In what is perhaps its most craven move to date, the Hawaii Center for Food Safety is fanning the fears of those who care for sick children.
Yesterday, the Shriners Hospitals for Children in Honolulu hosted a misnamed “Lunch and Learn Presentation” with Hawaii-CFS director Ashley Lukens. According to a notice sent to staff and others:
Summary: Come and hear about the key findings of a 2015 review regarding pesticide use, genetically engineered field test sites and public health risks. The full 44-page version of the report is available upon request from the Education Office.
Odd, how Shriners has all those doctors on staff, yet they allow a partisan political scientist from an anti-GMO group to educate folks about pesticides — using cherry-picked data that has repeatedly been criticized in public meetings as inaccurate and/or misleading.
Indeed, the education director at Shriners said doctors approved of Lukens speaking because their patients want more information on the pesticide issue.
Yet they then claim on their website:
...there is no better place to learn than Shriners Hospitals for Children.
Uh, sure, if you're not picky about whether what you learn is accurate.
As for Ashley, can she really sink any lower than exploiting the fears and worries of parents and staff caring for desperately ill children?
Yeah, probably. These demagogues will stop at nothing.
Meanwhile, Hawaii-CFS sent out an email yesterday claiming it had “pressured one Hawaii legislator to release the records of her correspondence with pesticide-seed companies and groups representing their interests!”
It goes on to state:
With access to these records, we can better assess the influence of the agrichemical industry on policymaking, demand reform, and protect our allies in office from this pressure.
So without even reviewing the records it just got, or seeing the correspondence it's requested from four other Hawaii lawmakers, CFS is already convinced that undue pressure is occurring, reform is needed and its allies need protection.
Ironically, CFS exults in the success of its own pressure tactics, which are somehow OK because it's doing it. CFS, which refuses to disclose who is funding its own Hawaii lobbying efforts, then has the chutzpah to claim:
We need to remain vigilant in our demands for a fair civic process.
Yes, we do. And that includes demanding transparency from political advocacy groups like CFS and Gary Hooser's HAPA, which masquerade as nonprofits.
Meanwhile, Reuters reports that sugar beet growers, who have overwhelming adopted genetically engineered varieties that have higher yields and require less herbicides, are losing market share. It seems food manufacturers are starting to shun GMO sugar beets in favor of the cane sugar.
The Reuters article goes on to say:
Critics believe GMO crops contribute to the industrialization of farming.
Yet over on Maui, folks are trying to shut down Hawaii's last sugar plantation, deriding it as “industrial agriculture” and claiming that cane smoke causes health problems. They're supported by anti-GMO activists who say they're opposed to pesticide use, yet reject GMO products that actually use less pesticides.
It's becoming increasingly clear that the food fear movement isn't very well thought out — except by groups like CFS, which profit mightily from it.
Listening to a political science major on health and GMO issues is like letting a ASE certified mechanic diagnose you and treat your medical ailments.
Would you let a mechanic (mechanical engineer) with a doctorates degree treat you for medical purposes?
Because we all know political science has nothing to do with science in a scientific method as in chemistry and biology.
Doctor of Political Science Lukens should be ashamed of herself! So the kids at Shriners will be brainwashed to think their illnesses are from pesticides and GMOs? Gotta have something or someone to blame.
And where are these complainers going to be when HC&S stops growing sugar on their 36,000 acres? They have never offered any realistic possibilities for ag use of that now beautiful, green expanse. And what do they think of the 800 local families who will be directly impacted when the employees lose their jobs? And other Maui families whose jobs rely on HC&S? These anti-everything transplants have the nerve to state publicly that hey, they can find other jobs!!! Really? Where? On the mainland? No aloha.
The goblins (CFS/HAPA) are definitely out and scaring little kids and emotion-driven parents with their lies and propaganda! It's sad when fakes cause harm to the less than informed.
Happy Halloween, Joan!
Sadly 9:10 AM, HC&S as a sugar plantation will eventually be closing down as the costs of growing cane keep rising and the prices of sugar (controlled by the federal government via the Sugar Act) remains at levels only mainland industrial-type farming can afford to endure. HC&S is loosing money in sugar but keeps it alive in order to maintain their favorable agricultural property tax rate while it evolves into a land development company. Eventually those green fields of cane will be sprouting homes to house the very same transplants who are complaining about the smoke they actively chose to live near. Guess what? It will be houses that sprout up there and not diversified organic farms. But the seed companies might move in there. Now which would the whiners prefer? Cane smoke every now and then or the feared pesticide drift? Be careful what you wish for Maui transplants.
Former KITV newswoman Mahealani Richardson is the PR person from Shriners who invited Ashley. They appear to be BFF's. Shame on her. So much for journalistic principles of balanced reporting.
"claiming that cane smoke causes health problems. "
Whatever your feelings are about sugar cane and "who was there first," cane smoke is going to worsen problems for people with asthma and other lung issues.
9:40 AM: The antis know the last American sugar fields will be gone soon. That's exactly why the antis are targeting them at this moment. Knowing they are going away due to market forces, they will still claim it was their efforts to stop the cane burning that got them to "leave."
Successes bring in more money, so no better way than to find something they know is going to happen, and take credit for it when it happens. It's like jumping in front of a parade and declaring yourself grand marshal, which is the Gary Hooser modus operandi. Like when they took credit for the Good Neighbor program on Oahu, which was in process for months, by saying their presence at a single meeting made it happen. Their disingenuous actions are so obvious to everyone except those who accept anything that confirms their existing beliefs.
Of course, if we give up on American-grown sugar beets, we could import more cane sugar from abroad. And shut down HC&S while we're at it. Yup, let's get rid of those union jobs. Let's support sugar plantations in the Philippines and Brazil. Oops, they're not exactly Fair Trade model operations. Oh well.
Butthead: "The important thing is to stick it to somebody, right, Beavis?"
Beavis: "Stick it! Yeah, stick it!"
10 am Then why move next to a cane field and start complaining?
Wow, now the doctors and hospitals. Regardless of how you feel about CFS, they are clearly winning. It will soon be the reality that the only people left defending GMO will be the people who directly financially benefit from it. That is a tough place to be for the GMO industry, and certainly not how you win political battles. How long until they close up shop and move their field trials and seed corn operations to the Philippines or Malaysia? 3, maybe 5 years? Certainly once the TPP treaty is fully in place.
What Lukens and CFS are doing is pure evil.
It will soon be the reality that the only people left defending GMO will be the people who directly financially benefit from it. That is a tough place to be for the GMO industry, and certainly not how you win political battles.
Whattya mean? It's working for the anti-GMO groups that directly benefit financially from misinforming people about the technology!
"The richest, longest lived, best protected, most resourceful civilization, ..., is on its way to becoming the most frightened."
11:40 said, "It will soon be the reality that the only people left defending GMO will be the people who directly financially benefit from it."
Yes, and if the highly intelligent income inequality initiative is successful, the poor will have plenty money to buy those expensive organic foods that only use organically grown produce, free range animals and "natural" chemicals. Yes, being poor is becoming a good thing with all the help people like Ashley Lukens are rendering.
That's right, Joan! What would Hooser & Lukens do if they actually won? They'd be out of their cushy jobs telling lies to the ignorant.
Joan: What I mean is that of course the anti-GMO people who work for CFS also directly benefit financially. Both sides of the extreme benefit financially. Politics are not won at the fringes/extremes, especially in HI. As a political movement, CFS and the anti-GMO crowd is winning because they are becoming mainstream. They know that political movements are won in the political "middle" over the long haul. So this is a marathon to define the political middle, and CFS is winning. Why do they think they hired a political scientist?
Yeah, sure. Shutting down the largest sugar refinery in the world is just dandy. And I challenge these crack pots to identify sucrose by genetic source.
Holy Moly 11:52....."political movement?" you have no idea how politics work here.
Actually this has already happened and that's why sugar cane is no longer grown in Hawaii.
NIKE factories in third world countries paved they for many American companies and foreign companies to exponentially grown their profits by profiteering in third world countries through low or slave wages.
I believe the GMO lobbyists in politics have them dominated but whatever floats your boat.
One word to summarize the pro-GMO crowd: hubris
Joan. I thought that the GMO plants were not good for our friends....Bees ?
It all depends on the plant. Bt varieties reduce pesticide use, which is good for bees, as do virus-resistant varieties. Drought-resistant GMO plants, which also can better withstand insect attacks, would also help reduce pesticide use. In any case, There's nothing in GMO plants inherently harmful to bees.
Thanks...I hope you are correct Lots of rumors on tne Internet. I think Bees can be a valuable barometer for the GMO debate . Let the Bees be the judge
I live in the midst of GMO fields and the bee hive that's been in our broken iron wood tree have been happily living there for over 30 years.
H L Mencken, who wrote for the Baltimore Sun nearly 100 years ago, wrote: "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary." True then and true now as demonstrated by the noisy, invidious claque led by Bynum, Hooser, Lukens, Shootz, and others of the fear fomenting outfits like CFS, Hawaii Seed and followed by all manner of people unprepared by experience, education or a willingness to dig into serious subjects beyond the frequent and deceitful facebook and social media hectoring of these politicos. Something of a cynic, Mencken also wrote: " Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard." This is clearly demonstrated by the passage of Bill 2491 by seven people who should have known better- even in the face of the horrendous and shameful red-shirt mob behavior permitted in the Council Chamber at the time of the vote. Half a million or so county dollars (we'll never know) on, the flawed law will emerge from the Ninth Circuit to be appealed by the loser unless one or the other calls it quits. Good and Hard- and the politicos are still at it.
The same is true for genetic manipulation. The way our body expresses genes has evolved over hundreds of thousands of years. A gene that helps a naked mole rat fight cancer might cause a whole other disease in humans.
"We don't know what the trade-off is until we try and manipulate the genes," says Vail. "These things that look like magic bullets in one species may be incompatible with life in another species."
Joan, maybe you can tackle the Haleko Road disaster. This extraordinarily ill-timed project was supposed to take three weeks. It is now six. And hardly anyone is working. They are building a sidewalk to nowhere. Who ever gave this the go ahead needs to be fired. They have crippled traffic in the entire area and seem to have zero concern.
Thank you Joan for your insightfulness, courage, and wit, and thank you 7 AM for your well-said and unfortunately true comment.
Would a county manager system of government serve the county of Kauai better than the current mayor/council system?
questions Yes. It would be more efficient and professional. No. Nothing wrong with the way things are now. Maybe. What’s the difference?
Yes. It would be more efficient and professional. 53.1%
No. Nothing wrong with the way things are now. 29.2%
Maybe. What’s the difference? 17.7%
If you think we don't need checks and balances in government and if you think the council is doing a superb job, then county manager may be for you, but if you are smart enough to know that we have an excellent county manager in Nadine and the checks and balances of both a strong mayor and a strong council better serve the people, then no to a county manager that answers to the council.
We had a county auditor that answered to the council and see how well that worked out. Repackaged audits prepared by outside consultants, politically motivated and targeted audits, free passes to political friends (like Shay) for inappropriate vehicle use, a new department created with a $1 million budget, former employee allowed to work from Oahu and charge travel cost to taxpayers, several employee related lawsuits and claims (Ernie, Stephanie, Ron) within this department, and no substantial savings to taxpayers as a result of the audits. What a waste of money! Now you'd like to have a manager selected by council too. Why not just get rid of the mayor and let council run the county, because that's what this proposal does. Council hasn't made a good decision in years. Get rid of the auditor's office and use the $1 million savings to repave our roads.
@7:32 - So just because one County auditor didn't work our, no auditor will ever? That's kinds slim thinking. We need an experienced CPA auditor badly!
Now this is interesting:
Big biz in Ohio wants a marijuana monopoly. Not exactly what Bob Marley had in mind when he sang "Legalize It".
A county manager like a retired General would solve a lot of Kauai's government corruption.
Yeah and the Princeville shuttle was a legal way that the Mayor, county council and Nadine funded a personal business.
@11:35 AM - the retired General has to be bald otherwise he'd hurt himself pulling all his hair out dealing with the Kauai bureaucracy.
Who said the general is a he, could be a she or even a Caitlynn.
But all humor put aside, we have all seen and experienced the BAD Mayor, crony administration, and do nothing county council so we need a general to LEAD Kauai and not these high school flunkies in office reliving their days of glory.
Concentrating the economic power of marijuana in the hands of a few is wrong on so many levels. So much for free enterprise. Watch out if it happens here.
if you think Haleko is bad, wait til they begin the do-over of Rice st. How much did the county spend to widen Rice St just a few years ago? Millions? Plus the huge disruption created by the construction. Now they're going to spend $13 + million to make Rice Street narrow again, plus add a lot of fancy stuff like medians, landscaping, sidewwalks, bike lanes, walking paths, etc. etc, Like by the State building. looks nice, but don't do anything but make traffic more jam up. During the day., maybe 20 or less business doorways open on Rice st. from Haleko down to the Convention hall. After pau hana the number drops to less than 10. So where all the people going, walking on the paths and riding bikes?
It's called revitalization, happens all over the world and is much needed in Lihue.
Hiring the best and brightest costs real money. When civil service employees make more than their bosses and have job security, it'll be hard to get a retired general to work for less than he/she would make in the private sector. Even attracting top quality mid-management personnel is challenging. Take the recent departure of a Parks & Rec project manager. He was doing so well at addressing the backlog of deferred maintenance and managing contracts that one of his vendors simply hired him away at near double his salary. Citizens demand a high caliber of county personnel but doesn't want to give pay raises or pay higher taxes to attract those experienced individuals. We are getting exactly what we pay for.
No the problem is that Kauai is paying way too much for people who aren't qualified to do the jobs.
The last outside agency audit of the county of Kauai proves that the county's government is abusing hiring policies and also pay and leave policies.
Plain and simple lots of shibai going on.
One thing that private businesses and also other states, counties and federal government dept's are doing is contracting out non essential employees.
How many grass cutters do we have on Kauai county budget and how many do we need?
A complete waste of federal funding when there's other areas in island in dire need of basic road servicing.
What is a luxury and what is essential are two questions that the county has to ask the people because our leaders don't seem to know what the hell they are doing.
Heck they have to have some guy called the shadow write articles in TGI to identify problem areas and still years later nothing is done.
It's called job security as in securing Union votes.
The labor unions such as in the construction ones have too much power on Kauai and a lot of the nonsense double and triple lazy jobs are done just to get those millyuns.
revitalization, ? tell us dummies how this is really going to help Lihue, besides making it look like Carmel? The town/populatiopn is moving west, anybody can see that.
Everytime I drive by a bus stop that doesn't have shelter and see people waiting in the hot sun, I just say hey the county just saved 80K from a rip off Union overbid contract and that's for every shelter that is being proposed like the 2 million dollar bid to fix the Kilauea gym's roof.
A local contractor actually told the county that it would cost less than 50K to fix.
2 million dollars and 50K is the same as Kauai saying it would cost a few billion dollars to build another Wailua bridge or over 150 million that the county spent building a bike path that they fed the federal government as a multimodal use path.
How do you win the lottery everytime?
Just be a construction Union member or better yet be one of the reps so you can buy million dollar houses, boats, take trips to vegas and other countries, as well as pay for your mistresses, massage parlors, and bastard kids education.
Lihue looks like Lihue. People go nuts over the silliest things.
Russia just banned growing and importing GMOʻs. They join more than 30 countries like China and France. Why are these countries so stupid? Why do they not follow the USA and be smart like us? Russia says they have enough land to grow organic and sustainable foods for everyone. What a crock! Monsanto, you only spent $67 million to defeat GMO labeling in Cali and Washington. Please consider spending more to protect us consumers from these communists who support the publicʻs right to know ingredients in their food. Only communists and those who are against the American way of life find Gmos and pesticides to be a problem. If you donʻt like GMOs, then move to Russia or France.
Antis mistakenly call lengthy approval processes in some countries an anti-gmo ban. Here's some real info on China's strongly pro-gmo stance:
"The Chinese have long been wary of genetically modified organisms, grown from seeds designed to yield plants more resistant to drought, bugs, and other hazards. While imports of GMO-derived soybeans and corn are used as livestock feed, human consumption of GMO-based food is banned except for cooking oil and papayas.
China’s top officials are gearing up to turn their country into a GMO power. In a speech released last fall, President Xi Jinping said China must “boldly research and innovate, [and] dominate the high points of GMO techniques.” An agricultural policy paper issued early this year calls for more GMO research. A pro-GMO ad campaign from the agriculture ministry began in September 2014. Beijing-based Origin Agritech has already developed GMO corn seeds, while other Chinese companies are working on new rice varieties. “Biotechnology is our investment for the future,” says Origin Chairman Han Gengchen. He expects the government to allow planting of GMO corn within three years.
China needs a sharp boost in farm productivity, which has been hurt by damaged soil, contaminated water, and overuse of fertilizer and pesticides. The official Xinhua News Agency on Feb. 4, wrote, “GMO technology has long been considered an effective way to increase yields on marginal lands.”
China is the destination of more than 60 percent of global soybean exports, almost all genetically engineered. This dependence on foreigners concerns China’s leaders, who have seen self-sufficiency in grain as a strategic imperative.
POSTED IN EDUCATION
The U.S. ranks 14th in education
According to Pearson, the United States has a “cognitive skills and educational attainment” score of 0.39, which makes the United States rank fourteenth out of forty countries ranked in that category. The top ten countries (and their scores) are:
South Korea (1.30)
Hong Kong (0.96)
United Kingdom (0.67)
6 January 2015
The U.S. ranks 2nd in ignorance
According to the research firm IPSOS Mori, the United States ranks second out of fourteen countries in general ignorance about social statistics such as teen pregnancy, unemployment rates, and voting patterns. Italy is the most ignorant of the fourteen countries.
The U.S. ranks 33rd in internet download speeds
According to the Ookla Speedtest, the average internet download speed in the U.S. is 21.72 Mbps, which makes the United States rank thirty-third out of one hundred ninety economies ranked in that category. Hong Kong ranks first, with an average internet download speed of 72.54 Mbps. The top ten internet download speeds are:
Hong Kong (72.54 Mbps)
Singapore (58.73 Mbps)
Romania (56.69 Mbps)
South Korea (52.35 Mbps)
Japan (42.28 Mbps)
Andorra (42.08 Mbps)
Sweden (41.39 Mbps)
Lithuania (40.48 Mbps)
Switzerland (40.35 Mbps)
Macau (40.25 Mbps)
The U.S. ranks 24th in literacy
According to the Program for International Student Assessment, the average reading literacy score for U.S. fifteen-year old students is 498 (out of 1000 possible points). That is enough to make the United States rank twenty-fourth out of sixty-five educational systems ranked in that category. Shangai, China, ranked first, with a score of 570.
The U.S. ranks 17th in educational performance
According to the report, The Learning Curve, developed by the Economist Intelligence Unit, the United States ranks seventeenth out of forty countries ranked in overall educational performance. Finland ranks first. The top ten countries in educational performance are:
Hong Kong SAR
Neither China nor France ban the import of grain with biotech traits. In fact, Europe is dependent on imported soy and maize, almost all with biotech traits.
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