The Bleeding of Aloha: Ugliness of the Anti-GMO Movement in Hawaii

The last 2 years have been very tumultuous here in our state in regards to biotechnology.  Hawaii as a state has been the subject of the heavy hand of activism based in fear and misinformation and it hasn’t been pretty at all.  Here’s a summary of what’s happening now across our state.

Maui County: A GMO Moratorium Vote

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Last year, in the county of Kauai, the notorious anti-GMO bill was passed and invalidated in federal court.  It did not stop the mainland based SHAKA Movement managed to garner some 9000 signatures to get an anti-GMO, anti-ag bill placed on the ballot.  Despite many of the anti-GMO candidates losing in the primary election, groups like the Center for Food Safety are still working on stirring the pot in this county.  Voters will get to decide on the issue on November 4th.  This has activated the activists into some interesting behaviors in our the community there.  There have been campaign signs vandalized and also stolen, which is not surprising at all.

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Gubernatorial candidate, Duke Aiona, had his sign spray painted on Molokai.

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The ballot initiative signs on Molokai that asked voters to vote no were changed to “yes” votes.

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A vote no sign was taken and frame broken on private property of Christy Gusman.

 

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Proud vandals on Instagram boasting their activities of re-doing the vote no signs on Maui.

The activists have even resorted to defacing private property in the name of this movement.  These are photos from the historic whaling town of Lahaina, where someone had some chemical fun with spray paints to get their message across.

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These people who claim to “malama the aina” or care for the land and be “pono,” or righteous, apparently forget these thoughts as they go about this campaign.  The sad thing is that long time local folks, like this 90 year old senior citizen, are landing up cleaning up their messes.

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Not only was there graffiti and theft going on there on Maui, Molokai, and Lanai, but there was also reports of people being harassed by the activists at the County Fair by these people, who were shoving their brochures to vote yes on the ballot initiative.  How do I know that?  My mom experienced that at the fair herself and gave the activist a piece of her mind.

Someone also took out a Craigslist post against Monsanto too.  They took images of Monsanto workers and their families and posted it on these ads to target them.  (The ad was flagged and eventually removed.)

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Not only were fake ads put out against the biotech workers, but fake profiles were made of workers by stealing their images and turning their names into heinous ones instead.  Here someone took the profile picture of a biotech employee and was using it to comment on the social media as the Earthly Farmer.  (This is the same tactic done by the anti-GMO activists on Kauai!)

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These SHAKA activists also took to photoshop to make posters of biotech employees also to help create the demons.  Just look what they did to Dave Stoltzfus.

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The missing part of this initiative in Maui County has been recognizing the economics of what a “temporary moratorium” to study the effects of GMOs there could do to those islands.  A long time, well known economics expert, Paul Brewbaker, was recently hired by the Maui Chamber of Commerce to study the effects of this proposed initiative there.  What he found was that it would be devastating to this county, which is no surprise.  It will have a major impact there and would hurt many local families there.  It’s estimated that unemployment may rise to some 25% on Molokai alone!

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The anti-GMO activists decided to send their biology bachelor of science degree, newly minted “economic expert” Senator Russell Ruderman to supposedly debunk Dr. Brewbaker’s study.  Little does he disclose that he owns 4 natural health food stores on the Big Island and has no expertise in economics but he can “debunk” claims.  He’s the same state senator that published articles in the Big Island newspaper “educating” people on Bt.  This man is always overstepping his scope of expertise, which is typical of many anti-GMO activists.  Just take a listen to the claims he makes on the morning news.

The activists also decided to attack the Maui United Way because of the name they chose for themselves, Maui United.  The MUW wanted to avoid confusion due to the similarities of the name and sent a cease and desist order for use of the name.  These nasty folks tried to play the 6 degrees of separation and trashed the MUW for accepting a donation from Monsanto.  Here’s the MUW president’s response:

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Maui County is definitely an ugly place at this moment with this heated debate between those versed in science and those who prefer to reject the evidence.

 

Kauai: Remnants of the Ugly Storm Lingers

Kauai was definitely the poster child of a dysfunctional community last year with the entire anti-GMO movement centered there.  With key county council members staunchly wanting to pass their flawed Bill 2491, irregardless to it’s validity, it set off a firestorm of discord.  The Federal Court recently invalidated the law as expected and that didn’t end the vitriol.  None of the studies or evidence collected (Final_Report_Kauai_Air__3_15_2013_submitted-2) to refute the claims being made were ever considered by the activists.  The constant battle cry there is “stop the poisoning,” with the evidence showing no such support.  The story there is one of manipulation by the mainland funded Hawaii SEED and key leaders in the community.  The county has decided to appeal the bill and continue to drain the funds to push this faulty law through.

It’s of no surprise that in the primary election, the top vote getters were not the anti-GMO candidates, but the pro-ag supporters.  They have been the subject of vandalism also, which is quite unfortunate but not surprising once again.

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Kauai County Council Member candidate, Arryl Kaneshiro, had his banner slashed. His family are long time farmers on Kauai and pro-agriculture, which made him a target of the anti-GMO activists.

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Another candidate for the county council, Arthur Brun, has his sign vandalized also. He is also an employee at a seed company, Syngenta.

The vitriol has also spilled out into the community at public places also with the activists’ graffiti with their messages of “stop the poisoning.” Once again, they have fun with chemicals with no bounds and leave messes for everyone to see.

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This is what tourists and other visitors get to see when they stop by the historic menehune fishpond.

The MMA fighter mayoral candidate, Dustin Barca and his followers are demanding others follow their laws, but can’t even follow the laws in existence already.  He has his election signs up on public utility poles and on county owned lifeguard shacks.

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Signs on utility poles are against the law for safety reasons but Dustin Barca’s crew have no regard for this law apparently.

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A bumper sticker is vandalism on public property but following the law means nothing to this mayoral candidate.

 

Then there is Kauai County Council Member, Tim Bynum, showing his lack of emotional control and maturity at public meetings.  He has tried to initiate more anti-ag laws here and seems to be losing it when others don’t seem to agree with this tactic.

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The damage to Kauai’s community is done and it’s clear that it isn’t going to be changing any time soon with these types of leaders in office.  The community remains divided and the ugliness is still evident.

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Oahu: What the North Shore Drags Up

The latest fiasco with the anti-GMO movement ends with Oahu and the North Shore Neighborhood Board meeting last month.  From what my dad and brother said from attending it, the meeting was dominated by the anti-GMO activists.  The Center for Food Safety’s director was also there, Ashley Lukens, to stir the pot even further with her lofty agenda.  The activists were dictating to the community how they wanted farmers to farm despite not being farmers themselves.  The only 2 farmers were brave enough to speak up against vitriol that the resolution was withdrawn.

At yet another meeting, a week after the regular board meeting, the North Shore Neighborhood Board Ag committee met to amend the resolution that was discussed prior based on the testimony received.  There were about 30-40 activists there who were very rude and hostile and accused the chair of being “a Monsanto lobbyist and having a conflict of interest because she worked for the Chamber of Commerce.” The Chamber receives membership dues and donations from Monsanto as they from 225 other members. The NS Chamber is a 501 c3 and cannot lobby which was clearly explained to everyone in attendance there. A committee member made a motion to kill the resolution and eventually it was seconded and passed, unfortunately.  The baby was thrown out with the bathwater.  Even an anti-GMO supporter felt that their supporters were rude.

Activists have become the loudest voices there and not about any type of discussion in this issue.  According to one member of the chamber, she stated the following:

“I was verbally assaulted by an anti GMO guy about the corporate brick for Monsanto in our walkway a year or two ago, which was a fundraiser to restore the Haleiwa Mutual Telephone Exhange Building, the North Shore Chamber’s home and North Shore Visitor Center. Within a week the brick was gone/stolen. The anti GMO folks were also very rude and hostile at the recent NS Neighborhood Board Ag Committee meeting, making a personal attack on me, accusing me of being a Monsanto lobbyist and having a conflict of interest.”

Other obnoxious things that these activists do include immature behaviors like this too:

Also at the Haleiwa Town Christmas Parade the last two years, which the Chamber sponsors/organizes, they have dressed up in hazmat suits and inserted themselves into the parade between Monsanto’s monster tractor and a cub scout troop probably scaring the kids.

Candidate signs have also been reported stolen and it isn’t a surprise that the person who is losing them is a pro-ag supporter.  Kent Fonoimoana, who is running for the House of Representatives in District 47, banned me from his campaign page for questioning his support of the GMO label and pointing out his alliances with the Sierra Club and Earthjustice.  He even requested a tour of my dad’s farm only to later that that he’d support farmers but still wanted a state law to label GMOs.  This guy is so disingenuous that I’m not surprised that his allies, the anti-GMO activists, have decided to steal signs from people’s yards.  If they have done it elsewhere, it’s pretty likely the same bunch of people.

Big Island: The Ugliness Remains

As the court hearing for the anti-GMO Bill 113 is awaiting its judgment, the same pattern of ugliness is occurring there also.  The contentious race is with the Monsanto obsessed Big Island county council member, Margaret Wille, against a newcomer, Ron Gonsalves.  He too has had signs go missing and recently had a sign damaged.  It’s all to clear that this is the work of the same activists over and over again across our islands.

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Even with the devastation of Hurricane Iselle, the activists didn’t give up their anti-aloha behaviors either and disrupted rallies that were there to provide information to farmers.  They were not there to help these farmers, rather there to harass them instead.

Aloha: Redefined by Activism is Ugly

Our state was known as the Aloha state and I’m really starting to wonder if that is what we really are becoming.  From the looks of our communities, it looks as if there is a new brand of aloha being cultivated here and personally, I don’t like it at all.  We will never move forward if only attacks in fear are perpetuated in our communities.  I hope voters make it loud and clear to these “leaders” that this is not our future.

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Arthur Brun: Someone Who Gives to the Community

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Local politics in Hawaii is used to be a place of dignity and respect. This held true even when people in the community didn’t necessarily agree with the platform of a particular candidate. Mr Kahn broke down in tears during his testimony during the public hearings revolving around Bill 2491. He told the council that he cared for Kauai. Mr Brun also came to tears during his testimony to Council around the same topic. Arthur has spent uncountable hours serving the community and has a child with diabetes that he spoke of during his testimony. It is unfortunate that Mr Kahn has no respect for someone like Mr Brun, a person that has given so much service to the community.

–Guest Blogger

 

1000 Good Reasons to Label GMO Food: A Guide for Politicians

You really should be contacting your legislator now to demand that GMO foods be labeled!  Listed are some reasons that you can include in your letter to prove your points also.  Feel free to use it.

1) Monsanto owns everything and anything, including the sky.  You’ve heard it from your aunty and your uncle and your brother’s friend’s sister that Monsanto owns the whole world. Yes, the seed companies don’t even make the top 25 biotech companies in the world but you still believe everything that is told to you.  And because of it, you think they control everything including the weather with their purchase of the Climate Corporation. When one person tells you that the skies are filled with chemtrails, you trust them and believe them. That also explains why there is always rain predicted on your anti-GMO marches.
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2) Natural News told you that you will get cancer from it.  Natural News also suggested that you to rub urushiol oil as the ultimate sunscreen to protect yourself from skin cancer.

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3) The last issue of the Hawaiian Electric Company’s Green Hawaii Magazine stated that you must cook chemical free.  GMOs all have chemicals in it.  You don’t quite know which ones and don’t even realize that you yourself are made up of chemicals either.

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4) WALTER RITTE TYPES ALL IN CAPS AND IT MUST MEAN THAT WHAT HE SAYS IS TRUE.  YOU CAN ALWAYS TRUST SOMEONE WHO TYPES LIKE THIS.  HE FINDS HIS EXPERTISE IN SURFERS FOR HIS FOOD KNOWLEDGE AND EDUCATION.

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5) The Babes Against Biotech show folks that less clothes means more expertise in what is natural food.  That includes silicone and some botox tucked in the right places.  When they tell you to demand a label, you can trust a woman in a bikini.

6) You can trust a bus driver grandma who is a self professed expert on GMOs that you need that label.  When someone reads the latest things off of the internet, you can bet that it is true without a doubt.

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7) GMO Free Kauai has a very long and thorough list of scientists to prove that GMOs are dangerous.  That list includes world renown scientists like Dr. Dennis Poopy, Organic Eater, Dr. Ye Hua with 20K piece of art in China.

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8) When a holier than thou art food store tells you to demand a label, you should.  Forget the fact that the more they advertise their GMO free foods they profit nicely also.  Fuel the fear and you will get more people to buy into your scheme and demand that label!

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9) Hawaii wants papayas from Mexico, Thailand, and Brazil instead of local.  Keep demanding that label so Hawaiian papayas are shunned by customers.  That’s the goal of Hawaii SEED is to kill off just a few more farmers.

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10) Roseanne Barr told you that GMO are bad and that Hawaiians support crop destruction.

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11) A wealthy bunch of transplant lawyers from Earthjustice told you to speak up but don’t be rude when you make demands.  They can easily afford organic food for their families but you’ll have to wait until you get that label to make it affordable.  They have to keep getting in environmental lawsuits against the state so that they can collect on their court costs to keep them buying organic.  And these same lawyers quickly turn around and eat GMO food with anti-GMO county council members too right after telling others that it is dangerous.

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12) You can become allergic to any and every antibiotic there is on earth from eating GMO food.  If this man says its true, then by golly goodness it sure is!  Forget the fact that we’ve been modifying genetics in food for thousands of years, DNA has antibiotics and chemicals that will trigger immunosuppression in your shikimate pathway and cause symbiotic endotropy escalation.  Yes, it is that bad.

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13) There is thalidomide in transgenic papayas and you must demand a label for it because Terez Amato says so.

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14) GMO Free Mom also knows that transgenic papayas need labels because it contains Bt in it.  

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15) Sol Kahn believes that if people disagree with him at the farmers’ markets then he has a right to that label as well as a right to say bad things about him on the social media.

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16) Jessica Mitchell of the Babes Against Biotech believes that her organized thinking and expertise in chemicals and plants support her claim to a label.

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17) Twitter user CILoveU can’t believe that the sun can alter DNA and as a result of watching “Seeds of Death,” she has a right to know what she thinks she knows.

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18)  Apa Romano knows that there is an alteration in one’s body fauna when she consumes GMO and needs a label to know it.  Now what is body fauna?

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19) If Tulsi Gabbard associates with the Babes Against Biotech then you know that she is getting expert advice.  She can even tell what groups are shills and will tell her constituents also.  She’s also part conspiracy theorist too and believe in the Monsanto Protection Act.

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BAB Gabbard link

20) Consumers need a label because it is all about transparency and obeying the law and doing what is right.  These leader stands up for what is pono, including death threats to the mayor.

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21) Jessica Mitchell doesn’t need a science class to know anything which is why she demands a label of her food.  She might not be able to know what all the ingredients are but she has to have that label!  Please don’t tell her that organic foods do indeed use pesticides!

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22) Sol Kahn has been telling many residents that if you live by a seed farm, you’re living by poison.  Home values are going down and he can’t figure out his relationship to why it’s happening.  Label it, disclose it, whatever.

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23) Celeste Harvel demands that GE food be labeled and she wants farmer’s crops to be chopped down too.  She also nicely articulates her point of what’s wrong with it and shows her expertise in her comments.

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24) Lori Wilson Patch believes that this issue should be one where we must sit down and pray for people because her religion has told her so.  You can be sure that god is asking her to pray for this evil called GMO.

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25) Carolyn Fay Spector thinks that she needs to put a wanted poster for Dr. Brewbaker since he donated a million dollars to help CTAHR.  You can bet she will be front and center asking for a label.

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26) Merci Ritte doesn’t realize that we are made up of chemicals but believes that there are indeed chemicals being grown.  She has a right to know these chemicals!

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27) Sherrie Moore demands a right to know and will openly boycott local farmers who speak out for biotech.  She deserves to to have her food labeled but truly wants her food GMO free.

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28) Karen Chun knows that GMO papayas didn’t save the industry because she doesn’t grow it or even own a farm.  She has no clue that her talking bad about papayas is the real reason why people don’t accept biotech food.  She right there front and center demanding her right to know what she’s eating!

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29) Dustin Barca feels that anyone who speaks against Ohana O Kauai must be committing a crime against humanity.  That’s why he has to have his food labeled.

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30) Nomi Carmona of the Babes Against Biotech can’t imagine that anyone would speak up against activists and will encourage others to block such attempts.  You can be sure that she’ll be visiting legislators and demand that she needs her food labeled.

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32) Sky Wittenbach does know his genetics and how to sort fantasy from fiction.  When he talks, you should listen to his expertise.

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31 and beyond) Some of the best reasons to create a law to label GE foods is because these constituents that are asking you for it REALLY LOVE THEIR FARMERS.  Just read below for what they have told farmers…

DFScreen shot 2013-11-20 at 7.20.43 PM babsdean kamiyacomment KB crop destructor nalo nasty nalo yelp tropicalflowers vilemomi tropflowers express tattdad momiyuky nalo nasty momi67 mercola papaya6 mercola papaya4 mercola papaya2 mercola papaya1 mark kamiyacomment GMO free papaya CL chuncraank calavo

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So politicians of Hawaii, are you going to listen to these people demanding a label and more regulations on farmers?  Your loud constituents are really helping all farmers and doing our islands a huge favor.  Thank you for listening to them and not listening to the farmers.  

Rep. Jessica Wooley stated that she would like GE food labeled and would support an education campaign.  How do you plan on educating these folks Rep. Wooley, when you yourself make up stuff by stating there is no regulations around it and bungle up the GMO is the same as pesticide issue? 

We appreciate all the support we get from the leaders of our islands as we work on our farms.  The future generations are very secure in knowing that you’re supporting them.  Or are they really?

***All comments listed have been publicly posted on the social media.  You said it and you should be held accountable for what you say.***

A Farmer’s Say Doesn’t Matter in Hawaii

It is so easy to sit back on a computer and have your opinion about how you  want your food grown.  You have a comfy chair to sit on, a nice computer with a quick internet connection, a fan to keep you cool, and a well stocked refrigerator to sustain you as you comment away on the social media.  That is how you are going to change the world to get farmers to grow food your way.  No. Never.

It is so easy for Jessica Wooley, Russell Ruderman, Mike Gabbard, Tulsi Gabbard, Gary Hooser, Billy Kenoi, and Brian Schatz to dictate the policies that they want done for agriculture because they have nice cushy offices and are guaranteed a paycheck, courtesy of the taxpayers.  They would rather stay in those positions then be on a farm any day.  Why do you think they are in office to begin with?  Farming is just too laborious and risky, while political office is a clean, stable position for life.

As much as these politicians are the listening to the public’s opinions, they have no qualms in ignoring the farmers, ranchers, and scientists testimonies on the future of agriculture.  We’ve seen that what is found on the internet and repeated as truths is much more valuable then the experiences of people who tend and till the land.  They have no say in the issue and are at the mercy of an uninformed public fear mongered beyond belief.  That is the direction that Hawaii is heading when we only consider public opinions for laws.

Our leaders talk about how they want to grow our ag industry in Hawaii but their actions speak otherwise.  Laws upon laws have become huge burdens on our farmers.  From business regulations, taxes, federal food safety laws, labor laws, county laws, and state laws all weigh upon these farmers who are growing food and cultivating the land.  We also can’t forget the outside factors that affect farmers too including energy costs, shipping costs, and being at the mercy of the weather.  These regulations may seem helpful on the outside but make the business and practice of farming less and less attractive.  With all the anti-technology laws being placed upon them also by Kauai and Hawaii county, how much more can these farmers take when potential tools are being kept from them?  What can our farmers do when their hands become tied by the wishes of ignorant politicians and an ignorant public?

As we see more and more farms closing down because of the regulations that our leaders have placed upon them, we get to thank each politician for being responsible for the demise of these farms.  The younger generations do not want to continue family farms because it just is too burdensome.  Would you take a job where your income isn’t guaranteed and bad weather can wipe out your entire crop?  What if the bugs eat up all of your crops and you can’t even use a tool that could help it because some politician said that you can’t?  Imagine having a job where you have to know everything about the tax, labor, and food safety laws to a tee to stay in business.  Not only do you have to manage those issues but you also have to physically work hard to get your product out to your consumers also.  Lastly, you are subject to criticism, thievery and even threats of crop destruction as part of your job description.  That sure doesn’t sound like a very attractive job to me at all. Our politicians have decided that this is the route they want to take with agriculture with their recent actions.  That’s the Hawaii that our leaders apparently want for our future of farming in our islands.

How to Make Use of 4000 Anti-GMO Marchers

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Characters of the anti-GMO club of Kauai.

As I have followed so many commenters from the anti-GMO club there is definitely a pattern.  One one end you have the very vile, nasty, ones that have been fear mongered beyond recognition of a rational being.  On the other end you have those that believe that consuming organic food is much more holier than thou art and wanting a label.  Somewhere in between you have those that are anti-corporation, conspiracy theorists, and just plain old science deniers and earth saver greenie folks.  Also in the mix you’ll find the ban it all group, who really have no clue the extent of this technology.  It’s no wonder there are social workers, bus drivers, grandmas, pseudoscientists, criminals, entertainers, models, nurses, chemical sprayed doctors, religious preachers, radio hosts, MMA fighters, and surfers all in this mix.  Approximately 4000 of these folks supposedly marched on Kauai a few months ago to speak for the people.

You know, if 4000 really were a true number of people joining in, can you imagine the manpower you have there in one area?  They all marched along Rice Street for some distance that means the majority are all able bodied and has the potential to do something good with their energy.  That energy and planning should be put to good use to put their money where their mouth is.  I have a few suggestions for these marchers as far as how they could really strengthen their cause.

Help Kauai County Go Pesticide Free

We all know that they want less pesticide use by the seed corn farms that use 13% of the county’s total.  Who is using the most pesticides then?  It’s the county themselves!

Maybe on the next march, they can coordinate with the Kauai County to do a highway weed pulling patrol.  Spread out 4000 people along the highway to pull at least 50 to 100 yards of weed each and wow, imagine how much less spraying will be done and less contamination too?  You could do this every month and cut back or completely be pesticide free!

Another way that these marchers could help reduce pesticide use is to take advantage of the natural instincts of our little chihuahua terrier mixes that are so popular now.  If may be 20 marchers brought out their little dogs to the power plants or kept them tied to the power poles a few days a week, we could cut down the need for using rat poison since these little dogs are bred to kill rats.  Chemical free, all natural pest control at best which is what the anti-GMO club is demanding.

Start up the Save True Kauai Farms

It is pretty well known that Bette Midler is an anti-GMO activist also and she has lots of land on Kauai.  She has 1400 acres of it too!  We’d better alert Jessica Wooley because she doesn’t want to farm it for food but possibly grow hardwood trees on it.  Wouldn’t it be great if she donated a nice piece of her land to start up a Save True Kauai Farm there?  Or maybe a GMO/Pesticide Free farm there?  You could get that guy who couldn’t lease land from the seed companies and maybe 100 of the marchers to even work on that farm.  They appear to have lots of time since they were able to camp out at many of the hearings and stay really late there too.  The anti-GMO club can have their dream turned in to reality where they can feed the people their way.

Many people there also hate the dust from tractors plowing the lands.  If you take about 50 to 100 marchers and handed them a shovel and pick axe, you could plow a one acre field in no time with little to no dust cloud either.  Then instead of using heavy equipment to plant the seeds, each of these folks can hand plant it all.  Every few weeks they could come in again and do weed patrol too so that they don’t have to spray the dreaded weedkillers.  You can also bring in more marchers to do bug patrol too and pick off bugs from the plants to keep less pesticides off of it.  What a great way to teach the keiki to how to grow your own food and keep the dust and pesticides away!

Open an Ohana O Kauai Feed the Hungry Shelter

There are a lot of needy people across our islands and Kauai has its share.  The anti-GMO club staunchly believe that the seed companies are not feeding the world in any way or form.  With several thousands to volunteer and donate time, money, and energy, they could start showing the world their plan to feed the hungry because it is obviously more superior than what the other companies are doing.  This would truly be a great and innovating cause to show how much they malama the people and the land.

Then End of the Poisoning of Paradise

The potential conversion of marchers and people rising up to support this way of agriculture is truly amazing because it can be put to good use.  No one would have time to be sending death threats to the mayor, writing comments all over the social media, be exposed to less scary images on their Facebook feeds, accusing seed farm workers of killing babies and committing crimes against humanity, and will be able to live the natural healthy life that they all preach about.  Human energy can be converted to good when you put your money where your mouth is.  Volunteers anyone?

Last but not least…

Let’s do some math here…  4000 x $1.50 is $6000.  If all the marchers paid a mere $1.50, their bill would be covered.  Enough to pay the county back for their march and restore the county’s funds.  If some of the attendees could afford plane tickets, I’m pretty sure they could afford that pocket change to participate.  So has the Kauai County received some money to cover it yet???

The Real Problem is not the Anti-GMO Club

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As I was talking to my husband tonight about the whole issue with agriculture and the divisiveness going on, he made a statement that really hit me.  I was complaining about how a local farmer, whose crops were getting stolen, did not want to go on television to share his story.  I explained to him that they were shy about it and didn’t want to be out there.  Then my husband said, “Well, then you guys will all lose.”  I wanted to fight back and say something but as I internalized it, he’s right.  “If the silent majority continues to not speak up, then they will ultimately lose and we all will lose.”

No one wants to be at the end of a losing battle but in reality, in some ways he’s right.  The local folks will sit back and complain about what’s going on and then do nothing about it but complain.  Where does that complaining get us?  Does it solve the problem?  No.

Whenever there is a problem, one must realize that by seeing it, we are all a part of the problem.  If we don’t recognize that, the problem can never be addressed.  While many local people are starting to become more vocal about how we are being taken over by these activists, we are not doing our part.  This loud, brazen minority has taken advantage of the culture of Hawaii and used it to their advantage.

Local style ways are pretty simple and learned from the good old plantation days where there were people from all over the world.  Koreans, Chinese, Hawaiians, Portuguese, Filipinos, and Japanese were all joined together to work on the sugar cane and pineapple fields.  There was a unique culture developed through this relationships, much of it a mixture of the cultures.  Even a special language was born through all of this called pidgin that can only be heard by local people.

The local culture was pretty simple and based in respect.  Don’t talk stink about others.  Do your work good.  Respect your kupuna or elders.  Don’t make waves or attract attention to yourself.  No make shame on your family.  Work hard.  It was laid back in its ways really.  No one wants to speak up to get others mad or gain attention to yourself, just be a part of the masses.  No make trouble, just leave it the way it is even if you don’t like it.  Over the years, a huge sense of complacency has been developing as a result.  It’s pretty evident when you see bumper stickers that state, “Ainokea.”  That says it all… I don’t care.

When you look at the low voter turn outs in our state, that just shows how people don’t even bother with the issues nowadays.  The same goes for agricultural issues here in Hawaii.  How many times have you heard a local farmer speaking out for an issue?  There are thousands of farmers here that were born and raised with long time family traditions rooted here.  Where are their voices in the whole issue?  I hardly hear or see of it but I do hear the complaints from others who don’t like what’s happening.  This really sends the message that no one wants to stick their head out about the best direction to take based on their expertise and experience.  The anti-aloha activists and their politicians have seized on this opportunity and are running the show now.  Is that what is best for Hawaii?  These are opportunists supported by ill-informed people supported by lots of outside monies?

So, if you don’t like what is happening to our agricultural industry in Hawaii, you the local born person, go walk in front of the mirror.  Don’t point your finger at the anti-GMO club and blame them.  Point that finger right at yourself and say, “Hey, you!  You are the problem.  Yep, I said it.  It’s you who don’t have the guts take a stand.  Don’t like what’s happening, eh?  Den you bettah speak up do something about it and stop wasting your energy complaining.  You da only one who going fo suffer.”

Wake up local people.  There is a new culture developing in our islands that if you don’t adapt to it, you’ll have to pay the price for your silence.  It’s time for the local folks who don’t say anything to speak up, vote, and say something to help your fellow long time local farmers.  If you don’t, who will?

One way to start is to sign the petition to speak up for farmers!

 

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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.