In yet another indication that Hawaii progressives have suffered under the influence of the anti-GMO movement, Kauai Sen. Ron Kouchi assumed presidency of the state Senate just two days before the session is set to end.
Those who voted against a resolution replacing Donna Mercado-Kim with Kouchi — Sens. Les Ihara, Gil Riviere, Russell Ruderman, Sam Slom and Laura Thielen — were among the most active in seeking to control the biotech industry and defeat Carleton Ching's nomination to the Department of Land and Natural Resources. [Update: To clarify, Sam Slom is not opposed to biotech or GMOs. My poorly phrased paragraph implied that he is, when I meant only to include him among those who voted against the resolution.]
As a result, Ruderman is likely to lose chairmanship of the Agriculture Committee to Clarence Nishihara, who supports biotech and general ag. Thielen is also expected to be ousted as chair of the powerful Water and Land Committee, while anti-GMO advocate Josh Green will lose control of the Health Committee.
In an interesting twist of fate, Kouchi replaced Gary Hooser when he quit the Senate to make an ill-fated run for Lieutenant Governor. Now Kouchi, a 22-year veteran of the Kauai County Council, is the powerful Senate president while Hooser is attempting to advance the anti-GMO movement from his position as last-place Council member.
As a quick related aside, Linda Estes has been nominated as the Kauai rep on the state Land Use Commission. She's slated to replace Dr. Neil Clendeninn, who has been serving as interim commissioner. Though Linda has no experience in land issues, she did donate $4,425 to the campaign of Gov. David Ige.
Returning to interesting twists, while Hooser was in Switzerland, unsuccessfully seeking to get Syngenta stakeholders to stop biotech operations and pesticide applications in Hawaii, the National Center for Public Policy Research was having better luck convincing Coca-Cola shareholders to do more to promote the safety and benefit of GMOs.
As Justin Danhof, a project director for the Center, noted:
The anti-GMO attacks come from Americans who have likely never missed a meal in their lives. Their campaign against GMOs is unscientific, fear-based and inhumane, but they are winning. One ABC News poll showed 93 percent of Americans think the federal government should mandate GMO labeling - a tactic they hope will elevate GMOs with taboo products such as tobacco and alcohol.
Danhof said large food and beverage companies have a “moral obligation to set the record straight” and asked Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent to make himself and the company's health scientists and nutrition specialists available to the American and international media “to combat the unscientific activists and stand up for the promise of GMOs.”
Kent agreed to “recommit” the company's regulatory affairs and scientific executives to discussions with groups like Danhof's. Kent went on to say:
[W]e firmly believe that there is — that the only way that we can combat some of these matters that you've just talked about is again, that golden triangle of government — not relying solely on government though, business, and civil society organizations like yours, public policy think-tanks like yours, coming together and talking about how we have more sound science, how we can have better science and how we can collaborate more to make sure that consumers are better educated, government officials are better educated and that we can have a consensus of view forward on how to deal with some of these major issues that you have outlined.
It's interesting — and twisted — how activists have focused so intently on pressing fast-food purveyors like McDonald's, Starbucks and Chipolte to go GMO-free, instead of looking at the bigger health and environmental ramifications of fast-food, convenience food, processed food and single-serving cans and bottles.
The Senate has many things on their table. GMOs and pesticides are only a part of the buffet.
Ron has a steady hand. He is trusted, smart and loyal.
Thank you, Ron Kouchi for all of your years of hard work.
You are one politician we can be proud of. Particularly in light of the the other Kauai politicos who capture the news like Crybaby/Tantrum Bynum and Fistee Hooser.
Now Kauai can gain the respect of the other islands, instead of being known as the island with the nutjob politicians.
Ron, together with Tokioka and Kawakami will make a difference.
Three good men.
Hey..... 3 good men.... don't we have a female in the Legislature too? Does the person who commented at 7:51am just see men as making a difference in this world!! WHATTTTTT....
"The National Center for Public Policy Research is a communications and research foundation supportive of a strong national defense and dedicated to providing free market solutions to today's public policy problems. We believe that the principles of a free market, individual liberty and personal responsibility provide the greatest hope for meeting the challenges facing America in the 21st century."
My, what a fine group to promote on your blog. I'm not sure GMO's go better with coke. Let see how successful that campaign will be
I'm not promoting them on my blog, just sharing a counter-strategy to Hooser's. People can discuss ideas held by others without embracing them wholly. It's called dialogue.
I guess that "the principles of a free market, individual liberty and personal responsibility" are abhorant to the progressive left.
The "new" progressive left --aka ant-GMOS--- is like the new Coke. Yucky
TVRs AND B&Bs would be legal and unregulated if we follow "the principles of a free market, individual liberty and personal responsibility.
Scientific or not, it should be MY choice whether to buy GMO - that is the free market - and these companies constantly fighting labeling makes me not trust them.
THE GMO SOULUTION!!!!! If u like GMO food eat it. If u don't like GMO food then don't eat it. The government has no say in what u eat or don't. When they do it is time to overthrow that government.
10:03 AM - You already know they contain GMO elements so what's to gain? Don't eat them. Eat only food marked "organic". Kinda elementary logic.
10:03. U are right - personal responsibility - that is what is needed but not practiced from our President down to our local officials because there are no morals left in this country.
During the recent elections I asked my 11 and 13 year old nieces who they wanted for Mayor. They said Barca but they were worried he would close all the McDonalds so they won't vote for him. All u anti GMO people out there - I'm sure ur kids hate MD and NEVER allow them to eat there. I'm sure MD has noticed a huge drop in business here on Kauai. I can tell when I stand in the huge line.
GMO labeling will create fear and loathing.
Them thar Guvmint guys know that the majority of Amurkuns wouldn't know a GMO, DNA or NFL from H2O, NaCl or even O.
If McDonalds, Whole Foods and others labeled "contains DNA" not a morsel would be purchased.
Then again, on Kauai if labeled "Fistee Approved" there would be a mad rush to buy.
Why make millions of people pay more for labeling when non gmo already labels them "organic"
"One ABC News poll showed 93 percent of Americans think the federal government should mandate GMO labeling - a tactic they hope will elevate GMOs with taboo products such as tobacco and alcohol." This quote from the todayʻs blog is ridiculous and misleading. The labeling that people want says only that the product contains GMO ingredients like GMO soy or GMO corn syrup. Nobody is asking for labeling that says- "Warning- this product contains GMO which may be dangerous to your health." The argument that GMO should not be allowed on labels because they are safe has nothing whatsoever to do with what the public wants. We only want to know what the food contains so we can make our own personal decisions as to whether we want to but it or not. Such labeling says nothing about safety of any ingredients. The GMO food industry never seems to give up pushing this inaccurate and misleading information about kind of labeling the public wants. Shame on them.
@11:41, GMO is a process, so all processes should then be labelled, right? Corn syrup from non-GMO is identical to corn syrup from GMO. Oh, and by the way, the sweet potatoes you eat are GMO; "nature" made them that way.
While you're at it, why don't you provide us with your definition of GMO?
It would be very difficult to agree with you more... Good work, Joan, as usual.
@ 1:10, GMO- any organism which has been created in a laboratory by forcing genetic material from one species into the genome of a completely unrelated species. For example, combining the genes of a fish with the genes of a tomato. Such processes are very different from traditional hybrid and cross-breeding techniques. Nature does not produce GMO. Can you give me one example where nature has produced a living organism by combining the genetic material of two unrelated biological species? GMO corn and non-GMO corn syrup are NOT the same- just look at the genes- GMO corn has an artificially inserted gene that is not found in non-GMO corn. Please do your research.
2:05. You have no idea what you are talking about. The human genome is filled with genes from molds, bacteria, amphibians, viruses, etc. As for glyophosphate resistant plants, there are in fact resistant plants in nature. Entire families in fact. Which is where such genes come from.
Species borrow genes all the time. Some, no one knows where or why. The survival threat that allowed that transfer may have occurred millions of years ago. Or a mere hundred thousand, as appears to have happened to those rare humans who are resistant to AIDS. My line has a gene that gives some resistance to plaque. That seems to have been somewhat important a mere 700 years ago.
2:05 PM said...
Can you give me one example where nature has produced a living organism by combining the genetic material of two unrelated biological species?
You mean besides the organisms created by combining the genetic material of human beings and politicians?
Where did you get the idea they were living?
Latest school incident (today) caused by an organic, over the counter pesticide improperly used by a coffee farmer on the Big Island. Educate yourselves, people. Please educate yourselves.
May 6, 2015 at 7:51 AM
Tokioka - no good, I have yet to see good in a homophobic. He voted against civil unions and same sex marriage.
Voted against environmental assessment for the superferry and against expanding superferry environmental restrictions.
He voted to increase TAT.
Didn't he also vote on bills backed by his employer?
Please explain your definition of good and describe the good that he has done for our state.
5/6 @1:10 PM, you are wrong in so many ways. GMO corn produces one to a very few proteins that are coded for by the transgenes,that are not present in the syrup or the oil. Your definition of GMO is woefully inadequate. All placental animals contain genetic material from a virus. Sweet potatoes have several bacterial genes in them from processes that occured in nature. Anything produced from mutagenesis or chromosome doubling is also GMO, which includes almost all corn, barley, and vegetables, among other species & food crops.
The GMO industry should save some of the money it spends on know-it-all blog commenters and use it to hire someone who might actually listen to the 93 percent.
@9:08 AM, speaking for myself, I post for free. I doubt if the GMO industry pays people to post, but I know anti-GMO people and groups do. I am not sure how many anti-GMO people are actually willing to listen, learn, or educate themselves with an open mind. Your post is a written example of sticking your fingers in your ears and saying "Nyah, nyah, nyah". Very mature.
It's amusing how losers who lack even the semblance of a factual agruement ALWAYS resort to the accusation that their debate opponent is paid off. What their small minds don't realize is that their accusations merely reveal how they think, how they would act. Sad actually.
9:08 codes the genes of the Flat Earthers. But the rest of us can take comfort from the results of the recent election on Kauai where the 93 percenters lost about 60 percentage points and their anointed candidates took big baths. That's what happens when you read too much Vandana Shiva and "like" polls taken in Whole Foods. We are the 70%; deal with it and start reading something besides trash from the likes of Jeffrey Smith. And gimme my Fritos and beer- no labeling required!
@10:36pm Don't you wish other politicians had stood up for the super ferry now? the only way to go inter island is on a single dominate carrier, for three to four hundred dollars round trip, on a schedule only they control. And it just took three weeks and three grand to ship a small fishing boat on a trailer from Oahu. Thank you anti super ferry guys.
One of the main reasons the anti GMO and organic farmers want the labeling of GMO is that the added expense to the end products will make it equal to the now expensive organic produce. Simple market strategy.
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