Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Musings: Ever More Elusive

The Joint Fact-Finding Group is continuing to unravel, with Sarah Styan and Gerardo Rojas resigning from the panel amid allegations that the process was biased and poorly managed.

They join Roy Yamakawa, the retired UH-CTHAR extension agent and administrator who left the group in January. He is declining comment until a "final" report is released. 

Though both Styan and Rojas are employed by seed companies, they said they worked hard to maintain impartiality and respected the terms of confidentiality.

In his resignation letter to fact-finding consultant Peter Adler, president of ACCORD-3, Rojas wrote:

Having members of the group participate on assumptions of their personal opinion and allow their views to be accepted against countless studies provided by the public is simply wrong. Members stating publicly a lack of trust in a Federal organization, what documents or information could be submitted, who can and cannot submit data because of their 2491 affiliation, should have been handled better by you or your team. The fact that it wasn’t, is unacceptable.

It is my conclusion that this JFF group under your direction has failed in its mission to remain “fact based”.

In her letter, Styan wrote:

The mission of the group and the way in which the process was conducted were so far removed from what I believe the State and County taxpayers expected, that I believe there is no way that the community will receive a fact‐based, unbiased, useful report. For that reason, I cannot continue to support this process.

I truly tried to be a neutral and engaged part of the fact‐finding process. I worked hard over the course of the year, educating myself about health issues associated with pesticides, about health issues on Kauai and elsewhere, and about how pesticides are used and regulated. However, the bias, the imbalance, the lack of integrity, and the disrespect shown to me and other members who attempted to ensure that facts were contained in the report, prevent me from continuing as a member.

For Rojas, the last straw apparently came when Adler questioned his integrity, reportedly claiming — falsely — that Rojas had read a prepared statement from his employer at the April 4 public meeting. In his letter to Adler, Rojas wrote:

I might not have your skills, but I do value my integrity. I purposely kept a distance in any dealing with my company or affiliate companies in asking for guidance. I studied facts and accepted and reviewed reports provided from all the members. I am also a farmer, and I believe in how I care for the land. And most of all, I believe that when you shake a hand of a person and agree to commit to a goal, I do my utmost to follow every rule and expectation to achieve a positive outcome.

For Styan, the snapping point came at last Saturday's session of the JFFG, when she felt that Adler and his staff were prepared to gloss over public comments that had been submitted up until the night before. In another document outlining her concerns, she wrote:

Throughout the course of that meeting, it became clear that I was the only one who believed that we needed to carefully review all of the comments and go through the entire report to correct incorrect statements.

In response to an email seeking comment, Adler wrote:

I will have more to say on the resignations later but we are not glossing over the comments. We are reviewing them carefully for factual additions and corrections.

In a comment to Civil Beat, Adler expressed surprised at their resignations, prompting one observer to call bullshit:

Peter is full of it; he knew damn well this would happen, if not sooner, then certainly by Monday night at the public meeting, when they both made it clear that if the group didn't revise the draft to make it fact-based, they were walking. He knows Sarah's been frustrated all along.

The six JFFG panelists who remain, and are charged with developing the final recommendations, were all supporters of the GMO/pesticide regulatory Bill 2491/Ordinance 960.

Indeed, 18 activist groups — including some whose members contributed “research” and information to the JFFG, two whose members helped draft Bill 2491 and one led by Councilman Gary Hooser, who introduced Bill 2491 — have lauded the group's work.

In her letter, Styan also noted that the group never met or had conversations with Kauai Coffee, even though it's one of the agricultural firms targeted by 2491, the EPA, representatives of the state or county Farm Bureau or other farmers and pesticide users. “We did not meet with any other physicians, an epidemiologist, or local medical personnel with expertise in pesticides.”

Styan also expressed dismay at the health chapter, which she was assigned to write with Drs. Lee Evslin and Doug Wilmore, both of whom testified in support of 2491. She wrote: “I was also incredulous that data was being interpreted and manipulated to make a story where one did not exist.”

Ultimately, she wrote, Adler and consultant Keith Mattson drafted the health chapter. But shortly before the document was to be released, one of the physicians wrote an entirely new chapter, which Adler put to a vote of the group. “The facts, what little there were in the previous draft, were going to be taken out of the report.” Then there was another vote to withdraw the health chapter, resulting in a delay of the release. At the time, Adler said the state and county had requested more information.

Rojas wrote:

I spent many hours of my time without compensation to make a contribution to help our community heal. I feel that the community has come together on many levels and is not divided when education and science prevail.

With all due respect, the directives were clear to your role. Facts and Science – be open to ALL public opinion – keeping confidential discussions between members of the group only – and treating each other with respect for their value to the outcome.

In conclusion, it’s sad for me, that the only decision I faced was to walk away for the first time in my career on a project that I believed if it stayed on track with a foundation of “science and facts” only truth would prevail.

So now what? The taxpayers have spent $175,000 on this project, $75,000 more than was initially planned. They've got a report with serious factual flaws, and a six-member group of true believers that is supposed to review public comments, revise the draft accordingly and come up with reasonable recommendations.

Somehow, it doesn't seem like money, or time, well-spent. And the much-touted healing that the process was supposed to effect is ever more elusive.

63 comments:

Anonymous said...

So now Mr. Adler changes his tune and assures they'll go through all the comments AFTER the two members leave. Sounds like that wasn't the case BEFORE they left. Not holding my breath. Epic fail.

Anonymous said...

The treatment of Mr. Rojas sounds familiar: 1) Make an accusation without gathering facts/evidence. 2) after the facts are collected and it turns out you made a false accusation, punish and slander the accused anyway. 3) congratulate yourself for advancing social justice.

John McHugh said...

Aloha Joan, I got a chance to review some of the comments that were submitted to the JFFG. Among them was a curious statement from Hector Valenzuela where he compares pesticide use in Hawaii Seed Corn production vs. pesticide use on production corn fields in the U.S. mainland:

"In stark contrast in the continental U.S. only 11% of corn fields are treated with fungicides (i.e. 89% of the corn acreage receives NO fungicide spray applications); only 15.5% of the corn acreage receives insecticide spray applications (i.e. about 84% of corn fields receive NO insecticide spray applications), and the average field of corn in the continental U.S. receives about 3 herbicide applications per year, compared to about 9 applications in Kauai."

Now I know that Hector does not support GMO agriculture but one has to wonder why he would make such a comparison? There are approximately 80 million acres of corn grown in the U.S. Of those 80 million 80%+ are using seed that has been genetically modified to resist insect attack and to tolerate the application of Roundup. What Roundup has done is greatly reduce the amount of herbicides that are needed in commercial corn production. The stacked traits of insect resistance and Roundup tolerance have directly led to the reduction in use of insecticides and herbicides. This is a good thing right? It is however inconsistent with Hector's previous bashing of GMO corn (and other GMO crop) production. So, which is it? GMO good - way less pesticide use or GMO bad - causes health issues? I'm confused. It is not clear from his written comparison what his stance is. I suppose it is convenient to use the less pesticide use comparison when circumstances require it but when they do not, look out!

Anonymous said...

Trying to work with social justice warriors on the new left is like trying to wash your hands with crap.

Anonymous said...

SUCK IT UP! You can't win all the time, winners don't quit--losers do! Hey, the fact is that there are people who use the precautionary principle for the betterment of their community. And what's so wrong about buffer zones and knowing what pesticides are being used?!! Also, the study states over and over again, there is not enough information!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Sarah's document detailing the failings of the JFFG was very interesting and hopefully it will garner some attention.
I'm interested to know what kind of fact-based information Fern Rosentiel, Gary Hooser and Joann Yukimura could have possibly contributed to the group's efforts...?

Anonymous said...

I attended the community meeting presented by the JFFG on April 4th, 2016 and along with the rest of the audience, was assured, multiple times, by group leader Peter Adler: "If we got something wrong, we wanna know." Obviously not, if you are blatantly ignoring the 50 comments offered by the public and moving forward with this clearly biased and anti-fact report and recommendations.

Also, I am truly appalled after reading Sarah Styan's document outlining the group's shortcomings and complete disregard for facts. This was the purpose of the group. This was the reason $150,000 was spent. Complete and total FAILURE. I truly hope people will pay attention to who left the group and why, and who is left.

Anonymous said...

@ 8:46...read the whole article. It's the PRINCIPLE of the matter. Peter Adler and this group had a very specific purpose: stick to the facts, put aside your personal opinions and biases, deliver facts. They completely failed.

Anonymous said...

@8:42 Your comment is spot on! It could have not been put any more succinctly plus it was an hilarious comparison.

Anonymous said...

Rojas writes, "Members stating publicly a lack of trust in a Federal organization." Oh my, the gall of some people. To question a federal organization which is beholden to the very corporations they are supposed to be regulating. Only a fool would trust such organizations. Mahalo to those members who expressed their distrust in- the FDA? Whose Deputy Commissioner for Foods has been Michael Taylor, who has deep financial and employment ties to Monsanto. Hopefully, Bernie will clean up all this corruption and conflict of interest when he is elected president.

Anonymous said...

After reading the letters and Sarah Styan's additional comments I find it appalling that they would decline a review by A medical doctor practicing in the west side because of his "reported" position on 2491, but take unpublished data from Malia Chun and Jeri DiPetro when they have also taken very strong positions on 2491. I guess it depends on what side you were on.

Anonymous said...

@8:29AM- Your statement that gmo agriculture has led to a reduction in pesticcide and herbicide use in the midwest seems to be false. "In fact, according to the USDA and EPA data used in the report, the quick adoption of genetically engineered crops by farmers has increased herbicide use over the past 9 years in the U.S. The report follows on the heels of another such study by Washington State University research professor Charles Benbrook just last year (2012). This quote is from a 2013 article in Forbes magazine, titled "GMO Crops Mean More Herbicide, Not Less", which can be read here- http://www.forbes.com/sites/bethhoffman/2013/07/02/gmo-crops-mean-more-herbicide-not-less/#4f81d102a371

Anonymous said...

4/12@ 9:59 AM, thank you for admitting you support kangaroo court trials and witch hunts.

Anonymous said...

@9:59 it was the EPA. And the point of the matter is that people who cannot put their PERSONAL OPINIONS--this indeed includes which federal organizations they do not trust--aside in order to complete an unbiased study has no business being part of a Joint FACT Finding Group.
And hey--I'm not saying you can't HAVE those biases and opinions...you just need to be able to SET THEM ASIDE when participating in such a study whose sole purpose is to identify FACTS. I believe Mr. Adler said this was part of his charter that all of his hand-picked members needed to agree to before being a part of the group.

Anonymous said...

8:46- Sadly, gmo/chemical companies do not seem to care at all about the precautionary principle. Their way is to release gmoʻs in the wild without a clue what the effects will be on our fragile ecosystem, and then wait and see what happens. Quite a precaution, wouldnʻt you say? And now we have gmo fish, mosquitoes, etc., all being released into the environment. Our planet has become an experimental laboratory for these companies, and government regulatory agencies such as the FDA are responsible for this utter disregard for the health and safety of our precious mother Earth.

Anonymous said...

Facts are for wimps. We need a hysteria driven movement to take our minds off real problems.

Anonymous said...

You have to ask yourself, if this was supposed to be a fact-finding mission, why would Adler appoint a bunch of 2491 supporters to find facts? These were the people who, acting on instructions from their mainland funders, put the cart before the horse and insisted on passing a law to regulate commercial agriculture out of existence by claiming high rates of birth defects, cancers, environmental harm, etc.

Even the ridiculously long and opinion-based JFF report begrudgingly acknowledges that those claims were untrue (but you need to look pretty hard to find it buried in the document).

But hey, forget the findings, let's move on to baseless recommendations that we can force down the legislature's throat. Why should we be surprised that this group of antis drafted a report and recommendations that look just like what they pushed during 2491? And now they can call it a government report!

I want to see the minutes from the JFF meetings. I want to read the emails that went back and forth with Peter. I want to know why experts like Ashley Lukens, Jeri Di Pietro, and Fern Anuenuenuenue were called in to present, but NOT epidemiologists, EPA, practicing West side medical doctor Graham Chelius, pesticide air monitoring expert Dr. Qing Li, and former long time head of State Pesticide Branch and Plant Industry Division (while air monitoring was going on) Dr. Lyle Wong, for example.

Who made the decisions on what "experts" to be brought in? Who made the decisions on what studies should be reviewed and included? How would this group of laypersons even know what to look for or how to evaluate them?

WE HAVE A RIGHT TO KNOW!

Anonymous said...

10:13- What exactly is the connection between kangaroo court trials/witch hunts and conflict of interest in government? I donʻt get it? Do you even understand what a conflict of interest means and how it does not serve the public good?

Anonymous said...

Well Roy Yamakawa. Let's see what your resignation letter looks like and your JFFG experiences. You of all people should be able to document your reasoning to resign. we saw theirs. Let's see yours FOR THE RECORD. Let's continue to have more fun with this blog, fellow educator.

Anonymous said...

It seems pretty clear if the final product reflects what was presented on Monday the 4th that is is a product of a Star Chamber proceeding of the worst sort. The docs quibbled on health and statistics, Wooton showed her bias and her self interested closed mind. West-Hurd had no background for the task. I know Styan and Yamakawa and consider them far more principled people than three of the others I know personally (only 5 of the 9). I think the public is entitled to better than this set up job, and I believe the Mayor, Governor and Chair of the Department of Agriculture should reject this piece of work masquerading as Joint Fact Finding. It's not; it never was; and it reeks to high hell of outside interference and dishonest dealing. It's pretty clear that prejudice trumped fact finding. Understand that, 8:46?

Anonymous said...

Just wondering - we have already spent $175K thus far advancing the goals of the eighteen anti-GMO/pesticide groups that were presented in 2491. Believe the county attorney, Mauna Kea Trask, opinion was that it was flawed. The mayor vetoed it based on Trask's opinion. And yet, the four supporters of the bill appointed a stooge, Mason Chock, bypassing KipuKai Kauilii, to override the mayor's veto. (A super majority of five (5) needed to override.) Another $300K was allocated to defend 2491 when the large agribusinesses sued to overturn 2491. The local federal judge agreed with the county attorney that the bill was flawed. The county and other groups have an appeal in the Ninth Federal Court of Appeals. Suggest that the county withdraw their appeal and money defending 2491 if that is possible.

Harold Keyser said...

Michael Crichton observed that the precautionary principle is self-contradictory and therefore cannot be spoken of in terms that are too harsh.

This also applies to the JFF draft: in the introduction (p 13) it says the group sought actual data rather the individual stories and anecdotes, and on page 14, that wherever possible they sought to rely on appropriate meta-analyses and peer-reviewed articles. The report then blithely buries itself with an abundance of, and emphasis on, stories and anecdotes over facts. The self-contradiction of its stated procedures and its content and output is there for all to see (especially the part about fact finding).

It is hard to see how this will be significantly amended by the submitted comments, especially since their extensive recommendations have already been made.

Bradley Choquette said...

John McHugh Hawaii grows Three crops of corn a year, so they need to make three time as many herbicide applications (3 x3=9). Further, they don't rotate to other corps and don't have harsh midwestern winters to curb stress from fungus. Therefore, they apply fungicides to compensate. Hope that alleviates your confusion.

Anonymous said...

So now the industry will shred the character and reputations of Adler and the remaining 6. Serves them right. They should know better than to get involved in this issue. This is a good and strong lesson for anyone else who may have the audacity to question the safety of their operations.

Unknown said...

Attention all realtors and developers! The West side of Kauai will soon be open for business! So hurry up and get in line. The departure of the seed companies will be a gold mine for resorts! Those who get in early will make out like bandits!

Anonymous said...

Questioning the operation is one thing. Making up "facts" to suit your story is something else. Higher cancer rates, more birth defects and other nonexistent health problems that stirred up the community should not be included in any "fact finding" if there's no facts to back up the claims.

Robin Clark said...

@12:47- No, it is not the industry that shreds the character and reputation of Adler and the remaining 6. They have done it to themselves by producing such a biased report that does not rely on scientific or factual information. No news here as we knew from the beginning what their stance would be. I am surprised the 3 who quit lasted so long as it must have been almost impossible to stomach the opinions of the 6 antis!

Can we get our money back please?

Anonymous said...

Bradley, good common sense comment. hardly the fact. the field IS NOT IN THE EXACT SAME GPS PLACE as you ASSume. fields rotated from west Kauai to Central Kauai, months of October and April. this is to break the bug infestation cycle. And! I'm not even a corn grower on this island. but I do know about cropping cycles. Come on and walk the fields with me so you can learn some facts. FYI, we'll be trespassing though. AND, we keep on going over hector's UH myth. this is a great topic. I can see this blog topic going into 100 post's +.

John McHugh said...

Bradley Choquette, where is it stated that there are 3 crops of seed corn grown on a particular piece of ground a year? In the Hawaii Seed Corn Growers Handbook? I can tell you from personal experience, because I work for a seed company, that the maximum amount of times that we grow corn on a single piece of ground within a 12 month period is 2. Most times it is less than 2. Why is this you may say? It is because there are label restrictions on how much and how often a pesticide product can be applied on a particular piece of ground. I am confused over where this 3 times a year number comes from. Maybe someone said it at one time, and maybe at one time it was true, but that is certainly not the case for the company I work for. And I think that my colleagues at other companies are bound by the same regulatory requirements as we are.

Anonymous said...

The reputations of Adler and the remaining 6 have already been shredded. They did it themselves.

If you need more proof, read the report.

Anonymous said...

On the other hand, 12:47, I know at least some of them are zealous enough in their cause to be heedless of the fact that the weight of scientific opinion does not support their deeply cherished BELIEFS. They simply could care less. Unfortunately, when the consensus of science clashes with their beliefs, integrity collapses and they can vote to relegate important opinion and fact to obscure footnotes in favor of anecdote and speculation, and to play shell games based on the mutterings of Valenzuela, Pang, Trujillo, Berg, Huber, mysterious MD's, Hayes, and others. It's in the CFS playbook. They now own the Joint Fact Finding, and if the facts are scant and the recommendations are based on thin scientific gruel, it's all theirs. So they own the Joint Voodoo Finding. And they own their reputations. Some of you adore them, some of us think they screwed the pooch bigtime. Nothing personal, they settled for crusading over the facts in spite of the JFF charter.

Anonymous said...

Bradley, also, given the high temperatures and sun year-long, the degradation of many of the compounds used as pesticides will break down faster on Kauai than on the mainland in the winter.

I am disgusted with the 'fact-based' process as represented. Those of us following the process felt it was going to turn out biased, and it is sad to see this come into fruition.

It is incredible to see essentially ZERO University faculty on the list of acknowledgments. Where is UH, were they approached for information (oooh, I see one!)?

Bradley Choquette said...

Monsanto and Pioneer gives tours of their farms in Hawaii and will happy answer most of your questions on pesticides, cover crops, crop rotation. Therefore, there is no need to trespass. If you don't want to take the time to do so, you can watch Bronson's videos (of Monsanto's farm on Hawaii) on youtube.

Bradley Choquette said...

John's latest comment makes sense. It's wise to put other crops (and cover crops) into the rotation to increase diversity and reduce disease risk. I was under the impression that breeders in Hawaii didn't do this because acres are scarce and expensive in Hawaii. However, I've heard plant breeders can get 3 generations done a year, vs 1 in the states, in Hawaii. That is where my confusion originated from. Thanks for the clarification John. I'd also like to note, most farmers in Nebraska get by with one application of herbicide on corn, sorghum and two on soybeans.

Anonymous said...

Joan I have to apologize as I was thinking Adler was your friend and you would be biased in supporting him. Hope he has learned his lesson and if he hopes to salvage his reputation he better repudiate his initial draft.

Anonymous said...

Amazing how Da Hoos, Mason and JoAnn continue to dominate our island's tilt.
It is all about politics. This is an election year and any Council member who votes for more money to be squandered on this Fistee BS should be kicked out of office.
These are private lands, they are doing Agriculture in accordance with all laws, rules and regulations.

So Mel, do not allow any money to be spent on Hooser's self-aggrandizing projects.
The residue of this whole process is that any Haole who goes in front of the Council is automatically tuned out. Y'know JoAnn, that "I already heard what you are saying" concept you and your Werner Erhart buddies live with.

As pointed out, if Big Land is forbidden to do Ag, they will be forced to sell. Maybe a good thing, maybe not...Now that we have gotten rid of Jay Furfaro, the real manipulator who allowed Mason's midnight entry to the Council which created this whole expensive and agonizing chapter of island life..and now that we supposedly have 4 people who care about the island and her people, instead of adhering to elitist NS unicorn ideals, lets get back to basics.
Lets fix the roads, Housing, lets focus on cutting the budget, lets get it together.
Remember, a vote for Da Hoos, JoAnn or Mason is a vote against Ag.
But Mel, it is all on you. You control every f*cking penny that is spent. So get with it.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Adler's dream for unanimity - now with his six remaining adherents - has finally come true, only to find that his nightmare has now just begun. In his self-possessed quest for "social justice," he is attempting to employ social science, with a heavy dose of ideology, to interpret facts. The JFF has been in the supposed fact-finding cycle for over a year, only to have come out of the wash dirtier. Just can't wait for the spin cycle!

Anonymous said...

@10:12. Benbrook's research was funded by the organics industry.

Anonymous said...

@10:21. GMO stuff goes through a lot of testing; first in the lab, then the field. It must meet health and environmental regulations before it is approved. By the time it's commercially available they know the effects, if any, on humans and the environment. If there are any effects it won't be approved.

Anonymous said...

10:33, do you have ANY evidence of conflict of interest, our are you just projecting your integrity-bereft worldview and justifications upon others, so as not to challenge your worldview?

Anonymous said...

10:21 AM do you have any credible references to support your claims? If so, please share, we'll be waiting...

Anonymous said...

Sad for Adler. Back in the day, he had an international reputation for mediation. Now he crashes and burns on Kauai.

Anonymous said...

@6:38 You are correct. Biofortified have to pass many tests. However, "Organic" mutations from random toxins and radiation don't. Cuz it's "organic"! A scientifically worthless term.

Bradley Choquette said...

There are several example of GMOs that didn't get approved. One is where they put peanut DNA into soybeans to make the soybean oil more health. They found through testing that people with peanut allergies were allergic to the soybean oil and the trait wasn't approved. Another example is aphid resistant wheat in the UK.

Anonymous said...

Whats that have to do with anything. The facts are the facts. Herbicide use has more than doubled since the introduction of roundup ready seeds. It doesn't take a guiness to realize that seeds that are bred to tolerate higher doses of roundup result in more of it being sprayed. It's the whole point of developing those seeds. Weeds that have been sprayed for decades have started to become resistant to roundup at its current strength so they have to make it so they can spray them with higher levels of the Chemical. The problem is that the weeds will continue to adapt and at what point do we decide that just spraying more chemicals is not the answer.

Anonymous said...

Yes they have a year round growing season but they don't grow any more per acre than mainland Farms do. Have you ever seen a crop of corn grown, tilled in, and then immediately planted again. That doesn't happen they let the land rest or plant a cover crop but it's not three crops on every acre they use. They grow the same as on the mainland except they break it up throughout the year so Chemical use should be the same.

Anonymous said...

5:54, What do you propose as a substitute for herbicides? Would old-fashioned hoe hana weeding please you? Should we pull the weeds by hand? Would you volunteer to provide that stoop labor? Or should we import a few hundred Mexicans? On a planet that must feed nine billion people by 2050, what is your solution?

Anonymous said...

NO!
The list of acknowledgements is false and misleading. Ask some of those listed; they weren't contacted and had no idea their names would be used to support this absurd report.

I don't even know how this thing can be salvaged. It's that bad.

Joan Conrow said...

@ 5:54 -- It's so easy to say spraying chemicals is not the answer, but the alternative is hand weeding, and that's not a viable option. Even countries like India, with huge populations, have a hard time finding farm labor. Often, women in developing nations are enlisted to weed. I recently read an article about how small holder women farmers have been able to secure better yields, and achieve higher incomes for their families, through the use of herbicides because they aren't spending all their time weeding.

You're also failing to recognize that the use of herbicides has reduced tilling, which is a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions and erosion.

Anonymous said...

Yes, and social science is not Science.

Adler has unabashedly expressed his personal bias during this "fiction-finding" and should not be allowed to continue as organizer/facilitator/puppeteer.

Anonymous said...

Adler and his team believe that this atrocious set of papers is just fine as is. They had no interest in doing any changes for the final. They and the 2491 SIX expected to finish this up last Saturday --- in one day.

No need read all those pesky public comments that just came in the evening before; our report is already damn good.

Anonymous said...

Joan, I guess if these know-it-all folks get their way, Maui's huge central valley acreage will be taken over by them (for organic hand-weeding but certainly not by them), at tax-payer expense via their next ballot initiative. They are already gathering thousands of signatures here, from idealistic and simplistic, non-taxpaying youth, like my daughter's friends, who are being told that if they don't sign, Maui will be developed to look just like Oahu.

These people will stoop so low; they are once again lying to get their way.....and they might.

Anonymous said...

They did finish it on Saturday- Kaput and ready for disposal in the nearest organic manure pile.

Anonymous said...

Today's GUEST OPINION! is a piece of cut and past. Joan, please submit a guest opinion also. there's no reason why all of us should continue to comment on this blog. this is a echo chamber for us anonymous bloggers. We are blogging here but the general public (or additional readers) are not paying attention to the reality of what is out there on our agricultural acres. Yes, I'm frustrated as hell! Joan, PLEASE get Roy, Sarah and Gerardo together and place your interview in the guest opinion section. get them to truly articulate the lack of cooperation on facts. Sickening to the bones! Roy, Sarah, Gerardo: respectful, honorable, fading back into the shadows, local style has to end with you 3. Use Joan to speak up!

Anonymous said...

10:22 AM ---- great comment.
And this movement is becoming a real problem, in part because it does just that.

Robin Clark said...

@5:54- Have you ever tried to grow anything on this island? I had a large home garden in California and never had to use a herbicide. Here, I have a 5 acre botanical garden and use probably 60 gallons of glyphosphate per year, in addition to constant weed wacking, mowing, and even chain sawing. Grow tomatoes- forget it! Kauai can get more rain in one day than many places on the mainland and with our constant warm temp and humidity things, especially our exotic weeds, just grow every day. A little different from Nebraska. So are we surprised that farms here might use more herbicides and pesticides? And I said "might" as I am not sure what the actual numbers are. I refer here to commercial farms and not small mom and pop "organic" gardens (which I do incidentally support at the farmers market).

Anonymous said...

DuPont and Dow merged and and Syngenta being acquired by the China National Chemical Corporation.

Its owned by the Chinese?!?

Anonymous said...

"On a planet that must feed nine billion people by 2050, what is your solution?"
uh, how about a little more contraceptive use and family planning for the future. let's set some population growth limits like we're attempting for greenhouse gases & carbon units to address climate change.

Joan Conrow said...

Even with birth control, we're still going to have a huge population to feed, so your "solution" really isn't one.

Anonymous said...

We can't control our population, Joan? We sure can!

Two choices: Make rules like Communist China's one child policy, or encourage prosperity and economic development so that growing middle and upper classes will freely choose not to have so many kids. But then, the latter wouldn't fit very well into the growing socialist economic justice plans of people who would have everyone equally poor simply because its EQUAL. So I guess it's China's method which has worked so well that they've since changed it to a 2-child limit for all. And then we wouldn't need to worry about growing more food.

Anonymous said...

China scrapped the 1 child rule because most everyone was aborting female fetuses.

Anonymous said...

joan sez, "Even with birth control, we're still going to have a huge population to feed, so your "solution" really isn't one."
so lets just keep having more bebes? c'mon girlfriend, ain't goin be "one" solution to fix ALL our problems but i guarantee chemical based monocrop industrial ag surely is not on that list of "solutions"

Anonymous said...

FYI, 3:17 PM, Everything is chemical-based.