The Pay It Forward Shill

The Pay It Forward Shill

  
My time here in Cornell has been somewhat of an emotional roller coaster ride, but not in a bad way.  I came really excited to meet fellow allies who have been affected by the anti-GMO activism across the globe.  As I learned about their stories and experiences in Kenya, Ghana, Bangladesh, Philippines, and Nigeria, I felt very sad.  They had firsthand experiences of knowing farmers’ who have lost their crops and livelihoods to disease and pests.  My dad’s farm also has had the same experiences but thanks to technology, he still can grow his papayas.

My dad worked two jobs for the majority of his life.  He had a full time day job at the BYU-Hawaii physical plant to provider our family with a steady income and health insurance.  After he finished work there, he went to work on the farm.  When the farm failed over the years to disease, his day job was the backup.  My siblings and I also had to take on part time jobs once we were of age to work to support the family.

For farmers in developing countries, farming is the main economic driver for their communities as I’m learning.  Some 80% of the population relies on agriculture for their livelihoods.  If crops fail, it spells utter devastation for many and the consequences go far beyond just the farm.

I’ll readily admit that I was somewhat ignorant to realizing how important agriculture is to the people of Africa.  I was really saddened when I saw this meme of the Hawaii anti-GMO movement on a slide in a Kenyan farmer advocate’s presentation.

  
It included many Hawaii politicians and activists that were behind the furor of the movement back in 2012.  Here were well fed and clothed people using misinformation to demand the labeling of GMO under the disingenuous “Right to Know” campaign.  The Hawaii movement was indeed affecting many countries in Africa the right for farmers to use a technology, all of which are public sector developed, to help grow their crops and sustain their families.  I feel ashamed that we, the people of the Aloha State, were using misinformation to keep farmers from these tools that could offer better ways of farming.

The activists were quick to demand their rights but think nothing about the rights of others to have access basics.  Not only do these people promote a selfish message but they also told people that they’d turned gay or impotent by consuming GM foods! They used the battle cry of home rule but knew explicitly that Hawaii’s wins would dictate the issue in far off countries.  I can now clearly see how we as a state is truly being used as a pawn by radical extremists like Greenpeace and the seemingly legitimate Center for Food Safety.

I felt the bleeding of aloha early on in the social media and can now pinpoint the source of it.  The Greenpeace attitudes of using intimidation, threats, and ecoterrorism have taken root in my home state.  Their manipulative fear campaigns take full advantage of otherwise normal folks and get them to reject the science permeating our lives.  It’s mean to take advantage of peoples’ ignorance and turn them into raging bullies on the Internet.  This is a clear reflection of radical environmentalists dictating policy which is wrong but accepted by the activists who defend bad behavior.

I was truly disappointed when the state attorney general, Doug Chin, signed on to the Vermont labeling case.  Leaders of our state still haven’t figured out the true motives of the manipulation.  We are food secure and can demand all kinds of rights about our foods and use it as a means to scare other countries on why it’s bad.  It sets a bad precedent to the world who truly needs these tools.

My heart breaks knowing that my home state is the center of this global battle that shouldn’t be.  How can we call ourselves the aloha state when we allow ourselves to be manipulated like this? We have no aloha if our actions deny others a better quality of life.  

I want others to have a better quality of life and truly believe in using evidence not emotion to guide our policies.  The Hawaii Crop Improvement Association generously gave me $2000 to help further my knowledge about agriculture globally.  I thank them for investing in me but I realize that I am able bodied and can work to earn income for years to come.  

There are people at home who need help and after much thought, I selected the best use for their generosity.  I decided to donate $1000 each to the Hawaii Food Bank and the Meals on Wheels program.  I get peace knowing that 117 meals can go to seniors through Meals on Wheels and some 250 meals can be given out by the Food Bank.  Why should I deny others food when I have plenty?

So, yes, it is first time I can truly call myself a shill for taking money from the industry.  I’m officially the pay it forward shill. It’s not in my pocket but in the hands of those who need it the most.  Will my home state do the same by setting an example to the world by supporting policies that helped our papaya farmers help global farmers? 

Lead by example and let’s start today by giving to others with evidence based policies.

  
  

 

The Right to Know Says I’m not Responsible

 Apparently, politicians must be reading my blog because I just received this letter a few days ago. Representative Tulsi Gabbard is clearly misinformed when she states that GE ingredients need to be labeled and she’s using taxpayer dollars to achieve this.  (GE is a plant breeding technique, not an ingredient!). I’m not totally surprised that my own congress person is pursuing this as her own family has a vested interest in the health food market.  She has also received many contributions from the industry that stands to benefit from this kind of legislation.  Despite all of this, she’s not called a shill and is  more of a real shill than me!

The more I started thinking about this right to know, I realize why I take issue with it.  When people start demanding that the government be in charge of enforcing labeling of a product based on curiosity and not on evidence, it reflects upon a societal problem.  It really absolves the individual from taking personal responsibility for learning the facts.  The issue goes way beyond just the aspects of rights.  It amounts to a loud bunch of people who already don’t trust the government to regulate labeling.  I suspect that the labeling they want won’t magically gain their trust in any case.  

There’s a lot of discussion that the right to know movement is being pushed by the millennials.  This generation is at least two generations away from the farm and really haven’t been exposed to what it is really like to work hard and to start from the ground up.  That’s is clear when you have anti-GMO leaders like Ashley Lukens, from the Center for Food Safety, proudly professing that she works a set schedule so that she can get her yoga hour in daily.  Must be nice to have the luxury of that “me, myself, and I” time in since her crops don’t depnd on her.  The sweat she makes helps only herself and doesn’t give back to anyone else.

Like Ashley and her GMOs means pesticides bit, the right to know folks are really quick to inconvenience everyone else for the sake of labeling GMOs.  They demand that farmers have to completely change the way they grow and harvest their fields.  It will cost them a significant amount of money to do this.  Not only does it add more costs to farmers, but also to food manufacturers who have to revamp all of their labels.  The government and the taxpayers will also be affected in needing to test or regulate the labels for accuracy.  The papaya farmers have to purchase little labels and be sure it’s stuck on properly or risk getting a fine.  Not only do farmers and food manufacturers have to modify their work but it will all land up costing the consumers, especially the ones who are most in need of affordable food.  Many will incur some kind of cost in the form of time or money because of someone’s curiosity and refusal to learn the facts.

I think a lot of this may stem from the way our children are learning facts in school.  There is a high amount of pressure for schools to score well on tests.  My daughter exemplifies this when she shows me her homework and asks for the answer to be given to her for her test.  Instead of thinking  the task through to figure it out, it’s easier to just be given the answer than to think.  As a mother who wants to enable my child’s critical thinking skills, I don’t give in to this.  I walk through the process with her to provide here with a foundation to help her.  Learning about life isn’t simply about getting an answer.  

The world does not need more people who do not take responsibilty for their own learning.  America was not made because of people sitting around protesting.  The movers and doers were the ones to create their visions and dreams because they took initiative to do something.  We live in a great country because of great leaders who demonstrated the values of hard work and sacrifices and inspired others to do the same.  We have a reaped the benefits of those innovations.  It’s sad in this day and age that these values are not encouraged by leaders like our own President to even Representative Gabbard.  I just don’t get that sense of inspiration from our leadership at all.  What do we teach our young people when we don’t listen to those doing the real work and choose to listen to the squeakiest wheels? 

I get really irked with this kind of attitude pervading our society.  Why are people not taking some responsibility for themselves? From the college student who takes our $200k in student loans to pursue a degree that could never land a career to pay for it, only to default on it.  The information on the degree you’re pursuing is available and not doing your due diligence ahead of time costs everyone.  It will take resources from those pursuing real careers who did their homework and kept their word to repay the loans.  

This same absolving of responsibility is also seen in interns who tells their instructor that they didn’t learn a certain skill in school when asked to perform.  Instead of actually initiating a simple question of how one can prepare for the internship, they simply take cop out of stating, “I didn’t learn that.”  These people want to have their hand held to become skilled and are not able to take their schooling and figure out how to apply it in practice.  That person tries to make it someone else’s problem that they didn’t take the time to learn how to apply the knowledge provided to them.

Even the anti-GMO professor at UH, Dr. Hector Valenzuela, shows the same  behavior of not owning up to his actions and now stating that he’s the victim of harassment.  He proudly joined along with the Babes Against Biotech and shamelessly Marched Against Monsanto in Waikiki.  Neither he or any of the BAB members bother to tell their followers that Natural News or Dr. Mercola was not well vetted information.  They simply stopped posting it when I pointed it out that they tout pseudoscience.  Both Hector and Naomi Carmona never apologized or have ever owned up to all the harassment they incited against farmers like Dean Okimoto or even our state senators for the past few years.  

Avoiding responsibility is clearly seen by the anti-GMO activists who have made hateful statements on the social media against anyone who speaks up against them.  When I would across these uglies, I’d screenshot it and repost it. If they can say it, they should be held responsible for what they say and do.  The funny thing is that when it’s reposted, these people call it slander.  Excuse me but if you post it, own up to it or don’t even even post it.  When it’s pointed out to them, they again try to justify their behavior by saying that the pro-biotech supporters have done the same so it’s okay for them to do it.  I ask them for evidence of this and have yet to have them reply back with anything. (Apparently to the anti-anything crew, it’s a monkey see monkey do world, and it’s just not their fault.)

The worst thing about this right to know movement is that the backers of it are ready and willing to deny the basic needs of food to others.  They feed people with illogical reasons as to why Golden Rice is not needed.  I’ve seen some Hawaii GMO Free members say that vitamins are better or just grow carrots or leafy green to prevent vitamin A deficiency.  If the answer was so simple, why hasn’t it been done yet? These people must not grow things either to realize why this isn’t feasible.  I bet they don’t even have children to know why fortifying rice is the most viable option in these countries.  

With so much information available to us, the right to know movement really amounts to people who really aren’t willing to truly do their homework on what is and isn’t modified.  It’s way easier to be fed the answer in the form of a label than to actually sort through fact or fiction.  This kind of thinking only discourages taking responsibility for one’s own behavior and encourages taking the easy route.  Simply reading something on Google and joining a march fulfills their idea of saving the world.  Your right to know shouldn’t mean imposing on those who are the professionals with the right credentials behind them to choose the best tools available.  That right doesn’t give anyone a free pass at spreading misinformation and posting hateful stuff against farmers and scientists either.  The right to know folks need to get off their butts and actually learn a thing or two from the right sources before they start asking others to bend over backwards for them.  

One hour of yoga isn’t going to save the world, but dedicating your life to learning more about the world and seeking the truth is a much better investment for your own piece of mind and others that are impacted by your actions.  Learning inspires others.  Learning from those in the field is the best way to get an appreciation of the hardest workers.  Demanding your right via protests and petitions only shows the world that a country of abundance is full of selfish individuals who care only for themselves and what they are eating. 

I am not defined by what I eat and nor should you.

  

GMOs Banned in Hawaii!

November 2020

Ban-GMO

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

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

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

Kona Coffee

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

Honey

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

Papayas

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

Pineapples

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

Kalo

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

Cattle 

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

Other impacts and unintended consequences of the GMO ban:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Anti-GMO is Indeed a Crime Against Humanity

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?”

Allow Golden Rice Now!
www.allowgoldenricenow.org

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.”

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Tulsi Gabbard does not Care about All Farmers

As a voting constituent, I feel that I have a right to voice my opinion to my Congressional Representative, Tulsi Gabbard.  I have noticed how she’s been posting lots of things with the Babes Against Biotech pages from months ago.  (She apparently drinks from the same punchbowl as the anti-GMO mob all do when she starts using the terms Monsanto Protection Act.)

BAB Gabbard link Gabbard and babs

Honestly, I was shocked to see that this representative was okay with being associated with activists that endorse crop destruction.

babs crop destruction

So, I decided to no longer be quiet about this at all because I have seen and felt so much hate and ugliness being directed towards farmers here locally.  That is not okay with me at all.  How can such a representative of the “people” avoid all the evidence presented?  Is it ignorance like what the anti-GMO mob clings on to or what is it?  I decided to give her the benefit of the doubt and simply voice my opinion of the issue to her.

Screen shot 2013-10-02 at 9.33.55 PM

This is the response I got back from her:

Screen shot 2013-10-02 at 9.38.21 PMOkay, so she visited one farm and went to this anti-GMO event:

antievent

So I pressed her a little more:

Screen shot 2013-10-02 at 9.42.44 PM

Others jumped into the thread too with these comments:

Screen shot 2013-10-02 at 9.45.21 PM

Her team’s response to me was that I should contact her about visiting the papaya farm.  Which I immediately did that day.

Screen shot 2013-10-02 at 9.44.59 PM

Well, that was several months ago and our farm has yet to hear a peep from our representative regarding this issue.  That tells us farming families a lot about who she’s listening to and it’s not us.

I went back to her page to attempt to post something and lo and behold, I discovered this!

Screen shot 2013-10-01 at 11.10.53 PM

When you get this kind of post that only allows you to “share,” you know you’ve been banned.  We know who she’s really looking out for now.  It’s her Babes Against Biotech anti-GMO mob and not certain farmers in our islands.  Ignorance not only runs in the general public but also in our own congressional representative.

So Team Tulsi and Tulsi Gabbard, if you should find my page, I am all about getting educated.  Please take the time to learn about biotechnology through some simple videos like this one.  The world needs more research and science, not the perpetuation of ignorance and fear that you support with your stance.

An Open Letter to Hawaii Politicians about Agricultural Technology

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.

The First Kamiya Farmers

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:

GMAuthoritiesnew1

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:

facemaskScreen shot 2013-06-29 at 9.45.24 PMscaremongering

The public sure has become beleaguered with fear which is evident when you see these kind of events happening across our islands:

Screen shot 2013-06-29 at 6.04.11 PM protest

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:

KB crop destructor  DF fertilizer momi LM

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namastestpeh MV RGV tw2 tw TC manaai agroterrorism

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:

babs crop destruction

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.

nishihara target

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:

Screen shot 2013-09-28 at 2.49.19 PMmike strange

Or you might get called a name or something, but it doesn’t bother me for I know what the truth is:

tokyo rose

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

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!

Aloha,

Joni Rose

The Hawaii Farmer’s Daughter