The Real Tragedy of the GMO Free Marches

From Maui Now with Dustin Barca

Last week Sunday was yet another march against biotechnology on Maui.  There were quite a bit of pictures and videos posted throughout the internet showing several hundred people.

That makes me really sad to see that.  They were there to protest perceived evil corporations, alleged poisoning of the aina, and for saving humanity against chemicals.  These marchers were joined by this common cause that they felt compelled to have anger and hate towards.  They have been told over and over again that they are being poisoned and float in a state of persecution and paranoia.

These people joined together through the modern technology provided by corporations.  Many found out via Facebook and Twitter that there was to be this march.  Some even used corporate made planes and cars to get to that meet up.  They used ethanol fuel derived from the very thing that they were protesting.  There had to be a few that drove in GMO derived electric car batteries too.

As I looked closer at the marchers, I started to see that these people are not aware of the extent of how biotechnology is woven in our world.  I saw one of the leaders of the march, Dustin Barca, wearing leather shoes and cotton fatigues that likely came from GMO cow hide and GMO cotton grown in India or Pakistan.  Lots of people wore jeans and clothing that weren’t likely from organic cotton sources either.

It is pretty clear from the photos that were taken on corporate made devices and the marches were recorded on high tech cameras like GoPro ones.  Many used WiFi with it’s radio waves surrounding them with no idea of what they are being exposed to.  They downloaded videos onto corporate supported sites like YouTube and others to share their adventures to followers.  These marchers refuse to accept technology for farming but easily accept it in any other form or fashion if it supports their cause.

People also carried water bottles that came from GMO corn derivatives and had no thought in the world of how it was made.  Some even left the march and went out to eat at a GMO restaurant.  They screamed at how GMOs were being shoved down their throats and want it labeled, but go out to eat without any consideration of what they just said.

They walked in the hot sun under a lot of solar radiation with no fear in the world of what it was doing to the DNA in their skin.  They willingly exposed themselves to something that has proven harmful and modifies our genetics but all natural.  There was no screaming or yelling that they were having their DNA altered without their consent.

The marchers had signs that they didn’t like the chemicals being used on the seed farms.  There were hundreds of signs that were used in these marches.  What happened to them afterwards?  Did they save them to use for another march or was it thrown into the landfill where it can’t be recycled?  What impact did these hundreds and signs have on our aina?  Did it beautify our beautiful landscape or add to the trash pile of useless things and add blight to our islands?

Chemicals are very scary to these people even though they likely used them to protect their skin from the naturally occurring DNA altering radiation.  The marches willingly subject themselves with chemicals in sunscreens to stop the mutations caused by the natural radiation of the sun and have no fear of being exposed for hours at a time.

Signs were carried and painted on with some GMO derived soy paint or some artificial mixtures of chemicals used for acrylic paints.  They rinsed the brushes that contained these paints and added chemicals to the water sources that entered the sewer systems.  Not a blink of the eye occurred while doing such a thing with chemicals.  Some signs, like the surfboard, was sprayed with spray paint, which that user likely had some chemical drift from that they inhaled.  That person survived to protest that day despite the exposure.

Quite a few marchers wore tattoos and displayed them at their march.  These tattoos likely came from synthetic sources that they intentionally injected into their skin with no qualms about it.  The needles used to apply the tattoos were also disinfected with lab derived chemicals to prevent some spread of deadly diseases.  None of this crossed their minds.  The inks likely didn’t have any long term safety tests either but the marchers love to use it and aren’t afraid of it.  They then decry the precautionary principle but are willing take these unknown risks.

I did notice that some people had nicely highlighted or dyed hair also.  They directly applied chemicals to their hair and allowed it to be near skin so that their hair had nice colors and tints.  As I looked at some of the leaders of this movement, I find it hard to believe that they do not dye their hair.  I’ve never seen an older woman with jet black hair and such even curls.  There was not a thought in a world ever considered that this was a chemical and its impact on our aina and reefs.  It had to be rinsed down the drain and entered our waters with no thought of the real harm this could cause our earth.

The even sadder fact was that these people brought their children with them to protest something.  Kids got to be around adults screaming and cursing at Monsanto.  These kids even read the signs painted that GMO means death and they don’t even know what it means.  Kids should be opening their minds to what is going on the world but have slammed the door shut because of the fear and misinformation being fed to their parents. It only makes the next generation hide in a darker corner, so afraid of the science and technology dominating our world and the future.  They also will have a hate and distrust before they even had a chance to truly learn about the whole issue.

The protesters had lots of time to organize and plan these marches too and didn’t have to worry about where their next meal came from.  Some ate GMO snacks on the plane rides over that were offered on the flight.  Were they afraid of what it would do?  No, they ate it without question.  Did these same people have to worry leaving their farms to attend such a march?  No, they don’t farm and it’s pretty obvious with the time they have on their hands.  They directly benefit from the efficiency and productivity created by the ingenuity of the very farmers that they are protesting and don’t even know it.

So much human energy and resources have been put towards being against something.  They all walked together to protest but did they really do all of humans a favor that day?  Or was it a group of people that shared the same beliefs and ideology with no facts to base it upon?  Couldn’t this energy have been devoted to doing something good instead of sharing their common bond of fear and misinformation?  I think so.

The whole idea of people marching for this cause really shows how unaware of the impacts of biotech, and technology in general, has had in their lives.  These people will quickly make accusations against technology, but can’t even see how it has impacted their own lives for the better.  The tragedy in these social marches is that these people protest something they really have little to no awareness of and it obviously shows.

 

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Where’s the Giving Spirit of Gary Hooser and Club?

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It’s the holidays and to me that is a time for giving.  It is a time to get together with friends and family, catch up on old times but also a time to give back to others who aren’t as fortunate.  Every single time I go the to market or to the store, I always have some cash handy to let my kids drop into the Salvation Army donation can.  I also make sure that I gave my yearly donation to the Washinton University scholarship fund and to any other new cause that might need some help.  This year I did give a donation to the Golden Rice campaign to help promote efforts to get to the people who need it the most.  There are many people who could use that extra support at this time of year and if I have anything to give, I’ll freely give it if I can afford it.  To me, that’s the right thing to do at this time of year and really, throughout the entire year.

Following what’s going on in the social media, I was surprised to see that the Gary Hooser is once again riling up his anti-GMO club.  Tomorrow, December 15, all of his club members from the Babes Against Biotech to Hawaii SEED and more are going to do yet another march.  All this human energy and resources are going to be used just a few days before the holidays to once again protest and get together.  People are flying in from lots of outer islands to gather in Haleiwa essentially for an anti-GMO party.  Gary Hooser, the head Kauai County Council member riling up these folks even blogged about this march to promote and advertise it to others.  If you read it, he’s perpetuating his myths and conspiracy theories to get people “to rise up against this” and even thinks that people are “more educated” about the issues.  I find it rather sad that Gary feels that during the holidays, he’d rather see people march against something and use all of these resources to do such rather than help others in the communities.

It is really sad that Gary Hooser has really lost sight of what the holidays mean and about teaching others to give.  Consider what he really could have done that would have made someone’s holiday just that much better.  If every person who flew into this march opted not to go and donated that some $200 to a charitable organization, wouldn’t that be such a good thing?  Instead of using Honolulu City and County resources to cover the expenses of the march, these public funds could have been used in a different program to help the homeless or do something for a kupuna through one of the programs offered in the county.  How about using all this human energy to visit lonely people in nursing homes or help organize a holiday food drive?  These same people could have spent the day going into the native forests and cleaning out invasive species too.  Instead of going to the march and potlucking it, go to the IHS in town and feed the hungry that day.  These folks could even bring along their kids also to teach them what the holidays really mean.

Hawaii SEED even got a nice $10K check from Surfer Magazine to continue their misinformation campaign against farmers.  It’s all about how to pit farmers against farmers and not about healing the farming community with Ritte and his group.  I’ve never seen any Hawaii SEED give the needy food drive or help others event.  They obviously have some money but aren’t about to give any of it to people who may benefit from it.  You don’t see Hawaii SEED on the donation list for The Good Neighbor Campaign on the Star Advertiser.  It’s not about sharing with others unfortunately, no matter what time of year it is.

The more you see what these people do, the more you see that it isn’t about giving for them.  It’s all about taking away.  The anti-GMO club even had a float in the Pearl City Parade also where they passed out flyers and GMO free candy.  Instead of self promoting themselves and their issues, why didn’t these folks use that time and energy to actually give something back?  What if they didn’t spend that extra money for GMO free candy and donated that proceeds to the Hawaii Food Bank for someone who really needs nourishment?  They could take their kids with them and a nice sack of food to give to people who need it.  It is so disappointing to see that they continue to promote the fear mongering that make the most vulnerable of people afraid and guilty of what they are eating, while many of them partake in GE foods and admit that it is safe.  

A leader should embody and speak for the values that others should live by so that we can make our society a better place.  We all should be working together to solve the problems of the world, not seeking to continually divide it.  It’s the holidays where we should be working on making life better for others.  The leader should be the example to others to follow by.  Hooser talks about malama the aina and doing what is pono but what about malama the people too?  It is pretty obvious that Gary Hooser is not one of those leaders. 

By the way, if you should decide that you want to give to others at this time of year, here’s some great organizations that I think are worthwhile causes to support.

American Red Cross

The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii

The Aloha United Way

The Institute for Human Services

The Hawaii Food Bank

Remember that this is the spirit of giving and paying it forward.  I did it and I hope you do too!