers of his regime.

And one last thing Gary and mob members…  Are you trying to bully me for my petition to speak up for the farmers that you have disparaged and been disrespectful too?  You may have the numbers but that doesn’t equal up to the hard work and knowledge that any farmer has any day.  I’m standing with the farmers!

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**Note if you’re an anti-GMO activist trying to post on here, I’m tired of your threats and vile comments.  You can send them and I’ll repost it as a new blog.  All posts found were publicly available on the social media also that were sent in by someone or captured in public forums.  All comments are my own and do not reflect anyone else’s.**

Where’s your Integrity & Leadership Hooser, Bynum, Yukimura, & Furfaro?

As I followed the last hearing Thursday for the Kauai County Council to decide on whether to override the veto of the controversial Bill 2491, it was no surprise that the events leading up to it would be chaotic.  When you see the kind of commentary that the anti-GMO club has spewed out all over the social media and beyond, their behavior of the day is of no surprise.

Grown adults being rude to others and making accusations and threats against their perceived foe.  Essentially this made them bullies all in the name of misinformation and ideology about biotechnology.  The most disturbing part of the whole event was that it was clear that none of the leaders who supported this bill ever acknowledged the threats and violence made to seed workers, scientists, and the mayor.  It was completely ignored as if it was what they wanted to happen.  They did have to state to news outlets that those folks were not representative of the anti-GMO movement.  Sure.

What was supposed to happen on Thursday was a vote to put an end to the issue for once and all.  That did not happen when it was recognized that they did not have the vote to push this override through.  It was then decided that there would be a deferral and then a vote after the 7th council member was appointed even though they decided on an earlier meeting to vote with 6 members.  That maneuvering would give them enough votes for the override.  Note that they had early agreed to no defer it any longer but suddenly backpedaled on it.

That backpedalling is a classic example of the lack of leadership and integrity of those serving in public office.  They took an oath to uphold the laws and serve impartially to the best of their duties.  Are they really doing that in this case?  These four people promised the public, not just the anti-GMO activists, to uphold those duties to do what is in the best interest of the community.  Obviously, they have no integrity by what we’ve seen by their actions.  That is really a sad, sad day for Hawaii.

We teach our kids to be honest and true to our word.  We value conducting ourselves in an ethical manner in all of our actions.  We value honestly and integrity in our children.  Those lesson in turn help to develop a conscience in them so that they know right from wrong.  We, the adults show them this and are the example to folks.  However, in the case of the county council, those basic rules and values are forsaken and what we see upon us is the mess they’ve created.  These lost leaders have thrown the whole community into a divided one by choosing to ignore the evidence and prefer to align with activists with an obvious agenda.  They have also taken advantage of local style of not speaking up and listening to the loudest of the bunch.

The short term consequence might mean that this kind of bill gets passed but the long term issues will be much more costly for all.  These leaders have lost sight of where the evidence leads us and how we’re going to get there.  The leadership needs to guide us based on what the evidence shows, not what a bikini clad activist or a mixed martial arts fighter demand.  These activists are only about taking and not about providing options and solutions to the most valuable folks in our society today, and that is the farmers and scientists.

As much as they may have tons of testimony and hours of videos of testimonies asking for such a law, don’t forget to consider how that meal you just had got to your table.  That testimony didn’t get it there, it was a farmer and that’s the one you should be listening to.  Our leaders owe it to our farmers to stand their ground an listen to the right people to make he best decision for all.

A Sad Day for Science and Agriculture In Hawaii

Although the anti-GMO factions may be celebrating today, those who are versed in the sciences and technology know that it is a very disappointing day.  Through sneaky maneuvering and dirty politics, the ignorant lawmakers strong armed their way to pass a bill doomed to fail.  The only way that they could get it to pass was to break their word to vote with the 6 members and fill it with the 7th one.  Call it what you want, but it just shows the lack of integrity by Hooser, Bynum, Yukimura, Furfaro, and the latest add, Chock.

The writing is on the wall when many of these leaders are associated with the GMO Free groups and anti-ag groups like Earthjustice and Center for Food Safety.  If these leaders are so honestly wanting for the public to be safe, why not do this kind of legislation across the board instead of pinpointing at a single industry?  If the pesticide issue is truly a real issue that you are worried about, why not cover the disclosure across the board to protect everyone?  Why isn’t the county going to be a part of this disclosure since they use the most to begin with?  Why aren’t all pesticide users from homeowners to pest control companies to hotels and golf courses not covered but such a law if the county is out to protect people?  This law reeks of corruption and underhanded motives operating that is the very thing that these activist complain about yet openly show it front and center.

What makes this day very sad is that we have these so called community leaders, who have been oblivious or just choose to ignore the kind of environment that the agricultural industry is enduring here.  These leaders “listen to the people” and ignore the evidence.  Evidence and data mean nothing here in our state and hearsay and anecdotes rule.  That is really a blow to the scientific method and evidence base that has been built for over 2 decades.

While there are MMA fighters, bikini clad art majors, bus drivers, social science PhD candidates, and other followers cheering today, the people who studied crop sciences, plant pathology, cell molecular biology, agronomists, plant breeders, and others with the right background to make the statements about the issue have been completely ignored today.  The researchers and other scientists who are a looking at ways to solve the world’s problems and their work has been silenced by an overwhelming majority of naysayers, who have no clue about the direction of this evolving technology.  Today was a win for ignorance and it isn’t going to move Hawaii anywhere other than to keep people in the dark.  Apparently, that is what the politicians like Hooser, Bynum, Yukimura, Furfaro, and Chock prefer our future to be like.   That is just plain old irresponsible and they don’t even know it.

True Leadership and Its Legacy for the Future

A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.

—John Maxwell

The world is rapidly changing around us.  While many dislike the changes, many really are for the better.  Those same folks that are fighting the changes are the ones who tend to have the least experience or education in the issue also.  The unfortunate thing is that some of these people, who long for the old days and fight changes, are ones holding offices in our government.  These people who have very little knowledge on the technological changes are the ones who are also influencing policy and that is the bad thing.

While the Kauai and Hawaii County Councils are wrangling around in the biotechnology issues, just take a close look at the background of these politicians attempting to influence the laws here.  None of them have any science degree or even touched a genetics class and yet these same folks feel that it is in their capacity make laws in these areas.  There’s something very wrong there because they are just as ignorant as their followers in their quest to kill this technology that has been around for years and accepted as safe by multiple scientific groups.

If we were to jump 20 years into the future, would these same politicians be thinking the same way as they do now?  Or would we see them as obstructionists and just maladaptive to the technology?  Were their decisions on this bill warranted or made out of a marketing scheme that ignored the current evidence base available?  Are they doing something that will ultimately hinder the possibilities for viable agriculture and cause a greater harm when there are no tools available?  Is this the legacy that leaders like Gary Hooser, Tim Bynum, Joanne Yukimura, and Jay Furfaro want to leave the future with?  By ignoring the technology and the evidence base to support it, yes, this is the Kauai that they want for the future.

There is no doubt that the climate is changing for the scientific evidence leads us to it.  These same politicians accept that same evidence which is why there is an effort to go “green.”  That’s good policy making when evidence is used as a guide.  Then why are those same politicians suddenly ignoring the evidence for biotechnology?  The evidence clearly supports its safety and so does the scientific consensus of many world scientists, yet our leaders want to leave us in a legacy of rejection of a very viable tool for the future.  Is that the right thing to do in this case?  Apparently personal ambitions and public pressure cloud what is the right thing to do.

It is no doubt that these leaders came into office to make things better for people. However, they sometimes need to look at the people who are demanding these policies first and foremost and revisit that oath of office they took to uphold the existing laws of our land.  Gary Hooser, Tim Bynum, Jay Furfaro, and Joanne Yukimura, you all stood there and promised this to the people of Kauai, Hawaii and the US to uphold this responsibility to each and every person.  You are not just accountable to the anti-GMO crowd but to all people.  Are you really fulfilling that oath by taking this kind of stance?  Do you want to be left with the legacy of being ignorant obstructionists of a technology that could be a way to get that greener and more sustainable world?  Apparently after today’s events, that seems to be the case.  These pseudo-leaders appear to support this but ultimately thwart this by rejecting this very viable tool that could create that world they envision.  By not even recognizing the way the world is going, they can never show or guide Hawaii in the way we should be headed.

It takes people with more forethought and a more systematic thought process to see through this whole issue to move forward with policy.  A true leader sees and knows this well and have the courage to make those tough decisions and be subject to the criticisms of their constituency that are not the experts or know the evidence base.  Those leaders were shown clearly as Mel Rapozo and Ross Kagawa.  Their legacy will be the ones that will help us adapt to this technology and move us forward in the future.  Those are the people we need in Hawaii as our leaders.

Mayor Carvalho: Doing What is Right for Kauai

This is a letter by the Cassel Family submitted to the Kauai County Council in support of Mayor Carvalho’s decision on Bill 2491:

We support Mayor Carvalho’s courageous decision on Bill 2491. We commend him for standing up for respect for the law, taking the time to do things right the first time, and making sure everything is legal. We need to work together to change gradually to organic methods and find realistic ways to support agriculture on this island and not destroy it first.

We love seeing the beautiful coffee trees while driving from Eleele to Kalaheo; with the proposed large buffer zones tourists may only see weeds. We really appreciate all the work that G & R, the corn companies, and Kauai Coffee do to keep the westside rural; it’s a blessing.

Real change comes from working together in a spirit of lokahi: unity, harmony, agreement. Out of the currently existing division and hysteria, our incredibly strong mayor can build lokahi and support for traditional Hawaiian values. We have become such a litigious society; even both sides in this issue are sue-happy and want to just settle it in court. We fully support the Mayor’s statement that “It would be my preference to achieve the goal through cooperation and understanding, instead of through adversarial legal action.”

The corn companies are already highly regulated by very diligent Department of Agriculture inspectors. Workers receive extensive pesticide application training, as opposed to homeowners we’ve seen spraying in shorts and t-shirts, totally violating the label law of over-the-counter pesticides. If they didn’t read the label enough to dress properly, can we trust that they read it enough to apply the proper amount? Actually, a lot of this boils down to trust, and after all this public hysteria and attacks, those companies are going to be sure to do everything right according to the label laws.

Another thing to remember is that thanks to Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring, the pesticides used now-a-days have shorter half-lives and are pretty specific to their target. Before, for instance, to prevent termite damage decades ago, they used to spray so much Chlordane by foundations of plantation houses in Kekaha that you can still smell it in the soil. Despite this, the life expectancy is higher than ever before on Kauai, and the only cancer that is increasing is melanoma on the skin from spending so much time in our glorious sunshine (if one looks carefully at Department of Health statistics.) In other words, it’s something that needs regulated, not something to get hysterical about.

If the people fighting agribusiness want to fight something that is really killing the brain cells of our youth, destroying our families and our lives, raising crime rates, they should go after ice and other drugs.

It would behoove us to build a unified vision for Kauai and our mayor has the character to be a true leader. Stellar leadership involves charting the unknown, much like how the original Polynesian canoe voyagers set out into the unknown, with only their known values the stars to guide them, and found Hawaii.

This uncharted territory to try to re-unite Kauai could involve developing a workforce to prove the feasibility of farming organically on a large scale: pick bugs, pull weeds, mulch with guinea grass, expand the integrated pest management the companies are already doing, etc. Provide a framework for people to put their time where they say their convictions lie. Workdays could be combined with vision brainstorming sessions, with both sides involved. Kauai could become a world class example of “agribusiness meets organic farming and — they won!

A people united can do anything they put their minds to. Mayor Carvalho is truly the subject of the song “You raise me up to walk on stormy seas” that he sang so beautifully at the Mayor’s Prayer Luncheon a couple years back. I’m sorry he’s had to take so much verbal abuse for this, but we need more people to stand up for what is right, and we thank him for his great and shining example.

Aloha,

The Cassels of Waimea Valley
Ruth Cassel, James Jr. and Katie Cassel, and Tom Cassel

What Would Vandana Shiva Say About This?

Nearly 80% of the papayas grown in Hawaii are of the transgenic variety.  Yes, that means it is GMO.  And to people like Vandana Shiva, those three letters are really bad.  Just take a look at what she says about it on Twitter.

If you were to take what she says, then I guess you’d have to say that the above papaya with no seeds must have been “raped” by a GMO contamination.  Then all of the anti-GMO club members are going to join in and spread that same “fact.”  They never bother to research any of their facts about the source of their information and it goes all over the social media like a wildfire.

When someone does a bit of research to counter their claims, they find out that papayas do sometimes lack any seeds at times and that if it has a funny shape, it is probably a female fruit, not some mutant terminator papaya.  Note that this papaya was grown in Asia where there was no such thing as transgenic papayas to begin with.  But of course, the “facts” will spread that this is a GMO mutant and so on.

So before you send those emails about your horrid discovery containing misinformation that you are completely unaware of, do some research or be called a fool by someone who catches it.  Then again, maybe some people like to be called a fool.

Jessica Wooley: What are you doing in Maui?

Jessica Wooley is the representative for District 48 – Kaneohe, Heeia, Ahuimanu, Kahaluu, Haiku Valley, Mokuoloe.  She is also the representative who was one of the introducers of the GMO labeling bill last year that caused a whole bunch of drama and controversy, especially to the growers of transgenic papayas.  In my opinion, she is one of the key reasons why the GMO issues is growing so heated here in Hawaii.

Well, you would think that as a representative of this area, she’d be really looking out for her constituents.  Well, if you have papaya farmers in your area, some of whom grown transgenic crops, wouldn’t you want to hear from them how your law would affect them?  Apparently not.  She’d rather align with the Babes Against Biotech because that’s her interpretation of representing constituents.  What?!  Why isn’t she listening to people like my dad who has lived in that district and farmed that area for as many years as she has been alive?!

Well, as a representative, shouldn’t she be solving problems in her area that affect the residents?  One big problem is the flooding that occurs by Waikane stream every time there is a heavy rain, which is pretty often.

Here’s some stories documenting this issue:

http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/global/story.asp?s=11387854

http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2004/Mar/03/ln/ln11a.html

http://www.clipsyndicate.com/video/play/1972377/waikane_flooding_solution_still_years_away

http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/global/story.asp?s=11381327

This flooding issues affects everyone who lives and drives down to the Windward side.  With the rainy season upon us soon, you would think that someday someone will do something about it?  Um, no.

Jessica Wooley is out and about spreading her word for organic farming methods on Maui.  Yes, she’s not working hard for her constituents in the Waikane area, but on Maui.  She’s talking to farmers there.

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HFUU is known to support a lot of the anti-GMO activists

If you take a look at their board, it is very clear that they are not about coexistence in farming.  But alas, we know why Jessica is aligned with these folks.  She’s also married to an environmental lawyer, David Henkin, who has engaged in many lawsuits against the state.  Earthjustice was the same group who attempted to block the irradiator project which they got moved away from the airport to Kapolei instead.  That same irradiator was built to help grow an export industry for Hawaii grown products.

Henkin has been not as open because of his wife’s elected position so his fellow Earthjustice attorney Paul Achitoff  is at the forefront instead.  He is yet another anti-ag supporter too when his videos about Monsanto are used by the anti-GMO groups frequently.

It’s quite sad to know that the representative for your Congressional district as well as your own local representative is out to destroy family farms.  Many of these farms that have been around for decades and have been good stewards of the lands.  The green movement that Jessica Wooley is supporting is not about the supporting local people, its about what Earthjustice wants to do to the ag industry….  Destroy it.

GMOs Banned in Hawaii!

November 2020

Ban-GMO

Hawaii has succeeded in becoming the first state of the nation to completely ban all GMOs .  It comes after a long battle between politicians and their activists and big ag in the state that started back in 2013 with two key bills being passed by county council members.  The early roots of the GMO ban started when a moratorium was passed against any research of the taro or kalo.  Subsequent efforts were started in thanks to Jessica Wooley and her Bill 174 to label GMOs which eventually failed to pass.  However, thanks to the efforts of Gary Hooser and Tim Bynum with Bill 2491 and Margaret Wille and Brenda Ford with Bill 113, subsequent laws continued to follow to suit to limit and eventually restrict biotechnology across of our islands.  Tulsi and Mike Gabbard also were successful at the detrimental labeling of GMOs too which helped to lead to more consumer fear and misinformation, despite their promises to the farmers for an educational campaign to support it which never failed to materialize.

Meanwhile, during all of this furor of anti-GMO sentiment, our sustainable agriculture industry has been suffering many set backs over the years leading up to the eventual ban.  Many local industries have been hit very hard by the lack of tools and technology left for them to remain at the helms of their farms. In a recent survey, the number of farmers had dwindled down to less than .5% of the population and shows no stopping the declining numbers.  As a result of these kinds of restrictive laws placed on farmers, imported food has risen to 98% which was an unintended consequence of these laws due to the black marketing campaign of the organic industry and public pressure on politicians.

Below is a summary of what has happened over the years to certain ag industries in the Islands:

Kona Coffee

The Kona coffee industry has suffered tremendous losses since the initial introduction of the coffee borer beetle (CBB).  It was hopeful that the spraying of Beauvaria Bassiana would control for this beetle.  It worked to minimize the millions of dollars worth of damage being done but it was found that the CBB has developed a resistance to the B. bassiana within a 5 year period that was discovered by a farmer after finding more and more of his crops destroyed.  The industry has also been hit by the spread of coffee rust around the islands due to the recent increases in hotter weather and drier conditions leading to more plant stress on the coffee trees.  The entire coffee industry is at 20% of what it used to be and is mostly being sold as high end niche market products due to the rising costs of production.

Honey

Unbeknownst to the the local beekeepers on the Big Island, the spraying of B. bassiana had a devastating effect on their bee population.  Recognized by the Xerces Society as being highly toxic to bees, the overspray of this organically approved pesticide had residues that affected local bees.  The honey production dropped significantly as the lack of biotech research was banned and the already threatened bee population declined even further with the varroa mite and then increased pesticide use.  Honey is no longer being produced on the Big Island as a result of the demise of the bees.

Papayas

The papaya industry has been completely obliterated by the passage of Bill 113 and the successful lobbying of Tulsi Gabbard’s labeling law passed at the federal level.  Just as Japan was starting the importation of Hawaiian papayas and farmers increased production, the misinformation being spread by the labels caused a tremendous drop in domestic sales across the country.  The demand for the fruit dropped to a mere 10% and took a tremendous dive.  The lack of education as promised by our Congresswoman failed the industry and Hawaii no longer exports papayas as a result of her labeling effort.  Mexico has now become the dominant leader in papaya exports to Hawaii and the mainland US which has had several problems with salmonella contamination and multiple recalls and illnesses.

Pineapples

The pineapple industry has also taken a huge hit in production due to the banning of biotechnology as an imported pest from Mexico caused huge crop destruction across the islands.  With limited ability to use modern pesticides and biotech advances, the entire Hawaiian pineapple is just one a faint memory of our rich agricultural heritage in the islands.  The only fresh pineapples are currently being imported from South America as the state is no longer able to produce these cost effectively.

Kalo

The kalo has also become extinct in our islands also.  With the recent introductions of new pests from imported produce from China and Mexico, as well as the recent prolonged dry spells.  The taro has suffered multiple set backs despite the efforts of the farmers to mitigate the stresses of disease and pests.  The moratorium on the research of taro and resistance to revisit the bill was not removed in time to save the taro from its fate.  The Hawaiian staple of poi is no longer available as a result of the lack of tools and acceptance of biotech to help combat the demise.  Currently, taro is being imported from China and being researched on how to create a similar substance to that of poi.

Cattle 

The once growing demand for locally raised beef was undermined by the efforts of the multiple anti-GMO bills passed in the islands.  Ranchers who’s livelihoods were continuously attacked for their use of GM feed have found that they no longer are able to continue their profession, as the the cost of ranching severely impacted their ability to remain financially viable.  Local milk production has also ceased operations also and all milk is imported into the state due to the high operating costs resulting for the GMO bills.

Other impacts and unintended consequences of the GMO ban:

After initially opening up the UH Cancer Research Center, the ban on GMO inadvertently blocked all research on the latest cancer treatments that were GMO derived.  Scientists and researchers’ works were completely halted as the ban covered all of organisms being used in the state.  Just as they were on the verge of finding a treatment for breast cancer focusing on genetic modification, the attorney general concluded that such research was considered illegal under the law.

The cost of food production rose 30% following the ban due to increased enforcement and regulation on the determination of genetically modified food. GMO food stuffs had strict requirements and testing was enacted as a result.  Testing of the quantities of modified foods were the major reason behind the rise in food costs.  In addition to Hawaii already paying higher food costs, the costs are approximately 40% greater than costs on the mainland.  Poverty rates in our islands has increased from 17.4% in 2013 to nearly 25 to 30% due to the high costs of living factored in.

With the lack of big ag on former cane and pineapple lands, the sustainable organic ag industry supported by small organic farmers has taken a great toll on the capability of the state to manage the current infrastructures.  Land leases to these small farmers have had to rise to help cover the costs of maintaining ditches and water tunnels used for the ag areas.  Pest management has also become a problem due to the fragmented systems utilized by these small farm plots.  Farmers have also had decreased sales as the rising production costs cannot keep up with consumers ability to afford locally grown products.  The infrastructures presently in place have significantly deteriorated as a result of the system change resulting from anti-big ag bills being passed.

The loss of big ag has also affected a key educational system for the native people in our state.  With the lack of reliable tenants on the large stretches of property owned by Bishop Estate, Kamehameha Schools has had to decrease the amount of student aid being provided to existing students and discontinue educational programs being supported by those leases.  Bishop Estate has had major losses of revenue on evictions of these small farms that could not pay market prices for ag property.  They have also suffered losses for covering the maintenance of the existing infrastructures in place that small farmers are not able to bear the burden of.  Many Hawaiians are now on waiting lists to get access to the programs that they were once eligible for.

The recent closures of the seed companies on Kauai has had an especially devastating effect on the island.  Unemployment has resulted in drug use, property crime, and other crimes have tripled as the companies have transferred operations to foreign countries due to intense regulation.  Small organic farmers have tried to use the former seed lands and due to the lack of financial backing have not been able to keep up with rising lease payments to cover infrastructure maintenance.  Due to the inconsistent practices of small farmers and a lack of integrated pest management, yields on these farms have been very poor leading to smaller production.  Inconsistent soil management practices have also led to severe run off problems from the fragmented farming systems created.  Pesticides residues of organically sprayed chemicals have also been found in schools and hospitals at significantly higher levels due to the lack of regulation on these farms.  New reports of skin, asthma, and allergic reactions have been increasing as newer studies are finally testing these pesticides against humans.

With the loss of agricultural lands, the barren farms have been a developers dream come true as more homes and infrastructure plans are in the works.  Due to the isolation of Lanai and potential for power generation, a nuclear power plant is likely going to be built there to power the entire island chains affordably.  The increase of homes in Kauai has also led to the building of the next biggest freeway system in Hawaii, H4.  The Big Island has also had a huge growth in housing and larger freeway systems are in the plans to be developed.  There has been a boom in the construction industry here with the lack of agriculture.

One of the biggest and most detrimental effects of the ban of GMOs is the huge brain drain occurring in our islands.  As the biotechnology sector grows in both the agricultural and medical sectors, the outlook for students pursuing  these careers were bright prior to the ban.  The occupational diversity of our state was glowing prior to the politicians’ decisions to ban this growing sector.  Currently, the major industry in the islands remain in the tourism sector primarily and the lack of more skilled opportunities have led to yet another brain drain effect.

The constant sense of threats and disrespect up until the enacted ban on farmers have cause many farmers to cease participation in farmer’s markets.  Many live in fear that they choices that that they have used to farm has put them up as targets by the activists that were first seeking a label then a ban.  Many have decided prior to the labeling that the farming business is no longer worth it anymore with the added stressors of the activists.  The farmer’s markets have dwindled as the local food supply is dropped dramatically as a result of protesters and activists bullying tactics to farm according to their demands.

So although at the time these regulations seemed like “common sense,” the unintended consequences of this strategy has left many current leaders and a growing number of local people asking themselves, “Where did we go wrong?”  What was supposed to be the “right” thing at the time, has not created the vision that it was intended to do.  It was to create an affordable and sustainable food supply for our state according to what the organic industry was touting as the right way to proceed.  How do we get off the wrong path and get back on track and how do we reverse the permanent damage done?

If our ag industry continues to be badgered and splintered the way it currently is heading, this unfortunately will be the likely consequences of our present actions.  Hawaii can avoid this predicament that is highly likely given the nature of the situation now.  Leaders have to think prospectively and consider the evidence presented to make responsible laws, not ones based on “common sense” and public opinion.  If you don’t want to face the scenario presented, then we must change our path now before it is too late.

Follow the Anti-GMO Money!

The anti-GMO mob is continually stating that anyone who supports biotech should follow the money.  Everyone apparently is a paid shill if they are speaking out for the overwhelming scientific evidence.  (I sure wish I was paid to do this but I’m not which is hard to believe.) So today’s blog is just doing that, following the money with Gary Hooser.

Let’s take a closer look at the hot topic person of the week, Gary Hooser.  Where is his money coming from?  If you visit the Campaign Spending Commission link, you can do a quick search of who has donated to him as well as their personal information.  Some very familiar names come up on there:

Myron Berney–A frequent Civil Beat anti-GMO commenter

Denise Antolini–A former Earthjustice attorney

Bart Dame–A very well known anti-seed company commenter on Civil Beat

Jeri Di Pietro–One of the founders non-profit Hawaii SEED

Monica Evslin–Wife to the anti-GMO retired doctor

Friends of Clarence Nishihara–The senator who received the nasty calls from BABS

Alicia Maluafiti–The HCIA Executive Director

John Radcliffe–The “Monsanto” Lobbyist

Jeff Mikulina–Lobbyist from the Blue Planet Foundation

Nancy Redfeather–Founder of Hawaii SEED

Those are just a few recognizable names that have contributed to Hooser’s campaign over the years and are publicly available.  Even people who are so despised by the anti-GMO mob like John Radcliffe and Alicia Maluafiti gave money but you don’t hear any complaints from them about it!  Some of those names are registered lobbyists in the state.  The definition is found on the Hawaii Ethics Commission site:

“Lobbyist” means any individual who for pay or other consideration engages in lobbying in excess of five hours in any month of any reporting period described in section 97-3 or spends more than $750 lobbying during any reporting period described in section 97-3.

“Lobbying” means communicating directly or through an agent, or soliciting others to communicate, with any official in the legislative or executive branch, for the purpose of attempting to influence legislative or administrative action or a ballot issue.”

The legally registered lobbyists registered with state include Jeff Mikilina, Alicia Maluafiti, and John Radcliffe.  As you can see, even if you give money, the politician does not always listen to it.  The latest list filed with the State Ethics commission can be found online with noted names of the seed companies listed also.  Note that on Kauai, lobbyists have free range there as the county has not take any steps to regulate it despite being mandated since 1978.  What does that say about the transparency issue that Hooser talks about with the seed companies but not within the county itself?  Why hasn’t the county tackled this issue first before others if they care so much about the right to know?!

A group that has a strong hold and lots of playing time in the issue is Hawaii SEED.  They sponsor the GMO Free groups on Kauai and Maui.  Of which Hooser is a member and contributor of.  Take a closer listen to Hawaii SEED’s Jeri Di Pietro talk about what they are doing with legislation here in Hawaii:

Now if these folks are trying to influence legislation, shouldn’t they be subject to the lobbyists laws like the others involved?  Take a look at the tax filing that asks if they participated in lobbying activities.  Their answer is no.  A non-profit cannot be tax free if they are trying to influence or ask others to have an influence on legislation to be in compliance with the law.  The IRS has clear rules for what lobbying is.  The biotech companies have complied with the lobbying rules and why are the anti-GMO side exempt?  I suspect that none of Hawaii SEEDs expenditures have been subject to the taxes that it should be paying for influencing policy and this has been going on for years.  Hawaii SEED is not about educating, the video clearly provides evidence that they want to influence laws.

Let’s not forget the recent expose’ of the mainland monies being funneled into the who issue at the moment.  These very wealthy activists donate money to these non-profits and get a tax write off on that and get to influence policy?!  All the meanwhile the companies paying lobbyists to get some say in the legislation get taxed for the same efforts?  Where’s the equality and transparency?  If a non-profit is getting involved with lawmaking issues, they have to play the game fair and square.  The anti-GMO mob complains about the corruption and money, but quickly hide behind bogus non-profits and skid free from the taxes that they should be paying.

I do have to question the fact that Andrew Kimbrell, Bill Freese, and Vandana Shiva have come down recently to “educate.”  The fact that these people came down to provide consultations as to how to write the bill up which is influencing legislation and contacting lawmakers.  That really starts to sound like lobbying to me.  However, because it is all under the guise of a non-profit, it is not subject to taxes at the current moment.  That needs to change!

How about the other activist groups that have been selling items likes shirts and hats?  When they sell items and are using it for lobbying purposes like travel for other hearings and meeting with lawmakers, that is taxable.  If you search tax ID numbers, there are none for Hawaii GMO Justice Coalition, Babes Against Biotech, or Ohana O Kauai.  These groups complain about how corrupt the biotech companies are but are they really doing their fair share?  I’ll have a follow up article on this soon.

Hooser is all about protecting the people and doing what is right.  Is this really right that these groups are allowed to influence the issue with Bill 2491 and not playing by the rules themselves?

Popular Opinion and Politicians

Excerpts from the US History site:

Over 127,000 United States citizens were imprisoned during World War II. Their crime? Being of Japanese ancestry.

Despite the lack of any concrete evidence, Japanese Americans were suspected of remaining loyal to their ancestral land. ANTI-JAPANESE PARANOIA increased because of a large Japanese presence on the West Coast. In the event of a Japanese invasion of the American mainland, Japanese Americans were feared as a security risk.

Succumbing to bad advice and popular opinion, President Roosevelt signed an executive order in February 1942 ordering the RELOCATION of all Americans of Japanese ancestry to CONCENTRATION CAMPS in the interior of the United States.

Evacuation orders were posted in JAPANESE-AMERICAN communities giving instructions on how to comply with the executive order. Many families sold their homes, their stores, and most of their assets. They could not be certain their homes and livelihoods would still be there upon their return. Because of the mad rush to sell, properties and inventories were often sold at a fraction of their true value.

When the order was repealed, many found they could not return to their hometowns. Hostility against Japanese Americans remained high across the West Coast into the postwar years as many villages displayed signs demanding that the evacuees never return. As a result, the interns scattered across the country.

Note some key terms in what happened to the Japanese Americans in this excerpt that a politician succumbed to popular opinion and bad advice when enacting this order.  It was based on no evidence and paranoia against a made up perception of an enemy.  This so called enemy created hostility against it that continued for years and resulted in discrimination and prejudice for years after that.

As I read this, I’ve come to realize that there are many parallels here to what is happening in Hawaii with Bills 113 on the Big Island and Bill 2491 on Kauai, as well as last year’s labeling bill.  The same events are happening here in our islands.  There is no evidence to base these laws on and a whole lot of paranoia being spread by the organic industry’s tactics to misinform the public.  All kinds of propaganda is being spread against this perceived evil technology that is based in fear but no evidence.

Then we have irresponsible politicians like Gary Hooser, Tim Bynum, Brenda Ford, and Margaret Wille, seeking the bad advice from propaganda spreaders like Jeffery Smith, Andrew Kimbrell, Ronnie Cummins, Vandana Shiva, and Bill Freese.  These people are not scientists nor have any background to make the claims that they do but are believed by these politicians and their activists.

Despite the fact that this perceived evil could provide that environmentally friendly, sustainable world that they want, it will never be able to be accepted into mainstream until many years down in to the future, when the propaganda dies down and we no other options left.  The scientific evidence tells us that this technology is safe yet it is rejected by the popular opinion that has been bombarded in fear and misinformation and nothing else.  (Our ancient societies recognized this phenomenon well and coined the phrase, “They condemn what they do not understand.”)

The Japanese people suffered years of discrimination and prejudice because of what was the popular opinion at the time.  They carried on and despite the hardships, eventually became powerful figures in the communities.  The biggest example of this persevering spirit is Dan Inouye.  In agriculture, it is the papaya that is the shining example of this technology.  The corn, soy, and other plants are still facing this discrimination but is still toiling on and producing our food and textiles.  They are being continually touted as evil but have become necessary tools for the farmers that produce the things we need.  The farmers who use these tools have become the perceived enemy of the moment which they should not be.  I say respect their wishes to use this technology and the research and science that supports it.

The word pono is always mentioned in these divisive conversations.  Do what is right!  What is right here to begin with?  The pono thing is to use the evidence built over the years and base decisions on that, not on the popular opinion of the moment.  Our politicians are succumbing to bad advice and the bandwagon of the moment protests of ignorance.  Do we want to repeat the same mistakes in history by outrightly rejecting this tool that so many have minuscule understanding about?  Where is the science and technology leading us to?  The future is in genetics and genetic engineering but so few here have no clue about it.  That does not mean that we automatically disqualify it out of their ignorance.

If only politicians could instantly get a research and science degree and then take a look into a crystal ball of the future.  It would change their shortsighted thinking in an instant to know the possibilities.  Right now, these popular politicians are blinded with Monsanto glasses like their ignorant followers too.  That is not what we need in Hawaii.  Slamming the door on technology does not do any of us favors to address our future needs of sustainability.

Do the right thing for once Gary Hooser, Tim Bynum, Brenda Ford, Margaret Wille, Tulsi Gabbard, Mike Gabbard, Jessica Wooley, and Russell Ruderman. When it comes down to setting the standards to make those laws, use the evidence presented.  That is your responsibility to the people and farmers and ranchers of Hawaii…  Laws should not be based on popular opinion and bad advice of your loudest activist.