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

Kodomo No Tame Ni: For the Sake of the Children

My great grandparents, Taru and Kama Shimabukuro, with my great uncle, Rinsei, and my grandmother, Otome, in 1915.

I really love looking at old photos of my family.  It reminds me about grandparents and how hard they worked to raise my parents.  It also makes me realize appreciate how much they sacrificed for their family.

I was raised with the saying, “Kodomo no tame ni.” It is a Japanese saying that means for the sake of the children.  I witnessed this throughout my life watching my grandparents and parents working hard so that us kids had the best possible future.

My dad’s mom embodied this saying in all what she did.  She came from a family that had very little.  Despite all the hardships she faced, she hardly ever complained about it.  She would laugh much of those tough times off.  From being very poor to finally becoming comfortable, she always remained positive about the future.  She was never rich in terms of money, but rich with her tight knit bonds to her family.

I have to remind myself now and then about where I came from.

My great grandparents left their familiar home country in hopes of making it better for their families.  It took great sacrifice and decades of hard work to support their family.  They literally came with nothing and helped to set the foundation for the values that shaped the next generation, my dad and his siblings. 

 My dad was instilled with his parents’ ethics to work hard to get ahead in life which he taught me and my siblings.  He recently confessed to me the real reason he continued the farm and the reason surprised me.  It wasn’t about money.  It was something completely different.

He had lost his papayas to the ring spot virus as a farmer in the 1970’s and needed to recover from that devastation so he took on a full time job at BYU Hawaii.  He said that he could’ve just worked that job and quit the farm but he wanted to keep it going so that we would learn the value of hard work.  His intention was to keep it going for us to learn important life lessons.

The farm days were really family work days.

When the second wave of the virus hit yet again after moving his fields, he still pressed on.  My siblings and I had to get jobs at age 15 to support the family and work on the farm too.  Not only did we go to school, hold down part time jobs, participate in extracurricular activities, and do our chores, we also worked on the farm.  That was the childhood my dad knew.  It taught him good work ethic and determination and it did the same for me and my siblings.

Every once in awhile, I get frustrated with things going on in our state and it makes me want to leave it all.  I have to remember the hardships my great grandparents, grandparents, and dad went through. 

 I have it so good compared to what they went through and it’s their sacrifices that got me to where I am now.  The hardships I live through now is different than what they knew.

I honor the past because it gives me a better idea of the future that I want for my children.

I’m no different than others who want to preserve a certain way of living that teaches each generation important lessons.  Lessons of respecting each other and the land, honoring old traditions, and leading a noble life to honor one’s ancestors.  

Many of these activities are under attack in Hawaii on various fronts by people who have never shared in these practices.  This is why I have joined a group of like minded folks who share the same ideas like me.  We’ve joined together with fishermen and hunters to form the Hunting, Farming, and Fishing Association to broaden our reach with others to become a louder voice in educating and advocating for our way of life.  By collaborating with others, we can help to preserve these practices for the future generations.

We must speak up for the future of Hawaii.  Please join me!

Learn more about the Hunting Farming and Fishing Association. 

 

Exploring the world is what will help our keiki learn lessons for the future.

The Hawaii Democratic Party Wants Farmers Out of Business

The Hawaii Democratic Party Wants Farmers Out of Business

Either the legislative caucus of the Hawaii Democratic Party doesn’t read bills properly or are missing a few screws. They apparently have made it clear that they want agriculture out of Hawaii.

Read their testimony below:

Thursday, February 5, 2015
Relating to House Bill 1514 Testifying in Support

Aloha, Chair Lee, Vice-Chair Lowen and Members of the House Committee on Energy and Environmental Protection,

The Democratic Party of Hawaii supports HB1514 Relating to Environmental Protection, which requires disclosure relating to outdoor applications of pesticides by certain commercial agricultural entities, especially in areas that impact Hawaii’s Keiki and Kupuna. The establishment of reasonable buffer zones where regulated pesticides are dispersed and the necessary funding for enforcement by relevant State agencies are imperative. The good agricultural practices that are described in this bill should be commonplace for all of Hawaii’s responsible farming community.
As is evidenced by the many resolutions adopted at numerous State Conventions, the Democratic Party of Hawaii has long been dedicated to the promotion and protection of all of Hawaii’s people, food sustainability and our island environment. Therefore, we encourage the committee to vote favorably on this bill.

Mahalo for the opportunity to testify, The Legislation Committee of the Democratic Party of Hawaii

Well, Democrats, apparently you are wanting food sustainability but then want to make it harder for farmers. You want to protect the keiki and kupuna from pesticides but won’t regulate all others who use it including the state and county. You want to protect the environment without pesticides and let invasive species overrun the aina. You also feel it’s okay for farmers to be sued and have to pay for these lawsuits. Wow.

Well, I guess I can add the Democrats to the list of people who want to put farmers out of business. I guess papaya and produce grown in Mexico is better than the locally produced foods. That’s how we will help our food sustainability goals Democrats!

What Will I Tell My Kids?

What Will I Tell My Kids?

Every Sunday, my dad and I get to talk story about what’s going on in the agricultural scene as well as the latest science research that we’ve heard about. We are avid followers of the latest findings and both follow the politics pretty closely. I’ve been having these chats with him for several years now and it’s usually pretty upbeat and positive.

Today’s one was unlike any other talk story time. He’s usually talking about how my brother is learning the ropes of the farm and loves to reminisce about the way he was when joining the farm with my grandfather. He’d say that young farmers come in with lots of bright ideas about how they are going to change this and that because the new way is better, only to realize that some old ways are good because they are tried and true. Today was different as I heard him mention that with all these additional laws being targeted at ag and farmers, he would not be surprised if my brother decides to throw in the towel.

I have to say that I have never even given thought to seeing the end of my dad farming. This is his passion! It was something that never made him rich but it is what he loves to do. He essentially worked two full time jobs for decades to support the family and keep the farm. My brother also realized my dad’s passion and wanted to continue his legacy. If he gives up, there will be no more Kamiya Papaya.

It seems farming was once a noble profession but in this day and age, it is no longer respected apparently. With all of this targeted legislation being proposed by politicians and activists, of whom have never even had decades of farming experience, one gets tired of defending their work and continuing to reiterate the need to incorporate science into it. It’s easier to read stuff off the Internet as truth and then rile up people for the cause than to produce a crop. The farmers or the 1.5% of the population have a hard time getting their message loud enough over the 99%. Who will step in for us?

I’ve got to say that I really felt saddened after hearing my dad say that today. The days where politicians did research into the issues and sometimes did what was right but against popular opinion is over. They have to listen to the loudest of folks first and foremost. Leaders no longer have the integrity to protect the folks who are doing the right thing but have the lesser number. There are some but they are far and few between because of the attacks by activists upon them.

Ten years down the line, I don’t want to have to tell my kids the story about why they can’t go down to papa’s farm. Nor do I want to tell my youngest daughter that there are no more real tractors to play on because the farm is gone. Least of all, I don’t want to have to tell my youngest why we have pictures of a farm and nothing else. I’m hoping that by doing my part, I can stop that from becoming a reality. The farm is my dad’s legacy and our family’s heritage and no one can take that away from us without a fight for truth.

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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.

 

Johnny Gordines: A Farmer Caught in the Crossfire

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When most people think of Hawaii, they have the image of beauty.  Beauty of the mountains, the white sandy beaches and bright blue oceans and also the natural fauna of our islands.   The florals of our islands are truly unique and has become a synonymous with what we think of Hawaii.   We are so lucky to have many small farmers who make up the Hawaii floriculture industry.  Many of them have been at their work for a long time sending that bit of aloha around the world.  One of those farms is run by Johnny and Terry Gordines, who owns Tropical Flowers Express on Kauai.

When the issue of Bill 2491 hit the island of Kauai last year, some farmers, who know the agriculture issues in Hawaii, spoke out.  Johnny was one of them.  Others stood in the background instead of taking the risk of being a target.  Little did he know that he was not dealing with local folks, and was barraged with disrespect and hate for submitting testimony for the bill and for a letter in The Garden Island paper.

Here’s his testimony that he sent it which was publicly filed and viewable to all.

July 26, 2013

 

To Kauai County Council members:

 

It would be wonderful if farmers could stand in their fields, wave their arms and weeds, insects and plant diseases would magically disappear. It is too bad this cannot happen.

 

Instead, to banish pests and disease, farmers rely on sound scientific practices. They use pesticides and seeds resistant to insects and diseases. Their crops thrive and people all over enjoy a bounty of healthful fruits and vegetables and beautiful flowers.

 

Farmers use pesticides with great care and regard for themselves, their families, the people who work in their fields and their neighboring communities. Authorities in the State of Hawai’i and the U.S. government monitor farmers and all of the work that goes into pesticide development and application.

 

With its Bill 2491, the Kaua’i County Council seeks to insert itself into regulating pesticides and GMO crops — the exact same things our state and federal governments are already doing. It would take years and untold millions of dollars for our county to develop the same expertise and professional staffing to do what Hawai’i and the federal government are already doing.

 

The bill will impose many of these costs on the commercial seed growers in Kaua’i. Faced with these new costs, the growers will probably close down their farms, layoff their workers and leave Kaua’i.  It has been stated by Mr. Gary Hooser, the introducer of the Bill 2491, that it will not affect the small farmers here on Kauai.  On the contrary, if the seed companies are forced out of business, the chemical supply companies here on Kauai (Crop Production Services and C.Brewer Chemical Co.) will be forced to go out of business. This scenario will be devastating to the farmers on Kauai. We presently purchase chemicals, soil amendments, irrigation supplies as well as organic materials from them!  This will have a major impact on my business Tropical Flowers Express. Please consider the impact on the Kauai farmers.

 

I do know that, as the former farm manager for the Kauai Ag Research Center operated by the University of Hawai’i, College of Tropical Agriculture, this bill would devastate our work. I have applied restricted use (RUP) and general use pesticides in my work at the University for the past 32 years and have been a certified Category 10 licensed applicator. Our employer has provided physical exams yearly as well as a cholinesterase exam.  Department of Labor & Industries rule (WAC 296-307-148) requires agriculture employers to provide blood testing to workers who handle pesticides that can lower “cholinesterase” in the body. In my 32 years of service for the U.H., neither mine nor any of the employees’ level of pesticide exposure or handling, has ever been at a level that was detrimental to our general health! I am now 63 years old.

 

I am also the president of the Hawaii Tropical Flowers and Foliage Association on Kauai and a Director for Kauai on the Hawaii Floriculture and Nursery Association our statewide umbrella organization. The Floriculture industry is a vanity industry where the newest and unique catches the attention of the market. This means for our industry to remain competitive we need to have new and cutting-edge flowers and foliage in new colors and styles. An important tool for this is to be able to get new varieties, longer lasting varieties, and healthier varieties through the use of science, technology and innovation, such as GMO.

 

We believe it is important to look to the future of our agricultural industry and not handicap ourselves with laws that seek to close the door on technology. It is important that we keep finding solutions to pest and diseases that currently attack our plants and crops. With disease and pest resistant plants, we would be able to use less pesticides, which would lower costs for farmers and have a greater yield of product, allowing our sector in agriculture to improve efficiencies.

 

Please, County Council members, before you vote on this bill consider the damage it can do to agriculture on Kaua’i — the jobs it can destroy and the businesses and communities that will suffer. Please think wisely and vote “No” on Bill 2491.

 

Sincerely,

 

Johnny Gordines

Usually in Hawaii, most people are pretty respectful of differences, however on Kauai, the story is completely different.  What happened on the social media was totally shocking to most levelheaded folks.  The anti-GMO mob decided to attack his business online through his Facebook page and his Yelp page.  Just see what this small farmer and business owner had to contend with, a bunch of bullies right in his backyard.

This is what was being said about his business online in public posts on Facebook after he spoke out.

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One activist even posted this comment on his Facebook business page too.

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They went on Yelp too and disparaged his business.  Some review have been removed but others persist.

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You can read the corresponding reviews below to the above clip since they have since been removed.

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This issue goes well beyond the corporate hate and government distrust that these activists share.  It hurts everyone in the process.  The attacking of small farmers like this, who know the technology and tools available and speak up, ultimately pay the price for doing so.  That is why so many farmers like Johnny Gordines and others look to the leaders, to address this issue first and foremost, with facts and evidence, and not the loudest voices of opinion.

Farmers keep our country country and help the spread the beauty of Hawaii around the world. The support of the legislators is crucial in perpetuating this because you can’t tear apart agriculture, because doing so hurts it as a whole.  We need leaders’ support to keep Johnny at his work to spread that bit of aloha around the world!  Support the Hawaii Right to Farm Bill and stand up for what is right!

Visit Johnny’s work at Kauaiflowers.com and on Facebook at Tropical Flowers Express.

Support the farmers with local voices!

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Priced out of Paradise: What’s Hawaii Leaders Doing?

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Tweet made by Rep. Wooley back in March 2013.

Last night at the Kaneohe Neighborhood Meeting, I had the opportunity to talk to a fellow resident. She came to the meeting because she wanted to speak out about an issue she was having with where she lived. Her and fellow tenants live in an affordable housing complex and were being subjected to a huge increase in rent because the units were sold by the City and County to a mainland developer.

She continued to share her story with me about her life and why she came to the meeting. She has worked as an educational assistant at Castle High School. She’s employed but doesn’t make a whole lot of money so a rent increase will leave her with only $100 left over each month. She could live with her daughter but wants to remain as independent as possible.  It’s a struggle to make ends meet but she does it.

I really started to think about this more later on. There are a lot if people who are in a similar situation to her. Any local person will tell you that cost of living here in Hawaii has been rising. We hear and see it everywhere. Everything is going up: gas, electricity, basic groceries, property taxes, rents, car registrations, sewer fees, and so on. The only thing not going up is our income to keep up with this, and that is a major problem.  So many folks are struggling and living paycheck to paycheck as well as working multiple jobs to get by.  How can one have quality of life when most your time is spent working just to survive?

Earlier in the year, there was a Star Advertiser article that looked at the poverty issue here in Hawaii with kids.  The percentage of kids living in poverty was 12.5% in 2005.  This year’s Kid’s Count Report found that there were 51,000 kids living in poverty, which is up to 17%!  Then when you look at poverty in seniors, the AARP has found that nearly 20% fall into that category.  There are a lot of people in need in our state and what is being done to address this?  How can we make peoples’ lives better?

As I listened to her story, I really thought about the politicians of Hawaii and how they get into offices making lots of promises that we know can’t be kept.  Or there are issues that they bring up that don’t really help anyone other than their own personal agendas most of the time.  It was really nice to see many local looking folks, most of whom were born and raised here and had long time established families in our communities.  As the residents of Kulana Nani apartments sat in the meeting waiting for their turn to speak up, I could not help but think more about this issue.

In the back of the room, I noticed that Rep. Jessica Wooley came in and sat in the back.  When it was her turn to speak up, I had to ask her my question.  “As you know, many people are struggling to keep up with the cost of living here.  What are you planning to do as ag chair to help address this issue to keep things affordable as well as keep farmers in business?”

Her answer was that she realized that many farmers are at risk for going out of business and that we need them and she has various programs and things in the works to address this.  We all know that when costs go up for farmers, their products will cost more also, which is why local produce tends to be more pricey.  Not once did she go on about the labeling issue for biotech food in this answer.  I know for a fact that the labeling will mean that food costs will go up since manufacturers will have to specially label food just for our state.  How is that really going to help keep basic foodstuffs affordable for people who are already struggling?  She didn’t bring up that issue until my second question for her, which I’ll continue on another blog post.

Politicians like Wooley and others like her who have decided to align with the activist groups like Hawaii SEED, the Babes Against Biotech, Hawaii GMO Justice Coalition, Hawaii Farmers Union United, and the Hawaii Organic Farming Industry are all about self serving their own interests.  They are pushing to grow their industry that may increase availability of organic produce but at a cost that most folks can’t afford.  They have plenty of money to fly between islands, stay in hotels or other accommodations, or get funded by their supporters through subscriptions or gofundme.com and don’t have to work like the real local people.

When you have a lawyer for a husband who makes a decent salary and a property in San Francisco, it is easy to tout your agenda.  It’s easy to listen to activists’ cries for a label for food that many of them consume for the sake of pushing your agenda and forget about your real constituents that struggle for years.  Have some empathy for these people Rep. Wooley for they are who you need to work for.  A good leader will look at all the issues, use evidence and best practices to help solve the problem, which is always more complex that what it appears.  Remember that you were elected by the very people in your community and should be lending your ear to them first and foremost, and not to a Babes Against Biotech activist or an outside environmental attorney, whom you fondly call Andy Kimbrell.