Saturday, November 29, 2014

Kauai GMO/Pesticide Fact-Finding Group to Convene

A $100,000 joint fact finding project intended to ground the Kauai GMO-pesticide debate in reality is set to begin “as early as practicable” next year.

It's coordinated by Peter Adler's ACCORD 3.0 Network — he previously did the Kauai feral cat study — with Kauai County and the state Department of Agriculture putting up the dough. It's being run as a pilot project that may have applications for other islands and issues — a consultant's dream.

It's also all that's left of Bill 2491/Ordinance 960 — the pesticide/GMO regulatory bill that was overturned by a federal judge, along with the provision for an Environmental and Public Health Impact Study (EPHIS). The joint fact finding (JFF) process will be done instead of the EPHIS.

According to a document that outlines the scope of the project:

Thus far, debates over pesticides and other related issues have been pursued primarily through litigation, legislative proposals, and political lobbying. Missing from the picture have been safe spaces where people with knowledge and goodwill who may disagree with each other can meet, review, discuss, interpret evidence and deliberate.

The JFF will provide a forum for rigorous consideration, evidence‐based debate, and collective fact-finding.

It goes on to state that the JFF group:

[W]ill undertake a broad examination of where GM and other production scale crops are grown on Kauai, the historic and current use of pesticides on Kauai, the prevalence of acute and chronic health conditions occurring on Kauai at levels that are above state- or nation-wide rates, and any evidence of environmental contamination that can reasonably and empirically be associated with the use of pesticides.

So does this mean they'll also be looking at pesticides on golf courses and elsewhere in assessing “environmental contamination?” And will all “production scale crops” — a rather vague term that presumably would include taro, and perhaps even big veggie growers — be scrutinized along with seed crops and coffee?

Anyway, the group will use the compiled data, as well as consultations with technical experts, to recommend priorities for future studies, define their scope, and propose methodologies to better monitor health or environmental impacts associated with pesticide use on Kauai.

The JFF group will not produce original research, but will collect, summarize and discuss existing evidence, preferably peer-reviewed studies.

At least nine persons will be chosen for the group, which will meet about eight times over the course of a year, with teleconferences in between. Candidates must be familiar with Kauai, and have “good backgrounds” in agriculture, environmental health, epidemiology, toxicology, biostatistic, medicine or land-based practices such as farming, fishing, hunting and gathering.

Persons with pro- or anti-GMO leanings will be allowed to serve, so long as they are “willing to examine data and evidence.” Members will be required to disclose financial or employment interests that could constitute a real or perceived conflict of interest. They also will be expected to “read, study and learn, exercise self‐restraint and respect in working groups, especially to those who may hold different views; do homework between meetings if needed and work toward the common goals of the project” — requirements that will quickly narrow the applicant pool.

Those who make it onto the group will have to sign a “Charter of Commitments” that outlines meeting protocols, requires “hard commitments to civility and confidentiality within the working group” and mandates “an open mind to review all pertinent and high quality evidence.”

Adler's consulting team will start by compiling a preliminary inventory of existing pertinent studies and interviewing 15-25 Kauai folks to identify people with expertise and specific pesticide questions for further study.

Regular updates on the group's work will be posted on a website  that was still under construction today. At least two of its meetings will allow “respectful” public participation, including a Q&A session with technical and scientific experts and a discussion of the group's draft report.

In its final report, the group is expected to produce a summary and/or maps that identify Kauai lands in crop production, including GMO crops, which I'm not sure all farmers will be too crazy about. 

It will also develop another summary of “the best available data on the incidence and prevalence of acute and chronic diseases and injuries on Kauai that may [emphasis added] be associated with pesticide use.” Now that's going to be a bit of a sticky wicket.

Besides maintaining decorum in the meetings, two big challenges in this project will be finding the right participants, and coming up with studies, peer-reviewed papers and other data sources that are Kauai-specific. There's lots of good data out there about the overall effects of various pesticides, but very little on how they are actually impacting humans and the environment  on Kauai.


Anonymous said...

Total BS. waste of money.

Anonymous said...

I love the emphasis decorum and respect at meetings! Have we had a problem with that in the past? (LOL!!!!) Gee....who's been disrespectful, loud and obnoxious....not to mention throwing pencils and baby tantrums. Hmmmm.... Must be those horrible seed company people!!!

Anonymous said...

If done right this study could definitely have some value. The hard part is removing the emotion from the science.

Manawai said...

Does anyone else see the similarities between the accusations leveled against GMO and those against Darren Wilson? No proof, not even any reliable evidence and yet such conviction.

Anonymous said...

Bynum will not be on the council, so you won't have to worry about that. I object to only having people with degrees, as if no one else could possibly know what they are talking about and have an opinion.

Um, comparing Ferguson to people that have issues with GMO's is frankly, stupid. Sorry but it is. the two have nothing to do with each other. It is like comparing horse manure with elephant manure.

One is a much bigger problem then the other, and has been going on a lot longer.

Anonymous said...

Similarities?? GMO is genetically modified organism, Darren Wilson is a murderer.

Anonymous said...

GMO and Darren Wilson WTF?

You must believe that apples and oranges are the same fruit.

Kauai also have brute cops that have killed who lie in their reports.

You all must have forgot the two KPD shooting deaths of one unarmed senior citizen on his roof and an armed young male in his vehicle at the Jetty's.

How about the cop with a vengeance and tased a hoodlum over 5 times at Wilcox hospital parking lot.

GMO and the Ferguson incident/riots aren't even in the same stratosphere.

Anonymous said...

Um, Darren Wilson was a police officer who was performing his duties as he was trained to do. Calling him a murderer is a very big stretch to say the least. I think Manawai was saying the ACCUSATIONS that have been hurled at and the LIES that continue to be told about the seed/GMO companies & Darren Wilson are very similar in intensity and vitriol.

Don't get your panties in such a wad at the comparison.

Anonymous said...

Trained to shoot unarmed black teenagers? Don't think that was in the manual.

Anonymous said...

How do you know that poster wears panties? Just curious, sorry had to ask!! Could wear babadeez, yanno!

Anonymous said...

@ 1:33 PM Where is attacking a cop in the manual? How F'ing stupid can ya get? Cops are trained to shoot to kill anyone they perceive is a credible threat to their lives. Brown is dead because he dared to challenge common sense.

Anonymous said...

Welp Joan, you just darn did it.
Your fine information on GMO/Herbicides has turned into a bizarre social commentary on a complete opposite subject.
How do you do that?
Or is this the type of dialogue we can expect from the EPHIS?

Anonymous said...

@10:32 there ain't no manual for unarmed black teenagers. They're not a paramilitary organization armed with the latest weaponry. And it appears that Ferguson cops are trained to shoot first and rationalize it later.

Unknown said...

The permanent brain damaging effects of Kauai's heavily used chlorpyrifos, which lead to mental retardation, are discussed in the comprehensive medical review research article, Neurobehavioural effects of developmental toxicity, Philippe Grandjean, Philip J Landrigan,
Lancet Neurol 2014; 13: 330–38.
Obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, autism, infertility, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, gastrointestinal disorders, and probably increased US school violence from lowered serotonin levels are connected to glyphosate, reports the research review article,
Glyphosate’s Suppression of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes and
Amino Acid Biosynthesis by the Gut Microbiome: Pathways to
Modern Diseases, Samsel & et al., Entropy 2013, 15, 1416-1463; doi:10.3390/e15041416.
In the US and India costs of treatment of traumatized school children, may be rising in part from glyphosate (and possibly biotech neurotoxicants like chlorpyrifos and neonicotinoids). “There has been a marked increase in the rate of irrational school associated violent deaths in the United States since 1990 [206], and glyphosate may play a role in this pattern through depletion of serotonin availability. Disturbances in serotonin function in the brain are known factors in impulsive aggression, violence, and criminal behavior [207]."
If such science fails to convince people that we pesticide perimeter zones and eliimiation of toxic GMO's, than the courts can defeat the biotech corporations. For example, On 25 November 2015, the High Court of Paris indicted Marc Fellous, former chairman of France’s Biomolecular Engineering Commission, for “forgery” and “the use of forgery”, in a libel trial that he lost to Prof Gilles-Eric Séralini. The Biomolecular Engineering Commission has authorised many GM crops for consumption.
The details of the case have not yet been publicly released but a source close to the case told GMWatch that Fellous had used or copied the signature of a scientist without his agreement to argue that Séralini and his co-researchers were wrong in their reassessment of Monsanto studies.

The Séralini team’s re-assessment reported finding signs of toxicity in the raw data from Monsanto’s own rat feeding studies with GM maize.

Joan Conrow said...

Will, your conclusions are inherently flawed. One, because you are assuming that people are Kauai are exposed to chlorpyrifos simply because it is being used here. As I have previously reported, it's nearly impossible to get exposure through drift. Two, because you cite bad "science."

The Entropy report is a survey of literature, and reactions to it prompted the publishers to add this note: : The editors of the journal have been alerted to concerns over potential bias in opinions and bias in the choice of citation sources used in this article. We note that the authors stand by the content as published. Since the nature of the claims against the paper concern speculation and opinion, and not fraud or academic misconduct, the editors would like to issue an Expression of Concern to make readers aware that the approach to collating literature citations for this article was likely not systematic and may not reflect the spectrum of opinions on the issues covered by the article.

The Seralini study has been thoroughly debunked.

I suggest you stop relying on GM Watch, which is a propaganda rag, and start reading more broadly and deeply to expand your knowledge of this very complex topic.