Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Musings: Same Old Tricks

Gary Hooser is still up to his old tricks, making up stuff up to frighten people about the seed companies, as The Garden Island plays along.

Though Hooser was soundly defeated by the voters, The Garden Island gives his propaganda prominent play, providing him a bully pulpit to continue the very tactics that led to his political demise.

Hooser's most recent rant is an attempt to keep the Council from removing an illegal law — Ordinance 960 — from the Kauai County books. He starts by claiming:

Because the courts have already invalidated the measure, repealing it serves no useful purpose. This is simply a political power play.

So what purpose would be served by keeping it on the books, rather than allowing Hooser to ace a political power play? But since he lost the election, he doesn't get to influence the Council any more.

The unconscionable part, though, is how Hooser uses the flawed Joint Fact Finding report to again fan the flames of fear and shore up his own totally baseless claim:

The data gathered during the JFF process indicate that Westside residents suffer from numerous health conditions at higher rates than residents living anywhere else on Kauai.

The science is clear. The pesticides and chemicals used by these companies are dangerous; harm at varying degrees is occurring to health and the environment.

In fact, the JFFG found the exact opposite: the science isn't clear, and harm is not occuring in any degree. What's more, the westside health conditions can be caused by many factors, with pesticide exposure the least likely source.

Hooser goes on to write:

Closure will only occur when the chemical companies fully disclose their pesticide usage, agree to reasonable buffer zones around schools, hospitals, homes and other sensitive areas, and the comprehensive testing of soil, air and water as has been recommended by the state/county JFF report is conducted.

Huh? The seed companies are voluntarily disclosing pesticide use and have created buffer zones. The state is preparing to conduct environmental testing and monitoring programs, and has set aside money to do so. 

The only thing preventing closure is Hooser, and The Garden Island's crappy coverage.

Meanwhile, Mark Sheehan of SHAKA is beating the same drum over on Maui. In his guest editorial he claims that Mayor Alan Arakawa is “callous and indifferent” to public health and environmental issues before writing:

While in the neighborhood he might want to talk to some of the distraught moms who still worry about their children’s long-term health and wonder why neither the county nor the state can do anything to protect them.

You mean, other than all the many laws, regulations and processes that are already in place to protect them? Especially since no one in the entire state has actually come forth with any documented illness caused by, or even linked to, exposure to pesticides used by the seed companies.

Like Hooser, Sheehan is both fact- and truth-challenged, madly spinning the federal court decision that invalidated all three Hawaii GMO and pesticide laws:

The outcome of this protracted battle is critically important because, under this new preemption attack used by the seed industry in court cases across the country — this Monsanto Doctrine — regulatory agencies are neutered in efforts to protect our food supply and public health.

The preemption doctrine gives national and state agencies an empty authority devoid of any real ability to regulate the toxic agrochemical companies that own and rule our food supply.

First, this pre-emption attack was not started by the seed industry. It was launched by the antis, who were trying to pre-empt state and federal laws with local ordinances. They lost, and now they are refusing to accept responsibility for pushing this issue to the limits.

Second, the Hawaii court rulings have zero impact on the federal agencies — FDA, EPA, USDA — that regulate pesticides and GM crops. The feds and state still can — and do — regulate and enforce. The rulings only made it clear that people like Mark Sheehan and the other anti-GMO activists can't use local laws to advance their own political agenda.

So they resort instead to the staples of their trade: fear-mongering and lies.

Kauai voters have already said no to these tactics, relegating Hooser to the sidelines.

Sadly, Maui hasn't yet wised up. Sheehan is likely setting the stage for things to come with antis seeking to take over both the council and the mayor's office — Elle Cochran has announced plans to run — in the 2018. 

Voters across Hawaii must continue to push back against these demagogues by denouncing fear-mongering, and demanding evidence-based decision-making instead.

60 comments:

Anonymous said...

Joan, You write, "The seed companies are voluntarily disclosing pesticide use...." Gary Hooser writes, "Today these companies continue to refuse to disclose the amount of glyphosate used on Kauai. A simple disclosure request of a chemical the companies insist is safe, and yet they refuse to comply."
Perhaps you can enlighten us to the discrepancy between these two statements? Mahalo.

Anonymous said...

It was very altruistic of Loser Hooser to provide the council email address in TGI.

I took the opportunity to thank the council for slamming the door shut on the reckless, costly, divisive, and time wasting bill that should have never been a bill to begin with.

Joan Conrow said...

@10:52. The call with 2491 was for restricted use pesticide disclosure, which the companies provided. Now in typical anti whack-a-mole fashion he is calling for glyphosate disclosure. Nobody is disclosing glyphosate use. You can buy it at Wal-Mart!! How can you say companies must disclose but homeowners do not?

Anonymous said...

Joan, You say nobody is disclosing glyphosate use? Then the question is- who exactly has been asked about their use of glyphosate? And of those who have been asked, who has refused to answer? People I know who use glyphosate would have no problem answering this question. Since there is no mandatory requirement to disclose such use, what reason do the companies use to refuse voluntary disclosure? Isnʻt this the issue here- voluntary versus mandatory? These companies should have no problem at all answering this question since they are good neighbors. Voluntary is the key word here. Why are the companies refusing to volunteer the info? Nobody is saying the companies "must" disclose.

Anonymous said...

Gary should do something useful like cleaning up his "opala". I still see his campaign sign on Kawaihau Road.

Anonymous said...

Total of 3 people testified, 2 in favor of the repeal and one against....."The bill is the farthest thing from solid, it is dust," said Councilman Kagawa.

put it to sleep already. it's over.

Joan Conrow said...

@12:39 It costs time and money for companies to do disclosure. There's no reason why anyone should do it simply to satisfy Hooser's whims. Where does it end?

Anonymous said...

But the companies assured us that they would be happy to voluntarily disclose information about pesticide use. This is not to satisfy Garyʻs "whims". This is about being good neighbors to many people in the community who would like to know this information. Time and money? From some of the wealthiest companies in the world? Just to tell us how much glyphosate they are using? You must be joking. They could answer that question in a matter of minutes, at minimal cost.

Anonymous said...

Gary's blog says about the Westside
"The data gathered during the JFF process indicate that west side residents suffer from numerous health conditions at higher rates than residents living anywhere else on Kauai."

These health conditions/indicators include: Developmental Delay (3 to 8 year olds), ADHD, Easter Seals Enrollment (age 0 to 3), Infant Mortality, Mothers Pre-Existing Health Conditions, Cancer Mortality, Stroke Mortality, Admissions for Bacterial Pneumonia, COPD or Asthma (elderly), Dialysis Patients (per 1,000) and other disabilities.

These are all conditions or health indicators in which the incidence of occurrence by people living on the west side exceed all other Kauai communities.
Did the JFF really find that heath rates were worse out there?

Joan Conrow said...

@1:09 You have no idea what you're talking about in terms of time and money required for disclosure, and just because some people want to know isn't a good enough reason to expect it.

Anonymous said...

Funny how he is Mark Sheehan, PhD, and conveniently omits that he is a realator, when writing on behalf of SHAKA.

Anonymous said...

@1:09 PM would you favor all businesses that use any sort of chemical engaging in complete voluntary disclosure of their chemical use? How about full disclosure of all of their labor practices, including those regarding unpaid and volunteer laborers?

Anonymous said...

Gary Hooser and his ilk are full of more shit than a Christmas turkey!

Anonymous said...

So Hooser felt so strongly about it, he didn't even bother to show up as a private citizen to the Council meeting today when it was under discussion. He'd rather take cover behind his op-eds, his blog and his Facebook posts. What a coward.

Anonymous said...

@ 2:06pm stop it already, you're reaching.....it's so lame and pathetic

Anonymous said...

Don't be so petty because you should be calling out all those who have signs that's still littering Kauai with self advertisement.

Anonymous said...

Can we move on already! Shame on you TGI for continuing to fan what's left of the flames. Shame on you Gary for repeating the same lies, distortion and "facts".

To whom should I disclose how much roundup or other weed killers I use on my 9000 square foot yard?

Next.............

Anonymous said...

2491/960 also required the large users of restricted use pesticides to disclose general use pesticides like glyphosate as well. The State and County have and will disclose their glyphosate use if/when asked by the public. Why not these good neighbors?

Anonymous said...

What is a "good reason" for residents to expect voluntary disclosure of glyphosate usage? Why would companies disclose some usage of other chemicals, but refuse to disclose glyphosate usage? Why is the desire of so many residents to know such information not a "good reason"? Joan, your comments so far on this issue lack substance and fail to address the real reasons for companies refusing voluntary disclosure. We readers of your blog deserve better than this, I think.

Anonymous said...

From the beginning the whole Fistee fuselage was to stop use of Roundup/weed-grass killer..a simple garden herbicide. The Head Fist never came right out and said it, as a matter of fact he said many times "this ain't about Roundup".
How in the world does a failed politician get so much press? If the Garden Island is the main organ of news for this island Da Hoos certainly has found himself a comfortable and influential in that body.
Kauai will soon be like Maui.
The NS squawkers haven't gone away, they are just resting. Soon these malihini with their manini whines will be back at it.

Anonymous said...

@1:09 News alert! Glyphosate happens to be a herbicide not a pesticide.

Joan Conrow said...

@4:35. No, 2491 pertained only to restricted use pesticides.

@5:27. There is no good reason for residents to expect disclosure of glyphosate or other general use pesticides.

Anonymous said...

And how does a disgraced cop become a council member? @7:18

Anonymous said...

You people still don't believe change has already begun. The State of Hawaii already covering their ass for their own ineptitude.


State to study impacts of agricultural pesticide use
Dillon Ancheta
Dec 14, 2016 06:22 PM
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Federal courts ruled counties cannot regulate agricultural pesticides, a hot-topic for GMO supporters and opponents.

The state will begin a two-year study on Oahu and Kauai to monitor the effects of pesticide use. The USGS will monitor the water quality and determine if pesticides are moving off site at unacceptable levels.

The study will cost $500,000.

The state is also working to build rapid response team in case of pesticide emergency.

Pesticide Poisoning Prevention Services for Households will be reestablished to help educate families about potential exposures and risks.

The work is projected to be done over next year

Anonymous said...

@2:53 PM please explain... why are you against transparency and disclosure? Do you have something to hide?

Anonymous said...

Beg to differ Joan. Read the Bill/ordinance - large users of restricted use pesticides were required to disclose use of all pesticides including general use.

Anonymous said...

Okay Hooser supporters. Do you want absolute proof that Hooser is a blatant liar? Then read the JFFG's report and compare it to what Hooser wrote today in the Garden Island. It's right there in print. No evidence of harm from pesticides and no higher levels of illness ion the Westside.

PS - I wonder of Hooser and Rosentiel shared the same hotel room. Isn't Hooser married?

Anonymous said...

"DOH will also require pesticide usage to be reported every month, and that information will be made public on state entity websites.

“That was an original ask in Bill 2491 on Kauai, and that’s in place,” Enright said. “It’ll be in place for the rest of the state.”

Anonymous said...

Whatever this bill said matters about as much as a fart in a whirlwind at this point, 8:26. It is invalidated- RUP's,GUP's and PIP's, Buffers, definitions- the whole frijole. As the federal courts recognized, EPA devolved the regulatory power in these matters to the STATE OF HAWAII. They have the departmental depth to handle this issue. Surely you did not think the County Office of Economic Development is an appropriate place to lodge the matter. They wouldn't know a PIP from an STD.

Anonymous said...

122/14 @ 2:53 pm, please elaborate? Is there a problem with extending disclosure in the interests of transparency, how would that harm the citizens of Kauai?

Bradley Choquette said...

@ 7:32 ummm..... All herbicides are pesticides....
Joan is correct, even the concentrated version of Roundup is no long a RUP (restricted use pesticide). You can even buy the concentrated version online without a pesticide applicators license. All licensed users of RUP must keep extensive records about where, when, how, and how much product was applied. In addition, records of the EPA product number, where the rinsate was applied and the weather condition at the time the product was applied. Compiling those records would take hours, if not days, and would be expensive for farmers. Most of the time farmers are audited after a drift accident. However, those record keeping requirements no longer apply to Roundup. SO, there is a chance you can't get information on specific applications of Roundup.

Anonymous said...

@ 7:32 PM Glad you brought this up since "what is a Pesticide" is so misunderstood. It certainly includes herbicides. And we all use these products, probably without realizing that they are pesticides.

Pesticides is a term defined and regulated by the EPA as:
(1) any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling, or mitigating ANY pest (see definition below),
(2) any substance or mixture of substances intended for use as a plant regulator, defoliant, or desiccant, and
(3) any nitrogen stabilizer (with a few exceptions).

It is an COMPREHENSIVE TERM encompassing herbicides, fungicides, nematicides, insecticides, rodenticides, etc.
Most people wouldn't consider antimicrobial products (such as those intended to disinfect, sanitize, reduce, or mitigate growth or development of microbiological organisms or protect inanimate objects, industrial processes or systems, surfaces, water, or other chemical substances from contamination, fouling, or deterioration caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoa, algae, or slime) to be pesticides. BUT THEY ARE. As are wood preservatives and anti-foulants.
And so are those products derived from natural materials such as animals, plants, bacteria, and certain minerals. For example, CANOLA OIL and BAKING SODA have pesticidal applications and are considered biopesticides.

And the term “pest” means (1) any insect, rodent, nematode, fungus, weed, or (2) any other form of terrestrial or aquatic plant or animal life or virus, bacteria, or other micro-organism (except viruses, bacteria, or other micro-organisms on or in living man or other living animals) which the Administrator declares to be a pest under section 136w(c)(1) of this title.

Anonymous said...

Where is the harm to people and the environment? It's non-existent.

DOA and DOH have been forced to undertake expensive, tax-funded projects, not to cover their asses, but in response to the very effective massive and disingenuous PR campaign conducted by mainland-based groups like Center for Food Safety, Earthjustice, and a myriad of local fronts like Hooser's that are funded by mainland interests.

Activists' insistence that Hawaii is being poisoned by agriculture are unfounded and absurd. We have bigger problems to address that are falling by the wayside.

In its 160 page, December 2016 report, the United Health Foundation ranks Hawaii as the healthiest state for the fifth straight year.

http://assets.americashealthrankings.org/app/uploads/ahr16-complete-v2.pdf

Hawaii has held the top spot eight times in the 27-year history of the Annual Report. See page 101 for details on Hawaii health.

Anonymous said...

Bill 2491 was written specifically targeting large agribusinesses with all those pesticide requirements. Why did it failed to recognize other large users of pesticides such as golf courses, state and county governments, fumigators, etc.? The JFFG found out that the seed companies used only 18% of the total pesticides on the island. If the state is to be monitoring runoffs, it should not restrict itself to only seed companies areas but also all runoffs around the island.

Finally, Hooser's million fistees showed up at yesterday council meeting only in the form of Fern Rosentiel. What a support for him!

Anonymous said...

Bye bye Syngenta. $4.8 million civil penalty from EPA for not protecting their workers. Syngenta is the worst of the lot and they should leave.

Anonymous said...

The Health Report pointed to by 9:23AM is an interesting departure from the litany of diseases, conditions, and assorted harms allegedly caused by agricultural pesticide use on Kauai. That the Gospel according to Gary and Fern runs counter to what is known is immaterial to them. In their world, Ordinance 960 must be preserved as a monument to the Fistee Movement to mark a time in our lives when civility and science to a back seat to a loud mouthed, pushy group of people who thought they knew better than people who actually did. You have to wonder why the west side turned most Big Fistees out of office and didn't elect Big Mama who all know better than HDOA, HDOH, EPA, USDA, CDC, the Hawaii Federal District Court, 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and other assorted government agencies. Council would be wise to get this putrid relic of hypocrisy of the books.

Anonymous said...

More regulations, less employment. Yet life expectancy highest in America, near highest in world. All about nothing but fleecing rich donors for left wing causes to assuage their guilt or buy of the riff raff from criticism of their wealth.

Anonymous said...

Get rid of those clean air and water regulations,and workplace safety too. In fact, we need child labor. How else are we gonna compete with China?

Anonymous said...

Don't worry Republicans will deregulate and the economy will collapse once again.

Anonymous said...

Cannot give a little spot light to the guys who brought light to the high profile incidents and changed focus on regulation? 2491 is justified and hooser and his minions won a battle against the super power pesticide companies. Mark one for the little guys.

Anonymous said...

I tried to tell you all that there's a process that needs to be followed in order for change to happen. Have a little trust and faith in big brother. Good job EPA and USAG.

Bradley Choquette said...

@ 6:47 Thanks, but let's not forget farmer also have to deal with regulations from the USDA with, NRCS, APHIS, and FSA. Then we have State and Federal DOT regulations. Let's not forget OSHA. Also, we all love the IRS... Last, but not least, our EPA, our local STATE department of agriculture, local weed district, and the NRDS. If you want to dig out a pod, you need CORP in ENGINEERS approval. Plus, state game and parks approval. BUT, hey, lets pile on more regulations so more young farmer will say FUCK IT and quit....

If the job was simple, everybody would want to do the job. The antis think our work is all unicorn farts and steak dinner, but that's far from the truth. That's why they're not stepping up to start their own NEW organic farms, they're going to put that work, and extra regulations, on farmers who are already feed up with their shit.....

Let's get something straight: these buffer zone, and extra reporting requirements, are their pathway to outlawing pesticides.... Theses regulations are a gateway to trying to force all farmers to switch to organic farming. (TO a certain extent, it is already happening in France.) They don't serve conventional farmer's best interest and will be used against us in the future....

Anonymous said...

Bradley,

And it may work in France, if it can hold on to its unparalleled support system made up of price controls, being the top beneficiary of European Union farming subsidies via the Common Agricultural Pact, and state aid, which has kept even conventional French agriculture in business for decades.

But France has higher production costs due to higher social welfare charges, taxes, and sanitary, environmental and labeling standards that are often more stringent than what is required by EU law.

Agriculture in France is becoming less and less competitive and French farmers are not happy. This may not be a model that we want to follow.

Anonymous said...

More farmers in France are moving to Morocco where the cost of production is lower, fewer regulations, etc.

Anonymous said...

Seems Ike Gary was right about the restricted use pesticides and the EPA agrees

Joan Conrow said...

@4:06 How do you figure? The EPA proposed fine against Syngenta is limited to one incident in one field involving only Syngenta workers who suffered no adverse health effects — an incident duly reported both by the company and HDOA. It has nothing to do with Gary's oft-refuted and fully undocumented claim that RUPs — but curiously, only those used in ag and not termite treatment — are poisoning people and the land.

Anonymous said...

Nice try Joan. The only reason it was reported was because there was somebody there to see something they weren't suppose to see. If that person wasn't there then none of this would have come to light. I'm sure the same scenario happens all the time and it's ignored.

Joan Conrow said...

That's total BS, 5:02. I challenge you to name the person who was "there to see something they weren't suppose to see."

Anonymous said...

Joan you are so obviously in bed with the chemical companies. How do you sleep at night? They must pay you well. Not one hint of concern or any chastisement do you show with regards to Syngents incident.

Joan Conrow said...

The chemical companies don't pay me anything, and I sleep fine at night, even with all the nasty attacks from anonymous trolls like you.

As I've stated previously, Syngenta made a mistake, which they fully acknowledged and reported. The state also reported it and the EPA followed up. The process worked as it should. No one was harmed. Mistakes do happen, in every industry and occupation that involves human beings. EPA has proposed punishing Syngenta for its error with its recommendation of a substantial fine — a fine that is hefty primarily to assuage the people who are screaming for blood.

What more do you want?

Joan Conrow said...

Oh, and I'm still waiting for you to name the the person who was "there to see something they weren't suppose to see." Because that's BS and you know it.

How do you and the other antis sleep at night, knowing you're spreading lies and intentionally fear-mongering?

Anonymous said...

So you are saying Hooser and the anti's are responsible for the large $4.8 million? You think his influence is that strong? Your obsession with this guy causes you to give him far to much blame/credit. Do you really think he is that clever/powerful/influential so as to be the person behind ALL of this?

Joan Conrow said...

No, I'm not saying that. Other groups are also involved, like Earthjustice, Center for Food Safety and Pesticide Action Network. Hooser is only one of the players, and he and his ego have been played by these groups from the start.

Anonymous said...

You always talk about reading comprehension skills Joan, it said in the article about the fine that there was an inspector on the premises when the workers entered the field and they noted there were no signs warning workers to stay out of field and there was no decontamination process and that's why they were sent to the hospital.

Joan Conrow said...

I know that, and I previously reported it. I'm contesting the claim that there was "somebody there who saw something they weren't supposed to see" and that's how it got reported. A DOA inspector is there precisely to see and report such things.

Anonymous said...

"Syngenta failed to tell the workers to avoid the fields, and then allowed them to enter the fields without protective gear, the agency said. Further, the EPA said Syngenta failed to provide adequate decontamination supplies at the farm and supply prompt transportation for emergency medical care.

The incident occurred when a state agriculture department inspector was at the farm. The state investigated and referred the case to the EPA."

Joan Conrow said...

@7:49 Congratulations! You can cut and paste!

Anonymous said...

Inspectors aren't always there. If there was no inspector there when the incident happened they would have never reported it, the workers would have stayed in the field, and none would have been sent to the hospital.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations @7:49 you proved Joan wrong.

Joan Conrow said...

@9:29. Those are all assumptions --paranoia? -- on the part of someone who is obviously an anti.

@7:49 -- No, they didn't. I already acknowledged and previously reported those details.