The Joint Fact Fact Finding Group — charged with reviewing biotech crops and their pesticide use on Kauai — is entering the last phase of its work, with a final report due out Jan. 31.
According to an update by Peter Adler, whose ACCORD3.0 Network is managing the JFF process:
We are formulating and refining our findings for the central questions we are asking which are: (1) Are there detectable and measurable human or environmental health impacts on Kaua‘i associated with GM crop production? (2) If the answer is a possible “yes”, what are the documented health or environmental impacts on Kaua‘i, and how strong is the evidence? (3) And if there is a possible “yes” to the above, what should be done?
Even more specifically, we are seeking to answer these questions with the best information we can find, asking: 1) Quantitatively, what is the actual agricultural “footprint” the seed companies occupy and farm? 2) What pesticides do they use, in what quantities, where, and how often? 3) What is Kaua‘i’s overall health picture and, more specifically, especially on the West side, what do we know about the incidences of cancers, birth defects, pulmonary illnesses, and neurodevelopmental problems? 4) Environmentally, what factual evidence is there of pesticide damages to Kaua‘i’s flora and fauna, both terrestrial and aquatic?
While I'm hopeful that this process will defuse some of the hysteria associated with biotech crop production on Kauai, I still can't help but wonder why GE crops have been singled out for scrutiny, in terms of measuring impacts on human and environmental health. Not tourism, not termite treatment, not petroleum-based transportation, not health care, not substance abuse, not domestic violence, not residential use of pesticides. Only agriculture.
Automobile accidents, medical malpractice, drownings, drugs, alcohol and random violence kill and maim people each and every year on Kauai, while kids are regularly sickened in their homes by improper pesticide use. Yet the focus is solely on possible harm caused by a very specific component of agriculture, which thus far doesn't have a body count of even one.
This is not meant as a criticism of Peter Adler, whom I respect immensely, or even the JFF process, but the politics, propaganda, fear-mongering and warped mindset that prompted this exercise.
As a friend noted, when I forwarded him the report:
It may be coincidence, but I find it interesting that completion and release of the report is timed to get the maximum amount of attention as the legislative session opens.
I think — I hope — it's just a coincidence....
Meanwhile, it's been 20 years since the first biotech crop was approved. Greenpeace, which has made millions exploiting people's fears over the technology, deemed it “20 years of failure.” With the help of groups like Center for Food Safety and Pesticide Action Network, Greenpeace has mounted one of the world's largest propaganda campaigns to successfully halt the approval and use of GE crops around the globe. And then it turns around and blames the technology for failing to “feed the world.”
Despite Greenpeace's claims to the contrary, the global acreage of biotech crops has increased more than 100-fold — from 1.7 million hectares in 1996 to over 175 million hectares in 2013 — making it one of the fastest adopted agricultural technologies in history. And it's expanding because farmers who use it are making more money.
The most exhaustive study of the economic impacts of GE crops ever conducted — a review of 147 peer-reviewed papers published in the Public Library of Science (PLoS) in November 2014 — found that GE crops have added more than $115 billion in income to farmers since their introduction in 1996. Farmers who adopted GE seeds saw average profit gains of 69 percent.
A May 2014 study by agricultural economists Graham Brookes and Peter Barfoot found that farmers around the globe received an average of $3.33 for each dollar invested in GE crop seeds. Most important, the biggest income gains from GE seeds have come to the farmers who need it most: resource-poor small farmers in the developing world.
Papaya farmers in Hawaii, where GE varieties account for 85 percent of the crop, have benefitted immensely from this technology. As Joni Kamiya, the daughter of a North Shore Oahu papaya farmer, wrote:
If your grandpa started something and then your dad continued it, would you sit back and let others define your story? I won't. My brother is carrying on that legacy now amidst a war of misinformation. I'm thinking of them right now as they finish working in their fields then have to go and defend their work. They don't deserve this and nor does any other farmer. Learn about farming from farmers.
And learn about science from scientists, not propagandists.
Sadly, University of Florida scientist Kevin Folta has been silenced by anti-GMO groups. After Kevin was savaged for accepting $25,000 from Monsanto to support his ongoing science education efforts, he finally said 'nuff already:
Hi Everybody. I’ll keep it short. The attacks are relentless, I’m under a lot of pressure on many fronts. I’m taking the opportunity to disappear from public visibility and focus on my lab and my students. It has been a challenging time. I appreciate the support, I’m grateful for your wishes, but this battle is vicious and one-sided, and I think I’m well served bowing out of the public science conversation for the foreseeable future. Thank you.
And that's exactly what the bullies who started this war wanted. The bullying, and the effort to silence all discussion and any opposition, prompted me to leave the ranks of the anti-GMO groups. The bullying is wrong, and it needs to be stopped.
Which leads me to an article in today's newspaper. I commend Prosecutor Justin Kollar for rightly pursuing felony charges against Kaeden Palmeira, who punched his mom in the face — breaking numerous bones and shattering her eye socket — and kicked his girlfriend in the head, all in front of his 3-year-old kid and 13-year-old sister.
But then Judge Randal Valenciano turns around and gives the guy just six months in jail, with credit for time served. That's it? You can wreak freaking havoc and brutally beat two women, and that's all you get? Oh, plus he's gotta pay $92,000 in restitution. Like this loser is ever going to get his hands on that kind of dough.
The guy didn't even take responsibility, pleading “no contest.” Then his defense attorney says his actions were “probably fueled by alcohol and that he had potential.” Yeah, the potential to cause a lot more harm, until he gets his shit together. And how likely do you suppose that will be, when he isn't required to seek counseling for anger management or substance abuse?
The new state law that allows family abusers to be charged with a felony if they do their dirty deeds in front of minors is great. But it doesn't mean much if the judge gives the perp a slap on the wrist. Epic fail, Judge.
Lisa Arin would not have gotten they guy such a good deal.
Judge Randal gives out sentences based on the mood he is in. He has always been a prickly little pear, sometimes good days, sometimes bad days.
He must have been in a good mood when he gave the 6 month sentence for extreme bodily harm, family violence, danger to minors etc.
Makes ya wonder.
Watched a verbal exchange yesterday. A hard working friendly guy was a talkin' about how he had to go to Costco and get a little Roundup for his fence line. Another, within earshot friend, overheard and wowee! next thing he was a yelling maniac saying the guy was killing the island, Monsanto was taking over the world, JoAnn and Gary were Saints, Felicia was Mother Theresa and Mel/ the Mayor and Council were in the hands of big corporations and on the take.
The party dissolved with most muttering that the Roundup guy was a poisoner. Of course this was on the North Shore. Of Course the anti-Roundups had their fencelines weed whacked (not by Roundup) and their 5 million dollar value farms produce at least 50 pounds of Rambutan and the goats do a fine job of keeping the grass low. The new Kauai farmer, 5 million bucks, a big mouth and against the little rancher trying to keep a few cows in.
Thanks Gary, JoAnn, Mason....your tactics are working, the island is still fu*cked up.
But the shelves at Wallmart, Costco and Home Depot have tons of Roundup, and it is going somewhere. Maybe we are an island of "closet" Roundup users. If you find the MT bottles of Roundup in the closet, your Mommy may be a Roundup-alcoholic.
You better call Gary, he can git her some help.
6 month jail sentence for broken bones to his mother, putting his child in danger, and kicking his baby mother in the head and throwing his sister's phone that she was using to call for help and all he gets is 6 months?
Corrupt Judge Valenciano should be relieved of his position.
Why isn't the YWCA all over this?
All I can say is that if you have family that have connections on Kauai, you can do whateva you like without any real punishment.
Has anyone wonder why there are so many missing people and unsolved murders on Kauai.
Judge Valenciano conspires and colludes to violate defendants rights to a fair trial by making sure that witnesses and evidence doesn't show up in court.
The Judge Valenciano violates civil rights and coaches attorney's in court while hitting the mute button (white noise) to block defendants testimonies.
Judge Valenciano is apart of the problem on Kauai. He has demonstrated that he is one not to uphold the laws of the United States of America, the State of Hawaii and the county of Kauai.
Hempey and DeCosta are two "quid pro quo attorney/judges". Most likely Judge Valenciano will stack the jury and the local rookie cop will get off killing an innocent white kid.
Defense questions state’s case
Officer’s attorneys say there’s no evidence of negligent homicide
Michelle Iracheta - The Garden Island
LIHUE — Defense attorneys for the police officer charged in the death of a man struck on Kaumualii Highway said no evidence exists to prove the state’s probable cause argument.
A hearing for a motion to dismiss the felony information in the complaint against officer Irvin Magayanes was scheduled Thursday before Fifth Circuit Court Judge Randal Valenciano. The hearing was continued two weeks to Nov. 24.
Documents obtained by The Garden Island reveal the defense’s argument against the state in its motion to dismiss felony information citing the state did not have probable cause to prove negligent homicide or gross negligence against its client.
Magayanes is charged with negligent homicide in the second degree for hitting 19-year-old Michael Kocher Jr. of Hanapepe with his car on Jan. 3 while responding to the scene of a previous accident where Kocher had just been hit by the driver of another vehicle, according to initial police reports. Kocher died at the scene.
Defense attorneys said the state argued that the only alleged negligence in this case was the alleged speeding.
When Magayanes responded to the scene, he was going 19-24 mph over the speed limit, according to court records. Investigating officers concluded that Kocher would have died even if Magayanes was going the speed limit, which was 50 mph, according to court records.
The defense further argued that no evidence exists that proves Magayanes’ speeding was unjustifiable. They argue that as a law enforcement officer, Magayanes was justified in quickly trying to get the scene of the accident.
Defense attorneys Daniel Hempey and Craig De Costa declined to comment, but in their address to the court Thursday, they asked the court for the allowance of witnesses to enter this new information.
Witnesses included Kauai police officers Arthur Carberto, Joseph Himongala, Arthur Styan, Shawn Hanna and Sgt. Kennison Nagahisa, and resident Alan Yamagata, the man who initially hit Kocher on the night of Jan. 3.
Prosecuting Attorney Justin Kollar argued the defense must provide a declaration to the court that lists all witnesses by name and what each witness would say to avoid the hearing becoming a “mini trial.”
Hempey then stated he could declare immediately what each officer would say in their testimony.
“The police officers would testify that they also exceeded the speed limit and that driving in excess of 70 mph to an emergency is a common practice,” he said.
So let's ask the babes to go after the judge. Let's have a parade, sign wave and lots of meetings to call attention to this epic fail.
Women need to stand up to abuse and the babes are definitely woman.
As we all know, jail is purely punitive. At some time the defendant will have to try to make amends, try to reconcile with the persons he hit and try to be a father to his family. So how long would you want him to stay in jail? five years? ten years? Research has shown longer jail terms are actually harmful to the recovery of these individuals. They need to make amends, they need to correct their actions. This t o me is a fair sentence, to get out and be supervised to do what he should have done in the first place, to settle these things between his family, to become a productive member of society and to live out in the community. Maybe there is hope for him. Don't you wish him and his family success? Or just a long jail term to satisfy your ego, I'm sure his mother and family were satisfied, as nobody quoted them how they felt, they want to move on into reconciliation and live their lives. But others are like, hey, put him in jail for a long time! What the hell for. Unless he's going in there forever, what's the use? If he gets ten years, do you think he'll be in there going, hey, I deserve this, I'll be a good boy after this TEN FUCKING YEARS!
10:15 - "So let's ask the babes to go after the judge. Women need to stand up to abuse and the babes are definitely woman. "
Well the babes kicked that GMO booster Folta back to his lab.
At the very least 1 to 5 FUCKING YEARS for the brutal nature of his crimes.
Fucking KID was probably high on ICE but let's just pretend and say all he needs is a get management classes, substance abuse classes, and let's hold his hand and say it's ok son you can BEAT women and get off easy on Kauai.
Remember most of the unsolved murders in Kauai are women. Women aren't second rate citizens.
So FUCK you and your rationale and this is coming from a man who stood up from an uncle who beat my Aunty in front of me. I stood up to him and got beat with a bat as a kid for doing so.
I see you or anyone else beating up a women. I will make sure you feel her pain.
2:57. The Babes had nothing to do with Folta.
Lisa Arins wouldn't even have gotten a conviction. Her DV wins were overturned.
3:07 said "2:57. The Babes had nothing to do with Folta."
Joan why do you lie? Is it because you fear our Goddess powers? We had EVERYTHING to do with Folta. Stop misinforming your readers and post our link showing what we did.
No, it was US Right to Know. You were just there to jump on the pile when he was already down. Babes are the worst of the bullies precisely because they are inherently powerless. The only power you ever grasp is that wrung from a hysterical mob.
Oh, and thanks for underscoring yet another example of your hypocrisy. You demand that I post your comment when you refuse to allow any opposing view on your FB page. Guess you're the ones who are afraid -- of the truth!!
It is easy to blame the judge for what seems like a light sentence when you don't have all of the facts. Guarans there is a back story here that the reporters don't know about.
301 PM, Perhaps you should seek counseling with all that pent up anger. Certainly I do not advocate violence for anything. As I stated, the defendant's family and mother should judge him, not you nor I, nor our lord and good woman Joan as well. IF all things right themselves as hoped, them we all can go back into our little caves and be well. If he fails probation, the leash gets tighter and he serves more punitive time. All is well.
Yeah he scared of the family. That dirty rat Judge Valenciano is a poster boy with a scared napoleonic complex that bows down to the families that think that they are untouchables.
With all that domestic violence in one night of rage, one can only imagine what would have happened if nobody intervened.
Surely someone would have died or possibly everyone including the child could have been killed so don't give me that it's time to heal BS.
We have seen on Kauai that the root cause of the horrific violence against women on island has been while people were high on meth and other drugs or suffer from mental illness caused by these drugs.
6 months with time served and 5 years probation is a light sentence.
That women beater should have been waterboarded for his Meth or whatever drug he was on supplier.
If he wasn't on drugs then this guys has shown that he is a danger to the community and especially women, elders, and possibly children.
There are some really sick people in this world and that boy has shown that he has those traits.
If he beats and most study shows that he will beat and or kill someone then all this falls on that dirty corrupt Judge Valenciano.
It's the height of hubris for a gal like Nomi, with no job or education, to demand a distinguished professor be fired!
"While I'm hopeful that this process will defuse some of the hysteria associated with biotech crop production on Kauai, I still can't help but wonder why GE crops have been singled out for scrutiny, in terms of measuring impacts on human and environmental health." You answer your own query. Hysteria associated with biotech crop production.
3:29 You're bragging about your behavior? Jackbooted thuggery and you don't see anything wrong with that?
Nomi Carmona is emblematic of one of the Anti-GMO activists major problems. With a few manipulative exceptions its most frenetic promoters are people of modest educational and intellectual attainments who are glib, energetic and strenuous flacks for things they don't really understand very well. But they never fail to take an opportunity to scare or threaten people. In Nomi's case, she apparently studied the politics of activism under Tom Berg, the one term Councilman at C&C of Honolulu. Not much more needs to be said on her basic background; there is none- either in Hawaii or where she came from. She, like others of her type, is a shrill and shameless self-promoter, and she has a lot of company in her crowd. Kevin Folta, on the other hand, is a tremendous educator with a trainload of accomplishments who stands head and shoulders over the likes of Ms. Carmona and her big ignorant mouth. Over time, we all figure things like this out, and I hope the Joint Fact Finding Group helps us all along by sifting the wheat from the chaff like Nomi.
7:36 - We blew the whistle on that "tremendous educator" Folta, now here is proof that Joan is also a shameless mouthpiece for the Cornell Alliance for Science although she denies being paid.
uh, sorry to break it to you but I've already publicly acknowledged numerous times that I proudly work for the Cornell Alliance for Science. Such clever sleuths you are. NOT!
Why won't you disclose your funding Nomi? Ashamed to admit you're giving $5 head?
The Babes are full on hypocrites. They comment on other people's money but hide their own donors.
Here's proof that Joan writes for Rodale's Organic Life. Does that make her a shameless mouthpiece for big organics? lol
Thank you 12:58 PM.
The Babes have zero ethics. They're like the KKK of the anti-science movement. Ignorant, evil and afraid. They talk about goddess power when they would be the ones pointing fingers and calling witch in Salem. pure evil.
Objectifying women in the name of a movement is always justifiable. Who would pay attention otherwise? And Babes against Domestic Violence doesn't have the same ring.
I just happened on this blog, and I am a little confused by the logic of this post. It suggests the assault committed by the young man on his family functions as a metaphor for the way the anti-GMO activists bully GMO supporters. You write:
"And that's exactly what the bullies who started this war wanted. The bullying, and the effort to silence all discussion and any opposition, prompted me to leave the ranks of the anti-GMO groups. The bullying is wrong, and it needs to be stopped.
Which leads me to an article in today's newspaper. I commend Prosecutor Justin Kollar for rightly pursuing felony charges against Kaeden Palmeira, who punched his mom in the face — breaking numerous bones and shattering her eye socket — and kicked his girlfriend in the head, all in front of his 3-year-old kid and 13-year-old sister."
I just can't see the beaten mother as a viable symbol for the vastly wealthy GMO companies. Is the metaphor meant to make readers feel sympathy for the downtrodden GMOs? I'm not an activist; I'm just really not seeing your logic here.
I want to comment on the following statements:
"While I'm hopeful that this process will defuse some of the hysteria associated with biotech crop production on Kauai, I still can't help but wonder why GE crops have been singled out for scrutiny, in terms of measuring impacts on human and environmental health. Not tourism, not termite treatment, not petroleum-based transportation, not health care, not substance abuse, not domestic violence, not residential use of pesticides. Only agriculture.
Automobile accidents, medical malpractice, drownings, drugs, alcohol and random violence kill and maim people each and every year on Kauai, while kids are regularly sickened in their homes by improper pesticide use. Yet the focus is solely on possible harm caused by a very specific component of agriculture, which thus far doesn't have a body count of even one."
The above quote suggests by way of a laundry list of red herrings that we shouldn't care about pesticides in agricultural usage because there are plenty of other issues to worry about--not a sound argument. What is more concerning, though, is the claim that ag pesticide usage "doesn't have a body count of even one". Is this statement meant to suggest that no death on Kauai can be traced causally to ag pesticides so therefore we should not be concerned? Certainly that cannot be the reasoning. Perhaps it was meant to suggest there is no evidence that ag pesticides are harmful to humans, which also seems an untenable position given the mountains of epidemiological evidence of high cancer rates in agricultural communities on the mainland.
I'm not against GMO's broadly, but these statements about pesticides are concerning and (it appears) aimed at misleading readers. I wouldn't live adjacent to any of the ag areas and be bathed in pesticides, and my guess is neither would the writer of this blog. I wish there could be a more nuanced conversation about this stuff.
To 3:06 & 3:42 -- Though you say you're "not against GMOs broadly," it seems your own biases — e.g., "bathed in pesticides" — have dulled you to my points.
First, the domestic assault is not meant to be a metaphor for the larger GMO debate. It's meant to serve as yet another example of bullying. Second, the point of the post is simply this: bullying is wrong, in all its ugly manifestations.
As for your other comments, no I'm not suggesting no one should care about ag pesticides, nor am I saying there is no evidence that ag pesticides are harmful to humans. I'm asking why there is virtually no concern on Kauai about other known causes of harm, and so much concern about ag pesticides, disproportionate to its harm. Because there isn't even any indication of pesticide drift, much less people being "bathed in pesticides." Nor can you compare Kauai to ag on the mainland, where they have much larger operations and engage in aerial spraying.
If you desire more nuanced conversations, perhaps you should examine your own extremism.
@ Joan (4:30AM) - As you've often revealed, the underlying reason the Anti's attack only the seed companies is not because of their pesticide use. It's because of the perceived threat of G.E. produce to organic farming. But since there is absolutely zero evidence that there is anything harmful in G.E. produce itself, the Anti's have found it more beneficial to their cause to attack the use of pesticides in large scale agriculture. However, their argument withers in face of the fact that the seed companies only use about 15% of all the pesticides imported to this island. So they must ignore the blazing fact that 85% of the pesticides sprayed around Kauai without regard for homes and schools are for residential, non-ag commercial and governmental purposes. Add to this that it feeds their fear of "corporations" and you have the perfect neo-hippie crusade. Who cares about facts when fear is more persuasive to the uninformed or incapable thinkers.
The Emperors of Anti certainly love their new clothes!
If you give two examples of bullying, then you are, regardless of your assertion to the contrary, suggesting one is akin to the other. That is just how argumentative writing works. If you don't think they function as parallels but still include them together in the same post, then you are a bad writer for just providing a random assemblage of bullying tales without any metaphorical connection between the two. So are you a bad writer or just a poor reasoner? It's one or the other.
Except this was an expository essay. So are you misinformed or just trying to pick a fight? For a black-or-white thinker like you, it has to be one or the other.
I don't think disagreeing with someone's ideas amounts to "picking a fight". No need to take an exchange of discourse personally. That said, it is pretty clear you were taking a position in you post, and thus, my original analysis stands.
When you tried to box me into one of two fallacies -- bad writer or poor reasoner -- it became personal.
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