Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Musings: Real Issues

What does it say when two people who failed dismally at the polls — Gary Hooser and Fern Rosenstiel — are now hoping to push the overturned Kauai Ordinance 960 (Bill 2491) through the state Legislature?

It says they aren't listening to the will of the people.

It says they think they know best, and damn the rest.

It says they just can't bear to step out of the spotlight — even though voters summarily rejected their platform and agenda.

Besides Fern and Gary, the “go Ordinance 960” rallying call has been picked up by two groups that benefit financially from keeping the conflict over GMOs and pesticides alive: Hawaii SEED and Hawaii Center for Food Safety.

Though Jeri Di Pietro has yet to file the 2015 tax return for Hawaii SEED, the 2014 return shows the group pulled in $229,894 — up from $167,973 in 2013. In 2010, Hawaii SEED brought in just $266.

But that was before the mainland anti-GMO groups decided to try and set a precedent on Hawaii, and started funneling money to the Islands.

Though Hawaii SEED's stated mission is to “inform and educate the public on food security, genetic engineering and health,” they didn't actually offer any educational programs. Instead, they spent $48,230 on unspecified travel, gave $8,588 to the MOM Hui, funnelled $8,329 into a Molokai “benefit” concert, expended $12,291 on a mysterious “Patagona grant” and blew a whopping $8,259 on the opening of the Legislature.

In the five years between 2010 and 2014, Hawaii SEED has taken in $801,174. Yet what do they have to show for it? What meaningful contribution has this taxpayer subsidized “charity” made to the Islands?

Hawaii Center for Food Safety, meanwhile, just posted this on Facebook:

Our opponents call us fearmongers, but we are focused on solutions and know you are, too.

Solutions to what, exactly? The fears that they have mongered? Like Hawaii SEED, CFS hasn't actually come up with any ideas, much less “solutions,” for achieving their oft-touted goals of increased local food production and reduced pesticide use.

We actually would love to see them come up with something other than dinging farmers who are actually are trying to pull off a crop.

Gary, Fern, Jeri and CFS are demanding the state adopt the buffer zone and pesticide disclosures contained in the now-dead Ordinance 960. But the state already announced that seed companies statewide have voluntarily agreed to adopt those measures. 

When the state is already facing budget problems, why spend more money to require something that is being provided voluntarily? Especially when there's no evidence that companies failed in that voluntary compliance during the three years that the Kauai Good Neighbor program has been in effect.

Though the fear-mongerers keep claiming that people are “unprotected” and pesticide regulations aren't being taken seriously, the facts are this: people are protected because state and federal pesticide laws are strict. When operators make mistakes there is enforcement. 

Shoots, Syngenta is already facing a nearly a $5 million fine for a January 2016 pesticide violation, which shows the system is working. Heck, the EPA is salivating at the chance to bust these guys, especially with Earthjustice and CFS egging them on. 

As the state Legislature opens today, it needs to focus its time and money on real issues that truly affect people's lives, like traffic, rural health care, education, affordable housing — not those manufactured to keep demagogues in the limelight and anti-GMO groups in cash.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Once upon a time the majority of Americans wanted slavery. So what's you point Joan? People should stop fighting for what they believe in? It took a civil war back then for change. Should they have just sat back and let the majority have its way? Your on the wrong side of history on this issue. You'll be eating your words someday.

Joan Conrow said...

So what is your point, 7:44? That self-serving demagogues should dominate the legislature with their made up claims?

As for equating slavery to demands for mandatory, as opposed to voluntary, disclosure and buffer zones, well, that's so inane that it doesn't even warrant a response.

Anonymous said...

Whoah, take it easy 7:44...cool down a few thousand degrees

Nate Yuen said...

It says Gary Hooser and Fern Anuenue are willing to stand up to the corporate power/money of Monsanto/Syngenta who put the health of Kauai residents at risk with indiscriminate pesticide use -- that's what it says! Do not twist the truth -- the people of Kauai voted to pass Anti-GMO Ordinance 960! THAT is the will of the PEOPLE!

Joan Conrow said...

Nate,

First, the people of Kauai did not vote to pass 960.

Second, there is zero evidence of either "indiscriminate pesticide use" or anyone's health being at risk.

So please, follow your own admonishment and "do not twist the truth."

Anonymous said...

7:44 AM, try saying that to a roomful of African-Americans.

Bradley Choquette said...

"...the recent announcement from Governor Ige supporting key elements of the Joint Fact Finding Group and the increasing weight of scientific research showing the harm these chemicals cause will motivate our local Kauai state legislators to do the right thing,”

???? I though the JFF was garbage and Ige agreed. Kinda like Gary's sources on the harm of chemical. Natural News, Mom Across America and March Against Monsanto is fake news. Hopefully the legislators can get information from individuals with accredited qualifications on pesticides safety and from actual farmers who use these products. Malo to the Hawaiian farmers who are willing to stand up to EJ and CFS...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for writing about that GI so-called "article", Joan. I threw up a little in my mouth when I read it.

Anonymous said...

The syngenta violation back in jan 2016 shows one thing, the system is NOT working. The EPA did not even do a thorough investigation as they did not even speak to the hospital staff (I work there). If they did, they would know that no harm came to the patients. Instead they quickly jumped to conclusions and now there is a lawsuit. Sadly the EPA in hawaii is politically motivated instead of actually being about protecting the environment. What a sad world we live in these days.

Anonymous said...

Bradley. When has hooser ever quoted the sources you mention? There is no need to make stuff up as it diminishes the facade of scientific legitimacy you have built up.

Anonymous said...

Bradley, the Nebraska farmer with big corn, who was called to Washington for important business always has something to say about Kauai because ???

Anonymous said...

Jealous?

Bradley Choquette said...

In the first paragraph of Joan's blog there is a link to a Garden Island News story link called "hoping to push". I cut and past the quote from Gary Hooser out the third to the last paragraph....

Joan Conrow said...

@11:07 Well, I appreciate Bradley's comments because he's a real farmer who knows quite a bit more about the topic than many of those who offer their uninformed opinions here. And what happens with the seed fields in Hawaii does affect mainland farmers, as we've all pointed out numerous times. If you quit being so provincial and you might actually learn something.

Anonymous said...

Real farmers don't have time to waste in Washington.

Joan Conrow said...

Just keep talking, 1:24, as you keep making yourself look more stupid with each comment.

Anonymous said...

Wait, wait, wait just a minute. Wasn't it those antis the ones that said (mistakenly) it is the will of the people. So when they lost the election isn't that confirmation that it was never the will of the people. Why can't they get that message? What chemical imbalance or learning impediment do these people have? Can we not get any clearer. Maybe we need to shove it up their ass to get it closer to their brain. For the love of God, someone please help us.

Robert Wager said...

The same story is being played out all around the developed world. When state and federal authorities recognize the junk science of the anti-GMO industry for what it is the anti's then move to local governments and begin their scary monologue again. Unfortunately local governments are often taken in by the misinformation.

Let's hope Hawaii has passed this initial mis-education phase and can now move on.

Bradley Choquette said...

I traded labor with my cousin/neighbors to take care of my livestock while I was gone for a week. It's not like there are crops growing after a 1 inch ice storm....

Anonymous said...

If you work in the medical field then it's really scary how ignorant you are about chemical exposures.

Anonymous said...

Ever heard of msds and what to do if there's an incident? You work in the medical field probably as ancillary services and have no medical knowledge. You are improperly trained and need to be retrained.

Anonymous said...

The EPA seem to think so and filed a civil lawsuit. The EPA is not going to file a suit without evidence to support their claim. You actually have to have education and job experience to get a job in the federal sectors unlike state of Hawaii and county of Kauai, where it's who you know and who you blow to get a j o b.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure the EPA can be packed with zealots just at the U.S. Forestry Service when personnel released endangered species into private lands so that they could restrict and control anything done on the land. An education does not necessarily cure fanaticism.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry about the EPA. Trump's dismantling the Federal government.

Anonymous said...

Ha one clown can't do that fool. Do you even know what the different branches of government are?