Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Musings: Final JFFG Report

The final report of the Joint Fact Finding group is asserting that extensive monitoring must be done before any claims can be made about the impact of agricultural pesticides on west Kauai.

It's a sharp departure from the draft, which maintained there was no evidence linking pesticide use with any health or environmental impacts. But though the final report makes a stronger call for monitoring and identifies pesticides as a priority for state funding, it offers no strong or new data to support that stance.

Instead, it tells us that pesticides can be harmful, and agriculture uses them. Therefore, the state and county must embark on extensive and expensive monitoring to ferret them out — even though the studies that have been conducted have found no indication that harmful levels of pesticides are migrating from the coffee and seed fields.
Other than changing its “no evidence of harm” stance — and adding some outtake quotes strategically selected to highlight alarming assertions — little has changed between the draft and the final, despite hundreds of public comments.

The final report takes the same bizarre approach to assessing health impacts: identify diseases linked to pesticide use, then look for incidences of those ailments. Problem is, the diseases have many other causes besides pesticides.

It continues to give unwritten (much less published) activist studies the same weight as those conducted by professionals and state agencies, and makes no apologies for including anti-GMO activists as consultants and panel members.

And it notes only that JFFG members Sarah Styan, Roy Yamakawa and Gerardo Rojas resigned, while making no mention of their detailed and extensive concerns. But then, that's the MO of the anti-GMO movement. Those who disagree are first denounced as shills, then shunned.

Because let's not forget that anti-GMO activists comprise a majority of JFFG members.

So it's no surprise that this report serves up all the anti-GMO demands, most notably, the call for real-time pesticide use disclosure:

The capability exists to determine how much pesticide application occurs at a specific location and at a given time; however it is not currently being done. This information is essential for performing future environment and health impact studies.

This is patently false. Even California, which the report holds up as the gold standard of health and environmental monitoring, does not require this specificity of disclosure. It's absurd to assert that no monitoring can be done unless it's known exactly where pesticides are being used.

There's only one reason for this kind of disclosure, and that's so the anti-GMO activists can tailor health claims and nuisance litigation to match pesticide application sites.

The also report tells us that some JFFG members are exploring the possibility of raising private funds, with a committee doling out grants to conduct studies. Oh, goodie. More activist science. Of course, these groups could have conducted studies already (and some did, but found nothing serious) because they've been given hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants. Instead, they used the dough on propaganda, like Vandana Shiva x3 and the “Aina” film, which features JFF member Kawika Winter.

But now they've got a report that shifts the financial burden for their agenda onto taxpayers and private businesses, while maintaining a climate of fear and uncertainty that fuels their fundraising and advocacy efforts.

Some might ask, why not do all these studies? Why not "err on the side of caution"? That's fine — if there's unlimited money and no self-serving groups involved, neither of which is true here. The report could have suggested a staged approach: if initial monitoring turns up evidence of pesticides, expand to x, y, z. Instead, it is already calling for wholescale revision of pesticide laws and policy, with no evidence that it's needed.

In short, it's agenda driven, not science-based.

So a better question is, why act when there's no indication of any problem? An example was Councilman Gary Hooser's demand, which the JFFG echoed, that the Kauai Department of Water test for chlorpyrifos. It did, and found nothing, just as it expected, because DOW's decision not to test was based on science.

There's another reason why this report should be largely dismissed: it rewards demagogues like Hooser and Ashley Lukens of Hawaii Center for Food Safety by giving credence to their claims, so many of which have been proven false, and their fear-mongering tactics.

And that's no small consideration. If the state keeps caving in to nonsense, and acting like the concessions are nothing, when they aren't, where will it stop? Why give demagogues that kind of power?

It's clear from the report — and the entire dysfunctional process that created it — that the JFFG, under the direction of Peter Adler, is merely trying to wave a flag rather than address the community fears and concerns stoked by the activists.

So how much fault for this report's failings can be laid at the feet of Peter Adler? Well, most of it, since he and his team selected anti-GMO activists as panelists and consultants, wrote the document, botched the proceedings so that three panelists resigned and courted publicity on a draft report.

The rest lies with Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho and state Agriculture Director Scott Enright who apparently trusted Adler to act ethically, rather than create a monster.

46 comments:

Anonymous said...

While I have not yet read the final report, it must be good given Joan's attempt at a withering critique. Sounds like the JFF report once again validates the concerns and proposals expressed in 2491. When will the agrochemical shills just get over

Joan Conrow said...

But that's just it. It doesn't validate any concerns, or anything else. But hey, don't even bother to read or understand before spouting off. That's the anti way!

Anonymous said...

To 6:13AM:
"....Joan's attempt at a withering critique"

Unbelievable that you post your comments, while admitting that you haven't even read the JFF report!

I have read it and it is a shameless and pathetic piece of propaganda.

Anonymous said...

Joan, you wrote, "And that's no small consideration. If the state keeps caving in to nonsense, and acting like the concessions are nothing, when they aren't, where will it stop? Why give demagogues that kind of power?"

It will stop when the state and counties are completely and hopelessly broke and all the local folks are forced to move to the mainland because they sure can't afford to live here.

And maybe that's the goal.

Anonymous said...

Bahahaha. You guys are simply sore disingenuous losers. The JFF report says what we have known to be true for a long time. In order to understand the impacts there must be testing, and for credible testing to be done there must first be disclosure. Why are these companies so afraid of disclosure? Really. Why the fear of disclosure?

Anonymous said...

They are already disclosing. Why is more needed? Please provide scientific rationale on why pesticide detection is dependent on knowing exactly what is sprayed where.

Anonymous said...

Because in order to determine best as to what to test for and where to test, you should know what is being used and where/when. It is not practical to test for everything and everywhere. Why must the companies insist on playing "hide the pesticide". They repeatedly claim there is no drift and products are safe. Why not fully disclose and allow comprehensive 3rd party testing for drift?

Anonymous said...

10:12 AM
Because as a taxpayer, I don't want to fund a meaningless witch hunt when there are far greater threats to throw my money at.

Do your homework and read the UH air study that went on for over a year on Kauai.

The problem is, you will NEVER be satisfied.

No air is pristine and we all have to accept that and live within reasonable, science-based standards. Which EPA has gone to great cost and effort to determine.

Anonymous said...

Peter Adler's transmittal letter to Scott Enright contains this key statement:
“One of the key outcomes of this effort is that we now know much more about pesticide use on Kaua‘i, but there is simply not enough information to definitively conclude if its use by the seed companies plays any adverse role in the health of Kaua‘i’s residents or environment.”
I think that sentence sums up the problem with his final report in a nutshell. It contains a premise, after all. To wit: Some greater and more detailed volume of information can or will "definitively conclude" whether or not pesticide use is responsible for harm to human health or the environment.
Science and risk assessment operate with a different premise: Absent evidence of harm, we conclude that no harm has been shown. While we readily acknowledge that new evidence might alter that conclusion, we also are not reluctant to attest to an absence of harmful evidence. Adler, however, is reluctant to make that statement. That reluctance is disingenuous.
It ducks the inevitable question: Absent evidence of harm, what further demand of resources, personnel and tax dollars should be committed to a long-term investigative project that may turn out to be a wild goose chase?
The report authors seem to say there's no limit to this inquiry. As Adler puts it in his letter, "Pesticide safety issues ... simply won't go away." He's likely right about that. But that doesn't mean the public doesn't deserve clarity at any given moment in time. If there's no evidence of harm for the time being, we should be able to say that.
Our judicial system acknowledges "insufficient evidence" as grounds for dismissal. And I think that's what gnaws at us in the present circumstance. The prosecution persists despite a lack of evidence. At what point do we say enough already?

Anonymous said...

How were the JFF panel members selected and by whom?

Anonymous said...

Inasmuch a the only recommendation to the County of Kauai is to select and appoint a member to the DOA's Pesticide Advisory Committee (really after all the squealing and bullshit?), the County of Kauai should withdraw from the appeal of the Federal District Court invalidation of 2491/ Ord 860. Whatever else, the JFFG seem to have a better grip on the law, if not the facts, than the Council that passed 2491. Enough is enough; to piss any more money away on this witch-hunt is an insult to the long suffering Kauai taxpayer who already has spent $275,000+ on this whimper exclusive of legal fees, Council and Police OT, etc., etc. And remember the remaining hyper-ventilators and wannabe's come November.

Anonymous said...

In other words we have accept a certain level of pesticide drift if we live near these GE test fields? Question: if you lived near the fuelds, what level of pesticide drift is acceptable to you?

Robin Clark said...

Full disclosure: I am a retired (Ph.D) chemist who once worked in the Environmental Toxicology lab at UC Davis developing pesticide residue analyses. I have no connection with any company on Kauai.

@10:12 is correct, it does help to know what you are testing for. However, this is not essential and companies are using a relatively small number of registered pesticides for which analytical protocols are in place. This ensures that the State and Federal authorities know what these agents are and how to test. In addition, it is my understanding that companies are making voluntary disclosure as well. This seems a transparent situation.

It would be a different story if experimental agents were being tested, but this is clearly not the case.

I am sure that companies would have no problem with 3rd party testing in the community (which they could not prevent in any case. For any meaningful result, the 3rd party would have to use validated and fully disclosed testing methodology. This can be an expensive proposition and the taxpayers should not foot the bill.

So, if you don't trust the existing system, put your money where you mouth is and set up your own independent testing laboratory.


Anonymous said...

Remember when cigarettes were considered safe? You are on the wrong side of history.

Harold Keyser said...

It is hard to read through it without cringing every few paragraphs - your analysis is spot on.

The final report is not an improvement on the draft. It remains full of a lot of soft, spongy fluff. It’s as if science and reason are being clobbered with a big bag of marshmallows.

A fundamental problem with the report is applying relativism to scientific issues. Testimonials and unsupported allegations simply do not count in science and are not equivalent to evidence; despite its repeated use, the plural of anecdote is still not ‘data.’

There is nothing there. Should we now spend more money to protect us from nothing?

Anonymous said...

This is exactly what happened when the county of Kauai was audited by a third party.

No one trust the county and the audits proved that the citizens was right and the county was violating laws and committing public corruption.

I've been pushing for a third party from one of the superfund sites in the US to do these testing because county and state is so incompetent that you have to wonder why the person in HR hasn't been fired for illegal hires.

Hoosier and his minions should have pushed for 3rd party testing before their shoot, aim and load tactics.

I guess protesting and making a spectacle of yourself is better than having scientific studies and peer reviews to substantiate or refute a claim.

Anonymous said...

@10:12. We know exactly what they're spraying. it's all on the good neighbor website. test for that.

Anonymous said...

@ 5:52PM - you sound like Lonnie Sykos,

The JFFG was an honest attempt by the Mayor and the State to put together an unbiased group to research the facts. Unfortunately, Peter Adler simply fucked it up. There is no hard evidence to support the claims made by Hooserites and the anti's. A shitty bill was passed that is now on appeal. And our island is more divided than ever. My personal slogan is "FUCK the ANTI'S" And I hope the silent majority will vote out those politician's that supported this political stunt and show the rest of the residents once and for, a little bit aloha. Well, maybe ALOHA OE!

Anonymous said...

The good neighbor reporting does not report "all" pesticides these companies use

Anonymous said...

9:34 Well said.

Anonymous said...

@10:44 It reports all the restricted use pesticides used. Is this an attempt to get glyphosate disclosure?

Anonymous said...

Gary Hooser, JoAnn and Mason's objective is to get rid of Roundup on the island.
They have never taken care of land, fences or ditches. Roundup is a good tool.

Anonymous said...

Getting rid of roundup only means other stronger pesticides will be used in its place. The message should be to reduce pesticides, apply correctly at the lowest dose that achieves the results needed, use the best equipment that reduces drift and reduce pesticide use in all public places. Getting rid of roundup is a short sited goal.

Anonymous said...

May 25 @ 12:44 what pesticide drift are you talking about? Are you assuming that it exists?

Anonymous said...

@6:46am There is no accountability now as to whether or not RUP's are being reported or not. Certainly the time and locations of the applications are not reported with any precision. These companies use at least a dozen other GUP's and glyphosate is only one of them - none are being disclosed but the volume used is no doubt huge. What are the company's afraid of?

Anonymous said...

10:44--there must be when you are in the downwind when the company sprays and your tongue starts to tingle, you smell something weird------that's when you get out of the area. And then your young child nose starts to bleed!

Anonymous said...

We need accountability equally, golf courses, termite treatment, urban structural pesticides and not just agriculture disclosure.

Anonymous said...

2:46
The companies disclose.
Being that you may be part of the Mason and Joann brigade of never owning a business or of Da Hoos' brigade of owning a business and running into the ground type....there is competition in Ag. Profit is important.
Chef Boyardee will cook you dinner, but he won't let you know the sublime secrets of his macaroni noodle or secret sauce.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

@6:46am There is no accountability now as to whether or not RUP's are being reported or not. Certainly the time and locations of the applications are not reported with any precision. These companies use at least a dozen other GUP's and glyphosate is only one of them - none are being disclosed but the volume used is no doubt huge. What are the company's afraid of?

May 26, 2016 at 2:46 PM

The main issue is copyright rights and formulas. By forcing companies to disclose how and what they use the competitors can figure out formulations. Profits first always

Anonymous said...

@10:49am Of course drift exists and this point is no longer debatable. Several state tests have shown that drift is occurring in the air and in the drainage water. The main question is the degree of drift that is occurring. Where the tests previously done anomalies? The previous handful of tests showed small amounts of drift but if a comprehensive testing regime was followed would it should more or less?

Manuahi said...


"There's only one reason for this kind of disclosure, and that's so the anti-GMO activists can tailor health claims and nuisance litigation to match pesticide application sites."

EXACTLY!!!

Anonymous said...

Copyright rights??? yet another person talking out of their okole.

Anonymous said...

Mason started Malama Hule'ia. All those mangroves that took over behind Niumalu pavilion are gone. No pesticides were used. Joannes yard in Kalihiwai is beatiful. Lots of floral plants and taro. No pesticides.

Anonymous said...

@May 26, 2016 at 4:29 PM, Do you actually know what you are talking about before you post it, or are you given to arrant speculation like: "...none are being disclosed but the volume used is no doubt huge." ...and " There is no accountability now as to whether or not RUP's are being reported or not." No doubt you do not know, or even worse you are a quibbler of the HAPA sort flourishing in Dr. Wilmore's broad, sunlit uplands far from Waimea.

Anonymous said...

Joanne hasn't lived in kalihiwai for many years now, so which yard are you talking about? There is no comparison of someone's yard and large acreage .

But support the clearing of the mangrove, how was that accomplished and who did it?

Anonymous said...

9:20 Mason should stick to that full time and Joann should retire with her taro and flowers because they both sure "suck" as Council Members. Raise Mayor's department heads pay and Increase GET? See you later, make sure the door don't smack your skinny and fat ass on the way out! And no Joann, most of us don't and won't ride that stupid stinky bus with all the homeless and hippies now on it. The northshore bus looks like Taylor Camp.

Anonymous said...

9:20 If you sell an Ag CPR make millions, can have a pretty yard. JoAnn is against anyone else having CPRs, but for her its jim-dandy.
Mason had a legion of workers.
One can get rid of all of the weeds on the island hoe-hana, but it takes a many people, is expensive and many a sore back.
I can Roundup 3800 feet of fence line and a 1000 foot ag ditch quickly. By weed-whacker it would take 3 days.
Get real. The million dollar farmers and political stunts are not Ag, they are hobbies.
In Mason's case it is politics.
JoAnn and Mason may have good results, but don't force others to be what a multi-millionaire and popular politician do. Leave the regular folks alone.
Shibai.

Anonymous said...

Joann swinging naked in the Taylor camp must have hit her head on the branches too many times. She's a greedy politician that thinks she and her coconspirators can spend our money better than we know how.

$150 million for a bike path and how are we going to get that money back?

$9 million for Hardy st makeover that was luxury spending and a waste.

$10 million Rice st proposal to make it look like Hardy St is another luxury spending waste to make matters worst they want to make it only two lanes and add bike lanes.

How many bike riders on Kauai commute to work?

$100 million back log? The county is getting $141 million from the state to address these problems.

And still they want to raise taxes because more of their inbreeding illegitimate children needs jobs.

Oh yeah don't let Joann read about the company in Seattle that paid their employees $70K for a min wage because she now thinks all county employees min wage should be $70K.

Medical marijuana couldn't come soon enough for her delusions. Broke back mountain fire watcher can smoke a dube with her and they can swing naked on all the AG vines with their gentleman pimp farmers on the NS.

Pimping Woofers ain't easy.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Copyright rights??? yet another person talking out of their okole.

May 26, 2016 at 8:47 PM
I am only stating what I personally heard during testimony at the 2491 hearings by managers of the seed companies themselves. They each spoke repeatedly about disclosure and copywrites. So you obviously are the okole not me babooze.

Anonymous said...

I saw the same testimony, 1:11AM on the 28th. I believe the managers were concerned about exposure of patented material and trade secrets not copywrites (sic)- properly copyrights which are distinctly different from patents. Copyrights apply to literary or artistic creations and patents to inventions. Do not be too quick to call another babooze.

Anonymous said...

Wrong mainland legal words same smell. Obviously patent and copyright to me is same cuz i am not an attorney. babooze was making babooze cuz babooze was acting like nothing like that was true/ In fact after i heard that i was thinking wow greedy then i thought wow they can see each others stuff that's not cool so my babooze statement stands cus the guy could not comment without calling me an okole so he is number one babooze.

Anonymous said...

you cannot comment without calling someone babooze even though you were wrong babooze

Anonymous said...

pat·ent
NOUN

a government authority or license conferring a right or title for a set period, especially the sole right to exclude others from making, using, or selling an invention: Compare with letters patent.
"he took out a patent for an improved steam hammer"
synonyms: copyright · license · legal protection · [more]
short for patent leather.
web search, Oxford dictionary

Note synonym: copyright


Anonymous said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

pat·ent
NOUN

a government authority or license conferring a right or title for a set period, especially the sole right to exclude others from making, using, or selling an invention: Compare with letters patent.
"he took out a patent for an improved steam hammer"
synonyms: copyright · license · legal protection · [more]
short for patent leather.
web search, Oxford dictionary

Note synonym: copyright


May 30, 2016 at 8:02 AM

A synonym is a word or phrase that means exactly or nearly the same as another word or phrase in the same language. Words that are synonyms are said to be synonymous, and the state of being a synonym is called synonymy. The word comes from Ancient Greek syn (σύν) ("with") and onoma (ὄνομα) ("name"). An example of synonyms are the words begin, start, commence, and initiate. Words can be synonymous when meant in certain senses, even if they are not synonymous in all of their senses. For example, if we talk about a long time or an extended time, long and extended are synonymous within that context. Synonyms with exact interchangeability share a seme or denotational sememe, whereas those with inexactly similar meanings share a broader denotational or connotational sememe and thus overlap within a semantic field. Some academics call the former type cognitive synonyms to distinguish them from the latter type, which they call near-synonyms.[1]

Anonymous Anonymous said...

you cannot comment without calling someone babooze even though you were wrong babooze

May 29, 2016 at 9:41 PM

Hey babooze numbah 2 thanks to the other poster I am actually correct since its a synonym. Dats why get so many baboozemawatchits on Kauai now.They so smart they dumb.

Anonymous said...

May 31 @4:49. This is Babooze #2 who attended Kapaa School. This is what the US Patent and Trademark Office, which grants patents says:

Do Trademarks, Copyrights and Patents protect the same things?

No. Trademarks, copyrights and patents all differ. A copyright protects an original artistic or literary work; a patent protects an invention. For copyright information, go to http://www.copyright.gov . For patent information, go to http://www.uspto.gov/main/patents.htm .

OK? You can learn something new every day. They are not exactly or nearly the same thing- especially when used in the case you brought up as 9:41 suggests.

Anonymous said...

Looks like 2 podagee's fighting over calling each other babooze. Babooze is definitely a favorite podagee word.

Just go to Augie T and Frank Delima performing comedy show at Kauai beach resort this Saturday and laugh at 2 baboozes that make any kind.