Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Musings: Yes, We have No Bananas

Now that the World Health Organization has determined processed meats fer shure cause cancer, will the anti-ag folks expand their call for a ban on glyphosate (Roundup) — deemed by WHO as a mere probable carcinogenic — to include Spam, bacon and Vienna Sausage, too? 

Will we now see a spate of class action suits against Hormel by people who claim they were harmed by eating their products? 

And if west Kauai residents are, indeed, suffering health problems, how will we be able to determine whether it's due to pesticide exposure or a lifetime of Spam musubi and Portuguese sausage?

The conclusion puts processed meats in the same category of cancer risk as tobacco smoking and asbestos. This does not mean that they are equally dangerous, says the International Agency for Research on Cancer — the agency within the WHO that sets the classifications. And it's important to note that even things such as aloe vera are on the list of possible carcinogens.

Aloe vera? Yes, despite these highly-publicized  announcements, it seems the real world comprises many shades of gray — and blasts of vibrant color, too.

But in the stale, stagnant, soporific world of Babes Against Biotech, it's all black and white, good and bad. And now the misnamed “Babes” have decided that bananas genetically engineered to resist the destructive banana bunchy top (BBT) virus are evil incarnate.
They're rallying the other knee-jerk no-nothings to flood the inbox of the state Board of Agriculture, which today is considering the University of Hawaii's request for a permit to import genetically engineered, BBT-resistant, tissue-cultured banana plants for greenhouse and field research.

Lead Babester Nomi Carmona wasn't even in Hawaii when BBT devastated banana plantations across the state, especially Kauai. But some of us can still remember guys having their entire farms wiped out, their livelihoods destroyed with no compensation, during the state-mandated eradication, which I covered for the Honolulu Weekly.

Currently, farmers use pesticides — including the aforementioned dreaded glyphosate — to control BBT and kill diseased plants. With a BBT-resistant banana, pesticide use would decrease. So which will it be, girls? GMO or chem? Or should we just say nevah mind, and keep importing most of our bananas from Central America? So much for improving food security and minimizing carbon footprints.

Ever notice how many ethical and logical conflicts exist in their warped world view?

In yet another example of the odd alliance between self-proclaimed greenies and tourism, the Babes are also urging non-residents to contact Hawaii Tourism Authority to say they're not sure they want to visit a state with GM bananas or other biotech. Fine. Then stay home. We've got enough misinformed whiners here already.

Hector Valenzuela, who disingenuously claims he's not anti-GMO, helpfully provided the Babes with their “scientific” talking points, since they're not really bright or educated enough to suss it out themselves. But Hector dished his own bullshit with his claim: “Little research has been conducted by UH to find alternative ecologically-based, low input, practices to manage the bunchy top virus in Hawaii.”

Isn't that part of your job, Hector? Or are you too busy running to anti-GMO rallies to actually conduct research? And what is more "ecologically-based and low input" than a BBT-resistant variety? As for managing the virus, two very effective, low-cost methods are cutting down diseased plants and not moving infected keiki. But the general public isn't willing to do even that.

Hopefully the state BOA will tell BAB to stick to what it knows — meme-making and fear-fostering — and leave the agricultural decisions to the experts.

Speaking of silly memes and fear, I noticed that GMO Free USA employed both to totally twist what happened on Molokai when Ashley Lukens and the Center for Food Safety showed up to lecture folks there. As the group posted on Facebook: 
What happens when someone does a presentation about pesticides and health on the Hawaiian island of Molaka'i in the heart of GMO experimentation? Dr. Ashley Lukens, of the Hawai'i Center for Food Safety found out. 100+ employees of Monsanto, et al showed up to bully, intimidate and harass her. Thank you, to Ashley for being brave enough to take this on. Hawai'i is on the front line of the GMO and pesticide battlefield. Watch the video to the end to see the true colors of the agrichemical industry.

Yeah, and check out the true colors of the anti-GMO crowd, writ large in the comment thread:

Beba Hojt‪ You can make money without selling your soul to the devil. If they have sold their soul to the devil they should be forced to eat the crap they produce in jail. That is where they all belong.‬

This woman also has stuff on Facebook about how 90% of breast cancers are linked to root canals and vegetarian hot dogs contain human DNA. Uh, OK, sure...
Joanna Wheeler‪ I feel so bad for this workers. It is the only job they can get in Molokai and they go there MADE by their bosses, come or else. It is heart breaking to see how their bosses do not care for them‬. ‪They are truly victims of the chem cartel.‬

Yes, Joanna, but you and the rest of the Kauai anti-GMO contingent are so compassionate in calling for the complete elimination of all their jobs. As in, "Let them mow lawns for rich folk if they want to eat!"

Pamela Gardiner Johnston‪ The GMO/Agrichemical industry is afraid of an INFORMED PUBLIC!!‬

Well, given the comments on that thread, there's no danger of that happening any time soon.

Charley Watkins‪ They are afraid of the pure white light of the truth‬

Which he, no doubt, has a lock on.

So does Ashley, knowing the photo and text is all a lie, make any attempt to correct it? Nope:

‬‪Ashley Barbara Lukens‪ Mahalo for sharing!

And Ashley and her cohorts claim they want to have a civil discourse on these issues.  

Ya might want to start with a little of that "pure white light of the truth," Ashley. If you can stand the brightness, that is.


Anonymous said...

In fact WHO said all meat causes cancer and implied that the threat from processed meat was absolute, However looking at their statistics, the threat seems marginal. And even these statistics are based on very suspect 'studies' from very agendized sources. The cancer mentioned is bowel cancer. Hawaii eats five times the national average in processed foods. Yet it is in the second lowest tier of States with bowel cancer, with a very low rate. If one takes into account all cancer, Hawaii stands at the lowest of all.
I suspect this is another attempt to keep third world aspirations of a richer life style in check, as are so many other programs initiated by the UN's social engineers.,

Anonymous said...

Beba, Joanna, Ashley, Charley, Pamela etc... "They are afraid" "I feel bad for them" "they are going to hell". "They are afraid of the truth", "they are afraid of the informed public".
Wow! It's so condescending how they speak about other people who don't agree with them. Notice how much they say the word afraid. Just because people are sick of all your bullshit agenda doesn't mean they are "afraid if the truth". Get real already. Nobody is afraid of you or "the truth" and we're not "from the devil". Listen to how stupid that sounds.

Anonymous said...

I was harmed by Hormel who made tasty foods I was powerless to avoid. Now I walk leaning forward as my belly fat forces me to do. I'm suing as soon as I can see to get my shoes on.

Anonymous said...

Ha! Somehow I don't think #savebananas is going to be quite as popular as #wearemaunakea. Good luck with that. Maybe this is just an excuse for the "babe" to post pics of herself with big bananas on Instagram. How bout #savebananasfromnomi

Anonymous said...

Whore, Mel?
Oh Hormel.

Both sides of this debate are out of line.
Neither is trustworthy.

Anonymous said...

But 9:52 certainly YOU are!

Anonymous said...

We live in a chem free world. Women use eyeliners, glossy lip gloss, eye shadows with every color you can think of. These so called cosmetics are definitely organic, Ha! People I know live with mosquitos and flies and other nasty insects. They don't spray or use insect repellents. They see roaches, they let them crawl all over the place. Germs, no such thing. Most of the things in our life is chem free. We smoke chem free cigarettes. We drink chem free sodas. We use chem free sugar additives for our sweetners. Yep there is no chem in our lives. Who scrubs the toilet bowl with a scrub brush with bare hands - no chem free gloves? The people who believe this chem free world...........try walking to work. Chem free gasoline.

Anonymous said...

So just like the tobacco and oil industries big ag has been making people sick with their polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and in our food no less. I guess "science" proved those no nothing vegans correct.

Anonymous said...

Right. blame big AG for BBQ.

Anonymous said...

"I was harmed by Hormel who made tasty foods I was powerless to avoid. Now I walk leaning forward as my belly fat forces me to do. I'm suing as soon as I can see to get my shoes on."

October 27, 2015 at 8:55 AM

Ha! Love it.

Anonymous said...

warning that smoking causes cancer, but when it comes to big meat they meekly say cut back on eating processed foods. IMHO all these processed meats should have the same warning label smoking products do like WARNING: THIS PRODUCT CAUSES CANCER IN HUMANS.

Anonymous said...

These processed meats/animals are feed GMO feeds.

Anonymous said...

Grass-Fed Matters
David PerlMutter MD

Red Meat Causes Cancer?
This week, a study published in the British Medical Journal showed that younger women who ate red meat had a slightly increased risk for developing breast cancer. The study involved close to 90,000 women followed for 20 years, meaning that, from a statistical perspective, it was respectable.

So how is it that I am comfortable maintaining my recommendation that eating red meat in small amounts is good for health? After all, here is a study pointing to an increased risk for breast cancer in women.

Let’s go back to the actual recommendations I’ve made in Grain Brain and have reiterated on this web site. You’ll recall that I’ve been quite specific in recommending grass-fed meat as opposed to grain-fed meat. And that matters a lot when considering a study such as this.

More than 95% of the meat consumed in America is highly inflammatory as it comes from grain-fed cattle. This is meat that is high in pro-inflammatory omega-6 fats, often laced with antibiotics, and keep in mind that the grain used to fatten these animals is typically a genetically modified product (GMO). This is the meat that generates these statistics related to breast cancer. No surprise here!

The typical meat consumed in Western countries is thus highly inflammatory and inflammation is a key player in the genesis of cancer.

Studies such as these make for great headlines. Isn’t it interesting that the same study revealed a significant risk reduction for breast cancer in women eating poultry, eggs, nuts and fish?

Anonymous said...

You don't think chickens eat GMO feed too?

Anonymous said...

The problem with self identified studies subjects is that subject groups often have other factors involved in health other than target substances. Smokers drink in higher proportion. Meat eaters often engage in more dangerous conduct than vegetarians. Vegetarians often eat much more vegetables toxics than others, even among themselves. (They do not live longer as a whole, only when isolated for certain mortal diseases). On and on. This is now only being given serious attention. Particularly after The Mediterranean Diet was found to be based on entirely fraudulent information.

Anonymous said...

Nope, the anti-GMOers are gonna come up with grass-fed chicken.

Harold Keyser said...

I've seen un-turned compost piles so hot and smoking they have almost burst into flame. Thanks for providing the match to this pile of manure.

IARC is clearly missing the big tuna, the big prize; the risk of cancer is well known to increase with age, so clearly they should just come out and declare that old age causes cancer. It is so much better documented than the case with bacon, hot dogs and spam. And then we can organize to ban old age, a true threat to all of us whether vegetarians or meatatarians.

"Stop GMO Bananas!" reminds me of Gilda Radner's SNL skit "Stop the Violins!" According to the Babes (via Hector), if these disease resistant bananas were to get loose it would be a disaster - who knows, they might accost our children on their way home from school, attack the elderly at bingo parties, leave slippery peels at night on dark sidewalks, or just cause general banana mayhem.

And of course Ashley. Can you image going to Molokai and trying to tell the locals the way things really are? When you have no background in ag or science (sorry, political science doesn't count)? Oblivious? Ignorant? Culturally tone deaf? Wow.

Again, thanks for gathering up and setting fire to this pile.

Anonymous said...

Kudos to the Board of Ag for doing the right thing, relying on rational thinking and science rather than hysteria, and approving the request.

Kauaiguy said...


Could you tell us what the "slight increase" was.

This way I can decide if your post has any merit or just plan BS.

Anonymous said...

For processed meats it was a risk increase of 18%. But the incidence report is far less. In other words, WHO moved 18% more people into the open risk pool. That does not translate into a numerically similar incidence. The reporting is deceiving.

Anonymous said...

For example, an American has about a 4% chance of developing colon cancer by age 60. So an 18% increase, translates to an overall increase of a mere 1% of incidence. However that is not spread evenly among the populace. Tall people, people with vitamin D deficiency, hard liquor alcoholics, and most importantly genetics take up a great deal of the incident populace. In fact cured meats, which this study intentionally mislabel, are not even in the first seven causation factors.

Anonymous said...

These are reasons to why Kauai needs a qualified county manager instead of some good Ol boy Mayor.

Letters for Oct. 29, 2015

County priorities are mixed up

Here we go again.

I can’t help but shake my head as our county officials, state and federal representatives shake hands and proudly extol receiving the “Tiger” grant of $13.5 million for yet another absurd attempt to “revitalize” the Rice Street area of Lihue. Let’s face it. Lihue is place most of us avoid if we can. We go to shop mostly and, when necessary, to deal with the county bureaucracy. To spend this amount of money on that area is ridiculous when so much of the island is in desperate need of maintenance and upgrading. Remember the Rice Street widening project of 2002? That disrupted traffic and business for over a year and accomplished nothing. Now they want bike lanes and cute landscaping that you and I will have to pay for to be taken care of.

Meanwhile, the buffalo grass encroaches on all our roads, the pavement gets more potholes every month, the traffic gets worse by the day and people in Anahola, as well as many other places, still sit in the rain or blazing sun to take the bus.

If our representatives focused on the real problems instead of trying to have no term limits, arguing about barking dogs and wasting time on projects like “revitalizing” a place that doesn’t need anything but cleaning, we would actually have some improvements in our day to day lives on this island.

John Humphrey, Hanalei

And can anyone tell me why is it that TGI prints March arrests log when we are already in practically November? TGI is just plain garbag'e

Joan Conrow said...

And can you tell me why you persist in submitting articles from TGI that have nothing to do with my posts? Is it just so you can comment on them?

Anonymous said...

If you live long enough, you will be overexposed to something. As for bananas, I had to dig up my patch because of the virus and worse than that was the farmers who lost their crops. What's wrong with these anti science people?

Anonymous said...

Actually I believe that a lot of Kauai's people are not reading local news and so this blog is a better platform to raise concerns and also open a dialogue where people can come up with ideas.