Thursday, March 2, 2017

Musings: Bullying and Chortling

The anti-GMO tyrants have bullied another lawmaker — Rep. Angus McKelvey — into supporting their witch hunt against agriculture.
Yesterday, McKelvey passed HB790 out of his Consumer Protection and Commerce committee. The bill would require agricultural entities that bought or used more than 10 pounds or 10 gallons of restricted use pesticides in the previous year to publicly disclose their use of all pesticides (and this includes Roundup) through signs and prior written notification of residents.

It also provides for arbitrary county rule on all pesticide use issues, including buffer zones. 

As state Agriculture Director Scott Enright noted, the bill goes well beyond the EPA's requirements, without any apparent scientific basis, and would require the DOA to hire new staff and “divert limited staff resources from primary enforcement responsibilities.” He further testified:

The Department submits that language in this bill seems to target a segment of the farming community. Although the expressed mission of this bill is to protect children from exposure to pesticides, this bill targets only one segment of the community that uses pesticides. Cases involving potential pesticide exposures to children or near schools were primarily due to pesticide use by homeowners and landscapers. This bill does not seem to address the primary route of exposure that poses the highest risk.

Though activists claim this bill is about their “right to know,” it's really about their desire to harass. Because you know that as soon as the sign is posted or the notice is sent, somebody is gonna make like they just got poisoned. And, thanks to provisions in this bill, an “injured citizen” could then file a lawsuit against the company.

Of course, McKelvey isn't the first to pander to this crowd. He's scared to death of losing his seat, and given the new demographics of his west Maui constituency, I guess he's got reason to be afraid. 

And also reason to be sick, now that he's the golden boy of phonies like Center for Food Safety and Hooser's HAPA:
Speaking of pandering, are Maui taxpayers footing the bill for their anti-GMO Councilmembers — Elle Cochran and Alika Atay — and staff to fly to Honolulu lobby on behalf of the CFS political action committee? Or did CFS pick up the tab?
Actually, I'm pretty sure you've drunk quite enough Kool-Aid, Ashley....

And boo to activists who poison the community with lies and fear-mongering, while pretending they're pono. Puke.

HB790, like others that the CFS PAC is pushing, includes a preamble that is deliberately intended to mislead. It states:

The United States Environmental Protection Agency classifies pesticides as restricted use pesticides if they are determined to cause "unreasonable adverse effects on the environment" when used "without additional regulatory restrictions."

Uh, yeah. That's why the feds have issued a shitload of regs governings RUPs. It doesn't mean that CFS and its lackeys in the Lege are supposed to dream up new ones. The pre-amble continues:

The legislature also finds that information pertaining to the intensive [note that loaded word] use of pesticides in large-scale commercial agriculture within the State is not readily available to the public.

Well, aside from the monthly public disclosure of pesticide on a website that all the seed companies voluntarily agreed to provide.

So how, exactly, is the public better served by a mandatory process, which the state must pay to monitor and enforce, that requires annual disclosure on a website?

What's bizarre — unless you realize this bill is intended only to harm the seed companies — is the exemption of “indoor applications of pesticides” and both indoor and outdoor application of pesticides to control termites. So if you're claiming the bill is needed to “protect keiki,” why would you allow them to be exposed to pesticides within their classrooms?


While none of his [McKelvey's] fellow committee members voted against the bill, about half of them cited reservations, a sign that the bill will face obstacles in gaining additional legislative approvals. The measure still needs to cross over to the Senate for further debate.

Yeah, just keep kicking the can down the road and maybe some Senators will have the balls to say no to these fanatics.

Meanwhile, agriculture took yet another hit when the Department of Health told Hawaii Dairy Farms that it has to go through a second draft EIS process for its proposed rotational pasture dairy at Mahaulepu. HDF spokeswoman Amy Hennessey told me:

We’re working to get clarification on what we can submit, but we believe it means we can resubmit the work we’ve already done as a “draft” and begin the 45-day comment period again vs. starting from absolute zero. We’re unclear if we need to include the comments that were already provided or if we start those from scratch. OEQC [Office of Environmental Quality Control] wanted all comments, whether substantive or not, to be addressed. Our team had been following the administrative rule that said only substantive comments needed a response, which had been their previous experience on all state EIS projects. 

In other words, the antis submit a gazillion frivolous comments, and HDF spends a fortune — and years — responding to nonsense.

Ironically, an EIS wasn't even required for this project. HDF voluntarily agreed to conduct one in order to be transparent and address community concerns. Instead, it seems to have opened the door for getting stampeded by the antis, who love to spin fearful scenarios. As a case in point, consider this comment from Surfrider's Carl Berg in today's The Garden Island:

Rainfall produced heavy runoff silting up Waiopili Stream and turning the ocean muddy from Mahaulepu to Poipu. Imagine if the wastes from 2,000 cows were added to that runoff. What are the effects on the coral reefs?

Imagine the dairy dies and another 600-room hotel and/or hundreds of vacation homes are built there instead. What are the impacts of those all those landscape and sunscreen chemicals, not to mention wastewater, on the coral reefs? Or all those cars on the roads?

Agriculture supporters will be watching how DOH handles this issue, which could set a precedent for future farming endeavors in the state.

Or in other words, are we going to let the anti-ag forces dictate? Or use some common sense?

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

Got news, the ocean was brown all over the island, not just the Poipu area.

Anonymous said...

Is it safe to say that not one of those women have worked on a farm, big or small, have never harvested crops with their hands (or machines), never dealt with pests or even pesticides, etc. Is that safe to say or is that sexist too?

When they start growing enough food to feed the island free of pesticides and of MGOs then We should listen to them.

Anonymous said...

I'll never listen to them; they're liars and hypocrites.

And they're child abusers, dragging infants through awful weather, stressful delayed flights, airports, and crowded legislative hearings for their self aggrandizement.

Yeah, they really care about the health of their keiki.

Anonymous said...

Lauryn Rego uses her kid as a theatrical prop.

Anonymous said...

If you're worried about manure, imagine if we had another 100 Carl Bergs and Bridget Hammerquists on Kauai.

Anonymous said...

Ha! Winning!

Anonymous said...

They haven't farmed and yet they're trying to dictate farming policy. Plain and simple, it has nothing to do with their gender. Plenty of women farm. The women pictured in Ashley Lukens' photo don't farm. There are male activists, lobbyists and politicians who don't farm either.

All of them need to sit down and listen to the actual farmers, male and female, who work to provide food, feed, fiber, fuel, and a plethora of other useful agricultural materials such as lumber from agroforestry, coffee, bio-plastics, flowers, and nursery plants, to the other 98% of the U.S. population.

Anonymous said...

McKelvey is my Rep. Guess who won't be getting my vote next election? I was firmly on his side until yesterday. The anti's still hate him (just check their pages), and now he just lost his supporters as well. If he thinks this is about "protecting the children", then make the bill for ALL pesticide users: lawn companies, ag, home pest control, and schools themselves. Lame legislation.

Anonymous said...

Seems like the bill legalizes all the county ordinances that were federally invalidated. Too much power in the hands of incompetent (in matters of pesticide usage) councilmembers. Different strokes for different folks! Who's going pay and enforce the different county ordinances? Who'll monitor whatever the counties come up with? Again, it targets only the large agribusinesses and neglects all other users.

Anonymous said...

Hey no worries, There are two perfectly placed parcels on the ocean side that are perfect to build two hotels. Of course if the Dairy went into Maha'Ulepu this area would definitely not develop into resorts and it would be the anchor for future farming in this area. The friends of Maha'Ulepu are working against themselves. This is what happens when emotional outrage overrides careful thought. If you don't believe me go to the county TMK and see for yourself. And here's the bonus, it's already zoned for Resort. Good luck with that.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to know when someone is going to start talking about the unregulated, restricted use biocide applications to the golf courses spread about the islands in the most scenic of places, along water features and jogging paths.

Anonymous said...

Everybody...get used to eating "SPAM" and Vienna Sausage. There aren't any Organic food to sustain us now or in the future. "SPAM" and GMO sweet corn or Imported Rice. Once in a great while can eat the steak from the cows that were going to the Dairy.

Anonymous said...

1:55, life is not that bleak, everyone can grow some fruits and veggies, there is plenty of protein on this island, no ones gonna starve here.

Anonymous said...

"Anti GMO tyrants" really Joan? Looks like a bunch of girls and young mothers to me.

Anonymous said...

To label girls and young mothers who organize "tyrants" is classic Conrow. There's only enough room for one grrrl in this state, and that's Joan!

Anonymous said...

How stupid can you be?

Joan Conrow said...

@8:26 And to characterize the Hawaii anti-GMO movement as "girls and young mothers" is classic anti-GMO revisionist spin. If you engage in tyrannical behavior, don't be surprised if you're characterized as such, regardless of age or gender. And anyway, you all take your marching orders from Andrew Kimbrell. Which is why I'd love to see more grrrls, and fewer ewes.

Anonymous said...

Strong, articulate and intelligent young women and new mothers show up, stand up and speak up to defend their rights and values. They should be applauded as role models, not demeaned be referring to them as ewes and tyrants. We should be encouraging young women and men to get involved and active in the legislative process. Joan you are disgusting and should be ashamed of yourself.

Joan Conrow said...

@7 am Please don't generalize. I am for all encouraging strong, articulate and intelligent women of ALL ages, be they mothers or not, to show up and stand up.

Unfortunately, when it comes to the anti-GMO movement, the people who show up and speak up are typically spouting mistruths, unwarranted concerns and misconceptions that are fed to them by the mainland groups orchestrating this movement and feeding their fears.

This type of engagement should not be applauded, but condemned, and these activists should not be viewed as role models for anyone but those who are aspiring to ignorance and tyranny.

Anonymous said...

Damn right!
And unless you have witnessed for yourself the lies, the twisting, the intimidation, the in-your-face threatening behavior, the absolute unwillingness to have a civilized discussion by these women who are using their motherhood as phony martyr-hood , then you don't know what you're talking about. I'm a mother too and I and other moms have experienced this first hand.
And they are being paid for this behavior...which obviously is paying off for Center for Fake Safety.

Anonymous said...

CFS should be ashamed for exploiting these women and Ashley for playing along.

Anonymous said...

Joan am curious what "mistruths" ie lies did these young women state? I watched the hearing and saw many concerns being expressed but not sure what lies or mistruths you speak of. And "unwarranted concerns"? You don't think a pregnant woman should be concerned about being exposed to chlorpyrifos even in small doses? You don't think she should be concerned about the links between autism and learning disabilities and brain development that numerous studies are now pointing to chronic pesticide exposure (small doses over time) as likely being a cause for elevated levels? A parent can control and limit the pesticides and insecticides they are using in their own home, don't you think they deserve to at least know if chlorpyrifos is being sprayed weekly across from their home?

Joan Conrow said...

The biggest mistruth/lie is that people are being exposed. There is zero evidence that exposure is occurring, even in small doses. And that makes the concerns you listed irrelevant.

I'm puzzled, however, by why you think pregnant women and parents should only know about agricultural pesticides that are being applied near their homes. What about those who live near golf courses? What about those who have neighbors who irresponsibly use pesticides in their yards? What about those who have ground and tent termite treatments being performed near their homes? What about those who work in the construction industry and come home with clothing and hands contaminated by exposure to treated lumber?

All this worry and concern starts to feel phony when it's limited only to one source of pesticides — especially when that source is not even among the top users of pesticides.

Anonymous said...

Happy Girls Day Joan! You are a good role model.

Anonymous said...

"Zero evidence..." Joan you are the one spouting mistruths now. RUP's have been found "off site" in water and soil testing on Kauai's westside. Even the chemical companies will not claim "zero drift" but rather say it's rare and in small amounts.

Joan Conrow said...

I said there is zero evidence that exposure is occurring. Just because RUPs have been found in trace amounts in surface water testing does not mean that people are being exposed. But if you believe that, then you should start cracking down on Oahu homeowners, because urban streams on Oahu had the highest concentrations of pesticides in the state.

Anonymous said...

You are a piece of work Joan. Defend the chemical companies on every front! They can do no wrong! Anyone who questions them is crazy or a tyrant or getting paid or all of the above. Do you realize how stupid and disingenuous YOU look?

Anonymous said...

Life isn't black and white. I consider myself an environmentalist/conservationist but I believe that the use of pesticides is sometimes necessary. It became real to me when I found termites had chewed up part of my house and I had no option but to use pesticides or lose my home.

Two news stories caught my ear this morning on HPR.

One is about the tragedy on Lehua Island, a sanctuary for at least 17 species of seabirds, including nesting colonies of Laysan and black-footed albatross, red-footed and brown boobies, black noddies, Newell's shearwaters, and others, but where invasive rats are killing them off. To prevent elimination of the birds, a pesticide (rodenticide) will be dropped on the island.

The other story was about the huge population of feral pigs, estimated at up to 11 million of them, across most of the mainland. They're destroying native habitats and farms. With no effective predators other than humans, wild pigs are having a population explosion.

They breed year-round, producing as many as 24 piglets/year. Damage inflicted by wild pigs across the U.S. economy is thought to be as high as $2.5 billion per year, with about $1 billion of the total exclusive to agriculture.

After trying, unsuccessfully, every other way to lower the pig population, Texas is moving to get rid of the pigs with a pesticide, warfarin. No one likes to use pesticides, but when there are no good options, what do you do?

Joan Conrow said...

@8:09. Perhaps it looks stupid and disingenuous because it is your own distortion of my position. Of course the seed companies can do wrong, and when they have, the've been cited and fined. And of course not everyone who questions them is crazy or a tyrant or getting paid -- my characterization as such applies only to those who fit the bill. This isn't about defending the chemical companies. It's about defending honesty, pragmatism, reasonable discussion and compromise. It's about defending evidence-based policy making, as opposed to catering to a group of hard core, self-serving demagogues who will stop at nothing in their ill-informed quest to destroy biotech agriculture.

Anonymous said...

Cow plop runoff would feed the fish.
Anus is just being a chickenshit pain in the ass.

Bradley Choquette said...

Curious question: why doesn't the new dairy build a lagoon(s) to catch rain run-off? Then pump that run-off+plus nutrients back on the land. This would increase production and eliminate nutrient contamination to rivers and streams....

Bradley Choquette said...

https://www.npnrd.org/assets/site/NSWCP-Practices-Revised-NRD-2013.pdf

NC-8 the Dairy would get 65% cost shares from the government for installing a sediment basin.

NC-5 the seed companies can get 50% cost share to construct reuse pits for irrigation water and underground pipe to the headlands. This would capture rain runoff and soil erosion that's "polluting" (based on the claims made by surf rider in GI) the rivers too. IN addition, re-use water is 50% cheaper than pumping ground water too. Also, yields from reuse water are higher because the water is warmer and the water contains nutrients that have leached from the system. Now, many seed companies use sprinkler irrigation, but this system is great for catching rain water too.

They can even get cost share for establishing the pasture. I find it ironic that the government is paying farmers to fill the re-use pits they paid us to build 30-50 years ago. Conservation farming and center pivot irrigation systems have nearly eliminated run-off on the mainland.

http://www.nebraskafarmer.com/story-nrcs-cost-share-available-refill-irrigation-reuse-pits-9-125922

Anonymous said...

The first 8 inch centipede that crawls over an Fistee/Antis Kid's leg will put an end to any "no poison in my home" sentiment.
Mokihana Pest Control will have to do a triple spray.
But them chickens sure do love to eat them 100 legged critters.
I was in Honolulu and the Kauai Seed poison debate came up...as I said "the Fistees" I got several strange looks. I explained what a Fistee was and they explained what they thought a Fistee was....they have dirty minds in Honolulu.

Anonymous said...

@7:02- Poison not needed for centipedes. I have been bitten numerous times by the big ones. Terrible pain and swelling for days. Have found green papaya and comfrey poultice help, after withdrawing venom with a poison removal suction syringe. Whenever possible, I catch the centipedes with tongs, take them far away and release them. No pesticides needed at all. Mokihana is not welcome in our home. The geckos also are happy Mokihana never visits us. And stop building homes with wood. Instead use materials that are termite proof. No need for poisons.

Anonymous said...

This isn't about defending the chemical companies. This is about LAW AND ORDER.

John Kauai said...

There are 2 weekends of international demonstrations about the Climate.
Nothing is scheduled on Kauai. Anyone interested?

Climate Marches

There are two weekends of demonstrations for Climate change coming up
22 April on earth day The March for Science Signup
29 April Concentrated in Washington


The March for Science has satellite marches in Hilo, Honolulu and on Maui
The Peoples March has several hundred across the CONUS, but none in Hawaii so far.

Anonymous said...

All this means is over a thousand feed their faces for free on the county dime.


Prayers
Nearly 1,000 turn out for Mayor’s Prayer Luncheon
Nearly 1,000 turn out for Mayor’s Prayer Luncheon

John Kauai said...

7:02: actually, I'd prefer more Shamas. We had a great friend for several years who would always come when we pointed to a centipede. Sadly, the damn cats got her.

The chickens may eat the centipedes, but they also destroy our garden.

What the Honolulu people think is a Fistee is what a Fistee has always been for at least the last 40+ years. That certain people decided to use that term for a different group of people they don't like I'm pretty sure was a conscious choice. I'm sure that most people who picked up the term had no clue about the original meaning.

Anonymous said...

4:19 Wanna bet. The term was used specifically. Raise a milyun li'l Fistees....Da Hoos is getting engorged again.
Watch. He will be in politics soon.