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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
My dad and I exchange emails with links and stuff here and there and I get some good reads from what he is sent. When I checked my email tonight, I was literally bouncing up and down. It would seem really trivial to some but to me, I was ecstatic over it. It was sent from Truth for Trade and Technology, which he is a member of.
Here’s what it read:
Allow Golden Rice Now!
Media Release – October 1, 2013
Former Greenpeace leader Patrick Moore to lead demonstration against Greenpeace’s crime against humanity, their anti-Golden Rice campaign that perpetuates blindness and death among millions of children. www.allowgoldenricenow.org
At 10 AM on October 2 the global campaign Allow Golden Rice Now! will be launched in front of the Greenpeace office at 33 Cecil Street. Dr. Patrick Moore will lead the demonstration with a banner that reads: ‘Greenpeace’s Crime Against Humanity’ ‘ Eight Million Children Dead’ ‘AllowGoldenRiceNow.org’
Details of the campaign and the demonstration will be released at an information session to be held tonight, October 1, at 7 PM at the Pauper’s Pub at 539 Bloor Street West.
The aim of the campaign is to convince Greenpeace that they should make an exception to their zero-tolerance position on genetic modification in the case of Golden Rice, on humanitarian grounds. The World Health Organization estimates that up to 500,000 children become blind each year due to vitamin A deficiency, half of whom die within a year of becoming blind. About 250 million preschool children suffer from vitamin A deficiency among the nearly 3 billion people who depend on rice as their staple food.
Conventional rice has no beta-carotene, the nutrient that humans need to produce vitamin A. In 1999 Dr. Ingo Potrykus and Dr. Peter Beyer, both science professors who were aware of this humanitarian crisis, invented Golden Rice after a nine-year effort. By inserting genes from corn they were able to cause rice plants to produce beta-carotene in the rice kernel. It is beta-carotene that makes corn golden and carrots orange. Golden Rice can end the blindness, suffering and death caused by vitamin A deficiency.
Field trials in Louisiana, the Philippines, and Bangladesh have proven that Golden Rice can be grown successfully. Clinical nutritional trials with animals, adult humans, and vitamin A deficient children have proven that Golden Rice will deliver sufficient vitamin A to cure this affliction. Yet Greenpeace continues to support the violent destruction of the field trials and trashes the peer-reviewed science that proves Golden Rice is effective and safe. We demand that they end these activities, stop fundraising on this issue, and declare that they are not opposed to Golden Rice. We believe that their continued actions to block Golden Rice constitute a crime against humanity as defined by the United Nations.
The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the Philippines is coordinating the research and development of Golden Rice. The IRRI is supported by The Rockefeller Foundation, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Helen Keller International, USAID, and many agricultural research organizations. Golden Rice is controlled by non-profit organizations, and it produces viable Golden Rice seeds, so farmers are not dependent on any particular supplier.
“The Allow Golden Rice Now! campaign will carry this protest to Greenpeace offices around the world,” stated Dr. Moore. “Eight million children have died unnecessarily since Golden Rice was invented. How many more million can Greenpeace carry on its conscience?”
I was so excited to hear that Greenpeace is being called out as committing crimes against humanity because that is exactly what it is. These well funded activists group oppose these attempts to help others yet have no plan to deal with this problem. They never see the suffering of these children and the parents who see them die or become severely disabled by such a preventable disease. If we were to wear these people’s shoes and see our infant slowly become blind and disable with nothing to stop it, would we want help to prevent this? Of course!
Ask yourself, what has Vandana Shiva, Jeffrey Smith, Andrew Kimbrell, Bill Freese, Walter Ritte, Jessica Wooley, Gary Hooser, Tim Bynum, Brenda Ford, Margaret Wille, Tulsi and Mike Gabbard, Russell Ruderman, Hector Valenzuela, and Nomi Carmona done for solving a real world problem? What is their contribution to helping others except for supporting the same thing that Greenpeace is supporting? How about all of the activists who spread their propaganda of fear and claims of dangers resulting in wanting to ban all GMOs? Are we so selfish to protest and not offer up anything to contribute to others around the world? Sadly, yes, we are so fixated on “our” food and what is “best for us” that these folks along with their followers have lost sight of the potential to help others. It really appears to be a crime against humanity, way worse then the claims and rumors they harbor towards Monsanto any day.
We westerners never see this and can argue about GMOs and block it because we are well fed and well nourished. What about all the others in the world who suffer because our stupid fights over food and technology? That’s selfish and ignorant to block this potential tool to help others live a better life that we take for granted. We fight over food because we have it while others are lucky to get anything at all.
Penn and Teller minces no words about Greenpeace and the anti-GMO supporters either.
When I traveled to Thailand and visited the cities, my eyes opened up to the problems these countries have with the disabled. They would all be begging and either hobbling on their arms dragging their legs, blind, and their clothes would be shredded. One kid walked on his hands with his legs straight out in front of him and the rest were all blind. It was terribly saddening to me to see this. If we westerners could somehow help these people, why not? That is how I see Golden Rice as a tool to make someone else’s life that much better. It is a great reason for why I support science and research. I donated money towards this cause that I do believe in.
Hawaii people are stuck on their rock making claims of poison and spreading anecdotal evidence. They have become blind to the needs of others that can be helped by this technology. Are we too stuck in our own world to look beyond at the bigger picture? Have we become selfish, self absorbed people blind to the world’s problems? Think beyond the rock people, there is more than what you see about being anti-GMO about “your” food.
Mark Twain summed this issue up nicely in his quote:
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”
Dear Governor, Legislators, Senators, Representatives, County Council Members, City Council Members,
I am writing to you as a daughter of a long time farmer, Kenneth Kamiya. Our family has been long time farmers for over 4 decades on the Windward side on Oahu. My grandfather farmed the land with beans, Okinawan potatoes, cucumbers and finally papaya, which my dad and brother continue to this day. I am asking for your support in these contentious times of dealing with the issue of agricultural technology, specifically GMOs.
I speak out not only for our family but for all other families in our islands who use this technology to run the farms that they do. Our state cannot afford to be left behind because of the maligned fears of the public of this technology. You as a leader also have to be able to separate fears created by the black marketing strategies and consider the evidence that is presented. That is your responsibility to us as your constituents, even though the farmers and ranchers make up 1-2% of the public. Those are the voices that should ring loud and clear in your minds.
What does the evidence show us? Worldwide, there is a consensus that biotechnology is safe. Read below for the worldwide organizations that have made statements about biotechnology in food:
Given this evidence, will you accept what the worldwide scientific community states? Or will you fall prey to the fear mongering of the environmentalists and the organic industry’s tactics like this:
The public sure has become beleaguered with fear which is evident when you see these kind of events happening across our islands:
The same people that join in these protests are so fear mongered that they have even done this to farmers or anyone who speaks out for biotechnology:
Activist groups too are guilty of promoting hate and crop destruction as in this meme from the Babes Against Biotech with Roseanne Barr’s quote:
Notice how much hate there is because fear has made many people irrational already. Ignorance is evident here in many of these comments. And it’s not pretty to be at the receiving end of it.
We know that many of you have become the receiving end of these activists, especially the Babes Against Biotech who went after Senator Nishihara last year. We know that many of you have also been portrayed as targets too.
As a result, not many people want to speak out for agricultural technology here and when you do, many times, you get threats like this sent to you. Here’s one I personally received a few days ago:
Or you might get called a name or something, but it doesn’t bother me for I know what the truth is:
So when leaders like you decide to reject the evidence presented, you are feeding and fueling fear. This same fear happens because so many people have little to no knowledge about agriculture or the technology around it. They may be loud and demanding but you must also listen to the quiet ones who toil in the fields every day. My family like so many others are just regular people who want to have access to the tools to do the job we have at hand, which is to feed people the best way possible.
Kenneth Kamiya, my dad
When it comes time to listening to your constituents, all I ask is that you listen to your most valuable ones. The farmers!