On an island, or perhaps everywhere, some rumors just refuse to die.
Like the ones about Lauren Kagawa, the 27-year-old woman who was found dead in her Puhi driveway back in August 2009. She'd sought a restraining order against her ex-boyfriend, former KPD cop Joseph Bonachita, and I've gotten comments over the years claiming she'd been badly beaten before her death.
Recently, someone left this comment:
After the [Kauai police] Chief said Lauren Kagawa's death was a unattended death by overdose, he lost all credibility.
So I decided to look at the autopsy report myself. The final pathological diagnoses states:
Lauren Kagawa died of a mixed chemical intoxication. There was no evidence of foul play at the scene. At autopsy, there was no evidence of significant bodily injury although some superficial abrasions with drying artifact were noted over the face and neck. A contusion with central laceration was present below the right chin. These injuries were not considered significant or life threatening. Internal examination showed no evidence of significant bodily injury or natural diseases. Hydrocodone levels were in the toxic range. Cyclobenzaprine and Temazepam approached the toxic range. Carisoprodol concentrations were present above the recommended therapeutic level. The manner of death is undetermined.
Don't blame the cops. They can only go by what's in the autopsy report.
Dayne “Aipoalani” Gonsalves, self-proclaimed king of Atooi, has long advised his followers that the kingdom has “diplomatic immunity” that precludes the need to follow some Hawaii state laws, like the ones that require a valid state driver's license and motor vehicle plates. But now that Dayne himself has gotten a driver's license, hopefully those who listened to his bad advice, and ended up with a mess of legal trouble, will realize he steered them wrong.
Despite a full-scale call-to-action and social media blitz, the Babes Against Biotech failed to marshall any crowds to rally against the GMO banana at Tuesday's Board of Agriculture hearing. They started by spreading the rumor that the meeting hadn't been properly noticed, which was false, and then continued to lie, claiming “they [BOA] sped thru public comments right in the beginning and several members of the public were unable to testify.”
Total BS. Only six people showed to testify in opposition, and they all got a chance to speak. In the end, the Board approved permits to conduct field trials on a banana genetically engineered to resist the bunchy top virus. If all goes well, Hawaii could have a brand new GM product that benefits farmers, not corporations, reduces pesticide use and was developed by the public sector. In other words, another "likable GMO," like the SunUp and Rainbow papaya varieties, which are resistant to the ringspot virus.
A friend who follows the biotech battles, and was surprised at the tepid reaction to a new GMO crop that would have been banned under a Hawaii County law that was overturned by the courts, sent me this email:
Can it be the the anti-GMO movement is losing momentum because they can't hide behind and use the Hawaiians who are busy with nation building and other issues like Maunakea — movements that have no place for them? Can that be why Gary Hooser is trying to align himself with the Aloha Aina movement?
Or perhaps the anti-GMO activists are busy on other fronts. They're now badgering Chipolte, which made public relations hay by banning GMO ingredients from its menu, due to concerns about glyphosate use on GE crops, to stop serving meat, now deemed a possible carcinogen, as well. A change.org petition sponsored by “Americans for Science” maintains:
Just as GMOs were removed from most of their menu items because glyphosate is a class 2A carcinogen, pork and beef now need to be removed as well. Given the concerns surrounding red meat, and the herbicide tolerant mutagenic sun flowers used to cook it in, we feel it is particularly important to seek out alternative ingredients.
What's that old saying? Oh yeah: “Give 'em an inch and they'll take a mile.”
And as Congress grapples with the GMO labeling issue, which is rumored to give American consumers the much-ballyhooed right to choose what they eat, I was interested to find this assessment of European labeling by international biotech policy expert Greg Jaffe:
The European Union has mandatory labeling, and food manufacturers use more-expensive, non-engineered ingredients to avoid having to put "genetically modified organisms" on their labels. They fear losing even a small percentage of consumers who are scared off by that phrase (the "organisms" are merely bits of DNA or protein, if they are present at all) or a blacklist campaign. In many countries with mandatory GE labeling, local farmers are not permitted to grow engineered crops, so domestically produced foods are GE-free. [Though GE soy and corn can be imported to feed livestock.]
Imported packaged foods arrive without labels, whether or not they would require labels under that country's law; enforcement of labels on imported packaged foods is non-existent. Mandatory labels have not given consumers a choice between cereal boxes with and without GE-ingredients--just non-GE cereal that costs more to produce and is no safer.
Hmm. So often things just aren't what they're cracked up to be.